Nicola Adam column

Number 10 Downing Street.
Number 10 Downing Street.
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You know that feeling when you visit somewhere and it feels instantly familiar through TV, film and books?

Well, this week I was lucky enough to visit Number 10 Downing Street at the invitation of the big man himself.

It was not my first visit but I can confirm that on walking through the iconic shiny black front door I instantly felt at home.

Not because I have any political aspirations or loyalties, but because this place has been firmly placed in our national identity through centuries - and possibly because of Hugh Grant dancing badly through the halls in Love Actually.

After a metal detector to get on Downing Street we left mobile phones in tiny lockers and coats on a rack, before descending up those famous stairs under the eyes of Prime Ministers gone by.

The feeling of walking through history, it’s not a cliche but 100 per cent true.

The PM’s role in the proceedings is brief because (and this is at around 6.30pm) he was ‘flying straight to Milan for a breakfast meeting with Vladamir Putin’. Can’t argue with that, I suppose the man has to work – and rule the country.

On my last visit, while waiting for the PM to shake hands, I spotted the Downing Street cat, who was sniffing around the food with a the air of a puss accustomed to mini smoked salmon roulades and tiny fish and chips.

Distracted, I followed as it padded confidently into the state dining room, used to host foreign Princes, Prime Ministers and dizzyingly important VIPs, before jumping on the priceless antique table laid with precious silverware and sniffing its way across.

Then, watched by only me, it stretched out on it’s back limbs akimbo, licked its private parts clean with ecstatic relish and scratched itself to purring on a elaborate Georgian-style candlestick.

Then it grinned, I swear. I just really hope the dignataries wash their hands. And why do I suspect that doesn’t happen at the White House?