Choreographer and actress Arlene Phillips shares her London hotspots.
What is your perfect breakfast?
I know it’s odd but I love wholewheat toast with marmalade and crispy bacon. If I go to a café, I have smashed avocado on toast and a double espresso. I like The Ivy Cafe, a new brasserie near me in St John’s Wood.
What are your favourite buildings?
I love the exterior of the Tate Modern, and the beauty and space of its Turbine Hall. I love the way it slopes. I haven’t been to its new extension yet; I was due to go on the opening night but I got stuck in a traffic jam. I’ve taken the Tube ever since!
What are your favourite galleries?
I love going to art galleries – contemporary art is my passion. I like Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein. I also love Tate Britain.
Where do you like to go for lunch?
My favourite place for lunch is Claridge’s in Mayfair, as it’s so elegant and grand, and it feels exclusive. I always eat something different every time I go there – usually a new type of salad.
What areas and stores do you like to go shopping in?
I love to shop. I like Selfridges on Oxford Street, because you can get everything there. I like going to shops that are ordered, where everything has a place. I’m also a huge fan of Primrose Hill Market on a Saturday morning. I love that place; it does irresistible food – the most delicious cupcakes and doughnuts.
What is your favourite green space?
I have been going to Hampstead Heath for years. I have photos of my daughters, who are 11 years apart, sitting in the same tree. I have never swum in the ponds but I have fed the ducks there.
Is there a place in London that holds a special memory for you?
The Dance Centre on Floral Street in Covent Garden, where I taught. It closed down and it has turned into shops now, but I still stand on that spot every now and then. Debbie Moore was one of my students and when it closed she said: ‘Don’t worry, everyone, I’ll open another school.’ Then she opened Pineapple Dance Studios in an old pineapple warehouse back when Covent Garden was a fruit market.
What would you do to treat yourself?
I’d go to the Sanderson hotel in Fitzrovia for its Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea, which takes you into an Alice in Wonderland fantasy world. It also has an early-evening tipsy version with delightful cocktails. I’d invite all my friends.
What’s your favourite spot for a drink?
I really love Oblix on the 32nd floor of The Shard. The drinks and view are amazing.
Where is your favourite place for dinner?
I like a good steak – I’d go to Hawksmoor.
Do you like going to the theatre?
I love musicals and try to see different ones. I’d also like to see a dance piece by Matthew Bourne such as Sleeping Beauty. I’m excited about his new ballet, The Red Shoes, too.
Do you have a favourite hotel?
Yes, I love the Covent Garden Hotel because it’s cosy, comfy, not too large and in the midst of Theatreland. It feels like you’re walking into a house of friends as it has an easy feel to it. My New York theatre friends stay there a lot. To 15 Jan. New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, SW 191 Q G. T :0844-871 7646.www.atgtickets.com
Clockwise from top left: Selfridges; Arlene Phillips; Oblix at The Shard; Turbine Hall in Tate Modern; The RedShoes; afternoon tea at the Sanderson hotel
CHOREOGRAPHER, ACTRESS AND TV PERSONALITY Best known for being a judge on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and SoYouThinkYouCanDance?, Arlene Phillips is starring as Fairy Bowbells alongside Matthew Kelly in DickWhittington, a pantomime at the New Wimbledon Theatre