Born in Manch­ester, Moore started her ca­reer as a model. In 1979 she cre­ated Pineap­ple Dance Stu­dios in Covent Gar­den. She is a speaker at Seven Di­als’ In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day event on 8 March in Radis­son Blu Ed­war­dian Mercer Street Ho­tel

Where London - - Contents -

Deb­bie Moore OBE, the founder of Pineap­ple Dance Stu­dios, shares her Lon­don hotspots.

What green spa­ces do you like?

When I first came to Lon­don, I lived near Hamp­stead Heath. The one most fa­mil­iar to me, how­ever, is Hyde Park – it’s cen­tral and has the Ser­pen­tine lake and Ser­pen­tine Gallery.

What is your favourite build­ing?

My favourite build­ing is Buck­ing­ham Palace. While you’re there, visit the shop – you can buy slip­pers that say ‘Buck­ing­ham Palace’. I vis­ited it when I was awarded an OBE by the Queen. She oozes pret­ti­ness and kind­ness.

Where holds a spe­cial mem­ory for you?

The Lon­don Stock Ex­change – in 1982 I was the first wo­man to float her com­pany. I wanted money to open a stu­dio in New York.

Where do you like to go shop­ping?

Ox­ford Street is fab­u­lous. Debenhams stocks our Pineap­ple chil­drenswear, and Sel­fridges has the best de­signer floor.

How do you pre­fer to travel around?

I’d hail a black cab. Let’s all ap­plaud the cab driv­ers and save them – they are vi­tal! They are great for tourists. I love chat­ting to them and hear­ing their views on cur­rent af­fairs.

What places in­spire you?

I love the Royal Opera House. When I opened Pineap­ple Stu­dios, I used to go there nearly ev­ery night and watch bal­lets from the wings. The stress of start­ing my busi­ness – the builders and bank man­agers – would all dis­ap­pear.

What are your favourite gal­leries?

The Na­tional Por­trait Gallery, which is close to Trafal­gar Square. Af­ter work­ing as a model, I’m in­ter­ested in pho­tog­ra­phy. Paul Wolf­gang Web­ster had to photograph peo­ple for his Made in the North se­ries; he chose a pic­ture of me for the gallery’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion.

Where do you like to have lunch?

If I’m pop­ping out, I’ll have some­thing nu­tri­tious at the Wild Food Café in Neal’s Yard. If I’m hav­ing a busi­ness lunch, I go to The Ivy. When it opened, I was one of the first peo­ple in as they’re our neigh­bours. One day it was full – restau­rant critic Fay Maschler had re­viewed it – but [own­ers] Corbin and King told me: ‘You’ll al­ways get a ta­ble in our restau­rant!’

Would you do any­thing ex­trav­a­gant?

I have been there and done that. My life is one con­tin­u­ous ex­trav­a­gance – Zan­dra Rhodes has just in­vited me to her fash­ion show!

Where would you stop for tea?

It’s divine to have tea at The Ritz. In Covent Gar­den there are so many fan­tas­tic cof­fee shops: Mon­mouth Cof­fee is won­der­ful and Ho­tel Choco­lat does a good hot choco­late.

What is your per­fect en­ter­tain­ment?

There are so many great shows on at the mo­ment, such as The Lion King and Matilda. I love go­ing to rock con­certs at the Royal Al­bert Hall. I have seen Bob Dy­lan and Eric Clap­ton.

Where do you love to dine?

At the wine bar and restau­rant, Dalla Terra, in Covent Gar­den. I love Chi­na­town, too.

What makes Lon­don stand out?

There’s noth­ing like landing at Heathrow and think­ing ‘I’m home’. Even if you don’t go to a mu­seum, you can wan­der around and be like a sponge.

Why is In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day im­por­tant to you?

I’m not a stereo­typ­i­cal busi­ness­woman. I had only been open a year and I was in­vited to Down­ing Street. I talked to Mar­garet Thatcher about women’s groups and young peo­ple.

Why should our read­ers visit Pineap­ple?

You can fly in from Tokyo, take the Pic­cadilly line to Covent Gar­den, walk through the door and say: ‘I want to do a class now!’ There’ll be up to 12 classes on. We do dif­fer­ent styles and lev­els. A cab­bie told me that he was 65 years old, fan­cied a tap class and came! We’ve had Se­lena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Madonna’s kids, but also the girl in the cof­fee shop.

Where would you spend the night?

The Covent Gar­den Ho­tel – it has a lovely bar. Pineap­ple Dance Stu­dios, Lan­g­ley St, WC2H 9JA. www.pineap­ T: 020-7836 4004

Clock­wise from top left: Covent Gar­den Pi­azza; Deb­bie Moore, OBE; Hyde Park; The Ritz; Deb­bie be­ing awarded an OBE by the Queen

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