The Doll

July 5, 2014

The Doll is in residence at Phoenix on Golborne through Sunday 13th July. We will be showcasing our high summer selection of spectacular vintage including statement sequins, superhero worthy capes and classic cocktail wear.

Pop-in and let the Doll sort out your sartorial needs: from fierce festival fashion to scorching holiday looks – we’ve got summer style sorted.

band star



F of F landscape 2

March 17, 2014

Once upon a February the Doll headed off on her vintage sourcing adventure but little did she know she was flying into danger.

Straight into a polar vortex she crept.

polar vortex

But she dreamt of a use for this snow as she slept


On her travels she stopped to see some sights

gobbles knob

played with chance

i heart cash

and came across some visual merchandising frights.

visual merch

The winding road led the Doll to Greenwich Village and FLAT 128

where she set up shop for the week

sign outside


 with host Liz who was great!


 The Doll blended into her New York surrounds

joes pizza

hailing cab

and many a handsome prince she found


Blinded by the bright lights of the big city she maxed out on American excess

diet coke

dim sum 2

broke some rules

no dancing

but never forgot to accessorise.

k mart

She gilded her hair and hung out in bars

oscar prep

distracted by the dollar London town seemed so far.


Redeemed by the vintage treasures she gathered the Doll was soon homeward bound.

photo (2)

And now living happily ever after in Fitrovia she’ll be found.

(Well for the next two weeks anyway)






All work and no play makes the Doll…sober. And nobody wants a situation like that. We can’t wait til our pop-up at FLAT 128 in Greenwich Village; we’ll be dressing New Yorkers in fabulous vintage by day and downing Manhattans by night.


We’re so efficient we’ve made a drinking itinerary.

The Dead Rabbit

The Doll has been obsessed with the Dead Rabbit from its conception; we waited impatiently for it to open and now it’s almost been a whole year! We first met the masterminds behind the Dead Rabbit when they were at the Merchant Hotel Bar in Belfast on an evening of delicious Hemingway daquiris, so we couldn’t wait for their NYC offering.

The upstairs Parlour is The Doll’s spiritual home. Put simply, The Dead Rabbit is perfection. The cocktail menu/book is so meticulously researched and considered that it blows our minds. The Dead Rabbit boys get heaps of acclaim and so they should. We can’t wait to taste what the 2014 edition of the Parlour menu has to offer! We’ll have to start early so that we don’t miss L’Heure Verte…The Doll cannot resist an absinthe cocktail.

Dead Rabbit

Maison Premiere

The Doll is almost certain she has been here. It was late. There was a marble bar. There was absinthe. There was an intriguing cocktail list. Someone drank a rather crazy mescal cocktail. There was something of the ye olde decadence about the place that we liked. Maybe this time we won’t save it til the end of the night and our recollection will be more…detailed.


yep, that’s about the right level of focus…

Spuyten Duvil

The Doll used to have an exclusive relationship with cocktails, but then she met Spuyten Duvil and started an illicit love affair with boutique beer. We’re planning to unashamedly continue that affair and looking forward to a tasty tryst at this Williamsburg establishment.



What can we say, beer drinking is a slippery slope. Something about that red Fanelli Café sign that just sucks us in off the street like a tractor beam. Every. Single. Time. Fanelli’s is perfect for a little daytime drink, especially on days when one needs to escape from the elements. And it is so very cold here.





February 6, 2014

To celebrate the launch of our new online home,, The Doll is going on tour.

First stop: NYC baby!


That’s right, we are jetting across the Atlantic with our SS14 selection of crazy, quirky, fabulous vintage finds.

Our first ever stateside appearance will be hosted by Greenwich Village luxury lifestyle store FLAT 128, whose niche selection of emerging and established UK based jewellery, home decor and accessories brands perfectly compliment The Doll’s kick-ass vintage



FLAT 128 founder Elizabeth DuBois has exquisite taste, last time we were in NY we spent hours admiring awesome accessories. Have a look at and see what we mean.

The Doll can’t wait to be amongst FLAT 128′s carefully curated luxury lifestyle collection!



Broken Down Doll at Flat 128

Thursday 27th February to Sunday 2nd March

Thursday-Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 12-6pm

Flat 128 15 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014

November 20, 2013
Broken Down Doll, purveyor of crazy, quirky, fabulous vintage finds invites you to stock up on statement sequins, special knits and chunky gold jewellery for that someone special (or even better, for yourself) this Christmas. Whether you want to wrap up in a shocking pink velvet coat or unwrap some New Look Dior, stuff the turkey while wearing a tartan gown or ring in the New Year in a killer black cocktail dress, the Doll’s got you covered.
. . . . spreading peace, love and fabulousness this Christmas
October 23, 2013
Doll’s fabulous rose headpiece by thecandymilliner
October 18, 2013

October 7, 2013

September 25, 2013
Broken Down Doll @ The Dispensary
The Doll is delighted to announce that she will be presenting her crazy, quirky, fabulous vintage finds at The Dispensary, notting Hill this October. 

As always, you are invited to shop the civilised way: with a cocktail in hand. This time round we will be prescribing potent potions from our very own in-store cocktail dispensary.

The Doll’s vintage selection will be perfectly complimented with contemporary accessories: the cocktail hat collection Bows and Arrows from The Candy Milliner

and the can’t live without  Clutter Clutch.

