Interview: Jacqueline Wilson – My perfect day

Wilson is a popular children’s author. Her books include Hetty Feather, The Story of Tracy Beaker and Double Act. A portrait of her has been unveiled in The Foundling Museum (pictured below)

Which are your favourite buildings? 
My all-time favourite is St Pancras Station. As a child I thought it was like a Gothic castle and I have a taste for Victorian buildings. 

Which is your favourite green space in London?
Richmond Park: I like the Isabella Plantation, Pen Ponds and I love watching the deer. 

Which cafés do you like? 
I like Maison Bertaux on Greek Street – I used to go there every Saturday. In those days Derek Jarman [the late film director] used to come in and have a cup of coffee. I never said hello to him but I used to think: ‘Ooh! There’s Derek Jarman.’ It has a lovely atmosphere.

What museums do you like? 
The Foundling Museum (pictured below) is heart-touching, memorable and inspirational, because this is where I got my idea for my stories about a foundling child, Hetty Feather

Tell us about your portrait in the museum.
I feel that it’s an unusual portrait, because I’m not smiling. I’m not looking like I’m a twee children’s author, but as it’s serious – I like that approach. I found the process enjoyable and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

What would you recommend for children?
I would take bloodthirsty children around The National Gallery and take them on a trail to see who could spot the most blood – or find the most colours for angel’s wings.

Where do you enjoy shopping?
I love Peter Harrington for antiquarian books, Hatchards for new ones and Pickering & Chatto for quirky Victorian ones. 

Where do you like to drink?
My favourite bar – it doesn’t exist now – was at the top of Waterloo Station and they used to have fish in a decorative, very beautiful aquarium. I used to meet someone very special there before we went off on our separate train journeys – like that café in Brief Encounter! I felt sad when it disappeared.

Where do you like to eat out?
I love The Wolseley, if I’m having a treat. I also like The Providores in Marylebone High Street (pictured above) – they are lovely guys who run it. It offers wonderful cuisine and we’ve had some very special dos there.

What entertainment do you enjoy?
I’d be very happy going to a film between 5pm and 8pm, then on to Store Street, near my flat in London, to an Italian called Olivelli. I’d have a cosy meal there and share a bottle of wine – nothing too grand and elaborate.

Where would you spend the night?
I love the Haymarket Hotel – I hasten to add I’ve never stayed but I have been to events there and it is my ambition to swim there. It has the most wonderful swimming pool.

The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ
020-7841 3600 


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