1000 Londoners

Antonia in is and is a dress-maker.

Antonia lives in Fulham and runs a dress shop. She has 3 dogs, 2 cats and 2 pigs.

Film Maker:

Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? Stamping in some freshly laid concrete along the riverbank in Battersea Park aged 4: my footprints stayed there for years.
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? The multiculturalism and diversity of the people who live in London. I also miss the energy of the city and the ease with which you can get around.
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? Ravenscourt Park and Chiswick: it is green, relaxed, artistic and is home to all sorts of interesting people.
  • What's your favourite building? Battersea Power Station: I was born in its shadow and it is a unique piece of architecture that is instantly recognisable.
  • What's your ideal day out in London? Finding a new part of the city that I have lived in all my life. Recently, I cycled down the towpath and explored Brentford and Isleworth, finding sculptures on the riverbank and pretty coloured houses with overflowing window boxes. I like watching the boats go through the locks and seeing people retreating to a peaceful existence after catching the 18.06 from Waterloo with thousands of other commuters.
  • What's your ideal night out in London? Heading into Piccadilly with my husband riding pillion on my bike, noodles in Chinatown, followed by going to the theatre and being back home in bed by 11pm at the latest.
  • What's your most hated building? The Hyde Park barracks, which is the base for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, designed by Basil Spence. It is ugly, dominant and ruins the panorama.
  • What's the best view in London? The view from the top of Richmond Hill in Richmond Park. From there you can see as far as Hampstead Hill and Canary Wharf and the London Eye and St Paul’s shine in the evening sun. I scattered the ashes of my first dog, Woozle, up on the top of Richmond Hill and it is a place that is close to my heart.
  • What's your favourite open space? Richmond Park before the gates have opened when only pedestrians and their dogs can get in: it is huge and peaceful space and the planes fly over every 30 seconds to land at Heathrow. Paradoxically, I like to feel alone and quiet but with the knowledge that I am very close to millions of people.
  • What's the most interesting shop? Mine! Antonia Pugh-Thomas, Haute Couture Womenswear. It is a shop that caters to private clients who visit from all over the UK and the world. Everything that we design and make is a one-off and we work for some high profile and interesting people.
  • What's your favourite place to hang out? Chairs and Coffee, 512 Fulham Road: it is a coffee shop where the walls are decorated with hanging chairs and there is a huge roaster in the back - they make the best cup of coffee that I have ever found in London. At night, it morphs into a lively meeting spot serving wine and cheese and they always have new drinks and food to try.
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? Going to out for dinner in La Poule au Pot in Ebury Street one hot summer’s night with my boyfriend. He was uncharacteristically subdued and distracted and in the heat and noise of the restaurant, shouted something at me, which I failed to hear. I smiled back in a non-committal way, which made him cross. I asked him to repeat himself and he bellowed, “Will you marry me?” We have been married for six years.
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? A morning stroll in Ravenscourt Park with my pet pigs, Snout and Crackling followed by an hour’s Power Yoga at Lumi Yoga in King Street. Then breakfast at Tinto in Fulham Palace Road before heading to Wimbledon Common to walk my dogs. An hour’s swim in Fulham Pools and then an hour’s sleep in the sun in Bishop’s Park. Then dropping my dogs back home and picking up my motorbike and heading off to the V & A to wander at will and let my imagination run free. And then cake, somewhere. Cake is a very important part of my life!
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? I would take them on the tube to Embankment, walk across Hungerford Bridge to see the view, walk along the South Bank as far as the Millennium Bridge and cross over to St Paul’s. Then we would catch a number 11 bus, past the Old Bailey and the Royal Courts of Justice, down the Strand, around Trafalgar Square and down to Parliament Square, past New Scotland Yard and Westminster Cathedral before jumping off to stroll up through Pimlico to the Nag’s Head in Kinnerton Street, the smallest pub in London, for lunch. In the afternoon we’d go for a backstage tour of the National Theatre and tea in Fortnum and Mason. And then we’d pass out through exhaustion at having walked so far.
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? To my vet to have my fifteen year-old Battersea Rescue dog, Woozle, put down.
  • What's your personal London landmark? The M25 orbital motorway. As soon as I cross back inside the circle, I know that I am heading back to London and to where I belong.
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Can I have the Wombles as a collective Londoner? I spent much of my childhood on Wimbledon Common, cycling and walking dogs and I love creatures with pointy noses and beady eyes. The Wombles are great because they collected rubbish and recycled it creatively and they were ahead of their time.
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? The Stephen Frears’ film “Dirty Pretty Things”. It is about the immigrants who come to London and fight to survive, doing all the terrible jobs that so many people are too proud to do or who don’t even know exist. It shows London for what it is: a huge, busy, successful, scary, dangerous place.
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? The period just after the Second World War ended. So much of the city had been destroyed and it is a testament to the resilience of Londoners that they ensured that it was re-built and made it into the amazing city that it is.
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? The one person in a crowd of thousands who helps somebody else in need.