What's My Weekend: Lauren Laverne

The DJ, presenter & Amex Insider shares her weekend


Posted by Kasia Hastings

Words by Lauren Laverne

Since her days as frontwoman of 90s band Kenickie, Lauren Laverne's cultural commentating has seen her conquer TV, radio and even novel writing. In her latest role as an Amex Insider the DJ takes a look behind-the-scenes at this year's hottest events. 


With such a busy schedule during the week with my radio show, I don’t like to make too many plans at the weekend. I prefer to see where the wind takes me, keeping one day totally unstructured and making the most of some downtime with my family.



Tristram Kenton

I'm a big fan of the theatre. Tonight I am going to the National Theatre (South Bank, London SE1 9PX, 020 7452 3000, nationaltheatre.org.uk) to watch ‘Here Lies Love’. The show is based on songs by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim written about the life of Imelda Marcos.

They have been transferred to the stage and the production has won loads of awards on Broadway. It’s a 360° experience so you are asked to wear comfortable shoes. When you go into the theatre it looks like a nightclub. I’ve heard that you stand on the dance floor in the middle so the performance happens around you. I interviewed David Byrne about it the other day so I am really looking forward to it, but I’m not too sure what to expect.


One of my favourite places to go on a Saturday is the Southbank. It’s really exciting down there at the moment as the 58th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express has just kicked off, so the BFI headquarters on the Southbank (BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT, 020 7928 3232, bfi.org.uk) is a hive of activity.


I was on the red carpet for the opening night of the Festival this week in my role as an Amex Insider, getting a sneak peek into the Festival and interviewing the cast and filmmakers to find out how the opening film, The Imitation Game, was made. So this weekend I’m keen to see what other screenings I can catch as part of the Festival. The cinema here on the Southbank is one of my favourite places to go, not just to relax in front of a new film, but for a bit of nose around the shops and to grab a bite to eat.

Whenever I am at the BFI Southbank, I can’t resist wandering next door to pick up a book from Foyles (Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Rd, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX, 020 7440 3212, foyles.co.uk) which is a lovely, intriguing little bookshop.

I take friends and family down to the Southbank quite a bit too. I love the Jubilee Gardens (Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, London, SE1, jubileegardens.org.uk) just behind the London Eye. I always enjoy watching the street performers and wandering about by the river.


If I’m meeting people on Saturday night, we go to restaurants like the Pollen Street Social (8-10 Pollen St, London W1S 1NQ, 020 7290 7600, pollenstreetsocial.com) where you can chat and laugh away. It’s always a treat. I had the pleasure of interviewing the head chef Jason Atherton last week and enjoyed his company just as much as I enjoyed the food.

I don’t really go to clubs anymore, instead I go to places where I can chat away to friends for hours. The other weekend I went to the Kate Bush gig at the Hammersmith Apollo (45 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9QH, 020 8563 3800, eventimapollo.com) with friends, we all loved it.


Afterwards we spent ages chatting away in a quiet bar until the waiters started laying out the breakfast bits and asked us to leave. It was a new record. So I can definitely still stay up late, but I’m on water by 11pm.


On Sundays, we might all go for a drive. I’ve just got a zippy new car so I’m practising at the moment. It’s nice to have a bit of wild time at the weekend. I love going to Highgate Wood for a run-around, or Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath (Hampstead Ln, London NW3 7JR, 0870 333 1181, english-heritage.org.uk) for a wander if the weather is nice.

We then all pile off to get a scrummy Sunday roast at The Flask (14 Flask Walk, London NW3 1HE, 020 7435 4580, theflaskhampstead.co.uk).

There’s also a great deli near me, Owen’s Food Store in Muswell Hill (92 Alexandra Park Road, London N10 2AE, 020 8374 4444, owensfoodstore.co.uk). I go in there at weekends to pick up a slab of Godminster Cheddar. It’s the cheese of dreams. It’s so moreish, and shaped like a heart so you can’t just leave it sitting in the fridge.

Amex Insider Lauren Laverne has been at the 58th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, uncovering the stories and meeting the talented actors and filmmakers.  Watch Lauren get insider information from this and other exciting entertainment events here.

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