Maria in Westminster is 51-60 and is a Pub Owner.
“Soho early 90’s when we were doing all of our post production of the commercials my Swedish production company produced. Everything was so alive 24/7, so colourful not only in people but clothes. This was so exiting coming from a cold and grey country where people look very much the same.”
The Cleveland Arms in Paddington, a Grade II listed pub, has been lovingly restored by Maria. She was fascinated by the heritage of the building. Maria grew up with her grandparents in Sweden, who were refugees from Estonia. She describes how difficult her grandparents found recalling their experiences, and that they often didn’t speak Estonian in front of her. This led her to restore their old farmhouse, and develop new memories and journeys.
This film is part of Goodbye Europe
Film Maker: Hattie Smith
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? Soho early 90’s when we were doing all of our post production of the commercials my Swedish production company produced. Everything was so alive 24/7, so colourful not only in people but clothes, This was so exiting coming from a cold and grey country where people look very much the same.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? The buzz, there is always something that inspires you, makes you think, want to do something all the time.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? Bayswater, Goulbourne Road, Portobello Road. I suppose you would say Notting Hill but it is so much more than Westbourne Grove / Ledbery Road.
- What's your favourite building? Trellick Tower by Ernõ Goldfinger has been the back drop for more than 20 years. It is a great building and such a great solution of use of space. It makes me happy seeing it from they sky as you fly in or, coming on the motor way, close to home.
- What's your ideal day out in London? Friday morning walking my youngest to school up my Marble Arch with our dog, then we jog back. That is when the weekend is planned. Quick walk around top end of Portobello and Goulbourne Roads Friday antique market. Usually with a small find for the pub or the house. Then pop in to the butchers on Kensington Park Road, Portobello for fruit / vegetable vendor, the French cheese man, the flower ladies whom we have shopped with for over 20 years. Y
- What's your ideal night out in London? We do live a very social life so if not a bunch of people at our house or at the pub then it would be exploring a new restaurant, usually not too far from home seeing we have it all very locally.
- What's your most hated building? I do not have any building that I hate but I do find the St Mary’s Hospital grounds so un healing and not very flattering.
- What's the best view in London? Flying in to Heathrow on a clear day, trying to find our house, look at all the land marks as you come in.
- What's your favourite open space? Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens with all its small and different ares.
- What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? The Cleveland Arms which was created to satisfy all my bar, pub and restaurant needs. I love that we have young / old regulars and new guests.
- What's the most interesting shop? I am not very loyal shopper but do love the diversity in our area where you can purchase amazing jewellery to bicker bracket things on the market.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? Our house with the tiny garden filled with friends and family.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? It must be Notting Hill Carnival happening two days / nights per year and has become a bit of a traditional kickstart to the new school year, summer over…The area just becomes the most amazing melting pot, the food, teh people the music. Lots of hard work living in the middle of it all but it is worth it.
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Wondering the streets in my neighbour hood.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? Portobello and the Goulborne Road area where you have everything on offer.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? Not keen on overcrowded and hot undergrounds so try to walk or bike as much as possible and use my very silly looking electric car.
- What's your personal London landmark? I quite like the Battersea Power Station with its four white cooling towers. Looking forward to see how that whole area will turn out.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? I think it will have to be Sherlock Holmes seeing there has been so many version made over time, for all ages and also gives you a great overview of London.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? I can’t say I have any one particular seeing we have so many amazing creatives in the area, however I do have a favourite very local director who sadly past away not to long ago Nicolas Roeg and his film Don’t Look Now.
- If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? For me it would most probably be late 70’s early 80’s, felt like so many amazing things happened then, very creative and mad times.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? I think my partner John Mathieson, his love, sense of humour, the way he dresses