Decorating The Dispensary will be the beautiful and functional mid-century modern furnishings from MAR-DEN.
Broken Down Doll @ The Dispensary

200 Kensington Park Rd, London, W11 1NR

Thurs 17th – Tue 29th Oct

Shop open: Sun – Wed 10 – 7

Shop + bar: Fri + Sat 10 – 10

Side effects may include fabulousness

A Study in Style
July 29, 2013

Style Glorious Style
July 26, 2013
The Doll is enjoying a weekend away at the Goodwood Kennels, West Sussex. We’ve taken up residence in the rather luxurious library–where the only required reading is the cocktail list. 

Everyone in this neighbourhood is getting ready for Glorious Goodwood next weekend, so we’ve brought along with us some of our most show-stopping and on-trend pieces to ensure our shoppers can make a one-of-a-kind race day style statement.

Of course, no true style statement outfit is complete without a touch of drama from The Candy Milliner. We can’t get enough of these fabulous hats, headpieces and quirky head-topping accessories
The Doll heads back to London on Monday just in time to bring some fabulousness to Marylebone where we’ll be popping up for two-weeks from Tuesday!

See you next Tuesday!

Look Book
June 20, 2013

Rear View Mirror

Notting Hill Sorting (your Spring Summer wardrobe) Office
March 15, 2013
The Doll is delighted with her new Westbourne Grove residence. We are sharing with the impeccably tasteful, and let’s face it, somewhat crazy Frances and Charlie of Mar-Den and their beautiful mid century furnishings. 

All new stock with loads of fabulous vintage finds and contemporary accessories. We will be open late on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday until 8. . . so come on down to visit the Doll

Westbourne Grove . . . fancy!
March 4, 2013
The Doll is headed for the bright lights of Westbourne Grove.
13.03.13 – 23.03.13
10.00 – 18.30
223 Westbourne Grove
Stocking, as always, fabulous vintage pieces along with kick ass contemporary accessories. 

Chamberlayne Road Retrospective
February 6, 2013

Now that the doors are officially shut for good on the Chamberlayne Road residence that served us so well let’s take a look back at the various beautiful stages of the Doll’s House in Kensal Rise.


Now we can show you what the place looked like the very first time we opened those very doors (seriously!)

Of course, this retrospective also reminds us that the Doll needs a new home that we can make just as fabulous as the last one…watch this space, or tell us about an empty space that needs a loving Doll to look after it. 

. . . I Feel Fine
December 21, 2012

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the fact that the world has not ended than by drinking copious amounts of alcohol in fabulous vintage.

We can now get on with planning our festive wardrobe safe in the knowledge that we will not be obliterated.

So come on down and celebrate with the doll for our last weekend at our Kensal Rise address . . . we’re here ‘til Sunday!

Apocalypse WOW!
December 20, 2012
Only one shopping day left until the end of the world! On 21-12-12 the Doll will mostly be wearing fierce French label 85/86 and rocking a futuristic 40s meets Blade Runner ensemble* Although we usually favour vintage this time around we’re also stocking contemporary lines: 85/86, No Smoking and Natalie B Coleman.

This is your last outfit people, make it the most fabulous one yet.
*In case we have to defend ourselves from asteroids using only our shoulders.

Drinking Around the Christmas Tree
December 18, 2012

There’s nothing the Doll loves more than being the best dressed at Christmas, starting the day in a vintage night shirt, donning luxurious lounge wear for cocktails in the afternoon and finishing the day with a touch of sparkle.

Come to think of it the doll also loves being showered with fabulous gifts, gifting that perfect little something and enjoying champagne cocktails through out the day.
The Doll wishes you the merriest of Christmases.

Absolut-ly Fabulous
December 14, 2012

Our spiritual advisor, Ben Reed, has resumed his residence behind the Doll’s bar which will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week and next from 5pm until 11pm. Thinking about Christmas shopping? Stop thinking and start drinking, let the Doll make your shopping experience a little less stressful with a cocktail in hand.

So go on make Ben a little less glum and book a booth now to enjoy a Yule Mule, Vodka Espresso or Broken Down Doll Christmas Punch made with Absolut Wild Tea.

The Doll’s Christmas Wish List . . .
December 12, 2012
What you’ll find this December under the Doll’s decadently decorated tree are sparkling vintage jewels and beaded collars for that someone precious, art deco cocktail ware for your aspiring mixologist, embelished trilbies from The Candy Milliner, as well as milk glass punch sets for the sophisticated party animal in your life.

So once you’ve crossed these off your shopping list and checked it twice, you will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy a drink in our cosy, candle-lit cocktail lounge in the capable hands of our constant spiritual advisor Ben Reed. As always, we invite our clients to take their time and shop the civilized way: cocktail in hand.

Welcome back to the Doll’s House
December 10, 2012
We here at Broken Down Doll are braving the cold and throwing our doors wide open to the good folk of Kensal Rise. As always we’ll be serving up exquisite vintage fashion, statement cocktail dresses, classic LBDs and luxurious coats – to ensure you’re glamorously covered for everything the festive season may throw at you – along with our biggest selection yet of unique and stocking-worthy accessories and original, one of a kind gifts and Christmas presents.

Here’s a little taste of what’s instore at no. 72 Chamberlayne Rd. . . . 

