BRUNCH "There's a little place around the corner from me called Ambra, which is an Italian delicatessen where they make very fine coffees and fantastic pastas. The two guys who run it are very loud and very Italian. We go and see the same people in there every morning. People go there, I think, because they get to feel Italian for half an hour while they have their coffee. Everyone's giving it, 'Ciao, bella!' And then you come back into the real world again."

WALK "After Ambra, we'd go up to the Hampstead Heath and spend the afternoon. It's a wilderness. It's untouched, and you have no idea you're in London. You lose all sense that you're in a large city. It leads up to this huge stately place called Kenwood House, where, in the summer, they have a stage in the middle of a lake and they have classical concerts and people take picnics and wine and lie in the grass. What I love about it are the trees. It's a very old forest and you can lose yourself there."

ONE GREAT DAY IN LONDON


"I'll tell you about my first day living in London. I was driven down there by my father from Scotland. It was quite a big deal. I was 18 years old and I was coming to live in London on my own. And my father felt that he'd drive me down, which was very nice of him. We spent eight hours in the car together and we arrived in the business center of London, at the Barbican, where I was going to go to drama school. I was moving into the Barbican YMCA, where I lived for a year. I'm sure they've improved it since, but the room I stayed in was shabby, awful, depressing. My dad took all of my stuff out and I could see he was really worried, but he had to get back into the car and leave. I took a Tube into Soho and went to a pub called The Pillars of Hercules, which is still a nice pub on Greek Street. I knew it was a Scottish bar and I assumed there would be Scottish people there and I could have a chat with them. What does that tell you about London? That it's a huge city, too big to comprehend really. But it shrinks in your mind the longer you live here. It becomes split into small areas that you frequent more."