The co-founder of A Little Bird, an opinionated online guide to what’s on in film, art, theatre, music, beauty and shopping, shares her online favourites.

Francesca Martin worked for seven years at Vogue magazine as firstly, the Fashion Production Editor and then Features Associate. She then became Features Director of Harper’s Bazaar and a columnist for The Guardian before co-founding A Little Bird in 2010. A website and a free weekly newsletter, A Little Bird is an insider’s guide to the best of culture and style in London. From getting early bird tickets to Hamilton when it first opened to half price food at the new Caravan restaurant, it only recommends to its readers what they all love. As India Knight comments, ‘It reads like being given tips by girlfriends whose taste you trust. It’s great.'


Here, Francesca shares her favourite refreshingly honest feeds on Instagram and the stylish sportswear that gets her to Pilates.

My favourite website… The Guardian - It’s my first news source every morning. I also look at a host of other websites too from hot-dinners.com for updates on new and upcoming restaurants to Vogue for fashion news.

My favourite app… Instagram - I love seeing what friends and colleagues are up to. Also, WhatsApp for group chats.

My blog of choice… LittleSpree - Written by a fashion editor who is also a mother of twins. She has great taste and a good eye for a mix of high street and high-end fashion finds. Her posts are a lovely combination of inspiration and grounded honesty.

My internet hero would have to be… Tim Berners Lee - For inventing the world wide web and his powerful voice in guiding our use of it.

My favourite podcast… the The New Yorker Radio Hour hosted by David Remnick, the magazine editor - Every week is a completely different, interesting mix of subjects. Also, not strictly podcasts, but I really like the short videos by London Art Studies, set up by the lovely Kate Gordon, about important pieces of art. They are only about five minutes long and you always learn something new.

My most recent online buy… Some new gym wear from Heroine Sport - I love doing Pilates and I find wearing comfortable, stylish sportswear makes it even more appealing.

Book just downloaded/read... Having had twin girls four years ago, I haven’t done much reading recently apart from on children’s behavioural issues. So I’m only just now catching up on all the good novels that I missed. I just read 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman on a flight and was crying so much, the lady sitting next to me kept kindly offering me tissues! I can’t wait to read the new David Sedaris book ‘Calypso’..

Favourite instagrammer - It’s so easy to peddle a ‘glossy’ version of life on Instagram, that I’m always drawn to people who are refreshingly honest. For beauty, I love both Sali Hughes (including her brilliant work with Beauty Banks) and @susannahtaylor, who I used to work with at Vogue and is founder of the great beauty website GettheGloss.com. For fashion, @Jellison22, Fashion Editor at The FT, is very funny and for stylish, dreamy interiors inspiration, I follow @Amandacbrooks, @nathaliefarmanfarma and @schumacher1889.

Social media allowed me to meet… Everyone from old work colleagues to primary school friends.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… AMightyGirl - A newsletter about books, toys etc for ‘smart, confident and courageous girls’. It sounds a bit corny but I actually find it a great antidote to a lot of the ‘Princessy/housewife’ merchandise aimed at young girls.

Pet hate about life online… is the same as most people’s - You realise you’ve just spent twenty minutes looking at Instagram when you should have been actually working. It can sometimes zap your time.

Stand out online memory... When the Arab Spring was happening, I remember thinking how social media was playing such a big part and it felt like a new era.

August 2018