There's a little café in Chiswick called the Bedlington Café. We call it a greasy spoon. You can get a really good fried English breakfast there. But it happens to be a really good Thai restaurant at night. It's like a weird mix. So you can have fried eggs and bacon and a cup of tea and all that stuff in the daytime. But then, you can also have really delicate, amazing Thai food in the evening. Then where would I go for lunch? Probably the Ivy. I think it was the first truly fancy restaurant I ever went to. And they are very discreet. You know, you can always see other interesting people there. The food is amazing. I always eat the same thing. I've only tried one thing on the menu - a tuna with little tiny lentils, and it's delicious. I liked it so much I don't want anything else. Then they have various desserts, which come with sort of their own little jugs of caramel sauce and chocolate sauce; I'm a big sucker for things like that. You always run into someone incredible in the ladies' toilet. You might run into a Spice Girl or some fantastic feminist writer. It's not intimidating in the sense that, you know, it gets a bunch of interesting-enough people who tend to look reasonably scruffy. I don't like restaurants where you walk in and you feel you should have had hair and makeup done before you went in.
London's the ultimate shopping city. What are your staples?
Well, I like Smythson stationery, where they do leather-bound stationery and incredible things. Where else? I like Selfridges, which is another big department store - what my husband would call a mall. There's a shop called Rellik, which is a vintage-clothing store on Golborne Road. It was set up by three Portobello market store holders, and it sells vintage Dior and Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark, and amazing old vintage jewelry. It is a really cool store.
Um, what else? There's a ribbon store on Marylebone High Street, called VV Rouleaux, which is literally just any different kind of ribbon or braiding, and it's amazing. There's a kid's shop on Columbia Road that is only open six hours a week, and it coincides with the Columbia Road Flower Market. It's called Bob and Blossom. They do great little tiny onesies with, you know, things written on them and little matching hats and stuff. And they're pretty cool. I love the bookstores in England. For some reason, I can find my way around the bookstores really easily. So there's a sort of chain of bookstores like Waterstone's. That's pretty much everywhere. But then there's Ian Shipley books on Charing Cross Road, which has old books and new books and out-of-print ones. And Portobello market is a big favorite.
How else would you spend a perfect Saturday afternoon?
I might go to the Sanctuary, which is a women-only spa in Covent Garden. I mean, I might not anymore. It's probably less fun being well known going there because you can walk around completely naked inside, and everyone does. It's actually a little embarrassing if someone is wearing a swimsuit. You stare more. It's a very nice spa. You can get amazing massages and facials and treatments.
Okay, so outline the perfect Saturday night.
There is a little place called Ffiona's, and it's on Kensington Church Street. It's tiny and it's run by this very formidable woman, Ffiona, who has a gigantic personality. All the tables are sort of scrubbed wooden tables, and the food changes every day. And none of the plates match. It's a very sweet little sort of personal restaurant. It's English-based, so you can get various sorts of old-fashioned dishes. They have this thing called colcannon, which is like a mix of cabbage and mashed potatoes or something. But it's really good. And then various English desserts - sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble and custard and all of that stuff. Then I would probably go to the theater or to a movie. I love that when you get to London, you can go to the national theaters and kind of see what's going on there, and there is usually a great new play and a revival of something really interesting. I would probably haul myself down there and go check it out.
Any live music places you like?
I haven't been for a really long time. We used to go to the Mean Fiddler or the Town and Country [now the Forum], but I think I ended up going to see Curtis Mayfield at the Town and Country Club. The Mean Fiddler is quite a small venue, and they get really great, interesting bands. Town and Country gets bigger bands.
Is there a bar or pub that you like to go to?
I'm like the only English person who's not a big drinker. I prefer to eat. There's an Indian restaurant that I always have to go to in Shepherd's Bush, which is not high-end at all. It just happens to be the most delicious food. It's called the Ajanta. In fact, that was the thing that ended up getting my baby born.
My baby was 10 days late, and everybody said, "Oh, you know, you've got to drink raspberry-leaf tea and jump up and down" and all of that stuff. And then the other thing they tell you to do is to eat a curry. By that point - because, you know, 10 days late is a lot of extra pregnant - I was enormous. And I actually suddenly developed a massive craving for curry, which was handy, so I said, "Oh, let's go." So [my mom and I] went zooming over there. Once I'd thought of the curry, I had to have it immediately, so I was probably drooling and groaning. You can eat it there, or you can pick it up and take it home, which is what we did. I probably ate most of it in the car. I really needed to kind of fall on it like a tiger. So we had that, and then I went to bed and woke up several hours later in labor and had a baby. I might still be pregnant if I hadn't gone there.