Evening Standard - ES Magazine
The iconic Sixties model gets her oyster fix at Borough Market, fancies a move to Leighton House and thinks not all Beatles are sartorially equal
“I was travelling with Howard Marks and the cabbie said to me, ‘This trip is free for you because you’re with Mr Nice’”
My flat in Kensington, which I’ve lived in for seven years with my husband, Rod, and my eight-year-old Irish terrier, Freddie.
What was your first job?
I worked as an apprentice at Elizabeth Arden hair salon in Bond Street, but I was only there for about two months and then somebody asked me if I wanted to be a model. It was crazy because I never imagined that it could be a reality. Of course, I was just as insecure as everyone else. It was a dream.
What’s the best meal you’ve had?
Noble Rot on Lamb’s Conduit Street. It’s fantastic, the best dish to order there is a potato gratin stack. It is so unbelievably naughty and delicious. And then afterwards, I have a Comté beignet from La Fromagerie opposite. I go with my friend Jill Briggs because she’s a foodie like me. I absolutely want to try new things all the time, so Jill’s my go-to girl.
Which shops do you rely on?
For food I go to Whole Foods, Daylesford and Borough Market. In Borough Market, I like to have a glass of champagne and six oysters. They’re delicious. They are kind of creamy and gentle and go very well with a few sips of the champagne, as a snack, before going shopping with a girlfriend.
Best thing a cabbie has said to you?
It was about 10 years ago. I was travelling with Howard Marks and the cabbie said to me, ‘This trip is free for you because you’re with Mr Nice.’
What was the last thing you googled?
I was making a chicken casserole and googled, ‘Is fennel the same as celeriac?’ And no… they’re not quite the same, which is rather confusing because they both have the same flavour.
What do you collect?
Thirties utility glass, which is called Chippendale. I’ve been collecting it for about 15 years — I find it in junk shops and antique fairs. I’ve got about 40 pieces at home and they are probably some of my favourite possessions. They are really beautiful pieces of glass that have scalloped edges.
Who was the best dressed Beatle and why?
I think Paul was the sloppiest dresser, but he was kind of creative in his outfits.
What are you up to at the moment for work?
Promoting my book, My Life in Pictures. I gave all my images to my archivist and editors but they also found a lot of modelling photographs that I don’t recall and I’ve never seen before. Which was a great surprise. They put it all together with the stuff I had and I can’t believe how they did it, it’s so beautifully done and in such an elegant way.
If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?
Leighton House Museum because of the Arab Hall with the [16th-century tile panels] from Damascus. It is so beautiful. I’ve never been to Syria before and I think it might be a bad time to go now!
Ever had to run-in with a London police officer?
It’s a secret.
What is your London secret?
Yeah, I did once about 20 years ago. I was speeding through Knightsbridge and they told me to stop. I was with my French sister-in-law and I made so many excuses: ‘This was really embarrassing. I’m so sorry.’ The police officer said, ‘You’re gonna give me your car keys,’ and he put them on top of a letter box and told me to wait until he had gone away before I could pick them up, take off and drive away.