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like . . . Fab’lous
December 7, 2012
‘Twas the night before preview day and all through the Rise . . . 
The Doll is back at no. 72 Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Rise, NW10 3JJ from tomorrow at 1pm. Come join us for a glass of bubbles and be amongst the first to peruse our winter vintage collection.

The Real Broken Down Doll
November 28, 2012
So this is not what we mean by Broken Down Doll but sometimes what we see on our travels to the far flung corners of the world, in pursuit of fabulous finds, has to be shared with the world . . . 

Get All Dolled Up with the Doll!
November 22, 2012

The Doll has some fabulous news: We’ll be back just in time for the party season (which just happens to be the Doll’s favourite season)! We hope you can make it to our special preview afternoon on Saturday 8th December. We’ll be open from then through the 22nd December for a most festive shopping experience and of course plenty of cocktails to make one and all merry. 

Helen and the Sirens and The Doll
November 13, 2012

The Doll simply cannot get enough of our favourite band Helen and the Sirens–which you may have guessed if you’ve visited this blog before. We were lucky enough to take time out of our busy schedule (which currently involves travelling the globe sourcing fab-lous vintage for our next pop-up–happening very soon) and style the gorgeous Helen and her beautiful Sirens for their recent video for Down, Down, Down. 

We can’t wait to see the finished product–and we’ll post it here as soon as we get the chance. In the meantime, our behind the scenes album is all we can offer…

This one time…at Band Camp

The Doll is reliving some fond memories of our last pop-up. The band uniform proved by far the most popular item for trying on. Everyone wanted a piece of that Band Camp action.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, it’s Saturday…
October 6, 2012

Our favourite day of this week. First and foremost, we have some amazing, show stopping pieces of vintage for you to fall in love with. We’ll even be putting out some new, life-changing pieces today. 

Our cocktail bar is back in full swing–and sad news, this is the last night of cocktails at our Kensal Rise residence (the shop stays open until Thursday, but the bar says goodbye after this weekend). So if you haven’t had an Aviation yet (probably because the Doll herself is greedily drinking them all), or a signature Broken Down Doll cocktail get one (or many) tonight!

For one night only we’ll also be serving up food–Vietnamese food truck style–minus the truck because we can’t quite fit one through the doors of our shop.

And if that isn’t enough–the Doll likes to send her bar out in style–we’ll have honorary Dolls, Helen and the Sirens treating us to an acoustic set of their majestic musical stylings.


Have a listen to get in the mood, then head towards the Doll’s house on Chamberlayne Road. 

The Doll Does…Miami Virtue
October 5, 2012

Afterall, Miami Vice has already been done. We may be just a little bit cold on this grey London day, but fear not, we’re channelling sunny climes and afternoon poolside cocktail drinking before slipping into something utterly bombshell fabulous for the evening. 

Oh, and speaking of evening why not come to the Doll this very evening and indulge in our own favourite vices of cocktails and shopping? You know you want to. 

* disclaimer: none of the cocktails on the Doll’s menu actually include Blue Curacao, but it does a good job of complimenting these cashmere trousers…

Doll or Treat…
October 2, 2012
It’s 2nd of October, which leaves 30 days to find your perfect Halloween costume. Eliminate last minute party stress and get your trick or treating gear sorted early. We’ve quite a few fetching ensembles on our rails that would help get any Halloween party started. 

Halloween can be scary. So can some of the following images. 
Magician’s ensemble complete with lucky rabbit’s foot…(or unlucky in the case of the rabbit)
Thelma’s bowling shirt
Jockey…for her
Girl Scouts of America (would surely approve of this costume…)

Flapper’s Delight
September 30, 2012
Here’s a peek at just some of the roaringly fabulous 1920s pieces you can find at the Doll. Dreamy, diaphanous chiffons, silk pyjamas, crepe and lace–so many of our favourites, and all in just one decade…We think Doll icon Daisy Buchanan would approve. 

Sunday at the Doll

And after four days and nights of vintage and cocktails, the Doll is feeling something like this:*

So, we’ll be opening from 10 this morning, serving up vintage along with some much needed Bloody Marys and Sunday papers in the bar from around 2pm until 7pm–making a stop at Broken Down Doll a very civilised post Sunday lunch activity. 

*Please note that the Doll does not stock or condone any of the fashions featured in this video. 

A tour of the Doll’s House
September 28, 2012
Step inside, beyond the balloons in the window which have become our Chamberlayne Road ‘Doll Signal’.
And a whole world of vintage treasures awaits…

It was once a hole in the wall, and in fact there are still a few actual holes in the walls, but we’ve done our best to turn what was formerly a working men’s club into a fabulous vintage boutique. 

At least we manage to colour coordinate with the, ahem, interesting decor the holes have revealed.

Beyond the balloons is a shop. Beyond the shop there is a bar.

Beyond the bar the shop goes on…

What the Doll did last night…
September 27, 2012
If you already know what the Doll did last night because you were there, thanks for coming. We had a fabulous kick off to our two week pop-up. 

If you missed out on our preview night, here’s a look inside the Doll’s (temporary) house on Chamberlayne Road…

We love our little den of classic cocktails and exquisite vintage. Come visit us and see if you love it too. 
‘Is amazedolls a word?’

Preparing the Broken Down Doll signature cocktail…

What? What? What are you doing?*
September 26, 2012
If your evening includes plans that do not involve the Doll you may need to re-think your approach to life. If you do plan on visiting the Doll’s house tonight, then we very much look forward to sipping classic cocktails with you as you enjoy the hundreds of fabulous pieces we have in store.

