Day Out

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The Independent Culture
If it were summer I'd cycle up to the Highgate ladies' pond. Because I've got a desk job, it's good to swim - it clears my head. It's full of mud and the water is usually freezing - you swim with ducks. Then I'd find a place to have coffee that had all the press and the latest magazines. I try to read as many magazines as I can - I'm always on the look out for a new turn of phrase. I'd probably go to Cafe Mozart in Swain's Lane, N6 (081-348 1384) but their selection is a bit serious.

I like walking through cities. I'd walk through Soho and have lunch in Melate (071- 437 2011) Peter St, W1 a Thai restaurant. I always sit at a table facing a sleazy club, which used to have a neon sign saying 'Girls Girls Girls, New Era Lips'. The atmosphere would be lively - so much of my life is indoors that when I'm not working I want things to be cosmopolitan. I might wind up in Bar Italia, Frith St, W1 (071-437 4520) which still does the best coffee in town. I like the way the tables are sprawled out everywhere. Best time to go is when it's boiling hot. I'd also go to the cinema - ideally, Leicester Square to see The Doors on a big screen and eat popcorn. I might also go and see the Helen Chadwick show at the Serpentine Gallery (071-723 9072).

I'd have to find a happy hour margarita somewhere - I usually make one at home after a day's work. In the evening I'd go to Khans Westbourne Grove, W2 (071-727 5420). It's a large Indian restaurant decorated in a baroque manner with blue clouds painted on the ceiling. If there were dancing later I'd be up for it. A day of complete hedonism definitely followed by a day in.

Deborah Levy's novel 'The Unloved' is out now

(Photograph omitted)

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