My London: Nicky Haslam

Home is …

Cromwell Road, alone, in a ground floor flat opposite the Hospital. No fool, me.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

To the latest gay bar in east, east, east London

Where would you recommend for a first date?                                                                                 

In summer, a picnic at dusk in Richmond Park. In winter, an opium den in Wapping. One must be relaxed.

Richmond Park (Alamy Stock Photo)

Who’s your hero? 

Rupert Everett. He exudes humour, sense, fantasy and knowledge.

Rupert Everett (Shutterstock)

Best meal you’ve had in London?

For consistently good food, Bellamy’s in Bruton Place. I was last there with Lady Anne Glenconner, hearing about her autobiography, Lady In Waiting.

What’s your London secret? 

Lillie Road antique shops. But they’re not secret nowadays. And Greggs coffee is the best.

Greggs coffee (Alamy Stock Photo)

Last play you saw?

Hate the theatre, the sets are always disappointing. I prefer plays on the radio, even Shakespeare.

Where would you most like to be buried?

I’d have my ashes scattered in the grounds of Parkstead House, Roehampton, formerly Bessborough House. It was my family’s home until the 19th century. 

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?    

Pave the streets with gold. I’m Dick Whittington at heart. 

If you could buy any building in London, which would it be?

The Houses of Parliament. I’d paint them white, like a huge Gothic architectural model.

Which shops do you rely on?

Primark for fun stuff, but genius tailor Hanish of Bespoke Attire makes my suits. The Iraqi supermarket Dina at 127 Earls Court Road for fruit. They get white peaches, my favourite, almost all year round. Cass Art in Kensington for paint, and any old Ryman… I always need something.

Who is the most iconic Londoner in history?

Surely has to be Sir Christopher Wren.

What do you collect? 

Pomegranates in any form… china, plaster, metal or real. It’s a new passion. 

Pomegranate collection (Shutterstock / Maks Narodenko)

What are you up to at the moment for work?

Designing London houses and a suite at Claridge’s, singing cabaret at The Pheasantry on King’s Road, starting a follow-up to my autobiography Redeeming Features.

Where do you stay in London?

I once stayed in the Ritz when working with Richard Avedon and still go there for the dining room, with its garlands of gilt roses looped between chandeliers. Food hardly matters in such ravishing surroundings.  

The Ritz

What makes someone a Londoner?

Anyone not face-glued to their direction-finder app.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has said to you?

He asked if I would I go to bed with him. And fairly recently, may I say.

Have you ever had a run-in with a London police officer? 

No, but I once went to a party in full London cop uniform. People came running.


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