The Doll’s a get it while you can kinda girl, so we’re only around for two weeks! Dates, times, places, all you need to know is here:
*Feel free to bring a friend…

Ms Doll’s Beautiful Blues
September 25, 2012

Shake off those Tuesday blues and trade them in for something altogether more beautiful. The Doll’s got Autumn/Winter 2012′s favourite colour in all shades and shapes. 

Another reason not to have the Tuesday blues: It’s almost Wednesday! And Wednesday is the Day of the Doll. Preview Night from 7pm. 72 Chamberlayne Road, London NW10 3JJ. 

Be there or be square. 
Coming Attractions…
September 24, 2012

Upon this rather dreary start to a London day, the Doll will be mostly channelling Old Hollywood glitz and glamour.

There’s so much more in store…We can’t wait to draw back the curtain for our real-life preview: only TWO DAYS and a few hours from now! 
Nothing to wear?
September 21, 2012

It’s the 21st September. That means two things: one, Broken Down Doll is happening in just five days and two, it’s the official last day of summer. So you’d better get your Autumn/Winter act together; of course the Doll is more than happy to help. We’ll be previewing some of the fabulous pieces you’ll find in the shop here over the next few days…

Today we’re feeling elegantly waisted:

Dolls on Film (Part Two)
September 20, 2012

The Doll is only SIX DAYS away! But if you need something pretty to look at in the meantime, don’t fret. We’re back with a second installment of our favourite silver screen fashion icons. 

Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep (1946). Yes, she is wearing a fierce metallic jacket in 1946. So many good looks in this film; Bacall shows us how to rock a jacket (not to mention a killer stare). I wouldn’t want to mess with those shoulders. 
Just hanging around the house, you know, looking fabulous. 

Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) If only she’d planned that murder as carefully as she planned her outfits…
No, I will not stand up. I’m afraid this diamond encrusted dress is too heavy…
Causing severe earring envy.

Greta Garbo in Romance (1930) Looking thoroughly bored with looking so fabulous.

Jean Harlow in Dinner Eight (1933) Please note the second, backstage shot: Now, shouldn’t we all be working in an upright position like this, keeping our floor length gowns and sashes completely crease-free throughout the day? 
And last, but not least…

Had to do it. 
Gin Soaked Doll
September 16, 2012

The Doll is enjoying a weekend of research and development by the end of which our Classic Cocktail bar menu should be complete. 

This is what research and development looks like, right?

We’re on a gin soaked tip and we’ll definitely be serving up French 75s, Negronis, Gimlets and (an all time favourite of the Doll) Aviations. 

We’ve made a few improvements to our signature Broken Down Doll cocktail so that it is more fabulous than ever. Here’s our not-so-secret recipe, knock yourself (and your friends) out!*

Broken Down Doll 
50 ml Gin
20 ml fresh lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
5 ml Maraschino
dash Absinthe

Shake all of the above together with ice. Strain and top with Prosecco. 

We had to get the absinthe in there somewhere…Apologies to those we got hooked on the absinthe pipe the last few times around. (You know who you are, you who lost three days on the Absinthe Diet…) We can still manage to rustle up a Green Beast for you to help ease your withdrawal. 

*Alternatively, we can make one for you when you join us for our Preview Night on Wednesday 26th September from 7pm! By our calculations that’s only 10 DAYS away. We’d better get off this gin and get back to work. Tomorrow…

Doll Dates for your Diary
September 13, 2012
The Day of the Doll is nearly here! 

We launch on Wednesday 26th September, and the shop will be full of beyond-fabulous new (old) pieces, so get out the indelible ink and get the Doll in your diary. 
P.S. We like to think we’re the likeable sort, so please Like us on Facebook

P.P.S. And while we’re at it, why not follow us on twitter? We’ll be posting lots of preview photos so that you can see what’s in store! @brokendowndolls.

Just what the Doll ordered!
September 12, 2012

Our favourite man of cocktails must have had the Doll in mind when he mixed this one up.

Not only that, but the man himself, Mr Ben Reed, will be mixing up some classic cocktails in our Broken Down Doll bar only TWO SHORT WEEKS from now. That’s right, you can start counting down now because there is only ONE FORTNIGHT to go. 

On the eve of the 26th September you’ll find the Doll in her very own bar sipping on a Gin Gimlet–a drink that always makes us feel as glamorous as old Hollywood. 

You can preview a few of the classic cocktail recipes from the book here:

Or if you’re more fond of drinking than reading it’s only a matter of 14 DAYS until you can drink with the Doll. Time and location details to be posted imminently…

Something for the (sunny) weekend…
September 7, 2012

With predictions pointing to a gloriously sunny weekend in and around London, the Doll wants to make sure that no one goes thirsty. So, here’s a cocktail that tastes just like summer and should make the perfect accompaniment to your weekend. 

How pretty is that?

The Muse*

25 ml Gin
15 ml Elderflower syrup/cordial
10 ml fresh lemon juice
125 ml apple juice (clear not cloudy)
1 strawberry, thinly sliced
1 mint sprig

Build over ice and stir. Or, stop kidding yourself by making just one drink and mass produce the stuff. We suggest multiplying the measures and making a pitcher or make a big batch and pour into jam jars with ice. A very handy picnic punch.  

