Can you give us a few interesting historical facts about the area that we may not know?
The novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was also a doctor based in the area, hence why so many of his Sherlock Holmes novels are based in and around Marylebone. In fact everyone’s favourite detective was nearly murdered right next to The Marylebone!
What’s your favourite street in the neighbourhood and why?
It has to be Chiltern Street. It was the street that brought us to the area, and it’s still got a lovely collection of quirky and independent stores selling everything from whisky and candles to woodwind instruments and wedding dresses And of course the Chiltern Firehouse courtyard is a must for drinks during the summer.
Which are your ‘go-to’ shops in Marylebone?
I adore reading and travelling as I come from a publishing background, so Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street is, to me, a real institution. For clothes, I like Margaret Howell, Agnes B and Toast.
There’s a fantastic array of food shops such as La Fromagerie and The Ginger Pig butchers on Moxon Street, and FishWorks has the best fishcakes in town – I have them most Fridays for supper with chips and a bottle of Champagne. Totally Swedish is excellent too for food and traditional knick-knacks, and I also love Titania’s Garden florists in Crawford Street.
Where would you recommend a family to go to have fun?
Regents Park is beautiful throughout the seasons – I especially like the Open Air Theatre in summer. The Wallace Collection is a draw for its armour. And there always seem to be lots of flashy cars in the neighbourhood, so if we have children on the tour we hand out car spotting sheets and try to find classic Porsches, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Chevrolets and Ferraris, which kids just love.
Have you spotted any celebrities in the area?
Now that would be telling! But here’s a tip you might not expect – Waitrose on Marylebone High Street is very good for this. I used to see Madonna there when she lived here. And I’ve seen Kate Moss and Stephen Fry, among many others, heading into Chiltern Firehouse.