My Kentish Town: Journalist Esther Walker - ‘I married Giles Coren because he had a house in north London’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 31 August 2013 | UPDATED: 13:09 31 August 2013

Esther Walker

Esther Walker


Journalist Esther Walker, 33, lives in Kentish Town with her husband, the food critic Giles Coren, and their two children. She will be appearing at the Ham&High Literary Festival 2013 on September 16 to talk about her new book The Bad Cook.

What brought you to Kentish Town?

It was a who rather than a what: I made the mistake of moving to west London from Golders Green when I was 25. I met my now husband two years later and married him mostly because he had a house in north London. Anyone with a place north of Euston would have done.

You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?

I would get a coffee and a sandwich from the Bull and Last and then go for a really, really long walk on Hampstead Heath and try to get a bit lost – I used to do that all the time before I had kids, but they limit your range a bit.

Is there anything about Kentish Town which you would like to see changed or improved?

If Iceland were ever to be replaced with a Waitrose I would probably explode with joy.

As guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?

The lack of warm, dry, clean, stimulating places to go with babies and toddlers in winter. Babygym at Talacre Community Sports Centre is a lifesaver, but you can’t spend every morning from October until April there. The library means well but it is a bit of a breeding ground for the dreaded norovirus.

A film is set to be made about your life. Which actress would you choose to play you and why?

Joanna Lumley, she would capture my tragi-comedy brilliantly. We also have similarly amazing legs (we don’t).

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

My old boss at the Evening Standard, Sebastian Shakespeare. It’s very hard to be a boss, but he is just brilliant at it. I’d always try that bit harder for him and if you made some horrible mistake he’d stick up for you. In tight spots I often think: “What would Seb do?”

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

She was alright once you got to know her.

Esther Walker was in conversation with Tim Lamden.

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