London Corners – Keystone Crescent


There are hundreds of books about London, many of them repetitive regurgitations of factoids, but of course there are many gems, including ‘Tired of London, Tired of Life: One Thing A Day To Do In London’ by the excellent Tom Jones, expanded from his hardworking website. (He has also pulled off the same trick for […]

London’s Most Sinister Street


When I lived in Eze-Sur-Mer on the Cote D’Azur, there was a beautiful old 1920s hotel near me on Pointe De Cabuel (you can see it here from above on Google Maps) that had been bought by a Russian oligarch as a private residence. As it was forced to remain as a hotel, the owner […]

The Village Preservation Society


Battersea Power Station. Iconic building defining an entire area of London. The Pink Floyd album. James Bond (he dropped a bloke in a wheelchair down one of the chimneys). And something else, probably. It looked for a moment as if  the redesign was going to get it right this time. According to the Evening Standard, Rob Tincknell, […]

A London Poem As Lovely As A Tree

Tree poem

Euston Road is one of the most heavily polluted roads in London, which has just undergone a series of bad smogs, so the loss of another huge plane tree on the artery is sad. Trucks routinely smash down their branches, and now this one by St Pancras Station has been severed by council chainsaws, moving […]

Today’s Buzz-Phrase: ‘Buy-To-Leave’


It’s when you purchase a property as part of your investment portfolio and leave it empty to hide cash safely, and it’s happening all over London. The huge new blocks of ‘luxury loft living’ – or ‘futureslums’ as we call them – are sold exclusively in South East Asia and remain empty. Islington Council has […]

London Turns Japanese


You don’t need to head to Japan to see spring blossoms; London is suddenly awash with petals of every hue this week. Mind you, the birds are still coughing (we have Saharan dust today) The shot of St James’ Park was shamelessly nicked from my pals at The Londonist.

Re:View – ‘Wake In Fright’


Until the start of the 1970s films set in Australia been about grandeur and comradeship, the sort of Old West view of the outback that Baz Lurhmann attempted to revive in the embarrassing ‘Australia’. Then two films changed the way in which Australia had always been portrayed. One was Nicholas Roeg’s ‘Walkabout’, in which two children […]

Looking Down On London


As the planning applications go in for over 200 new buildings of over 20 storeys each, 75% of which will be aimed at rich overseas buyers, there’s a campaign mounting to stop London’s skyline from being ruined. The buildings are being approved without any public debate or consultation. There’s no oversight and vision from the city’s leaders, […]

Why Nobody Needs Starbucks


I walked into Gran Sasso, my local neighbourhood coffee shop on Caledonian Road at King’s Cross this morning, and was served my coffee like this; it’s my birthday. The staff also bought me breakfast (they do amazing Italian paninis with creamed eggs and sundried tomatoes). Meanwhile, there’s a run-down looking Starbucks nearby that has a […]

When Is A Museum Not A Museum?


London is a city of museums. I counted 43, and that was just up to the letter ‘B’. I got bored after that. There are museums of firefighting, cartoons, fans, clocks, prisons, furniture, rooms, nursing, musical instruments, freemasonry, Jewish military contributions and now the museum of steam and water, just opened on Green Dragon Lane […]