Day Out: Patrick Stewart

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The Independent Culture
'I've been living in Los Angeles for seven years, and in that time I have found that it is the landscape and particularly the complex quality of light which goes with it that I most miss about England. I remember a few years ago I was driving along a freeway and the classical music station began playing Elgar. I found myself weeping so profusely that I had to pull over and park the car. The music had potently conjured up an English landscape which was in complete contrast to what I was experiencing at that moment. As a Yorkshireman an ideal day out would have to include a walk in the Yorkshire dales, looking across the hills and watching the light change.

One of my other favourite spots is one I got to know when I was working at Stratford. I go to a pub called The Mount in Stanton, Gloucestershire. The garden is unique because it is on a level with the roof tops so you look back over the chimney pots towards the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Until recently I also used to visit my first drama teacher, who lived in a tiny cottage in Wells-next-the-Sea. The north Norfolk coastline is one of the most dramatic parts of England. It's very exposed - the kind of landscape I have always been very comfortable with.

Los Angeles is an entirely automobile-based society so one of the charms of London is that one can walk everywhere. But my greatest pleasure is knowing that at the end of the day I'll be going to the theatre. I see as much as I can when I come over. I go to The Ivy Restaurant (071-836 4751) in West Street, WC2 which stays open late. One of the good things about it is that you can sit over a last glass of wine without having people piling chairs on the tables round you.'

Patrick Stewart's one-man show 'A Christmas Carol' continues to 9 Jan at the Old Vic, Waterloo Rd, London SE1 (071-928 7616)

(Photograph omitted)