The woman who fell for the dawn
"I like to be in control. It is rare that a man surprises me but I confess I was impressed. We had been dancing. A glorious night with laughter and soft light and friends and, God, too many of those exquisite martinis. I didn’t want to go home. I mean, I never do, but with him I could have swum naked, flown to France, anything.
When the club closed we took a cab to Primrose Hill. It is always my favourite place in London – the marvellous skyscape, the sense of the city unrolled before you. He lay down his trench coat and I lay back to look at the sky, to inhale the early morning. From his bag, he brought out two champagne coupes and a bottle of chilled Nyetimber. He couldn’t have played it more perfectly. He'd brought fruit too – papaya and mango, steeped with lime and cardamom – and he fed me as we lay together in the wet grass."
I don’t know where the time went, truth be told. We found ourselves watching the sunrise in St James’s Park, the coloured sky reflecting on the lake. A while later, we walked up Regent Street to Thomas’s. He ordered me hot crumpets and a spiced Bloody Mary. I had melted butter on my fingers. The ice was cold in the drink. Then, at last, he kissed me."
"For me, it is the little things, the details: the first time he held me, that fragrance, the soft of his coat and his broad, muscular shoulders. The way he touches my hand when we talk. The way the world melts away when he listens.
We were in Shoreditch and, suddenly, it started to rain. We ran into the round Victorian bandstand for shelter and he pulled me close, again that scent of nutmeg and cedar wood. I shivered and he held me against him.
Then came the thunder. We escaped together into Leila’s on Calvert Avenue. It is a breath of the past: wooden chairs, few tables, eggs cooked and served in a cast-iron pan with serrano ham – surely the most perfect place for breakfast. And he was surely the right companion."
The woman who couldn't resist
"I met him at dinner, in the museum. He was an original. Charismatic. Flawed in all the right places. After the speeches, we were alone in the moonlight and he kissed me. Normally, I’d never have gone back with him, having only just met. But there was something about him, his smell – crisp grapefruit against warm vetiver – his touch. We walked back through the streets, down Piccadilly to the Hotel Café Royal.
In the morning, we bathed together in the great marble bath. Then he called for breakfast: specially baked brioche, raspberries, dark chocolate, the strongest, darkest, smoothest Ethiopian coffee. We ate on the terrace, looking out across the rooftops. I was hooked."
Original article published in GQ.com, in December, 2016