Thisweek’s Londoner is Claire Menary, Entertainment PR by day, London blogger by night and more importantly David Gandy’s neighbour…
Where do you live in London and why?
I live in the leafy village of Parsons Green in Fulham. It’s small but it’s got it going on: everything from some of the best pubs and brunch spots, to specialist gyms and some of my favourite shops. It even has David Gandy! It’s also where I work and it has a great working community of creatives from Music Management to PR industries which I didn’t realise until I moved here.
You work in PR by day, how did you get started in the industry?
I sort of fell into it! I studied Law at uni but realised afterwards that it wasn’t something I wanted to do as a career- I’ll never be comfortable in a suit! I moved to London doing a very dull temp job and one day someone just mentioned an internship at a fashion PR agency and then it went from there. I did a fair few months of interning until I got lucky and there was a junior role going in the office. Once there I worked on great campaigns and events in a fantastic team of people, which built my experience in entertainment PR before moving into the restaurant industry, handling the PR for some of London’s top restaurants. Now I’m back in entertainment- doing more events again, which is buzzy and a lot of fun. For anyone wanting to get into the PR industry I think it’s about showing your passion for the agency you really want to work for, know your sector, know the clients and know an overview of the press industry. Also use your contacts- everyone knows a PR- and it’s all about who you know to get your foot in the door!
You also run your own blog- what’s it all about?
The blog’s called ISWAS (It Starts With A Sunrise). It’s a lifestyle blog- my sort of London diary. I write about everything from restaurants I eat at to cultural places I visit. It’s purely for enjoyment and I absolutely love finding new, amazing places, which London is never short of. My latest gems are Casse-Croute in Bermondsey Street- the most charming French restaurant- and Pedler in Peckham, which is just awesome. I’m also one of those annoying people that like to spend their weekends doing as much as possible, so I’m always up for exploring. I’m a sucker for a good view; my all time favourites are at the top of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Monument- you can’t beat them on a beautiful day, you can see London for miles. The blog really encourages me to leave my South West bubble, which I’m sometimes thankful for!
You must read your fair share of blogs, which ones are your fave?
There are so many blogs that I dip in and out of when I have the time. I read a lot of my friends’ blogs – or rather the blogs of people who have become some of my closest friends – even though I speak to them all the time; I still find the need to stalk them online! One of my favourites though is tuulavintage.com. Jessica Stein will leave you with a serious case of wanderlust. Her blog is a mixture of beautiful fashion shoots and some of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen. She’s constantly travelling to the most amazing places- living my dream!
Finally, what would be your perfect day in London?
Sundays are my favourite day to make plans. So it would begin with the ultimate avocado and smoked salmon on toast – because that’s how all great days start – and a matcha green tea latte at Hally’s in Parson’s Green, then I’d grab a Boris bike through London along the river (the weather of course would be perfect bike-riding weather!). I’d stop to browse a gallery or exhibition somewhere before making my way over to Columbia Road Flower Market late afternoon to pick up the biggest bunch of flowers for a bargain. I’d grab a coffee from Allpress in Shoreditch then go for a long walk, showing off the blooms. I’d finish off with a Sunday roast with friends at my local The Durrell Arms in Fulham, and a trip to the cinema to make sure the Sunday blues are kept well and truly at bay. Bliss!
Wanna stalk Claire online? Then head right on over to her blog.