A few of my favourite things

Country Life Every Week - - A Few Of My Favourite Things - Illustrations by Ol­lie Maxwell

The Bri­tish ac­tress and writer is per­haps best-known for play­ing Molly in the BBC series Monarch of the Glen. She’s won three Emmy Awards for her roles in The Forsyte Saga, The First Churchills and Van­ity Fair. Su­san has writ­ten sev­eral books about her love of gar­den­ing and is ap­pear­ing in Os­car Wilde’s An Ideal Hus­band at the Vaude­ville The­atre in Lon­don’s West End, un­til July 14

I’ve been go­ing to the Royal Bal­let in Lon­don since I was a lit­tle girl, when my mother and I used to queue on Satur­day morn­ings and buy funny stools, un­til we got seats to watch from the gods. My mother taught bal­let and en­cour­aged Sir An­thony Dow­ell (now re­tired) to join the Royal Bal­let. I love Natalia Osipova, but there are lots of won­der­ful English dancers com­ing up. We were a fam­ily of four chil­dren and all, at some point, went into the the­atre—be­ing in Lon­don makes it all more ac­ces­si­ble (020–7304 4000; www.roh.org.uk)

I dis­cov­ered David Austin’s Gen­tle Hermione old English rose

quite by ac­ci­dent in some­one else’s gar­den (I won’t say whose). I thought ‘I must get some of those’, and or­dered four. I’ve al­ways loved roses and this one is very, very old, with an ex­quis­ite scent. I’m ob­sessed with gar­den­ing— see­ing things grow gives me great plea­sure. I wish I had space for veg­eta­bles, but I only have room for ap­ples, herbs and some quite suc­cess­ful le­mons (01902 376300; www.davi­daustin­roses.co.uk)

I have tried to only eat or­gan­i­cally for the past 60 years and I’ve been go­ing to the Dayles­ford shop on Lon­don’s Pim­lico Road, SW1, since it opened—ev­ery­thing they have is won­der­ful. I par­tic­u­larly like their de­li­cious or­ganic sweet-potato dhal, which is slightly spicy and curry-ish: it’s to die for. £7.99 (020– 7881 8060; www. dayles­ford.com)

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