Evening Standard - ES Magazine
The Capture star strikes out at Rowans on a Friday night, hits Arsenal Supermarket on Christmas Day and can’t get enough Margarita time
I grew up in Walthamstow and have kind of lived everywhere in London… north, east, south, but never west. Right now I’m north in Finsbury Park, but I’m actually thinking of moving back to Walthamstow in a very predictable roundabout. A mix of nostalgia and inevitability [is drawing me back], I guess. It’s a very different place now from when I called it home, but I guess I’m a very different person from when I was there, when I was nicking sweets from the local off-licence.
Which shops do you rely on?
I’ve got to shout out Arsenal Supermarket on Blackstock Road because they’re open every day of the year. On Christmas Day, from early till late and they’ve got everything and anything you need: light bulbs, batteries, booze. Everything, it’s beautiful. For clothes, I love Daily Paper, Percival and Universal Works, but I find shopping hard. I can’t actually spend more than 10 minutes in a clothes shop before I start getting itchy feet.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Forza Wine in Peckham, it’s got this balcony-like outdoor area, it does amazing cocktails and you can see the whole of London. If you ever get a chance, go at around 5 or 6 o’clock and watch the sun go down behind the Shard. It’s a very romantic spot if you want to take a loved one there.
What’s your first memory of London?
It’s quite funny, I always felt like it was a big deal to go into town. My mum used to make me go to Oxford Street on Boxing Day for the sales. They start at 5am, so I remember being sat right behind a clothes rack, pissed off, surrounded by frenzied people trying to get those Christmas bargains — that’s one of my earliest memories of being in central London.
Where was your first flat and what was it like?
I first moved out and stayed in halls when I was at drama school [Guildhall School of Music & Drama], but after that we moved to Tooting Broadway and lived in this flat that seemed too good to be true. It was really spacious, above an empty shop and the rent was like £300 for the week. But it turned out this empty space underneath the flat was soon to become half fishmongers, half butchers. That £300 a month suddenly went from being the biggest bargain in London to the biggest burden in London. The odours, especially in high summer, were a force to be reckoned with.
Where would you like to be buried?
I don’t like the idea of being buried and especially not in London — it would be freezing.
Where do you go to let your hair down?
Around the corner from where I live in Finsbury Park there’s this place called Rowans bowling alley. It sounds very PG13, but if you find yourself free on a Friday night, they’ve got a DJ there, they’ve got cheap drinks, they’ve got karaoke, they’ve got bowling and they’ve got arcade games. It goes from being a family affair to being very much the opposite.
“My mum made me go to Oxford Street for the Boxing Day sales. I remember being sat right behind a clothes rack, surrounded by frenzied people”
What’s your biggest extravagance?
I probably spend way too much money on Margarita cocktails.
What’s your London secret?
There’s this path in north London called the Parkland Walk. It’s an old abandoned train line that is now basically a forest. You can walk all the way from Finsbury Park to Highgate. It’s peaceful, very quiet and you’re surrounded by animals.
All episodes of ‘The Capture’ are available on BBC iPlayer now