My personal style signifier is my Welsh-gold and red-glass wedding ring. My wife Amanda [Levete] and I commissioned Dinny Hall to design a matching pair. Mine is engraved with “A to B” in microscopic letters, while Amanda’s says “B to A”. 292 Upper Street, London N1 (

Adidas Stan Smith trainers
Adidas Stan Smith trainers © Kate Martin

The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a pair of Adidas Stan Smith trainers from Dover Street Market. Simple and white, they look like the trainers I grew up with. 18-22 Haymarket, London SW1 (

Cubitts Belgrove glasses, £125
Cubitts Belgrove glasses, £125

A recent “find” is Cubitts. Reading glasses have become part of my life. I’ve managed to break or lose several pairs, so when I noticed a glasses shop had opened in my neighbourhood, I went in for a look. I was delighted to discover that the glasses cost much less than my previous brand and still met my high standards. I bought two pairs on the spot. Belgrove in amber, £125 (including lenses); 97 Caledonian Road, London N1 (

Adler Dolomiti in Val Gardena, Italy
Adler Dolomiti in Val Gardena, Italy

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Adler Dolomiti, a mountain resort high up in the heart of Val Gardena in the Dolomites. We spent a week there last summer – sitting on the terrace amid the drama of the mountain ranges was very special.

Chateldon water, £36.55 for 12 x 750ml
Chateldon water, £36.55 for 12 x 750ml

In my fridge you will always find Comté, Gorgonzola Dolce and Appleby’s Cheshire from London’s best cheese shop, La Fromagerie; berries of all shapes and sizes; and several bottles of Chateldon water. We like the latter because it’s not too carbonated. It was drunk at the court of Louis XIV, apparently. Chateldon, £36.55 for 12 x 750ml ( La Fromagerie, 52 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1 (

Alessi Socrates corkscrew, £80
Alessi Socrates corkscrew, £80 © Kate Martin

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is… nowhere. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s full of great stores like SCP in Shoreditch, a fixture of the London scene that deserves to be more lauded. Then there’s Jasper Morrison Shop, which is tucked away behind an anonymous door and sells Morrison’s own work and mundane yet quirky things that he’s found on his travels. I’ve been customer of the month there a number of times – my favourite purchase has to be the Socrates corkscrew he designed for Alessi. It concertinas out and is a witty allusion to the philosopher’s art of extracting the right answers from the person you’re dealing with. Otto’s French Restaurant is another favourite. It’s not the chicest environment, but German owner Otto makes eating there an interesting, dynamic experience. And to escape the city, I walk in the Inns of Court. This rarefied place is open to the public all day and feels like another world. Alessi Socrates corkscrew, £80; Jasper Morrison Shop, 24B Kingsland Road, E2 ( Otto’s French Restaurant, 182 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1 ( Gray’s Inn, WC1 (, and Lincoln’s Inn, WC2 ( SCP, 135-139 Curtain Road, EC2 ( 

Ronta, 1984, by Guido Guidi
Ronta, 1984, by Guido Guidi

The best gift I’ve given recently was a photograph of a bowl of red cherries on a newspaper by the Italian photographer Guido Guidi. We live near the Large Glass gallery and Amanda saw it in the window and said she liked it – Guidi has a fantastic eye and tone – so I bought it for her birthday. Ronta, 1984, by Guido Guidi; Large Glass, 392 Caledonian Road, London N1 (

My favourite website is I love a bit of property porn and this site also tells a story about people’s growing interest in the contemporary.

My style icon is my friend, the effortlessly chic filmmaker John Maybury. He wears fantastic combinations of old and new, such as a Vivienne Westwood Pirate collection shirt underneath an immaculate black Yohji Yamamoto jacket. He has a wonderful selection of shirts – always an admirable trait in a man. 

An object I would never part with is my Richard Hamilton print, Five Tyres Remoulded, which I bought from the Alan Cristea Gallery and gives me daily pleasure. It came with the mould used to make the tyre prints and sheets of tracing paper that, when you lay them on top of each other, create the technical drawings for the piece. Both the drawings and the print hang in our library in non-reflective frames so that they look as if they’re just floating in space. 43 Pall Mall, London SW1 (020-7439 1866;

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Ikeda in Mayfair. The food here is quite traditional, but the cooking and the quality of the ingredients take you to another level of Japanese cuisine. I ate grilled squid legs with ginger and tataki-style beef so thinly sliced it melted in my mouth, accompanied by fantastic sake. 30 Brook Street, London W1 (020-7629 2730;

Ben Evans at home in London
Ben Evans at home in London © Kate Martin

The last music I downloaded was Take Five by King Tubby. It’s a dub version of the Dave Brubeck jazz classic. I enjoy that contrast in styles. 

