London

London Bridges Are Going Up

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There’s a new free exhibition devoted to London’s bridges at the Museum of London Docklands. Here’s what I’ve learned. For 1,700 years there was only one bridge over the Thames, roughly where London Bridge is today, virtually dating back to the birth of Christ (there was also a prehistoric one around Vauxhall, but no sign […]

Quality Of Life, What’s That Then?

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If there’s one magazine that seems specifically designed to get me riled, it’s ‘Monocle’, Tyler Broolay’s (can’t be bothered finding the accents on this laptop) gigantic style-bible of all things cool in the world, usually featuring decommissioned concrete factories in the Ukraine that have been turned into gin bars. A flip through the pages goes […]

London Takes Back The Night

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I recall a particularly grim night spent outside in London at a Midsummer Eve festival in Greenwich Park, when the winds suddenly turned arctic, it rained torrentially and the taxis home vanished. You book outside events in our summer at your peril. Back then, the choice was limited to a few parks, pub gardens and […]

London Dead Or Alive

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It’s time to take a look at the new books about London and its residents. To start with, we have ‘A London Pub For Every Occasion’, apparently not written by anyone at all, which is a dubious first. This had great potential, even iff the information is readily available online, and the selection of pubs […]

Sit On A Good Book

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Books about Town is all over London. There are 50 unique BookBench sculptures designed by local artists and famous names to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment. They can be found on four separate trails on their website. I’m going to be pottering around a few when I get a chance, leaving books […]

London: A Load Of Rubbish

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  I live on a rubbish dump. My neighbourhood has been a lot of things in its 2,000-year history, from a battleground to a sacrificial site to a spa with pleasure gardens to a rubbish heap. The caption for this painting reads: ‘View of the Great Dustheap, Kings’s Cross, Battle Bridge, 1837, from the Maiden […]

Re:View – ‘Monty Python: One Down, Five To Go’

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The first-night audience at London’s vast 02 last night clearly knew what to expect; the audience was full of Spanish inquisitors and Gumbys. And that, pretty much, was what they got – a greatest hits package that felt like a rather tired reprise of the Hollywood Bowl show back in the 1980s. Python is the […]

London Attitude: Why So Laid Back?

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About four years ago, a British TV channel held one of those pointless debates to decide something unquantifiable. In this case it was; ‘Which is the cooler city, New York or London?’ Fighting in the NYC corner was a born New Yorker, a very smartly turned-out bright-eyed Time Out journalist with neatly side parted hair. […]

Charging For Churches

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Along with London theatres, political sites and gentlemen’s clubs, churches are among the last buildings to remain fundamentally unchanged in the capital. But while theatres charge a fortune (West End prices have trebled in less than a decade) and clubs are monetising themselves (the venerable Arts club in Dover Street elected Gwyneth Paltrow and became […]

Dr Death Strikes Again

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Every year the intriguing Robert Stephenson, City of London tour-guide, folklorist and gravestone expert, runs talks and walks around London. This summer season he’s talking about the temple of Diana inaugurated by Brutus upon which St Paul’s Cathedral is built, London’s more bonkers ceremonies and customs, its public execution sites (a popular favourite), its cemeteries […]