Archives: Patisserie Valerie

Here’s Ella

My first novel, ‘I am Ella. Buy me’ hit Amazon’s virtual bookshelf yesterday.I was so excited, I cracked open a packet of Bourbons.I told everyone I know. And everyone I don’t know.

Ella is a lot like me. Loves cake. She doesn’t so much go to work on an egg as travel in on three almond croissants. (If you’ve ever been to Patisserie Valerie or Maison Bertaux in Soho, you’ll know why. Sublime.)

Ella works for a bad boss and falls for a bad boy. Sound familiar? Shake hands, sister! Been there, done that, got the nervous tick to prove it.

Her boss, Peter is a chauvinist pig and proud of it. Well this is the 80s when men where men and women were well, just women. His criteria for hiring and firing girls is based on bust size and believe you me, his cup is overflowing.

We’ve all met his ilk. Hopefully, you handled them better than I did. One charmer actually asked: I’ve never had you, have I? It was the unnerving level of uncertainty that got me. Obviously, I was just one in a long line of blonde copywriters. For the record, the answer was ‘No’. Not hard, his open sandals and hairy toes didn’t do it for me.

If you’ve had similar experiences, I’d love to hear them.

In the meantime, meet Ella. You’ll like her. She’s probably a lot like you.

Ella David’s reference from Peter


100 Dean Street, W.1. Telephone: 01 734 1000

20 November 1982

To whom it may concern,

Re: Ella David reference

My name is Peter Richards, Creative Director par excellence of CBA Advertising.

Ella David has been my copywriter for some years and has written a number of award-winning campaigns. She will work her arse off for you – believe me, there’s enough of it so you will get your money’s worth.

She seems unable to keep a boyfriend so no worries about her getting knocked up and leaving you in the lurch

Why I loved working in Soho in the ‘80’s

So sordid. So sexy. So sassy. Soho was never so-so.

Working in one of London’s top advertising agencies just off Soho Square allowed me to get up close and personal with one of the most exciting places on earth.

Boy dressed as girls and women competing in a man’s world – everywhere I looked girls were ‘doing it for themselves’ to quote the lexicon of ‘80’s cool, Annie Lennox.