(If you’re somewhere non-sunny, close your eyes and pretend…)

* so named because this is the cocktail Mr Reed designed for the recent wedding of our Broken Down Doll Muse, Molly. Congratulations to Molly and Callum our favourite model and photographer duo and general favourite people! 

Dolls on Film (Part I)
September 4, 2012

The cinematic mood of our recent shoot set us to thinking about our favourite fashion moments on the silver screen. We’ve gathered a few here and even as we type, more are gathering in our heads (hence the ‘Part I’):

Elizabeth Taylor’s in A Place in the Sun (1951)
You can’t ignore this dress because a) Elizabeth Taylor is wearing it, b) it does take up quite a bit of space-roughly half that of a billiards table, and c) it’s just dreamy…and makes this Doll wish that there were more frequent occasions that required one to wear this many metres of tulle. I didn’t go to prom in the 1950s, but if I had done I would have begged for this dress.

Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)
Ahem, Jimmy, why are you so busy looking out the window? Have you seen this dress?

Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby (1974)
Okay, so it may seem an obvious vintage choice, but here it is. To leave it out would be just plain wrong. She is the poster girl for ethereal extravagance.  And those two things look hot together. 
Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954) 
…and pretty much everything else she’s been in, ever. 

Looking over these inspirations so far, we seem to be revealing a taste for a show stopping gown… Definitely channelling our inner debutantes. Here’s one more (for now)…

Ginger Rogers in Top Hat (1935)
Feathers! Why does she look so serious in feathers? Why do I not own a full-length dress made of (what I’m assuming are ostrich) feathers? This is a problem that needs solving. 

Dramatic Doll
August 28, 2012
As promised, here are a few of our favourite images from our recent shoot

The drama of it all inspired us to reach for this valuable resource and find a suitably sophisticated cocktail to match a Doll dripping with cinematic style…

We decided on the classic White Lady:

50 ml gin
large dash fresh lemon juice
dash triple sec
egg white

Mix all ingredients, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Or, make it a Pink Lady by adding a dash of grenadine and an extra splash of gin. 

More pretty Doll pictures and cocktail inspiration to come soon. We must toast our talented shoot team–Photographer Callum Teggin, Model Molly Hallam and Hair and Make-up Artist Kari Rodnes All are legendary Dolls for life. 

What’s a Doll to wear?
August 22, 2012

The Doll is practically overcome with anticipation of how fabulous our September/October shop is shaping up. We gathered up a few of our hottest looks and biggest statements for our Autumn/Winter 2012 photo shoot. Here’s a little peek behind the scenes at the Doll’s house…
Looks all in a row. In need of a Doll to bring them to life.
Accoutrements fit for a Doll. These collars make us very happy.

Dressing our very own Doll–it’s our Broken Down Doll model and muse, Molly. 
Late night touch ups from Kari–our favourite hair and make-up artist, definitely a Doll. 

Whoa. This can’t be right. 
But it is… It’s so wrong that it’s right. See what happens in this scary corridor when we post the results of our shoot later. 
Summer Dolls
August 9, 2012

We’ve missed seeing our name in lights these past few months, so it is with much excitement that we announce that The Doll will be popping up again in September! 

We’ll keep you posted as all of the details come together. In the meantime The Doll will be chasing sunnier climes in order to ensure the summer wardrobe gets maximum exposure. We’ll make time to stop along the way and unearth more vintage treasures. We’re thinking ahead–when we’re not thinking of cocktails–and we already have some stunning pieces lined up for Autumn. 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s still plenty of summer to enjoy and for the rest of it…

The Doll will mostly be wearing:

Power jewels. Because it can’t hurt to try to outshine the sun. It might actually happen. 

The Doll will mostly be drinking:

Okay, more specifically we’ll be drinking punch. Here’s The Doll’s Favourite Poolside Punch, already conveniently measured out for a high yield batch to please you and your thirsty friends:

500 ml dark rum
250 ml fresh lime juice
100 ml orgeat syrup
500 ml passion fruit juice
500 ml pineapple juice
100 ml Wray and Nephew overproof rum

Add all ingredients to a large punch bowl, throw in the lime husks, some sliced fresh strawberries and lots of ice. Gather round. It tastes like summer. 

The Doll will mostly be listening to:

New favourite band Helen and the Sirens gets top place on our summer soundtrack. 

You won’t be able to get this dreamy rock hotness out of your head once it’s in there. Even better, you won’t want to get it out of your head.

The Doll also loves a feathered head-piece. 

And now to mix up another bowl of punch…The Doll will be back with more fabulousness soon. 

Heart Broken Doll (it is NOT okay to steal).
May 20, 2012

Firstly, we want to thank everyone who has come in and supported the Doll this week. We had a wonderful time…up until around 4:30pm on Saturday when someone (who karma will find) shoplifted this dress:

(shown with jacket here–but it’s a sleeveless dress)

This dress is amazing and intricately worked–and no wonder–as super talented Helen Cody spent weeks making it. We love Helen Cody and it breaks our hearts that some mercenary, uncaring (horrible) person could do this to her and to the Doll. 

With a price tag of £2,000 this dress is probably the most fabulous piece we had in shop.

The Doll likes to think the best of people. We are local ladies and we love Kensal Rise and all of our lovely neighbours. We are also a fledgling business trying to bring something fresh and new to the area. We’re not a big brand with bottomless pockets and corporate backing. Maybe one dress seems like a mere trifle to some people, but it’s enough to break the Doll’s bank and our hearts.

