Shopping: A Bad Girl’s Spicy Red Shoes

I’ve been bad. Really bad.

Do you think I spend all my time in the kitchen working on recipes for Turkish bulgur with red pepper paste and mint? Shuffling through photos just so you can luxuriate in Tokapi’s turquoise tulip tiles?

No, no. You see, there are shoes

For weeks I’ve been obsessing over a pair of sleek crimson patent flats I glimpsed in London, perched amongst a bevy of red-soled stilettos in a Belgravia shop window. In memory they glowed, just like the dark raspberry sprinkles on Ottolenghi’s billowy meringues (just around the corner), or the sumptuous ruby Fortuny throw at Venetia Studium (a few streets away).

I decided, too late, that I had to have them.

So in between bouts in the kitchen and on the phone, listening to someone carry on about a semester in Buenos Aires, I’ve been trolling the internet. Oh, I found the style, but not the color. Over here you can get the flats in beige, grey or blue. And hot pink. Seriously.

Next I found the color, but definitely not the style.

Then along came net-a-porter. This is a site I have long resisted—and with good reason. It’s just too seductive. A few easy clicks and that $1,170 Chloe pleated silk blouse is on its way, wrapped in white tissue paper in a box tied up with ribbons. Why it’s a present, just for you. Free returns, if you recover your senses after it arrives.

But there, at long last, were the shoes I had to have. I caved.


They arrived this morning, in the designer’s box bound with that chic black and white grosgrain ribbon. I lifted the lid, and there they were, swaddled like jewels in a thick nest of tissue paper. Spicy crimson patent leather, pointy toed, fitting like—well, I’ll get used to smashed toes. Why already the leather is molding itself to my feet.


What can I say? It was meant to be. And did you notice? My new red shoes seem to have been made for the old Turkish kilim that arrived on our doorstep not long ago.

Travel is so…broadening.

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