London

Discovering More London

So you’ve been down to the South Bank and walked through Regent’s Park, but when was the last time you truly went exploring in London, from Petticoat Lane to Portobello Road, from Cecil Court to Lincoln’s Inn Fields? It’s too easy to stay within familiar postcodes, and there’s so much fun to be had from […]

Things I Don’t Need In The Year Ahead (But Will Probably End Up Seeing Anyway)

In no particular order; White middle-class authors complaining that they feel as if they are in a minority and are being discriminated against. Try this; grow up and write better. Private members’ clubs filled with demented screaming media folk with ironically flattened hair. (They usually have faux-fifties wallpaper and offer comfort food at prices that […]

The End Of The Cafe Royal

From Whistler to Wilde, from Augustus John to Aubrey Beardsley, through sips of absinthe and clouds of cigar smoke, the Cafe Royal in Regent Street played host to London’s artistic elite. But after years of slow decline it’s going, to be turned into yet another upmarket hotel. Its furniture goes under the hammer on January […]

Why The Inland Lighthouse Will Remain A Mystery

Last night I walked past Dick Whittington’s stone in Archway – the milestone, irretrievably tied in with its panto image of boy and cat, is framed inside a wrought-iron fence – and thought about the icons we pass every day that have no historical significance. One of these is the King’s Cross lighthouse, now sadly […]

London’s Weirdest Shops

Well, it wouldn’t be so weird in another time or place (Cornwall, the 1920s?) but every time I pass it I ask myself; what the HELL is a really old-fashioned ship’s chandler’s doing just behind Tottenham Court Road? I mean, it’s bloody miles from the sea, and who in London’s West End needs to buy […]

Why Dark Mysteries Are Popular

I knew it all along. There had to be a reason why we’re attracted to tales of violence. It turns out that the oldest genetically identifiable nuclear family met a violent death, according to analysis of remains from 4,600-year-old burials in Germany. Researchers reckon that the broken bones of these stone age people (mum, dad, […]

Tea Break!

Right, let’s have a nice cup of tea. Just follow these six impossible-to-remember steps, explained by a twitchy-eyed mad hypnotist-type tea expert from 1941 and some ladies who say ‘orf’ a lot – just as well they don’t get onto different types of biscuits, we’d be here all night.

The Pubs That Vanish

In the back of my novel ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ I list all the pubs mentioned in the story. A number of these are under threat from property developers, and some have already disappeared. You can see how many others we’ve lost by looking for corners like this one, now a private residence, on Wharfdale Road, […]

London In The Details

  A wall of hot type names former buildings on a York Way site. After a decade of concrete and glass, and the loss of London’s quirky alleyways, could the city be rediscovering detail in its architecture? Here are three examples from within a hundred metre triangle of King’s Cross. Small steps, perhaps, but much […]

When The Paperboy Calls

Just a reminder that you’ll find excerpts of my forthcoming memoir ‘Paperboy’ on the top right of your screen. The books is currently being proofed and readers’ copies will be available around Christmas. The first photoshoot we’ve done for it pertains to my peculiar obsession with Lois Lane. Typical that I should have collected the […]