The Adventure Aunt creates brilliant learning experiences for children aged 6-12, by themselves or with family and friends. Fun-packed and stimulating, the Aunt’s Adventures develop enthusiasm and confidence, and children love them.
1. How long have you lived in the area? I’ve been here since 1999, and love it more with every passing year. I truly think this is the best place in London to live.
2. What brought you here? My brother bought a house here and the more I saw of the area, the more deeply I fell for it. West London swiftly lost its charms by comparison so I upped sticks and headed south-eastwards.
3. What do you most value about the area/street you live in? The happy, friendly buzz, the green spaces and the quantity of small shops and businesses. Long may they thrive.
4. Do you know your neighbours? I do indeed, and a more kind, creative, helpful, amusing and resourceful bunch of people you couldn’t hope to find. We have a WhatsApp group for the street and chat frequently both on that and in person about everything from camellia hedges and imposter syndrome to painting, planning and piracy.
5. The most famous person you’ve seen or met? Her Majesty The Queen, during her visit to Southwark Cathedral to attend a ceremony in memory of a Native American Chief. She was delighted when the attending members of the Mohegan tribe suddenly broke into a ceremonial dance in the Cathedral churchyard.
6. What is your favourite place to eat? Suzanne James’ fabulous 57 in North Cross Road. In fact, any place would be a favourite place as long as the food were created by Suzanne. I’ve delighted in her culinary extravaganzas all over London, at work, at home, professionally and personally. But there’s nothing quite like the courtyard of 57 on a sunny Saturday, savouring asparagus risotto and several glasses of something fragrant and cold.
7. Where’s your favourite place to walk? Peckham Rye Park early on summer mornings. The golden light, the fresh scents of grass and flowers, the dew on each individual point of the vine leaves in the Old English Garden, the blackbirds warbling with joy in the bushes and the reflections of rhododendrons in the Japanese pool are completely entrancing.
8. When I want to relax…I hang my Cuban hammock in the garden, mix myself a strong mojito in its honour and swing gently back and forth amongst the flowers listening to ‘Oh Vida’ by Beny Moré
9. If money was no object..I would design, build, staff and open an international network of Adventure Centres in beautiful and fascinating places to which children could come free of charge from all over the world, to have huge fun and develop their curiosity, knowledge, initiative and confidence.
10. The book I’m reading at the moment..Sylvain Tesson’s ‘The Consolations of the Forest’, an incredibly evocative account of six months spent living alone in a cabin on the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia, the world’s oldest and deepest lake. His descriptions of snow, ice and solitude transport you in an instant from loud London to the other-worldly silence of the Russian forest.
11. My perfect holiday..Without a time limit? Island-hopping up the Caribbean, spending a few days in every island from Trinidad to Haiti, with a final week in Cuba.
12. My secret ambition..To dive as part of an underwater archaeology team on the wreck of a Spanish treasure galleon.