You may know Dolly from her days as a dating columnist for the Sunday Times Style. Or have caught her weekly podcast, The High Low, hosted with another YOLKEgirl Pandora Sykes. To us she is the ultimate girls girl (and therefore the perfect YOLKEgirl) and the friend we want to adopt immediately. We caught up at her home and put the world to rights over some tea.
Follow Dolly @dollyalderton
What keeps you awake at night?
Death. Deadlines. The meaning of life. The futility of everything. All the opportunities of life I’ve potentially missed thus far. If there’s a God. Whether reincarnation is a reassuring or exhausting prospect. Whether I should cut my hair really short again. I’m pretty neurotic.
What are you reading and listening to right now?
I’m reading All The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld. I’m listening to a lot of Chet Baker at the moment, plus this new song from Born Ruffians, who are some damn fine Canadians, Girlhood which is the latest album from The Preatures, who are some damn fine Australians, who also made the most perfect pop record in history
Best book you’ve read in the last year?
I really fell in love with The Wild Other by Clover Stroud.
You work at home, do you have a routine to get you focused? / A place you go to write and concentrate?
I’m always more productive if I’ve gone for an incredibly lack-lustre but beautiful run around Regent’s Park in the morning, waved at the camels on the edge of London Zoo and picked up a coffee on the loop back. I should work at my table, but more and more I like writing under a blanket on my sofa.
What’s your favourite way to spend a wintery London weekend?
Buying plants I don’t need in Camden Garden Centre Saturday morning. A long walk on Hampstead Heath. A pub dinner and a boogie at Boogaloo Saturday night. Cooking while listening to Desert Island Discs on Sunday morning. A long Sunday lunch at mine that won’t see my mates leaving until midnight.
Charming. Historic. Soulful. Home.
Now you’ve found the perfect dining table, who are your dream guests to fill it with?
Rod Stewart, Emma Thompson, David Remnick, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithful, Jarvis Cocker, Cosmo Landesman, Lynn Barber, Morrissey, Diana Athill. Fuck knows who I’m going to sit next to Morrissey, I’ve thought about this table plan a lot.
I would like to wear everything owned by Leslie Caron in the 1958 musical Gigi. Failing that, Brigitte Bardot or Jane Birkin.
Object(s) you would never part with?
My record player.
The item in your wardrobe you’ll keep to pass on?
A silk embroidered wrap that belonged to my elegant ballerina grandma.
Most memorable place you’ve travelled to?
Gordes in Provence when I was teenager. More recently, Orkney, which is a mystical, primeval place of beauty that really got under my skin.
And lastly, as we ask everyone… What do you wear for bed?
I’ve always slept naked, but since living on my own, I get worried about what would happen in the middle of the night if there was a fire or I got burgled and I’d have to jump out of the window and knock on my neighbour’s door in the nude. So I’ve taken to putting pyjamas under my pillow. See? Neurotic.