Insider guides to London by interesting local women
Insider guide to London: Lydia Wilson
This week’s London guide Lydia is one of that rare breed – a born and bred London girl. We grew up near each other in North West London, went to the same school and share some incredible friends.
She’s also probably quite familiar looking to those of you who enjoy TV costume dramas, Charlie Brooker-penned satire or Richard Curtis movies.
That’s because Lydia is that other rare thing – a genuinely good up and coming actress. She’s starred in a string of TV hits including Black Mirror, Misfits, Any Human Heart and The Making of Lady and has just won over millions of movie goers in Curtis’ About Time. She’s equally brilliant as a stage actress too, and Londoners should keep their eyes peeled for a chance to see her in her next play.
Lydia does that effortless, off-duty model look to a T – soft slouchy jumpers and scarves, great leather jackets and skinny trousers (sometimes even leather trousers which she manages to make look both casual and incredible). She’s also one of the more spiritually-minded people we know and is a good source for great advice on where to go to make some space for your mind when the fast pace of London life starts to feel a bit overwhelming.
I like to amble around aimlessly in Islington: the old squares of Barnsbury, to Upper Street, along Cross Street, up a side alley to Dagmar Passage where there’s the Little Angel Puppet Theatre…
My favourite place for clothes is Storm in a Teacup, a contemporary and vintage designer clothes shop on Kingsland Road. It’s owned by Joe Miller and Claudia Raba – they lent me my outfit for the About Time premiere so I’m a fan! They have a mouthwatering new website from which you can now buy online.
My secret place is the London Buddhist Centre, in Bethnal Green. They have lunchtime drop-in meditation classes, and many interesting events. I once went there at for an all-night meditation in honour of the full moon! I also like Barnsbury Wood – it’s only open on Tuesdays for a couple hours and it’s tiny, blink and you’ll miss it!
My favourite shop for atmosphere: Watkins Books sells mystical and esoteric wares just off St Martins Lane in Covent Garden. The old Victorian properness of the shop combines deliciously with its Out There stock including hard-to-find palo santo – a South American wood used for burning in Ayahuasca ceremonies.
More people should know about the restaurant above Candid Arts Centre in Angel. I was introduced to it by my friend Allegra who had her birthday dinner there – it’s got big dripping candles and a living-room-of-your-favorite-relative vibe! There are also life drawing classes at the Candid Arts Centre…