Here’s JONNY!

Here’s JONNY!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

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Who knew that the lead guitarist of Coldplay, Jonny Buckland, was married to a Jamaican? British by birth, Chloe Buckland is born of a Jamaican mother, and her family in England treat the island as their second home, visiting several times a year. Due to Jonny's busy schedule, which involves co-writing music for Coldplay and performing with his bandmates all over the world, the pair and their two young children don't visit as often as they'd like. That being said, they do make an effort to visit at least once every two years.

Jonny and his wife, who is a jewellery designer, live in Hampstead — a quaint and beautiful area in North West London. They and their kids spend practically every day together, including when Coldplay is on tour. "I like travelling, so as long as I have my family with me I don't really miss anything (in London) that much," Jonny tells SO.

When Coldplay is not on tour, chances are you will find the Bucklands near their house. They are particularly fond of Hampstead Heath, where "you can get completely lost in the woods and feel like you aren't in the city anymore," says Chloe. "We take our kids to feed the ducks, then for a walk on the Heath," she continues. Occasionally Jonny goes by himself. "I sometimes go running there, and it's great for clearing your head," he comments. His ultimate chill out place is also on home ground, at the Everyman cinema. "They have sofa seating and waiter service, so we can enjoy a glass of wine and a good film," he boasts. Yes Mr Buckland, we are jealous! Perhaps someone should start that service here!

The Bucklands' preferred local cafe is the busy Ginger & White, which they frequent often. "I walk my (nine-month-old) son every morning, and once he's asleep, I stop in for a Flat White. They also serve great boiled eggs with soldiers -- my (four year old) daughter's favourite," says Chloe.

The famed family, who maintain a low profile, admit that breakfast is one of their favourite meals to eat out, "and we've tested out lots of places", Chloe confesses. They are regulars at Granger & Co (restaurant of internationally renowned Bill Granger, whose cookbooks are fabulous). "Our usual is the scrambled eggs with sides of avocado and bacon," says Jonny, "and I'll drink a long black, no milk." They also highly recommend indulging in the delicious ricotta pancakes!

While the couple insist on meeting up with friends and family during the day, so that the kids can be a part of the fun, they do get to share moments without crayons and nappies. "Roka on Charlotte Street (in Fitzrovia) is a regular for us. We order lots of dishes to share, starting with a selection of sashimi, and either the butterfish or the spinach and sesame salad, followed by the marinated tofu, eggplant and blackened cod, and then finish with my favourite... the Korean-spiced lamb chops," gushes the magical musician, who will order a Shochu (distilled Japanese spirit) to drink instead of dessert. If it's a special occasion, they head to the Michelin-starred Locanda Locatelli (reservations necessary) and order some of their sublime pastas, fish and tiramisu. Jonny insists that, "Our wedding aside, a late night dinner at Soho's Spuntino after watching the Champions League final," is his most memorable meal. "The truffled eggs on toast is amazing!"

Of course, life in London doesn't revolve solely around eating, one must drink too, and Jonny's stomping ground for this is The Cow in Westbourne Grove. "It has a nice atmosphere, and I usually have red wine," he reveals. The couple are huge fans of London's culture, including the galleries and museums. "The British Museum is my favourite. If you have kids, try the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum," Jonny suggests. This smart city also has loads of great venues for live music, which Jonny unsurprisingly loves to go. "If I could pick a place to watch someone, it would be the Royal Albert Hall (in Kensington)," asserts the rock star, who also recommends that first-time visitors "take a trip on the London Eye." His wife insists that a tourist should, "Buy an Oyster Card and give the London buses a try. It's a great way to get a real sense of how the city fits together. Or walk. You discover so much more about a place when you take time to wander around and see what you stumble upon." One area she likes to saunter about is Marylebone High Street, which is great for children's clothes and home-ware. "There's a brilliant kitchenware shop called Divertimenti that Jonny loves," she divulges to SO. That said, Jonny discloses that "I let my wife shop for me!"

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