My London: Mark Prove

By Londonist Staff Last edited 18 months ago
My London: Mark Prove

This is part of our new series focusing on Londoners and your London: what you love about the city, what drives you up the wall, and where you go to get away from it all...

Autumn Yard: serving up healthy, balanced food in Hackney

Mark Prové is the co-founder of food delivery service Salad Days, and recently-launched Hackney restaurant Autumn Yard.

What's your history with London - always lived here, regular visitor, moved here as an adult...?

I moved to New Cross for university at Goldsmiths College in 2005, and haven't left the city since. I made the move north of the river to east London about five years ago.

Where's your best spot for a drink in London?

It depends on what sort of drink, but I'm still a big fan of the basement cocktail bar in Boundary restaurant. For something more relaxed, you can't go wrong with a good pub. I really enjoy The Albion, tucked away on a residential street in Islington. It used to be just round the corner from my old flat and was a solid favourite.

The Albion

Where do you go to get away from it all in London?

Hampstead Heath is a great place for a walk, tricking yourself that you've completely escaped to the countryside. At the other end of the city is Richmond Park; I like heading down there for an early morning ride on my road bike.

Nope not a country path in the Cotswolds, it's Hampstead Heath. Photo: Laura Nolte

What one thing would you change about London?

The amount of cars on the road. I try to cycle to most places and the pollution in the city is really apparent. It's worrying to think what it's doing to everyone's lungs.

What's the last amazing thing you did in London?

Seeing a tribute to David Bowie by Seu Jorge  (The Life Aquatic) two weeks ago at the Albert Hall was pretty special. I love Wes Anderson films and Bowie's music, so it was an awesome combination.

Which part of London can you not get enough of?

London Bridge has always been a sentimental place for me. I used to work at a cheese stall in Borough Market when I was a student, and it's still a regular meeting spot for me and my friends. Hearing what happened there a few weeks ago was really tragic.

The bustling of Borough Market. Photo by Borough Market - John Holdship.

Who's your favourite Londoner?

The guys we (Salad Days) buy veg from at New Spitalfields Market are all really decent. They're the real east London.

What's your favourite piece of London literature?

Although not all of it's set in London, Any Human Heart by William Boyd is one of my favourite books. It manages to bring to life different parts of the city throughout the last century.

Which song best sums up London for you?

Ah, maybe Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks?

What's your best London memory?

Getting the keys to our first office in Shacklewell Lane three years ago was pretty special. Before then I was just working from the kitchen in my flat in Newington Green.

What makes you proud to live in London?

Its resilience and its diversity.

What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you in London?

Someone once tried to steal my phone from me when I was working at Borough Market - I managed to get it back after chasing him through the market. I threw my shoe at him and amazingly he dropped the phone.

Describe London in three words

Vibrant. Cultured. Edible!

Last Updated 19 July 2017