When my parents discussed certain journalists and were able to recall who wrote which columns over their corn flakes, I was always impressed as I didn’t even know what the newsreaders were called, let alone a ‘faceless’ writer. Fast forward 10 years, when I was trying to feel like an adult in my twenties (the specific age escapes me – it was all one big blur) finding a few journalists to follow seemed like a grown-up thing to do, that might help me feel like an adult.
India Knight, Bryony Gordon and Dolly Alderton were very easy to ‘get into’ with their self-deprecating humour and easy way and are subsequently still the names I drop when I want to look well-read. (Yes, I know I am sad!)
Claudia Winkleman’s column in the Stella Magazine is also up there…
When I spied Dolly at a Boden drinks last month on the Kings Road, I shamelessly beelined over to her and introduced myself. (It didn’t take long, not in a Madonna – I only need one name as everyone knows me kind of way – but as in my bio doesn’t take long)
After a brief natter, I cut to cut to the chase and asked if I could interview her for my Up Close series.
It was a ‘yes’, of course!
I feel like I have bagged a mega slebrity…
Dolly is a journalist, an entertainer with her hilarious podcast The High Low with Pandora Sykes (which you must download now) and an incredible editor of newsy & informative newsletter that I DEVOUR as soon as it lands in my inbox. Unfortunately, it’s no longer running, but you can read the archives here.
The latest string to her bow is her newly written book ‘Everything I Know About Love‘. Having followed her tales during adulthood, I know it will be gripping, touching and a hugely witty read.
“I loved it so much, I wanted it to go on forever, Dolly Alderton is so gifted at making people care. A rare talent”
– Marian Keyes
If it’s good enough for Marian, it’s good enough for me!
So, let’s crack on and delve into Dolly World…
What’s the latest string to your bow?
My first book, Everything I Know About Love, is published in February 2018 and I’m also in the process of trying to adapt the story for TV.
(Umm pick me – please can I have a walk-on part Dolly?)
What’s your favourite aspect of your work?
Christ, I have no idea. I love the 60s. But then I also love bed socks.
Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?
You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.
3 small clothing brands
They aren’t small, but my favourite more boutique-y brands are Rixo, Ganni, Coco Fennell, Stine Goya and Lily and Lionel (sells stunning scarves)
Top 3 go-to items in your wardrobe when you are in a rush
A Boden Margot jumper, skinny indigo jeans, a big woollen scarf.
3 items that make you feel a million dollars
A sharp black blazer, a LBD, a woollen mini skirt with knee-high boots.
1 item that everyone asks where you got it from
Either of my afghan coats (both Ebay)
Biggest purchase mistake ever
The year 2009 in which I only wore bodycon dresses.
Best return of investment on an item
Boots or trainers
Boots. I live in boots. I only wear trainers when I run.
3 Instagram accounts you seek out
Luke Edward Hall, Every Outfit on SATC, and writer & illustrator Mari Andrew.
Eclectic, feminine and warm are what I aim for.
Be creative. Get things upholstered, have textiles and curtains copied by a seamstress, try painting canvases yourself, use interesting materials and papers for mounting pictures, make your own headboard using your favourite fabric. It’s satisfying and it saves so much money.
Barefaced or full face?
I truly love both.
Best beauty buy on the market
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream and Sisley’s Black Rose Face Mask
3 items in your make up bag
See also: 12 Skincare Brands Currently On My Bathroom Shelf
If your hair is fine and shapeless, try a fringe.
Life-saving hair product
Dryspun Texture Spray by Bumble and Bumble – the best root volumising that isn’t heavy.
Silver or gold jewellery?
Favourite Jewellery brand
I very rarely wear jewellery, I don’t know why.
You should!! Have you seen TLM Edit? 🙂
Keep fit activity
I’ve just got into pilates, a decade later than everyone else
I was pretty wooed in Le Grand Colbert in Paris.
Sparkling water, carbohydrates, a hot bath with Olverum oil, sex…
Beach or pool
Beach. I adore swimming in the sea and hate chlorinated pools. Not least because they turn my hair green.
Swimsuit or bikini
One-pieces are so chic but I always end up in a naff bikini.
What do you do to relax?
Read, bathe, make quiche, eat cheese, walk, wild-swim, play guitar, drink too much wine.
All-time favourite film
When Harry Met Sally. Or The Apartment.
Last book you read
Valley of The Dolls
Favourite box set
The song you pelt out in the car
I don’t drive but you’ll hear me singing Carly Simon in the shower most mornings.
Tomato vines (was overjoyed to find recently that Daylesford sell a candle of this exact fragrance)
3 favourite websites for passing time
What tests your patience?
Slow walkers and pushy salespeople on high commission (I was one once, I know their game)
3 words to describe yourself
Tall introverted extrovert.
I have an inkling we have a lot more to hear of Ms Alderton and I can’t wait to follow (#stalk) her. I cannot wait to read her new book… It’s on my Christmas List!
Ps. I have never written about a journalist/writer/author and I am very conscious of my ‘noviceness’, so excuse the typos – I am too excited to publish this to keep checking!
Nov 2020: An update
Since this interview, I’m excited to announce that Dolly has released her latest novel, Ghosts. Click here to buy it now.
For more interviews, click here.
Looking for something else? Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, style and business recommendations.