My London: Sara Dallin from Bananarama on hanging with the Sex Pistols in the 80s

Sara Dallin from Bananarama’s My London picks (getty)
Sara Dallin from Bananarama’s My London picks (getty)

You’ll know her from nostalgic hits like Venus, Cruel Summer and Robert De Niro’s Waiting, but did you know that Bananarama star Sara came up alongside their mates, the Sex Pistols? The North Londoner gives us all the gossip and her London secrets too...

Home is…

North London where I’ve lived most of my life. Kentish Town, St John’s Wood and Highgate. You’ll find me most weekends walking the dogs on Hampstead Heath.

Where was your first flat?

When I left school I attended the London College of Fashion near Oxford Street to study journalism. I needed an affordable place nearby so moved into the YWCA on Great Russell Street, opposite the British Museum — an excellent location for mine and [Bananarama bandmate] Keren’s teenage clubbing in Soho. Then our friend, Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, offered to move us into an office above their rehearsal room in Denmark Street.

What was your first job?

I’ve only ever been in Bananarama, which I started in the early 1980s just after college. I worked at a music venue called The Marquee on Wardour Street a couple of nights a week to make some extra money.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

I love the South Bank, the walk along the river with the old street lamps. Tate Modern, the Globe theatre, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. The spectacular view as the sun sets, very romantic.

Which shops do you rely on?

I will always love John Lewis and M&S; they’ve been around since childhood. Liberty has great luxury and you’ll find me on the homewares floor. I often have lunch there with my daughter in Arthur’s Café.

Best meal you’ve had?

Pollen Street Social. I had line-caught sea bass, confit shallot stuffed with chicken and bacon mousse, bass ‘stuffing’ and Bordelaise sauce. I was with family and friends for Keren’s birthday.

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

Hampton Court, a fascination of mine since my first visit as a child. I’d turn the Tudor kitchen into a fabulous restaurant.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

The club at Quo Vadis in Dean Street.

What makes someone a Londoner?

Someone who embraces everything about one of the most vibrant and ever-changing cities. The grey skies and rain.

Favourite beauty spot?

Cowshed in Primrose Hill, for their signature facial.

Favourite work of art in London?

I have so many favourites but I really like Ophelia by Pre-Raphaelite Sir John Everett Millais. He recreated the scene from Hamlet where she falls into a stream and drowns after learning her lover has killed her father.

Biggest extravagance?

Guerlain perfume. My favourite is Aqua Allegoria Harvest Nerolia Vetiver. Beautiful perfumes and luxurious bottles.

What’s your London secret?

Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which I discovered when heading to a dental appointment.

What are you up to for work?

Keren and I are celebrating four decades of music with a triple vinyl album called Glorious, a coffee-table book depicting our music and fashion, and an ‘in conversation’ evening at the V&A on 15 March. Then on to three nights at the London Palladium in April.

What do you collect?

I like candlestick holders. I picked up a pair of French antique, wrought-iron sconces in a little shop in Saint-Paul de Vence, which I love.

‘Glorious’ is out on 8 March. Bananarama play The London Palladium, 3, 4 & 6 April (