My London – My Geneva
PUBLISHED ON: 06/10/2019
Jane Colston: Next to the Tate Modern. It and St Paul’s cathedral never fail to make me stop and stare when I walk to work in the morning, across the wobbly bridge over the Thames.
Sandrine Giroud: In a small village just outside Geneva, lost in the vineyards above a beautiful natural park. The park is a stopover for birds when migrating for warmer horizons in the winter.
Which local hotels do you stay at?
JC: As I live in London, I don’t use hotels, but my parents stayed at Claridge’s recently and it felt like a fabulous scene out of Jeeves and Wooster.
SG: Difficult to say, given that I am a local, but the Hôtel des Bergues or the Hôtel de la Paix is always impressive.
What are your favourite spots for a meal?
JC: Spring, in Somerset House, or Pollen Street Social, around the corner from my office.
SG: Our office is in a buzzing area and my favourite restaurant is L’Adresse, which combines creative cuisine and a sophisticated ‘bobo’ atmosphere.
Bus, taxi or tube?
JC: (Brompton) bike or walk.
SG: Public transport and my feet.
What plays are you seeing this year?
JC: At the National Theatre, Cate Blanchett in ‘When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other’, ‘The Lehman Trilogy’, ‘All about Eve’ and Maggie Smith in ‘A German Life’.
SG: I recently enjoyed rediscovering a classic with ‘The Misanthrope’ by Molière and I look forward to an inspiring play by and featuring Eric Dupond-Moretti, a French tenor who will plead and tell war stories from his many battles as of one of the best French criminal defence lawyers.
Where do you work out?
JC: I get my exercise cycling and walking around London, doing yoga at the atrium in the office with a group from work and running along the Thames each Thursday morning with a group of other litigators (so if you are in town, join us!).
SG: Our firm has a small fitness room and I enjoy pilates sessions twice a week there, as well lots of walking and running after the bus to catch my train.
Have you ever had a run-in with a policeman?
JC: No, but last month I helped the police chase an offender who ran into my flat’s gardens.
SG: Not yet, but my co-trainee and I got a policeman to help us prank our maître de stage (the partners supervising us during our traineeship) by making them believe we had been arrested for collusion in a drugs case. They rushed to our defence and we caught them on camera just before they reached court to plead for our liberty. The look on their faces was priceless and they were a good sport for not firing us.
What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?
JC: I would ban cars.
SG: I would definitely follow in Mayor Jane Colston’s footsteps and ban cars.
What makes someone a Londoner?
JC: Being outward-looking.
What makes someone a Geneva-sider?
SG: An openness to the world, together with humanitarian sensibilities (Geneva is the United Nations capital of human rights and the birthplace of the International Committee of the Red Cross), a pinch of Calvinist Protestantism (Geneva is called the ‘City of Calvin’, after all), a Swiss finish and a touch of creative disorganisation and entrepreneurship.
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