Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Old School Dining

At the Golden Fish Restaurant in Farringdon Road. Cod, chips, mushy peas, cuppa tea. Quality.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

A Very London Juxtaposition

A little old lady being harried by thugs? Or a grand old dame with her three bodyguards?

Sunday, 28 March 2010


A 19th Century almshouse tucked away in 21st Century Covent Garden.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Spring Forward

An early spring view by the River Thames. (Put your clocks forward tonight.)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Sunny Crystal Palace

…something to look forward to.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Messing About in Boats

Along the Regent's Canal on the way to Little Venice.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Get Ahead…

… get a hat. A really posh one. From Lock & Co in St James's

Monday, 22 March 2010

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Third City

The clockwork train trundles through Toytown…

Friday, 19 March 2010


Let him that is a true-born gentleman,
And stands upon the honour of his birth,
If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
somerset Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
But dare maintain the party of the truth,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

(William Shakespeare Henry IV Part 1 Act 2 Scene 4)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Grumpiest – and Best – Shops in London

This notice in the window of irascible book seller David Drummond of Cecil Court, WC2. Apropos of nothing save his own glorious grumpiness given that the poem's subject matter relates to trains and not shops, the sign is a symbol of the service you will find within: the BEST service in London. Hilariously short tempered, a unique "retail experience" (by God they'd hate that phrase) can be had here – and in all the shops in Cecil Court.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Simple Juxtaposition II

The old City wall & a 21st century hotel at Tower Hill.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Perfectly Frivolous

Shop of the week, beautiful and utterly inessential, the jewellery shop in Rugby Street WC1 housed in what was once London's oldest dairy.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Ancient Lights

Derelict chapel at Abney Park cemetery.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Support Your Local Bookshop III

Unsworth's has the best London section of any bookshop in the metropolis. This blog stops at the one in St Martin's Court WC2.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

And Now… The Weather. Again.

The phrase "Break the Ice" enters the language via William Shakespeare in The Taming of the Shrew.

The Duke of Wellington invented the Slush Puppy.

One of those statements is false.

(That's ice at midday in Trafalgar Square yesterday, btw.)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics

Dubious London facts: "In London one is never more than 10 feet away from a rat." Some say seven feet (those "some" being northerners, mainly).

Some would say even closer – see this scene above in the Temple Church with a rat chewing the ear of a Knight Templar.

For more, read James Herbert's tourist board classic The Rats. For less, see The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Très Hampstead III

More Hampstead design: even the tube station ticket hall has Art Nouveau flourishes. Or is this simply a statement of Hampstead's perennial fashionable status?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Ghost of Docklands

London always leaves a fingerprint to remind us where she's been. In the old Docklands the "planners" preserved industrial detritus as part of their "heritage concept". The cranes and machinery cast angry shadows on the unimaginative modernity.

Friday, 5 March 2010


A flake of London hidden for decades but exposed by the demolition of the Astoria Theatre block on Charing Cross Road to make way for the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. Wonder whatever happened to Veglio?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A View From the Bridge

The City from Archway Bridge, the first sunny day of 2010.