Claudia McKenzie, General Manager of local Herne Hill Restaurant, Park’s Edge Bar & Kitchen has an affinity for the Dulwich area, having gone to one of the Dulwich secondary schools and living close by.
How long have you known the area?
A lady never tells her age but let’s just say decades… I used to feed the ducks in Dulwich Park as a child, walked through Dulwich Village almost daily as a schoolgirl and spent many a Thursday evening with my friend gossiping about her divorce at our favourite Italian of old, Porcini’s on Croxted Road.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
My car. Try as I might to drive less, I’m way too dependent on it. As the weather gets warmer, I’m going to try and leave the car at home and take the bus, which I love doing and walk more.
Coffee or tea? Where?
Coffee AND tea! When I co-work, I drag my laptop to Volcano Coffee Works on Park Hall Road. The aroma of the coffee releases my creativity. At home, I love a comforting cup of builders’ tea but with evaporated milk, which I’m sure is terribly bad for me.
The best meal I’ve ever had…
I’m hard pressed to choose but as I love Japanese food, Roka in Charlotte Street is always my best meal. Abroad, eating freshly caught fried escovitch red snapper and cassava cakes (known as bami) on the beach at a fishing village on the coast of St Elizabeth, Jamaica makes me extremely happy.
Describe your perfect weekend
A London culture weekend with my best friends. Brunch at The Wolseley followed by a visit to the Royal Academy to see the latest exhibition, dinner somewhere fabulous, a West End Show or cinema and a black cab home.
When I want to relax…
Despite the protests of my husband, I demolished the bathroom and refitted it with a spa bath. Men don’t seem to understand the bath concept. YouTube, a Geodesis candle, a sneaky Rhubarb & Ginger G&T and a bath provides me with the best relaxation after a long day.
What is your favourite shop?
The Dulwich Trader… Not only because it always has lovely knick knacks and last-minute gifts but because of the gorgeous window displays, especially at Christmas. It’s a fabulous shop.
What was the last thing you bought there?
A lambswool throw and a funnily rude book as a gift for a friend.
If money was no object…
I have a penchant for admiring uber expensive watches… If money was no object, I’d take myself off to the auction houses to start my collection.
The book I’m reading at the moment…
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood – as I knew it would be, its bloody brilliant!
My perfect holiday…
Trekking through Thailand and Cambodia – every time.