Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louise Rowntree – What’s on your mantelpiece?

A 20-question interview with public affairs and communications consultant and Liberal Democrat candidate for Chelsea & Fulham Louise Rowntree


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

Treat others the way you want to be treated.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

You’re not living unless you take risks.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2017?

Theresa May.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

Time to ‘mong’.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

Being the fastest swimmer in the world.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the state of the financial system?

It was going quite well in Britain until Brexit.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“How are you?” instead of “hello”.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

With three children, a small business and the General Election, I am conscious that I don’t do enough to help out in the local community currently. Locally, I’m ambassador for the Fulham Cricket Club – which gives free cricket training to children whose parents wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it, and has linked up with a number of charities including Hammersmith & Fulham Refugees Welcome. More generally, I donate (a modest sum) to Save the Children each month.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

My late father always said: “You can tell who’s important. They’re the ones without a phone”. When on a train take calls in the corridor, try to avoid taking them when with others but – if you must – ask permission first. Never put your phone on a table if with others.


If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

Vincent Cassel, Nancy Wake (‘The White Mouse’), Ian Hislop, Michelle Obama, Mick Jagger, Amy Schumer, Guillaume Canet, Diana Ross, Jimmy Fallon and the entire cast of Saturday Night Live.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Chinese dim sum, on a boat on the River Thames going through Chelsea and Fulham.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

Any time, as long the occasion fits and you can handle your drink.


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

A Negroni, but in a glass, not from the bottle.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

Ours: Because my husband DJ’s and we always have to threaten to call the police at 4am.


Who is the most positive person you know?

Jessica Arora: Fashion guru, co-founder of NotSuchAModelMum and a good friend.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Eating a whole box of salt and vinegar Pringles whilst drinking wine in bed and watching American TV series’.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

A rowan tree: I’m a descendant of Vikings who invaded York over a thousand years ago and took their name from the local rowan tree – which morphed into ‘Rowntree’: Rooted, earth, strong, proud – it sums up both my Yorkshire ancestors and me.


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

A Lada: Old fashioned, rare, traditional and scrubs up surprisingly well with a bit of polish.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

I was taught how to fight at the age of five, but thankfully have only once had to.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

A Mappin & Webb clock my late father was given when he retired from the bank he ran, a couple of Delft vases from a Belgian flee market, a Limoges egg which belonged to my late grandmother, and my son’s Grade 2 Music Theory certificate.


Louise Rowntree is a lawyer-turned-public affairs and communications consultant who grew up in Chelsea and lives in Fulham. She is married to Raphael, a Belgian lawyer, has three sons and is standing as the Liberal Democrat for Chelsea & Fulham in the 2017 General Election.


Louise worked for several years in Brussels – where she ran Hill & Knowlton’s Trade & Competition department. In 2012 she founded her own, niche, consultancy Rowntree & Associates and moved back to London soon after. She has personally advised heads of state, ambassadors, ministers, multinationals, NGOs and law firms.


Follow her on Twitter at @louise_rowntree.


Photograph by Micki Scupin Rogers.


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  1. A down-to-earth lady who’d be a much better constituency MP than Greg Hands. He only cares about getting himself promoted to high office and I suspect Louise (who I’ve never met) to be a woman who’ll get her hands dirty and help and respond to her constituents.

  2. I will be voting Lib Dem in Westminster on 8 June as many of you already know (and keep telling me you don’t want to hear my reasoning for again). Louise seems lovely and I wish her all the very best too.

  3. I do enjoy these interviews. Such an array of people, answers and personalities shine through. Louise has a truly sunny disposition.

  4. Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!! You should put the questions to candidates supporting Teresa May ……….. The woman who will MAKE GREAT BRITAIN GREAT AGAIN……………. This woman won’t be making anything great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. The ‘kiss of death’, Ethel Jones supports her.

    And what a dopey statement – “Negroni in a glass, not from the bottle”. What a pleb! Who swigs from a bottle?

    • There are now bottled Negroni mixes. They are supposedly quite good but I think Louise prefers a personally mixed version. That does not make her a “pleb”.

      • ‘Rowntree’: Rooted, earth, strong, proud – it sums up both my Yorkshire ancestors and me.”
        What sheer pretentiousness!
        Just another boring political lobbyist who would sell their soul for a fee.
        Greg Hands will eat her for breakfast despite her attempts to seem ‘right hard’ with all this drinking Negroni from a bottle.
        People who boast of their drinking habits are just so last century,

    • Oh Gulliver/Glenmore Trenear-Harvey – You are so predictable. Shouldn’t you be off on a cruise talking about your “time” as a spy?

  6. Interesting to hear her talk about her Rowntree ancestors in York. Does she have any connection to the much-missed confectioner, Rowntree – makers of Kit-Kat, Aero and fruit pastilles?

    The company merged with the Mackintosh confectioner, and then – unfortunately – was taken over by the monster that is Nestle in the late 1980s.

    I believe that there still may be a sweet factory in York, but not sure how long that will last. A lot of the production has gradually shifted abroad over the years. I suspect that Brexit may encourage what remains to follow suit. Sad!

  7. Crime in Chelsea is on the rise and I’d like to know what Louise plans to do about it. Answers on a postcard please Louise.


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