Tamsin Johnson's New York

Tamsin Johnson’s style – be it at home, her wardrobe, her work – is the very definition of fabulous. I love living vicariously through her social posts: the decorator regularly travels to the most spectacular destinations and has a knack for zeroing in on places that only a local would know. Having spent a six-month stint in New York (and on the eve of having her first child), she shares her top addresses – including dessert bars and hard-to-find galleries 


New York State Of Mind: above, for Sunday strolls, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir in Central Park.


  1. We walk everywhere in New York. It's the best way to discover all its secrets – I adore Central Park in the summer. Walking around the JACKIE O RESERVOIR, or just taking the papers and watching a Sunday baseball game is pretty special; then we might hit the Met for a look, and back down Madison Avenue for some window shopping, ending up at CIPRIANI for a late lunch and bellini. Heaven.


Doing It Her Way: above, clockwise from top left, Buvette's breakfast plate; Tamsin Johnson in the West Village; Gagosian Gallery; Buvette's morning pastries; the bar at Cipriani; and the decorator's airy art-filled apartment

AND WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MOOD FOR ART AND CULTURE? DAVID ZWIRNER, GAGOSIAN GALLERY or PACE GALLERY have consistently amazing exhibitions but it's also nice to just weave the Chelsea galleries at the weekend. The scene is amazing, not to mention the condensed volume of incredible art work. My husband works most Saturdays so this is such a nice thing to do alone for some me-time.

CAN YOU NAME YOUR FAVOURITE CITY VIEW? One of my favourites is looking over the Hudson from the WHITNEY MUSEUM. I actually received a call saying we were having a boy last time I was there while viewing the Frank Stella exhibition. Also, you get an amazing view of Manhattan while driving over the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening. Heading in from JFK, jetlag is fast forgotten when you see the city lights. 

WHERE DO YOU GO FOR A SWEET FIX? I'd have to say the hot chocolate and walnut brownie at THE POLO BAR is hard to beat. Being pregnant, desserts take the place of a good cocktail right now, and therefore are taken very seriously. Also, DOUGHNUT PLANT for their coconut cream doughnut, (best not to make a habit of this one, though). 

Chelsea gallery tour, above, and below, The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren's first restaurant in New York City.             

Borrowing From The Boys: P. JOHNSON TAILORS' new showroom in New York, which was decorated by Tamsin, features contemporary art including a work by photographer Bill Henson. The business was founded by the decorator's husband, Patrick.

YOUR FAVOURITE LATE-NIGHT SCENE? BEMELMANS BAR at the Carlyle for a dirty martini and watching the jazz musicians and locals who have been going there every night for 40 years. I also love BUVETTE in the West Village, to sit at the bar and graze on the amazing small plates; it's one of the most romantic places in New York. 

  2. AND FOR ANTIQUE SOURCING? I could go on like a monkey with symbols but my two favourites are ANTONY TODD – everything is curated so beautifully – and a few doors down, MAGEN H GALLERY on East 11th Street for an incredible collection of rare mid-century pieces. THOMAS GALLERY near to Harlem also has amazing antiques. 
  4. WHICH SOUVENIRS WILL YOU BE TAKING BACK TO SYDNEY? Anything from the 1STDIBS floor in midtown. It's an entire store of some of New York's best dealers. I recently bought a Pierre Jeanneret school chair and some vintage geometric boxes to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary. Also some beautiful vases from a day trip upstate in Hudson with friends. 
  6. YOUR GREATEST NYC INDULGENCE? Hitting BARNEYS uptown and having a champagne lunch with a girlfriend at FREDS. I do this every time one of my friends comes to visit. I also love a massage and mani/pedi at PLAZA M in Tribeca. Otherwise, downtime or a night in ... But I've never been good at that.
  8. YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY ROUTINE ... Wake up in Gramercy Park, get a coffee next door at 71 IRVING PLACE and walk to RUSS & DAUGHTERS CAFE for a bagel. We'll generally just explore a new area, or meet some friends for brunch at my ever-expanding list of restaurants to try. Or if I'm lucky, I'll drag my husband to a matinee on broadway. He's not as into a musical as I am.
  10. AND LASTLY, THE SOUNDTRACK THAT WILL FOREVER REMIND YOU OF LIVING HERE? The first few times I flew back in I used to play New York New York when landing. Nice and cheesy but makes me so happy. It's good to retain a tourist mindset while living in New York – somehow it keeps everything feeling more exciting.