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Emma Mackey

The actor gets her vinyl in Brixton, shares her secret Soho spot for a tipple and fancies living on an allotment

Home is…

I’m a south Londoner at heart and always will be but have just moved to the Camden area.

Which shops do you rely on?

I love Brixton Village and the market for plants, food and drink, prints and vinyl. I’m looking forward to getting to know London again after lockdown ends — I have a lot more to explore.

New Covent Garden flower market

Where do you stay in London?

I prefer Airbnb or staying at friends’ places, but I spent a night at the Artist Residence
in Pimlico last year, which
was lovely.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

A walk around Borough Market and then along the Thames to South Bank, I love it around there. Then you could grab a drink at Gordon’s Wine Bar on Embankment — there’s no phone signal as it’s underground so it’s a great place to have a proper conversation.

What’s your London secret?

If I tell you, it sort of defeats the point of it being a secret. However, La Bodega Negra in Soho is a cool place to get a drink. You didn’t hear it from me.

What’s the best meal you’ve had?

Vanilla Black, which
has sadly now closed; it had the most amazing vegan food and wine,
a real treat. I would also recommend Eldr at Pantechnicon — I went there with my best friend just before lockdown and it was incredible.

Eldr's food

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I’m finishing up season three of Sex Education and starting prep for the next film I’m doing, called Emily.

Most iconic Londoner?

David Bowie. Also
my friend Cesca, aka Lil C.

David Bowie

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

There is a secret allotment in south-east London that has the most incredible panoramic views of the city. I would probably buy a little plot of land right at the top of the hill and quite happily live in a shed or tiny home that I’d do up myself. Alternatively, maybe the V&A. The library there is one of my favourite places.

V&A Library

What do you collect?

Plants. I have eight so far in my little flat but I’m very excited to grow my collection. Also my books, vinyl and spices, if those count.

What’s your favourite work of art in London?

I find it impossible to
have a favourite of anything, but I remember going to Tate Britain a
few years ago and seeing Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent for the first time and just standing there staring at it for ages. I found it very calming.

What was the last thing
you googled?

Travel requirements to and from France, trying to plan when to go back there. I
miss my partner and my
home country!

‘The Winter Lake’ is available for digital download now