My London: Emerald Fennell

Home is…

West London. It’s where I grew up and will always be home. There’s a local man who’s been walking around for 30 years with a huge parrot on each shoulder and every time someone smiles jovially at him he rolls his eyes like, ‘Ugh don’t be so gauche as to acknowledge my parrots.’ I love him so much.

What is your earliest memory of London?

Screaming with terror at a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the West End.

What was your first job in London?

A temp PA. I was sick in the bin the morning after the Christmas party and was gently let go.

Where would you suggest for a first date?

Prince Charles Cinema because it’s incredibly fun and they’re always showing something you want to talk about afterwards, and there’s nothing like sitting in the dark next to someone you fancy.

What makes someone a Londoner?

Being furious about people dawdling.

Which shops do you rely on?

John Sandoe’s bookshop, you can lose hours in there. Matches, which means I’m almost always on the brink of financial ruin. James Freeman Gallery — I love all of its artists. And Objects, where there’s a chair that I’ve been looking at longingly for six months. Beata Heuman’s Shoppa — she’s a genius.

What’s the best meal you’ve had?

64 Goodge Street restaurant, with my husband. I got the lobster vol-au-vent and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

One told me about the time he had a satanic visitation of a giant floating head. I was so gripped I stayed in the cab for ages after we reached our destination.

Favourite hotel?

We did a lot of our Covid remote Zoom junketing from Claridge’s and they had to drag me away with my fingernails clinging to the upholstery.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

Make a killing granting dodgy contracts to unsavoury characters.

Have you ever had a run-in with a London police officer?

My father-in-law was one. He’s very tired of my endlessly prurient questions.

How do you like to get around?

Bus and cab. The best thinking time in the world is available on the top deck of a bus.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

The Tower of London. For the jewellery, the beefeaters and to send people capriciously to the tower.

What are you up to right now for work?

Talking about Saltburn. It’s always so thrilling and terrifying when people are able to watch it. A woman grabbed me after a screening and said, ‘It’s like you reached inside my body and started rummaging around my organs,’ which is the greatest compliment it could ever have received!

Who is the most iconic Londoner?

Kate Moss. Forever the coolest.

Who is your hero?

Julia Davis. She’s a genius on the level of Harold Pinter. Macabre, insightful, hilarious, repellent.

What’s your London secret?

Everyone walking around the Royal Academy is hoping to get laid.

‘Saltburn’ is in cinemas from 17 November