As anyone who has started their own business will know, it’s more than money that you invest and in the early days profit is only something you dream of. But at least you can be proud of what your hard work–all your time and energy– has created. (The Doll can only imagine how magnified this feeling of hurtful wrongness is for a designer like Helen Cody who spends weeks on a single show-stopping piece only for someone to callously walk away with it.) 

We don’t want to let one person’s evil deed get us down, but it is hard not to feel the emotional and financial effects of such a selfish act. Please, If you see this dress anywhere–on the internet, on a market stall, in a shop–anywhere, let us know so that we can try to recover it along with our faith in humanity. 

The Doll. 

The Absinthe Minded Doll
May 19, 2012

Get yourself down to the Doll for the final night of festivities in our intimate Pernod Absinthe Parlour.

Uber mixologist Ben Reed will be on hand to lovingly prepare you an Absinthe sour, Green Beast or Death in the Afternoon. 
All you’ve come to expect from the Doll with entertainment provided by the ever talented, ever quirky Tom Baker on accordion from eight.

It’s cocktail o’ clock. . . get on down here!

The Doll is Back in Town
May 18, 2012

Although we’ve only just reappeared at our 72 Chamberlayne Rd. residence there are only three doll days left!
Three days to linger over exquisit vintage, lust after honorary Doll Helen Cody’s intricate designs and fall in love with one of our creative Doll Angela Britton’s vintage prints. All this while enjoying a tantalising cocktail mixed by our Don Ben Reed in our intimate Pernod Absinthe Parlour.
What are you waiting for it’s Friday. . . Death in the Afternoon (that would be prosecco with a spritz of Pernod Absinthe and a zest of lemon) . . . yes please.

Honorary Doll. . . Helen Cody
May 14, 2012

We are delighted to be showcasing some of, fashion designer, Helen Cody’s latest designs. Specialising in bespoke couture pieces, each one individually crafted with hand dyed silk linings, Victorian embellishments, vintage ribbons, lace and crystals. Treating each new piece with the approach of an artist, so that the finished result is unique to the wearer. . . What a doll!

Same bat-time, Same bat-place
May 13, 2012

We’re back at 72 Chamberlayne Road from Tuesday! Come in on Tuesday night for a preview of what the week has in store; the absinthe fountains will be flowing from 7pm. We’ll then be open Wednesday to Saturday 10am-10pm, and Sunday 10am-6pm.

Make sure you make time for the Doll–you won’t be sorry. We’ve overwhelmed even ourselves with the amount of new, amazing stock we have–photos to come soon.

Put the Doll in your diary…It’s official
May 3, 2012

Back by Popular Demand!
April 30, 2012

Calling all Broken Down Doll fans, we’ve rather fabulous news. We can all stop daydreaming about the return of our favourite Bar Boutique and start counting down the days once again!

We’ll be back in our Chamberlayne Road space–with a whole new look and new stock–from Tuesday 14th May. That’s two weeks away!

Check back soon for a preview of our exciting collaboration with a special guest doll…

The Doll has Left the Building
March 22, 2012

Until next time. . . thank you so much to all that made it possible and gave us an excuse to start drinking cocktails at 10am.

We are busy planning our next. . .

A Doll’s House
March 15, 2012

Sneaky Preview
Last night we opened the doors to our Chamberlayne Road abode and many were on hand to enjoy the complementary cocktails concocted by resident mixologist Ben Reed being assisted, if not led, by the new honorary doll Helen Sabin of Pernod Richard along with much Absinthe paraphernalia to enhance our parlour.

As if this, as well as the exquisite vintage, wasn’t enough for the perfect preview the beautiful ladies of the Social Pantry, lead by the cullinary genius of Alex Head were on hand to provide canapes as fabulous as the clothes.

All in all a good time was had.

Death by Fabulousness
March 13, 2012
How to make a Doll blush…

In just twelve short hours we’ll be sipping one of these . Hopefully you’ll be doing exactly the same–with us in our Bar Boutique. Previewing from 7-10pm this very evening. (72 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3JJ). 

Maiden Blush

1 part Pernod Absinthe
1 part Plymouth Gin
2/3 part simple syrup
1/3 part fresh lemon juice
4 raspberries
lemon to garnish

Muddle raspberries with lemon juice. Add other ingredients and shake. Double strain into a delicate deco cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Be fabulous. 

Beauty and the Beast
March 10, 2012

Last night this Beauty fell in love with a Green Beast…

Watch how the Green Beast is made in most fabulous style:

Sublimely ridiculous?
March 8, 2012
Or ridiculously sublime? With a name like this we’ve got to try one and make up our own mind…Off to the cocktail cabinet. 
The Doll’s new favourite…at least until the next cocktail hour
March 7, 2012

The countdown is well and truly on now with only six full days to go until it is Tuesday 13th March at 7:00pm and the Doll’s doors open to reveal all sorts of wonders. We can hardly contain our excitement and we’re not at all calmed by the trying of all sorts of absinthe cocktails–for research purposes of course–as we finalise our bar menu.

She looks like she’s having fun, doesn’t she?

