What's My Weekend: Collette Cooper

The actor/singer-songwriter shares her favourite London hangouts

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Friday

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Photo Andrew Lavin

If I'm not rehearsing or writing or in the studio, then I spend the weekend with good friends. On a Friday night, I like to drop into The Groucho (45 Dean Street, London, W1D 4QB, 020 7439 4685), even if it’s just for a cup of tea. I don't really like going to busy bars or clubs but I’ll pop my head in to give a big kiss to Bernie, who runs it, and Harriet,  who does a rocking job on their decks. I love the staff and the atmosphere. I had my album preview there a couple of  weeks ago, and I was nervous but it was fab.

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Photo: Dave Benett

 I still can’t believe all those gorgeous people came to support me. Sadie (Frost)  ran up to me to give me a bottle of Perrier Jouët, who kept the champagne flowing all night. After my set, Noel Gallagher said,  ‘You did alright kid.’ I've done quite a few charity gigs there too, for Hepatitis C and Teenage Cancer Trust.

After this, I’ll probably head over to Grimmy’s, where I stay most weekends. Now it’s almost summer, I might pop into Prim Salon for a pedicure. There’s nothing worse than manky toenails when your feet are on show (2 Erskine Road,  NW3 3AJ, 020 7586 6366).

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Afterwards, I’ll go to the lovely Odette’s,  above (130 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 8XL, 020 7586 8569). I’m addicted to Bryn Williams’ Dorset crab lasagne!

 

Saturday

We’ll wake up and have a wander with his dog Pig, who I love. We’ll meander around Primrose Hill, and grab a healthy breakfast at The Greenberry Café (101 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 8UR, 020 7483 3765). They do the best carrot and courgette fritters. I love it there because the staff are so friendly and warm,  plus the food is great. They also like to play my music, which is a bonus, but I don't necessarily like to hear the sound of my own voice over eggs and tea! But I appreciate their support. God bless ‘em.

I might walk along the canal, to Kings Cross ,and pick it up again from Angel to Shoreditch and head over to my pal Aphrodite’s studio, (227B Brooke Road,  E5 8AB, 07870 636139), to have a look at her latest work. She recently did an amazing painting of me performing at a festival. She's my favourite artist, along with Jake and Dinos Chapman. 

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I love art. If I am east, I might head further up to Walthamstow to God’s Own Junkyard, above  (Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernall Street, E17 9HQ, 0208 521 8066) to wander around Chris Bracey’s magical neon playground. There’s nothing like it outside of Vegas,  and it has neon from the 20s onwards.

Back to luncheon with Aphrodite, we’ll often head up to the Rivington Grill, below (Landmark Apartments, 28-30 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DZ, 020 7729 7053), for a pint of prawns at the bar and a natter. We have a lot to catch-up on. She’s just collaborated with Sink The Pink, for a show of her work, so cool and of-the-moment. The scene is called the new drag which is like Kenny Everett crossed with Donna Summer, probably the best night out in London in years. Anyway, Aphrodite and I will put the world to rights at the Rivington – a true British classic - and I love the fact that you can have a three-course slap-up or a bar snack.

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After this, I might pop into Aesop, (44 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DP, 020 7613 3793), to treat myself to a product or two. I am a skincare nut! This is my favorite brand alongside Kiehl’s and Oskia. This is my favorite brand alongside Kiehl’s and Oskia.  I love Oskia’s facials at The Berkeley hotel (Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL, 020 7235 6000).

It has to be said, cream in a jar can only go so far in giving you a healthy glow, so I sometimes like to head out of London for some country air. The Crown in Amersham,  above (16 High Street, Amersham, HP7 0DH, 01494 721541), is one of my favourite places. It’s an olde-worlde inn that was brought bang up-to-date by Elle Deco launch editor Ilse Crawford. They usually put us in one of the special courtyard rooms, with the claw-footed bath in the suite. I’ve been there recently with Sadie (Frost) and Grimmy. We love it there. They do the best fish and chips in the world. We’ll completely zone out and watch DVDs or read and have an early night.

Sunday

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In the morning we’ll get up early and for a walk in a beautiful nearby forest and then attack the amazing breakfast buffet of homemade and baked goodies at the inn. If we get back early enough, I’ll go for a run through Hampstead Heath,  above, while listening to Danny Green on my iPod, who is an obsession of mine.

I'm an avid netballer, too, and play quite a lot on Sundays in tournaments as well as three times a week at Playnetball in Angel, (Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, Donegal Street, London, N1 9QG, 07977217698). I played with the England team recently for charity, with Clara Amfo and Yasmin Evans, and we had great audience support from the Radio 1 lot, including Tina Daheley and Fiona Hanlon. I'm also a fan of cycling and often cycle to Richmond Park

If I don’t go for a high-octane sport, I’ll drop into Triyoga, above (57 Jamestown Road, London, NW1 7DB, 020 7483 3344), in Camden for a restorative session, followed by a wheatgrass shot. I love extreme sports and ideally would love to spend a lot of my time doing that. I would love to do this with Grimmy... I think it would be extremely funny!

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Photo: Dave Benett

When we’re back in the smoke, I’ll pop into the Primrose Hill Bookshop, (134 Regents Park Road, London, NW1 8X4, 020 7586 2022). I love this place. They put on the most wonderful events - these cosy informal gatherings with great, inspirational writers, such as Alan Bennett, Jeanette Winterson and Joan Bakewell. I’ll leave feeling much smarter than when I walked in.

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I’ll try and catch-up with my pal Kathryn Drysdale. We  love to meet at The Spaniard’s Inn, (Spaniards Road, London, NW3 7JJ, 020 8731 8406),  or The Holly Bush, above (22 Holly Mount, London, NW3 6SG, 020 7435 2892), to  catch-up on our week. She’s starring in The Ruling Class (Trafalgar Studios, 4 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY) alongside James McAvoy at the moment, so Sunday is our only day to grab some quality face time. I was recently blown away by her performance, she’s magnificent as McAvoy’s wife. She’s got a great eye so we will sometimes make a beeline for Suzannah’s Boutique, (3 New Quebec Street, London, W1H 7RE, 020 7258 0782), so she can help me pick out dresses for my gigs.

I'm so lucky to have my London family in Grimmy, Sadie, Kathryn and Sam Morton, below, my favourite actor – who I see when we can fit it into our busy schedules. We all take such good care of each other and we have such fun. Usually one of my best friends, Sadie (Frost) will cook a wonderful Sunday lunch so Grimmy and I will head around to eat with her and her family.

Photo: Dave Benett

If Sadie takes a rare Sunday break from the stove, we’ll all drop into Lemonia,  above (89 Regents Park Road, London, NW1 8UY, 020 7586 7454), a family-run restaurant that has been serving-up a wonderful atmosphere and Greek food for over 30 years.

When we can hardly move ‘cos we’re as full as an egg, we might even cram in a Sunday night film at The Everyman Cinema, (5 Hollybush Vale, London, NW3 6TX, 0871 906 9060), in Hampstead. I’m an avid cinema-goer. I recently saw Birdman, which I loved. Michael Keaton should have won that Oscar. Michael, you were robbed!

Collette Cooper's individual sound channels old school  female jazz singers, mixed with the musical storytelling of the blues. Putting her own funny British spin on the genre, Cooper’s narratives are heavily laced with humour with whacky titles such as ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Big Fat Liar’, which are delivered in deep, raspy, sultry vocals. 

Her album City of Sin is out this month . 

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