In quotes: Charlie Porter

Hotel lovers

In quotes: Charlie Porter

The antique-hunting Tat London founder spends her spare time in museums, loves a late-night town-square supper, and is partial to a funky holiday shirt

Team Smith

BY Team Smith2 December 2022

What began as a side project for Charlie Porter, then a stylist at House & Garden, soon started – as these things do – to grow. And in 2019, that side project morphed into her Main Life as Tat London fast became the internet’s most beloved knick-knack shop (and, in Tete-a-Tat, home to some rather engrossing chats, too).

We called round to meet the eagle-eyed collector in her joyously jumbled London studio to seek answers to some all-important questions…

Quote to live by
‘Make that call’ – get that thing done that you are putting off.

Charlie Porter portrait | Mr & Mrs Smith

Book that shaped you
1984 was one of the first books I’d read of my own volition. It made me understand why people were always going on at me to read more.

Accent/language that turns you on
Any accent that is saying ‘here is your food’.

Favourite museum/gallery
I never thought I would find this hard to answer, but as I’ve gotten older, museums and galleries are basically my favourite places to go. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say Kettle’s Yard, Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder in Amsterdam, Neue Galerie New York, and I never get bored of going to the V&A.

Favourite artist
At the moment, Mondrian. My father has a book of his full catalogue of work and his early pieces have blown me away.

Favourite bar
The French House is an old favourite.

Favourite cocktail
My husband started drinking vodka martinis in lockdown. They’re now my go-to and if you get a good one, there is nothing better.

Charlie Porter portrait | Mr & Mrs Smith

Comfort food
If I said anything but pizza, I’d be lying. That being said, ramen in the winter is a real winner.

Most memorable meal
There have been so many that I feel incredibly spoilt. One of the most exciting ones of late has been Claude Bosi at Bibendum. A group of my best friends bought my husband and I a tasting menu there, and I was blown away. The food was perfect, the service couldn’t have been better and the martini was blow-your-socks-off stuff.

Worst holiday hangover
Coming back from my honeymoon last year. We left Menorca after staying at Faustino Gran – a magical place. I could have cried arriving back in London. I had just moved Tat to a new location, and the prospect of unpacking everything by myself still makes me feel a bit sick.

Best vintage/antique find
Well, that’s a tough one for me – it’s basically my life. But I recently bought a set of six Henning Kjærnulf chairs for our dining room. They can run into the thousands, but these were a snip at £360.

Interiors you envy
Casa Josephine.

Homewares you hunt while travelling
Ceramics and candlesticks.

Design decade you feel at home in
Right now: I love it. You have so many people mastering different styles and creating really exceptional and exciting interiors. At times it can feel a little ‘copy and pasted’, but I do think that feeling also pushes designers to dig deeper.

Go-to spa treatment
Massage. I love them.

How do you unwind?
I watch a lot of TV which is appalling to admit but I love it. Also, huge glasses of white burgundy which also sounds appalling but it’s the truth. The less alcoholic and sluggish answer is walking.

Your must-pack outfit
I always look a mess on holidays. Most recently, I went for funky shirts, and I think that got me through the week ok.

Most stylish place  
Milan; they just do it better over there.

City you’d move to
Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam.

Best place you’ve ever swum
Mexico, on the beach of Mazunte. I would also say I love swimming in Scotland – it takes an age to get in, but there is something thrilling about it.

Charlie Porter portrait | Mr & Mrs Smith

Best beach you’ve ever found
I am not very good with sitting in the sun but last year in Menorca my friend woke us up early and we got to the beach at 7am. We had breakfast on the beach, swam and then had a nap. By the time we were ready to leave, it had just started filling up. Not many better mornings than that.

It’s not a holiday without…
Late-night suppers in squares.

Guilty pleasure
Reality TV.

@account to follow

Pool or ocean

Define love in three words
Comfort, joy and laughter.

Define sex in three words
I am so immature I can’t stop laughing whenever a word pops in my head.

Charlie was photographed at Tat London HQ by Louis AW Sheridan.