I can only assume that this lovely concoction is what’s in her glass:

Absinthe Suissesse

30mls Absinthe
15mls orgeat
1 fresh egg white
30 mls double cream

First, shake all ingredients without ice. Add ice and shake for a fair amount of time, until thoroughly chilled (both your hand and the drink). Strain into a chilled glass.

All right, so this frothy treat is a bit on the indulgent side, but what we love most about this cocktail is that it is a perfectly acceptable and civilised brunch drink (in New Orleans if nowhere else).

We’ll be posting a drink for everyday until the Doll opens. And as we’ve only given you a taste of the stock we have in store we’ll also be posting more fabulous previews over the weekend.

Sunday Morning Special
March 3, 2012

After a long day’s work in preparation for The Doll’s opening on 13th March, we’re off out. But we’ve had the foresight to stock the cupboard for a Sunday Morning Special. This is what will be getting us out of bed (around noon)…

Babicka Breakfast Martini
30ml Babicka Vodka
10ml Cointreau
60ml Grapefruit Juice
20ml Fresh Orange Juice
1 Barspoon Marmalade

Shake well
Garnish with orange twist
Serve in vintage bar ware, such as: 

(All of the beautiful barware above will be available in store. Only 10 days to go!)

Beautiful beadwork
February 28, 2012

Bad advice
February 27, 2012

In anticipation of our very own Absinthe Parlour, the Doll will be sampling and sharing a selection of absinthe cocktails. (And then a few cures for drinking too many absinthe cocktails.) Let’s say we start with the hardest and work backwards from oblivion…

We love a cocktail named after a book. Or a book named after a cocktail. Or a book and cocktail given the same name simultaneously. Any of these do it for us.

Hemingway’s instructions: (follow at own risk) ‘Pour one jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it obtains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink 3 to 5 of these slowly.’

Doll’s instructions: (to minimise risk and still remember your name) Rinse champagne glass with absinthe. Add iced champagne and garnish with lemon zest.

Clear your diary…
February 25, 2012

This doll is easily distracted by shiny things

We hope you are too.

Let the previews begin…
February 22, 2012

The Doll’s March debut is edging ever closer, and so it’s about time we drop some tantalising hints of what you’ll find in the shop.

Prints Please

Much more to come in the days to come…

Return of the Doll
January 31, 2012

Start the count down: Broken Down Doll Bar Boutique returns 13th March.

And here’s the tiniest hint of what we’ll be getting up to…

More hints and stock previews coming soon.
Off like a prom dress…
August 10, 2011
This doll is off for some R&R until sometime in September… baggage allowances be damned.

A big thank you to all who came to the Broken Down Doll Boutique–we loved it and hope you did too. The boutique will be reappearing in the autumn, so start looking forward to a whole new season’s worth of fabulousness. If you’d like us to keep you up to date on exactly when and where future boutiques will be happening, send your email contact details to us at: 
The Final Four (Hours)
July 30, 2011

Saturday is Broken Down Doll’s last day at The Shop in Kensal Rise. At four o’clock today the boutique will evaporate into the ether…until next time. We’ve added new stock today, so there are still many fabulous finds to be found–and perhaps just as important–cocktails to be had in the sunshine.

The happiest hour: Broken Down Doll’s signature cocktail!
July 28, 2011

Many Broken Down Dolls were downed Tuesday night at the launch of our Bar Boutique. It’s a wonder we can still remember the recipe…

Broken Down Doll

20 ml Babicka Vodka
20 ml lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
5 ml maraschino
dash absinthe

top with prosecco

Mirror, Mirror (potentially) on your wall…
July 27, 2011

You need one of these. Or a whole wall of these.

Satisfied customer:
Open for business! And cocktails, of course.

Getting ready…
July 24, 2011
Not long now…
July 22, 2011
Read the small print for dates and times…

What I remember of what I drank…
July 21, 2011

Monday was nearly tranAtlantic trauma when Broken Down Doll had to hook a reluctant right upon boarding the aeroplane. Fortunately, I was able to take a page out of infamous imbiber Dan Dunn’s book (Living Loaded).
Literally. See. Here’s the actual page.

Of course, I do deem some of these ingredients extraneous. Don’t need lager or pretzels. Or the elaborate theatre of crushing or stirring for that matter…

Tuesday was all about transAtlantic redemption in the form of a Pegu Club. Or two…

Pegu Club

45 ml Gin
15 ml Cointreau
7.5 ml fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake with ice. Strain. Enjoy.

This week, many a spiritual need was fulfilled by The Shop (host to Broken Down Doll Bar Boutique, which starts happening only five days from now on Tuesday 26th July!) and its massive milk bottle sized cocktails. Good idea.

Shop Credit: Babicka vodka, pomegranate juice, apple juice, fresh lime, passionfruit syrup, elderflower cordial, prosecco. 

Once Loved: (the unmistakeable and taste of a summer holiday) Kraken dark spiced rum, coco lopez, pineapple juice, creme de Abricot

Exact measures available at The Shop:

The Once Loved (Above) couldn’t help but make me muse on that retro guiltiest pleasure of all time: The Pina Colada. As we all know (or should know) it is a double guilty pleasure. Or it was until about 3 minutes and 47 seconds ago when Doll thought it would be a giggle to have a listen and instead became transfixed by this car crash:

If you can make it all the way through this disturbing animated robot version of an already questionable song without tearing your eyes out or punching the ‘people’ on the screen, you deserve a drink. Probably something rather stiffer than a pina colada. But go ahead and have one anyway…pretend you’re on holiday.

