What do you do and why do you do it?
Since graduating, studying English and Drama at Exeter, I have performed in various productions that have been taken to Devon, Edinburgh, Stratford and here in London. I also wrote and directed a play at my local theatre and have just started shooting a short film in Hackney while trying to start a blog alongside all this. Through acting, writing and directing, I suppose you could say I want to be a storyteller (pretentious and cliché as that may sound) as stopping to reflect on a problem or situation, critique this and express it in a form is a process that can very easily become lost, especially in a city as hectic as London.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
My taste in music seems to change on an almost daily basis, however I am consistently obsessed with soundtracks from television and film. Tracks I keep coming back to includes the work of Antonio Sánchez, Ludovico Einaudi, Alex Turner, Murray Gold and Hans Zimmer. Recently, I also gotten back into Radiohead and the Black Keys for some reason which help with heartbroken strolls!
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Now this is a genuinely one of the hardest questions I could be asked as my list of my all-time favourites would easily go over how ever much space I’ve got. However, in an effort to not sound predictable and avoid the obvious choices (the likes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers, Rick and Morty, The UK/US Office… I could go on) I am going to go for a show called ‘Community’. There are few shows that connect you with the characters so effectively and make the audiences so invested in their development. It is also such an easy show to pick any episode of and watch out of order due to it being so pop culturally aware.
Name some spots in London that are good for a Tinder date.
There are a surprising amount of skyscrapers that you can go up completely free of charge if you book far enough in advance and the price of the food at their tallest restaurant isn’t too far off what you’d pay at a nice place down on the ground level. Maybe it’s just me but dinner with a view of the sun setting over London instantly creates a romantic atmosphere and is the perfect spot for any date.
Who’s your hero and where in London would you take them out for a serious hang?
I’m going for the classic, predictable Englishy option here and picking William Shakespeare as I think he would be one of the most interesting people to spend an evening with. However, rather than take him somewhere fancy or hang out anywhere indie, I’d instead take him on a pub crawl around my favourite local pubs with some good friends as I believe the stories he would tell and experiences he might share would improve and grow more fascinating after each pint.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
As someone who has grown up in the same area all my life, I have had a handful of experiences being mugged around dark alleyways in spots I shouldn’t repeat (I’m looking at you Hammersmith!) While it is generally an incredibly safe area, one wrong turning at a bad time of day can put you in a sketchy scenario so I’ve just learnt specific routes to take in order to avoid these shadier spots in an effort to never repeat the same mistake twice.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
So many exhibitions! Genuinely, it’s hard to keep track a lot of the time but it is important to take time out of your week and make the effort for visit an art gallery or wander round that new exhibition. This is something I always wish I did more and was better at staying on top of as London is easily one of the most artistically and culturally fascinating cities on the planet.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in London and where did you get it?
For a friends birthday, we went to a small restaurant in Chinatown called Opium (somewhere almost impossible to find as it’s attached to a seemingly larger restaurant and has a sign the size of an A4 piece of paper). I don’t think I’ve eaten so much Dim Sum in my life as the staff kept bringing over dish after platter after basket. Their kitchen is also open well into the early hours of the morning on weekends so the length of time we were eating was extreme in itself.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in London that you particularly like?
This isn’t so much a hole in the wall secret but the bar Six Stories has hidden secrets and areas you have to pursue on every floor of its, you guessed it, six stories. Without ruining any of them, have an explore on every floor and you’re bound to stumble onto a surprise or two as you climb up this Soho bar.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in London? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
The River Café in Chiswick is an Italian restaurant which sits north of the Thames in Fulham and is the sort of place you’re expected to have four or five courses with each course sitting between £20 - £40, and don’t even get me started on the price of the drinks. From what I remember, I had the Prosciutto di San Daniele with Charentais melon to start and the Controfiletto ai ferri chargrilled Longhorn beef sirloin as my main. Fortunately I was not paying but if you can afford it I definitely recommend the trip.
What restaurant in London looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
While it is not so much the restaurant that looks crap, the area it’s in isn’t the greatest. However, Saigon Saigon is one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in London with brilliant service, incredible food, a beautifully authentic interior all at a fairly reasonable price.
Where can you get the best cocktail in London? Which one do you like?
Come to Peckham Springs for their happy hour (6-7 everyday) and do not miss out of their Negroni. They hit the perfect balance between gin, Campari and the Punt E Mes they use as their vermouth. The atmosphere is always buzzing and the cocktails are consistently spectacular.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in London?
Madame Tussauds. I just don’t understand the mass appeal. I understand how impressive the craftsmanship is and that it takes an extraordinary amount of work to produce such lifelike sculptures but it is just something I’d never really want to spend money on. I think to me it is just absurdly popular for such a specific theme as there are countless galleries and museums across the capital exhibiting equally impressive sculptures that no one is bothering to visit.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in London?
A bunch of the less well-known, fringe theatres such at the Etcetera or Canal Café Theatre. These venues are producing some of the most cutting edge, witty and important shows that do incredibly when touring to festivals such as the Edinburgh fringe yet few people bother to see them in London which is a real shame. I’d say the same with a lot of comedy too as there are countless free stand up gigs at pubs across the capital where you pay what you want.
What are the London spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
I am aware of how mainstream this choice is but the walk down Southbank from the London Eye to Tower Bridge is one of the best in London as you really get a sense of the city’s history, culture and people. When people ask what the main road is in London I always tell them the Thames as it is the reason the city was built the way it was and is such an important part of its history so this walk along Southbank is a must for me.
Tomorrow’s your last day in London. How do you spend it?
With as many friends I can get my hands on cycling around the city and visiting all the places we always talked about going to see but never got round to it.