The artists whose work I would collect if I could would be from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century – they produced the most sublime still-lifes. They are all of museum quality, which puts them out of my reach, but I would love to own something by Jan van de Velde, or Adriaen Coorte. The latter’s intimate Still-Life with Asparagus would be amazing over the fireplace. Our main room is a 185sq m space with white walls and a double-height ceiling, and we made a deliberate decision to hang only one picture in there, but perhaps I could make an exception…

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is a few bottles of Boscarelli Nobile di Montepulciano 2007, which I first drank at a friend’s house in Tuscany and enjoyed so much that I got the local wine store to ship some home to me. Its full richness is a nice reminder of Italy. About £60 a bottle; Enoteca Molesini, Piazza della Repubblica 3, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy (+3905-7562 544;

An indulgence I would never forgo is my Arsenal season ticket. Football is a lifelong commitment and I go with a group of about 18 friends I’ve known for 40 years. From £891;

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre

The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre. The story of Britain’s most important cold war double agent, it reads like a fiction thriller yet it’s all true.

The last thing I bought and loved was a set of 120 Staffordshire bone-china plates and bowls made for us by ceramics company 1882. Each plate has our initials on it in a different place. It took us two years to get the design right – we were a bit embarrassed by the idea of monogrammed plates – but the end result is subtle and beautiful. 020-3002 8023;

And the thing I’m eyeing next is some Georgian silver cutlery. I’ve been inspired by [the architect] John Pawson and his wife Catherine – their set is so beautiful, both to look at and to use, that I thought it would be nice to have some too. I like the idea of bringing something from the past into our very contemporary home.

And the best one I’ve received recently was a pair of John Lobb black leather ankle boots. I have slightly odd-shaped feet so, for my last birthday, Amanda treated me to a bespoke pair. They’re English style, rather than Italian – which I think means they have a slightly higher heel – with red-leather lining, making them both subtle and distinct. From £5,316; 9 St James’s Street, London SW1 (020-7930 3664;

Evans’s library – his favourite room in his house
Evans’s library – his favourite room in his house © Kate Martin

My favourite room in my house is the library. It has a matching pair of fireplaces lined with pink marble and 99m of super-thin shelving, designed by Amanda, for all our books and records – I have 2,000 albums. It’s a really nice place to sit and read or play Scrabble.

The people I rely on for my personal wellbeing are my Pilates teacher Merry Holden and yoga instructor Sonja Perreten. When my doctor told me I needed to be more flexible following a bout of sciatica seven years ago, I booked some private sessions. It was only supposed to be until I was good enough not to embarrass myself at a group class but, of course, I’ve become addicted to the bespoke experience. They come to the house three times a week and it works. I no longer have a bad back and I sleep better too. Merry Holden, Sonja Perreten,

Prawn and vegetable tempura at Soho restaurant Koya
Prawn and vegetable tempura at Soho restaurant Koya © Per-Anders Jorgensen

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Soho in London. I love the diversity and energy of this area and even though people moan about how much everything’s changed, I don’t think its spirit has been diluted. There are still lots of interesting independent shops such as the Italian delicatessen and Old Compton Street institution I Camisa & Son, which sells perfect pumpkin ravioli; the Japanese noodle bar Koya on Frith Street, where I have the specials every time; and the tailor John Pearse on Meard Street. Pearse is one of London’s great characters – go in and there’s every chance you’ll find him measuring someone like Eric Clapton for a five-piece tweed suit. And no visit to Soho would be complete without a visit to Gelupo – it serves the best ice cream in London. Pumpkin ravioli, £17.50 per kilo; I Camisa & Son, 61 Old Compton Street, W1 (020-7437 7610; Gelupo, 7 Archer Street, W1 (020-7287 5555; John Pearse, 6 Meard Street, W1 (020 7434 0738; Koya, 50 Frith Street, W1 (

Evo Box O’Bollox Texture Paste, £24
Evo Box O’Bollox Texture Paste, £24

The grooming staple I am never without is Box O’Bollox Texture Paste by Evo. It stops me having a bad hair day.

If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be an architect, which I almost was, or – in my fantasy life – a fantastic musician with a No 1 album and a symphony to my name.

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