Delicious details

A serving of accessories…

For the gentlemen…

A Taste of Things to Come. . .
July 18, 2011

The liquid week
July 15, 2011

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…all have come and gone in rapid succession. And so here is a rapid succession of what Broken Down Doll got up to this week…

Brandy Crusta

50 ml Gin
7.5 ml Orange Curacao
7.5 ml fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
a dash sugar syrup

Rim with sugar, garnish with lemon zest.

Reverse Martinez

50 ml Sweet Vermouth
20 ml Gin
2 dashes orange bitters
dash Maraschino

Shake, strain, drink.

White Lady

50 ml Gin
20 ml fresh lemon juice
20 ml Curacao
egg white

Shake furiously. Strain. Drink.


Rinse glass with Absinthe.

60 ml high rye Bourbon
10 ml sugar syrup

Pour in glass. Drink.

And for good measure…here’s one with no recipe required. Ah, tequila. It loves me. It loves me not. It loves me. It loves me not. You get the picture. (Though it appears I can barely steady my hand to do just that.)

Bag it up

Monday. Already?
July 11, 2011

The weekend passed in a blur. Followed by another blur. Just the way I like it.

Saturday was full of French 75s (made in beautiful vintage shakers)

French 75

20ml gin
10ml lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup

Shake the above, strain and top with champagne.

Too much of a good thing made Broken Down Doll want more of a good thing…so Saturday’s excess was cured by Sunday’s Bloody Marias.

Bloody Maria

50ml tequila (reposado)
150-200ml tomato juice
15ml lime juice
4 dashes Tabasco
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
pinch salt and pepper

Multiply the measures by the number of dolls and guys still standing or recently roused, add plenty of ice, stir, serve, repeat.

A better effort
July 8, 2011

As promised, today’s offering in Broken Down Doll’s cocktail-a-day countdown (18 days to go…) is more refined and less haphazard in the measuring. Keep it equal and give all the booze a chance–another motto Doll likes to live by. 


25ml Campari
25ml Sweet vermouth
25ml Gin

Build on ice, stir and garnish with an orange zest. 

If you have a hankering for something a bit more out of the ordinary, try one of the alternative Negroni recipes in this article:

I’m considering infusing some gin with lapsang souchong for a Cloudy Negroni. (See how far yesterday’s Mother Hubbard has come so quickly.) Broken Down Doll doesn’t drink tea (often) but if she did it would be lapsang souchong. A tea with the mouth-watering aroma of bacon? Genius. 

Mother Hubbard’s Post-work special
July 7, 2011

Mother Hubbard’s post-work special


Pour over ice, measure according to taste.

Wednesday was a barely averted bare cupboard distaster–but this left this Doll wondering why Campari is the last thing left in the cupboard when it is oh so bitter and tasty.

Unconvinced? I promise to go shopping first thing today–at some point today–and bring you something more refined. Wait right there…

The mood that I’m in…
July 5, 2011

I’m not really in such a mood (who could be with such insane cocktail rings, nevermind the Dior?) it’s just an excuse to post a little something for anyone having a Black Tuesday. This one always picks Broken Down Doll up and puts her back together.


60ml gin
20ml lemon juice
15ml maraschino

Ice. Shake. Strain. Drink. Relax.

Monday’s Necessity: Corpse Reviver #2

Fantastic name aside, this is a spectacular cocktail and Broken Down Doll’s most recent predilection. Quite possibly due to another of my favourite ingredients being featured. It shouldn’t be much of a challenge to guess which one that is…and, O, three dashes is my preferred measure.

Recipe and cautionary caveat compliments of The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. I too suggest stopping at three. Three and a half tops.
Weekend. Or One Mint Julep was the cause of it all…
July 4, 2011

Mint Julep

6 leaves mint
15ml Sugar syrup
50ml bourbon
crushed ice
Stir until tankard is very, very cold (your fingers should stick to it like your tongue to a wintery flagpole on a sinister triple dog dare.)

Mix to the following tune:

Unlike the Clovers, I do remember how it started. It’s the finish that’s rather cloudy for me–at least this song always cures a cloudy head. Proceed with caution so that you and I never need declare (as those Clovers do): I’m through with flirtin’ an’ drinkin’ whisky…I got six extra children from gettin’ frisky. Six? Six is an awful lot–and those are just the extra ones!

Pisco Sour

50ml Pisco
25ml Lemon juice
12.5ml sugar syrup
1/2 an egg white
Shake all of the above and strain
2 dashes bitters (on top once it’s poured)
Lemon zest 

26 days to go…
July 1, 2011

What’s a doll to do with all this anticipation? This one thinks it’s best to find an old adage and strip away all traces of wholesome, good advice until it serves our own desires. Which is why I’ll be bringing you a cocktail-a-day to while the time away until those 26 days have passed and such liquid pleasures can be enjoyed in the Broken Down Doll Bar Boutique…

Today’s special: The Hemingway Daiquiri

One of Broken Down Doll’s perennial favourites, a well-made Hemingway is bereft of any hint of sweetness (much like BDD herself), is dry as hell—and best kept that way without the addition of sugar— and involves one of my favourite ingredients: Maraschino liqueur (Other favourite ingredients will soon become painfully obvious as this list progresses…)

50ml measures light rum

10ml lime juice

20ml grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)

15ml Maraschino