Although he never formally studied shoemaking, Manolo Blahnik has been churning out some of the most interesting creations in the world since Diana Vreeland first saw his sketches, in the mid-70s, and encouraged him to pursue design. Within a few short years, Blahnik became one of fashion’s top talents, and in the decades since he has opened boutiques in far-flung style capitals at the behest of his ardent fans. (This includes you, New Yorkers—a new location on Madison Avenue is opening in the fall.) During isolation at his home in Bath, Blahnik has been developing cocktail recipes, cooking with abandon, and frequenting his favorite gardens and museums—virtually, for now. It’s no surprise that he has a refined take on the good life.
Airline: British Airways. I wish they would revive the Concorde …
Bag: A brown leather postman bag I designed myself.
Bedtime: Late, late, late.
Bike: I used to have an English Raleigh for years!
Birthday: I can’t stand birthdays.
Breakfast, weekday: Two slices of toast, with marmalade—the thick kind from Bonne Maman.
Breakfast, weekend: Porridge from Quaker Oats. I’ve been eating it since I was a child.
One with a driver. I don’t drive!
CocktailS: A banana daiquiri and a Black Forest.
Cocktail appetizer: Olives.
Couple: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and John Kennedy Jr.
Date: Tea at Claridge’s or Brown’s.
Diet: No salt.
Dinner, weekday: A tart of fresh peas and béchamel with steamed vegetables.
Dinner, weekend: A French omelet with vegetables.
Dress: Classical with a shock of color, like red-and-yellow tweed.
Drive: One without a destination. Keep going, keep going, but if you see something beautiful, stop!
Escape: The pages of my books.
Excuse: “I’m going to Spain to see the churches.” (Which I haven’t seen yet!)
Family: My sister and my niece.
Fitness regime: Running in the garden.
Flaw: So many that they wouldn’t interest anybody.
Foil: Extreme beauty.
Friend: Someone loyal.
Good-bye: “See you later.”
Hideaway: My home.
Hotel: I have been living at the Four Seasons in Milan for the past 25 years … in the same room.
Insult: I don’t insult anybody, but my voice could carry the weight of an insult.
Jacket: Anderson & Sheppard forever, especially my 40-year-old blue checked one.
Last meal: Before I drop dead? To begin with, cauliflower soup and steamed salmon with creamed spinach and vegetables. To finish, bread-and-butter pudding.
Lunch, weekday: A divine soup from Daylesfords farm, in Gloucestershire, some Virginia ham, and orange juice.
Lunch, weekend: Drinking Pimm’s outside, but this is very rare.
Nonfiction book: Marcel Proust: Selected Letters.
Novel: The Adolescent, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Pants: Chinos by Ralph Lauren.
Pen or Pencil: Both, by Staedtler and Faber-Castell.
Pet: My 12 dogs.
Piece of advice: “Keep going.”
Restaurant: Wiltons, in London, and Majorelle, in N.Y.C.
Ride: London’s black cabs.
Singers: Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Maria Callas.
Spouse: I’m a bachelor forever, and I love it.
Storm: If I’m home, I love rainstorms.
Television series: Medici: The Magnificent.
Theme song to your life: “White Rabbit,” by Jefferson Airplane.
Time of day: Dusk.
Toast: Not too burned.
Vacation spot: Santa Cruz.
View: From my bedroom window in Bath.
Wake-up time: Unfortunately, too early.
Weekend bag: My old Hermès.
Work of art: Any Greek statues from Praxiteles or Phidias.