Animal rights campaigner, charity fundraiser and children’s councillor Janice Porter on her favourite things. Living in rural Ireland allows her to indulge in country pursuits while frequent city jaunts ensure she keeps her wardrobe well stocked. Lavender’s Blue catches up with Janice in a rare spare slot of her hectic schedule juggling committee meetings, coordinating volunteers and saving animals (10,000 so far and counting). The setting: her rambling country house.
My Favourite London Hotel… Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. The vegetarian breakfast is the best in the capital and I love the club lounge with its views across the Thames towards Big Ben. Dukes Hotel is high up my list as well. It’s so discrete and elegant.
My Favourite London Restaurant… The Wolseley. It has the right combination of atmosphere, food, service and a great location for a night out in London.
My Favourite Omagh Restaurant… The dining room of Tullylagan House. Beautiful surroundings for an evening meal. The Suitor Gallery at Ballygawley does the best cinnamon scones around.
My favourite Weekend Destination… London of course! Like Dr Johnson, I never tire of the city.
My Favourite Holiday Destination… Guernsey – I regularly visit the island. It has great coastal walks and St Peter Port is my ideal town. Afternoon tea by the pool at Longueville Manor is one of life’s pleasures.
My Favourite Country House… Drishane House. I studied the literary works of Somerville and Ross for my degree in English and this was their home in West Cork. In 1996 I had a memorable private tour of it. The house is so atmospheric – descendents of the writers still live there.
My Favourite Building… The Lanyon Building. I studied at Queen’s University Belfast and the Lanyon Building is its flagship piece of architecture. With its distinctive collegiate appearance it has long gained iconic status in Belfast.
My Favourite Novel… I’m an avid reader and enjoy autobiographies and biographies as well as novels by Molly Keane and Maeve Binchy. My all time favourite novel though is Wuthering Heights.
My Favourite Film… Pretty Woman. I watched the film in Spain when it first came out. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere have such strong screen chemistry.
My Favourite TV Series… Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith is quite simply hilarious and I love the plots even if there is the occasional slip of authenticity! Julian Fellowes is a very talented screenwriter.
My Favourite Actor… Bill Nighy, especially in Love Actually and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I love his nonchalant manner and unique voice.
My Favourite Play… Macbeth. It’s amazing how a play which is nearly half a millennium old can still be so pertinent today.
My Favourite Opera… Carmen is magical. I love The Phantom of the Opera. Does it count?
My Favourite Artist… Renoir. His paintings never fail to have a calming effect on me.
My Favourite London Shop… Lizzie’s off Northcote Road. It is a small boutique selling one-of-a-kind clothes and handmade items for the home. I never come out empty handed.
My Favourite Scent… Stella by Stella McCartney.
My Favourite Fashion Designer… I frequently treat myself to Louis Vuitton bags. You have to pamper yourself!
My Favourite Charity… Grovehill Animal Trust. I am Vice Chairman of the Trust and we have just purchased new premises for the expanding charity.
My Favourite Pastime… Walking through the countryside around where I live with my four canine companions.
My Favourite Thing… Brown Hunter Wellies.