London

London Books For Christmas

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Oh yes, I thought, someone else reckons they’ve found a new angle on the city. They sound like Youngs or Poshes. But here’s a pleasant surprise; ‘Curiosity’ by Henry Eliot and Matt Lloyd-Rose rises to the challenge and hides some real surprises up its sleeve, even catching out an old lag like me. No fancy […]

The Scala Returns To Glory

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London’s cinema club the Scala started life in a building backed onto Scala Street near Goodge Street tube, with a tiny screening room and a cafe with plastic tablecloths. It was founded by my old pal Steve Woolley, who modelled it on the Nu-Art Cinema in Los Angeles, showing everything from Russ Meyer to Jacques Tati. Steve went […]

‘Under The Shadow’ Reinvigorates The Horror Genre

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I love a good scare. The trouble is that there haven’t been any good ones in quite a while. And I’m a demanding customer; I also want to be made to think. My benchmark films range from ‘It Follows’ back through ‘The Orphanage’ to ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, about which there’s an interesting article here, arguing that […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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    It’s not hard to understand why half the country voted Brexit. It was the half outside London, and they did it with good reason. London is now in a bubble, divorced from the rest of the country and running away with itself, a strange anglo-Switzerland where soup and a sandwich tops £8 (Pret […]

My Neighbourhood On Film

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There are a lot of film locations around Kings Cross, where we live, including the most of the Harry Potter films, ‘Alfie’, ‘The Ladykillers’ (above), ‘Smashing Time’, ‘Batman’ and  ‘Chaplin’. I always remember the scene in Ken Russell’s ‘The Music Lovers’ where Richard Chamberlain as Tchaikovsky tries to drown himself in Regent’s Canal (standing in […]

8 Things That Confuse Visitors To London

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1. The more elegant a London restaurant looks, the worse it is. All the best restaurants are funky and scruffy, and may look like you’re sitting in a carpentry shop or a foundry. If it’s got white tablecloths and candlelight, avoid! The Angus Steak House may look inviting but don’t be fooled. No Londoner has […]

London Bridge Is Lighting Up

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So London’s bridges are to get new lighting – you probably already heard about it if you live here. Frankly, this is just an excuse for me to run shots of my favourite contenders!  

Off The Tourist Track: Night London

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Autumn in London is pukka this year – crisp, cold and clear-skied, so the perfect time for a wander. Having recovered from the first norovirus of the season (every year I’m like the canary down the mine, first to fall so that you can get out of the way), we bundled up and set off, […]

The Reinvention Of The London Club

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A former employee of mine asked an LA cab driver to take him to Soho House and was told, disdainfully; ‘You’ll never get in, it’s exclusive.’ London’s old private clubs like Whites and the Garrick were anachronistic and really only suited for filming ‘Sherlock Holmes’ episodes in, so a new generation of private clubs had […]

Why London Markets Are Good For Your Love Life

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My only local butcher closed his doors after failing to convince his son to take over the reins. ‘He doesn’t want to be a tradesman,’ he told me, ‘he wants to go on The X Factor and become a singer.’ This trends of kids avoiding traditional trades for attempts at the entertainment industry may be […]