Southsayer: Charlotte Duckworth, journalist and digital communications agency co-chief

What makes me unhappy? Tourists. I know we need them. It’s just they get in the way!

charlotteduckworth1Charlotte Duckworth has spent the last ten years writing for interior design magazines and websites – “including five very happy years working on the Southbank for IPC Media in the amazing Blue Fin Building”, she says. She recently set up her own digital communications agency, Decorum, with a former colleague, which helps design and lifestyle businesses with content marketing and is partially based in the CitizenM hotel just off Southwark Street. (She also introduced us to the fabulous Fat Cat of Southwark.)

When were you happiest in south London?
I remember a really hot summer – either 2007 or 2008 – at IPC Media; we’d have lunch on our office roof terrace overlooking the river every day. I was working with my best friends, I’d just been promoted and I remember thinking: ‘This is my heyday!’ But I’m really happy now too.

Where would you like to live?
Anywhere that means I can get to the river within two minutes. I shot a home for a magazine years ago, on Clink Street, an apartment in an old converted warehouse and it literally hung over the Thames at the front. That was pretty cool.

Who is your favourite south Londoner?
My business partner Justyna Sowa, who is completely brilliant and amazing.

Elephant & Castle market
Elephant & Castle market

What is your earliest south
London memory?

My first trip to Elephant & Castle. I found it terrifying and bewildering at the time, but the irony is I ended up doing an MA there 20 years later, at London College of Communication, and sort of fell in love with the place. Did you know there’s a huge Latin American community there? It’s a fascinating part of London.

What makes you unhappy?
Tourists. Sorry, I know we need them. It’s just they get in the way!

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
My hair would appreciate it if it never rained again.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I am late for everything. I thought I was charming enough to always get away with it until recently, when a good friend actually told me off for it. (I’m still sorry Susie.)

What is your guilty south London pleasure ?
A scotch egg from sushi restaurant Tsuru on Canvey Street – perfect hangover food.

Where do you hang out?
I spend an awful lot of time in Leon in the Blue Fin Building. I’m obsessed with their meatball box. I also have a crush on one of the waiters.

Who or what do you dislike and why?
People who treat others differently depending on how important or useful they think they are.

The Cube on the Southbank, last year. Picture: Electrolux
The Cube on the Southbank, last year. Picture: Electrolux

What’s your best south London experience?
I was lucky enough to get press tickets for a six-course tasting lunch at the Cube last year – a pop-up restaurant perched on the top of the Royal Festival Hall. They cost £175 usually, so that was pretty amazing.


What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My knees. They look like jacket potatoes.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Wow, yes, your knees do look like jacket potatoes.

Tell us a secret
My first novel was published earlier this year – and it has nothing to do with interiors or design.

What has your career taught you?
That complacency destroys creativity. That age is immaterial. And to listen to your instincts.

The house I live in is…
The bestest house ever. It’s an Edwardian maisonette and I love it to bits!

What is your greatest life achievement?
Having my first novel published. It’s such a relief to have ticked it off the to-do list. Now I’ve only got to learn to fly a plane and learn to play the drums, and I can die happy.

Read more about Charlotte Duckworth in her blog. Her book, The Perfect Suicide (Sassy Books) is out now, under the pseudonym Lotte Worth. 

Swan at the Globe
Swan at the Globe

Charlotte’s favourite south London…

…building or landmark?
I love the Oxo Tower. It’s the red lights I think!

Swan at the Globe. And Westow House in Crystal Palace – my best friend is constantly dragging me there.

Brixton East – a shop/gallery/events space in Brixton. Super cool.

…sound or smell?
Borough Market onions frying, right before they get put in my sausage bap.

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