The Wintger

Vet and author Bruce Fogle describes his perfect Marylebone day

Interview: Clare Finney

I need to walk the dogs for an hour before getting to the clinic for 8am, so I don’t normally have breakfast. I’m more of a lunch person. I go to a wonderful place run by a lovely Slovenian woman, which handmakes four types of pasta dish fresh each morning. You can barely squeeze 10 people inside to sit down, but it is great.

If I’m looking for somewhere quiet to spend a good amount of time and have a conversation, I head to the Winter Garden of the Landmark hotel for coffee and pastries. The selection of pastries costs about as much as Greece’s debt, but you get value for money because you can relax there for as long as you like, with the tinkling of the grand piano as background music and that marvellous glass roof above—the original foyer would have been open to the air, as it was where the horses and carriages would have driven in to drop guests off.

Fresh air
The treat for my dogs—for any dog really—is to venture to Regent’s Park every Saturday for a walk. We go clockwise around the periphery of the park, past the zoo so they can say hello to the camels and listen to the howler monkeys, and past the beehives. As a local vet and a casual beekeeper myself, I’ve been called out a few times when they’ve needed advice. 

For a lunchtime walk I tend to stroll up to Church Street. It’s the best local shopping street in my opinion, because it is so idiosyncratic. There’s Alfie’s Antique Market—a godsend for when I’ve forgotten an anniversary or something, as I know in a good hour of hunting around, I will find something my wife will love—and fruit and veg sellers, many of whom I have known for decades.

I buy very little in the way of clothes, but when I do, it has always been Grey Flannel. I actually met Richard Froomberg, the owner, because he had golden retrievers who I saw in my clinic. We bonded over our love of retrievers and I’ve shopped there ever since. The clothes aren’t nostalgic or fancy in any way. They are well made, quality clothes, with a slight edge. Fashions come and go but Grey Flannel remains.

Pre-dinner drink
I’m not a drinker, but if we are going out after work we tend to favour The Harcourt, just next to the Swedish church. They have a great range of Swedish fruit ciders—strawberry, forest fruits, pear—which are a bit different and really refreshing on a hot day.

Eating out
If we’re having a posh meal out—a birthday or anniversary or something—we’ll go to Locanda Locatelli in the Hyatt Regency. It’s not cheap, but it is Italian food of the very highest quality, and really good service. We’ve been going there for years.

Anything else
The British Veterinary Association has its offices on Mansfield Street, in a beautiful Georgian townhouse—one of the very few organisations to still be based in an old-fashioned London mansion. I’m involved in various animal protection schemes and charities, and it is a real delight to have meetings there.

LifeMark Riddaway