Behind any coveted brand and every glossy inspirational fashion rag there’s someone usually rather invisible, scrutinizing and ruthlessly cherry picking to create the lovable veneers we see. Here’s one of them, Alex Ashcroft. I am very lucky to hold her as a near and dear friend and we have grown up into the wonderfully jaded women we are together. Her hands have had influence with brands like Harvey Nichols and L’Oreal and magazines like Wonderland. She’s the steward and judiciary I install into my brain before making any artistic decisions as a kind of curative for bad taste. More than that her well toned curation muscle mean I dare not buy a pair of trainers or any piece of pricey tat without first checking in. You are up for a treat here, these are all superb FRIs. She really does knows her shit, enjoy it.
Tell us a bit about you...
Mother of two boys, reformed fashion addict, self-confessed sybarite and content editor for fashion and lifestyle brands.
Staycation, vacation or relocation...
Your FRI: Bahia, Brazil, TRANCOSO
Take me back to Trancoso, a UNESCO World Heritage site on Bazil's Bahian coast… A hard-to-get-to slice of heaven that marries coastal wilderness and glamourous bohemia. Stay at luxurious eco lodge Uxua Casa Hotel.
Blog, books or broadsheet...
Your FRI: Book, TRUMAN CAPOTE - IN COLD BLOOD
Currently ingesting Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences – how could a book with a title like that fail to be compelling.
Silverscreen, series or soundbite...
Your FRI: TV Series, NARCOS
Netflix's compelling, well-cast and stylish docu-drama about the rise and fall of charmer, megalomaniac and psychopath, Pablo Escobar. Appropriately, given the subject matter, it's compulsive viewing.
Where to go, what to see & do...
Your FRI: REFORMER PILATES
If you like yoga but want a tougher workout, do yourself a favour and try Reformer Pilates. Tempo Pilates run their classes to music and the results are impressive if you can endure a couple of classes a week.
Podcasts to popstars...
Your FRI: PACIFIC STANDARD TIME - POOLSIDE
Perfect for literally any occasion, apparently – evidenced by the fact that I have almost ruined it for myself through over-play. Check the dreamy remix of Neil Diamond's 'Harvest Moon'.
Treat them or teach them...
Your FRI: FREE RANGE URBAN KIDS
See your urban offspring blossom when they get involved in a Forest School scheme. Mother nature provides the classroom come rain or shine, and benefits for the children are well-documented – including better sleep – sold!
Recipes or restaurants...
Your FRI: London, LEILA'S SHOP
Head to Leila's Shop for the best ham and eggs you've ever tasted, washed down with plenty of coffee and light-as-a-feather Victoria Sponge. Calvert Avenue, E2.
Online or offline...
Your FRI: MAMA OWL
For kiddie kit from socks to tops in nothing but finest merino, alpaca and lambswool – it'll keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, it repels water and best of all, dirt – what's not to love?
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Treatments & tonics, tried & tested...
Your FRI: PHILIP KINGSLEY ELASTICIZER
Banish that witchy, over-processed mop with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. Just one dollop and bingo, a fat, glossy, manageable mane is yours!
Fun or function...
Your FRI: RECEIPT-BANK
No more random receipts bottle-necking your handbag. Get organised and scan and file them ready for the accountant with Receipt Bank. A must for any freelancer.