My London: Geri Halliwell-Horner

 (Es mag)
(Es mag)

Home is…

It’s more about who I’m with.

What is your earliest memory of London?

Going to Camden Market. I’d saved up to buy a pair of ripped jeans with a flag on them. It must have been the Bros era. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is so cool.’

What was your first job in the capital?

I was about 15. My friend’s dad had a big pizzeria in Covent Garden. I was a waitress there, particularly on the ice-cream bit. A terrible waitress — I’m guilty of eating some of the wares.

Which shops do you rely on?

Planet Organic, I love the doughnuts and chocolate there. I like sweet things. And I am an absolute sucker for bookshops. All of them. I think I’ve spent the most money on books. You can go anywhere, experience things without getting your fingers burnt.

Tube, cab or walk?

A cab if I’m honest. I want the proper black cab — I slightly feel cheated if it’s not.

Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

When I was pregnant, one gave me advice on buggy construction.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

Something so you both need to participate, get out of your comfort zone and flush out whether you’ve got something in common. I love London Zoo; I’m a patron and it’s featured in [my new book] Rosie Frost. Go and look at the Komodo dragons, they’re quite a talking point. There’s also the Socorro dove, which is endangered — basically extinct — and it’s just had a baby, which is amazing. Or go and do some rowing, that way you might feel like you’re in a romcom.

So what’s your favourite London romcom?

Notting Hill. That bit where she’s at Kenwood House is gorgeous.

What’s the first thing you do when you land back home?

Depends where I’ve been. Once I’d been working for the United Nations and I’d been somewhere very extreme, quite challenging, and I was so glad to be back I think I kissed the ground at Heathrow in gratitude. If I’m coming back from a regular trip, I’ll have an English cup of tea. I don’t know what it is but people don’t know how to make a cup of tea like they do in England.

Who do you call to have fun?

I really love having girlfriends. I have a very very good girlfriend that I’m allowed to be my worst self around, not judged, just say it as it is. I just go round there and have a cup of tea or eat nice food with her.

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

I would create a new holiday. Just one day where everybody gets the day off and we can all eat cake and come to the park.

If you could buy and live in any London building, which would it be? The Tower of London. It needs a rebrand, but it’s incredible.

What are you up to for work at the moment?

I am in the middle of a deadline trying to get Rosie Frost book two done. I’m on chapter 50. This is what my life has become; on a Saturday night I was researching pike fishing. When you write, you end up going down wormholes.

Most iconic Londoner?

Queen Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. When I don’t know what to do in life, I ask myself, ‘What would the Queen do?’

‘Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen’, by Geri Halliwell-Horner, is out on 3 October (£7.99; Scholastic)