If you haven’t heard of Signe you can thank your lucky stars we’re introducing you to her here. Signe is a writer, cook and consultant who grew up in Norway & now lives in London. Having trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine, Signe has worked in some of the UK’s top restaurants. She’s even got two seriously scrumptious books to her name Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking…Scandilicious and Scandilicious Baking.
We love Signe’s authentic style and the warmth that radiates from her recipes. We dare you not to fall for her dreamy Nordic treats like the cinnamon bun cake or whimsical heart-shaped waffles. Fluffy French patisserie is all well and good but sometimes you need a heartwarming Scandi in your life. Or more specifically your kitchen.
Check out Signe’s Haute List for her top recommendations on all things food, travel & haute…
Signe’s Haute List
1. Favourite brunch joint?
2. Recently discovered restaurant?
Fischer’s on Marylebone High Street. I do love an old-school Viennese cafe and konditorei, and this cosy spot does a mean strudel.
3. Favourite shops?
Libertys for everything beautiful, I could wander around there for hours just looking and dreaming
Angela Flanders for scent
Fever for pretty, affordable dresses
J Crew for pretty, not so affordable dresses
Andreas Veg in Chelsea, one of the best greengrocers in London, a lovely man who has been supplying our EatScandi events for several years now
The People’s Supermarket is my local store, they’re friendly and always have an unusual and diverse range of delicious goods available
M&S for cotton pants and the best ever Jaffa Cakes
4. Best meal?
Tricky as I’m extremely omnivorous. At a push it would have to be a juicy steak at Hawksmoor, with piping hot chips, creamed spinach and a large glass of red wine. Otherwise anything Japanese floats my boat. And my mother’s spaghetti bolognese!
5. Best way to wind down?
Oddly enough, exhausting myself through cardio exercise is the most effective method (something to do with having an abundance of excess energy according to my personal trainer Charlene Hutsebaut), so a long swim or a double spin session at BOOM cycle usually does the trick. Otherwise, reading a good book whilst soaking in a bath filled with either Lily of the Valley from Floris or one of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ fantastic bath foams, sipping a glass of whisky works wonders too.
6. Favourite hotel?
I’m not really a fancy hotel girl per se, but staying at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong many years ago was definitely something special and I’ll never forget the view from their rooftop pool over the city. The George V in Paris is spectacular, and the utterly serene Cliff House Hotel in Waterford, Ireland is a place I’d really love to return to for some R&R.
7. Happy place?
At the risk of sounding like a hippy, I try to find happy moments all over the place, each and every day, but at a push I’d have to say Rye Beach, New Hampshire holds a special place in my heart as I spent so many happy teenage summers there. Also, my parents’ house in the Canaries, listening to the waves crashing in from the Atlantic a few hundred metres away. As long as I’m near the ocean, I’m pretty content with my lot.
8. Wish list destination trip?
Top of the list is to return to Japan. Close second is Washington D.C. I love American history, am fascinated by its politics and am a West Wing/Parks and Recreation fan so it’s something of a nerdy wish to visit D.C. one day.
9. Best weekend activity?
Brunch of course! Followed closely by cocktails at Quo Vadis, Hawksmoor, Rules, Duke’s or the White Lyan… But being a simple soul, brunch hits that sweet spot.
10. Favourite book?
An impossible question to answer as I love SO many. Favourite authors? Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Thackeray, P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker, Raymond Chandler…more recently Colm Toibin, Hilary Mantel, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, David Mitchell…the list goes on. I like books.
11. Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Go with your gut instinct.
12. Best beauty buy?
I’m a total beauty junkie and as such have a bit of a thing for REN Skincare, Pai, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Oskia, Dr Hauschka, and buy lipstick like there’s no tomorrow. Best ones I’ve found include Armani, Chanel, Dior and Clinique. I have far too many red lipsticks for my own good. As they say, when in doubt, wear red.
13. Most treasured trinket?
A small hand-painted box from my aunt Sue who is super talented, lovely and has a brilliant eye for colour and graphic design.
14. Favourite app?
Instagram, followed by Scanner Pro which is rather boringly useful.
15. Who should feature next on My Haute List?
Georgie Cleeve of Oskia seems like a good egg, give her a call.
Signe Johansen is currently working with Jarlsberg to raise awareness for Jarlsberg Reserve.
For more information visit www.jarlsberg.com/uk