Tad Talks: Rosalyn Wikeley
We met with Rosalyn Wikeley, travel and style writer, former creative content editor for Conde Nast and Mama to little Hermione to talk all things motherhood, career highlights and jewellery. As someone who has written for the Financial Times, the Telegraph, The Independent and Harpers Bazaar, Roz is a woman we want to know!
A day in the life of Rosalyn?
What I love about my job is that no day is the same. I used to try and establish some form of routine amid the chaos, but I’ve now learned to embrace it, ensuring my daughter’s routine is constant but mine is slightly wherever the wind takes me.
So, if it’s a working day, it’s breakfast with my little girl (usually a messy affair) followed by playtime and an awkward shower situation with her in a baby bouncer on the floor. As our wonderful nanny Gamze arrives at 9am, I grab my laptop, lipstick, coat and spill out our front door in a hot mess. From here it’s either a meeting in central with travel or fashion brands and PRs, or it’s a more leisurely walk through Notting Hill to my work space. The day then seems to disappear, swallowed up by research and feature writing, pitching to editors or fielding emails. The clock strikes 5 and I usually take my daughter to the swings in our communal gardens, which are now in full bloom. We assess the flowers, discuss the weather then head back inside for tea time (an even messier affair), bathtime and bed. Once my husband’s back from work, I head out to work events (at least twice a week) which can be anything from dinners hosted by hotel GMs to panel discussions on ethical fashion.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
As a journalist, I’ve always studied and enjoyed the features in the Financial Times. Its writers are the best in the business and the paper’s scrupulous approach to storytelling makes it the industry gold standard - I particularly love the style and culture section. So it was a serious high point for me to have my first piece commissioned for the FT by Jo Ellison. I wrote a piece on fashion brands owned and founded by those who had fled from war for the FT. Another pinch me moment was exploring the Okavango Delta on horseback with RideBotswana for a travel feature.
What do you love most about being a travel and style writer?
An obvious answer to this would be the chance to travel the world and be paid to do so. I enjoy observing how fashion and travel both intersect with current affairs and psychology - they are porous topics that can’t be discussed without having a broader context. But most of all, I feel unbelievably lucky to have exposure to truly extraordinary people from all walks of life. From fashion designers with philanthropic ambitions to couples who have left the rat race to set up stylish guest houses in sun-baked corners of Europe. I’m always working out what makes people tick and what drives their decisions.
How have you found juggling motherhood and work?
Haha. Where to begin. Some people seem to truly excel at the juggle but I find there’s always a sacrifice involved. I’m either feeling guilty for not being with my daughter enough, or concerned that I’m not going to meet deadlines and will lose a contact’s trust. I’ve learnt to be very efficient with my time but I’d hate to gloss over the fact that it’s exhausting. I essentially live a Jekyll and Hyde existence of putting on a professional hat (and chic clothes) for work trips and meetings, then singing nursery rhymes and scrubbing baby food off the floor at home. I don’t think I’ll ever master the juggle - it’s the enduring myth of feminism which has more blind spots than value.
What is your jewellery style?
A mixture of antique pieces and louder, more experimental cocktail jewellery. I've never been someone with mounds of bangles of hoops lining my ears, but I love how jewellery can jazz up a casual outfit.
Who's jewellery box would you love to raid?
My friend Serena Knight’s, who is The Wedding Edition’s Lifestyle Director. She manages to stylishly pair new and old pieces without it looking eclectic or too busy. Knowing her, her jewellery box is probably beautiful too.
What is your favourite piece of Tada & Toy?
A tough one, I love so many pieces! One I keep scrolling back to though is the 9 stone hoops. They embody my style of jewellery mentioned above – a vintage multi-stone chunkiness but with a modern edge. Their day-to-night versatility also fits in well with my manic working Mum gig.
Where is your favourite place to travel to?
Really anywhere in Europe. Most people assume travel writers pine for exotic destinations, but the more I travel, the more I realise how lucky we are to live in Europe. Bags of culture, history, staggeringly beautiful landscapes from the Alps to the Med, it’s all on our doorstep. I can’t resist the siren call of the Highlands - its wild, craggy hills and glassy lochs. I completely fell in love with the tired splendour of Sicily’s baroque towns and will take any opportunity to ski in the Dolomites.
Favourite London restaurant?
My sister and I have a Christmas Eve tradition of breakfast at The Wolseley. So while I’m sure there are more adventurous answers to this question, The Wolseley never fails to deliver on thrill-factor, presentation and blueberry pancakes.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m listening to several news analysis podcasts on the unjust Russian invasion of Ukraine, from the The FT's Payne's Politics to The Economist. I’m trying to learn and understand as much as I can about the political and cultural nuances at play (above and beyond the flagrant abuse of national sovereignty and crimes against humanity committed by Russia). I’m also reading In Sicily by Norman Lewis - a close friend bought me a collection of Sicily books for my 30th and I’m slowly working my way through them, like a box of expensive chocolates.
What is one piece of style advise you live by?
Elegant is sexier than sexy. It’s the ultimate Parisian maxim, and I'm sure most men wouldn't agree but I've never dressed for men.
Read Rosalyn's latest work here... https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fa...