London Pubs: The Old Bell Tavern

This modest Fleet Street boozer was built in the 1670’s for the workmen and masons who rebuilt Wren’s St. Brides Church after it was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Fleet Street became synonymous with printing and newspapers. Most of Britain’s daily’s were printed here until the 1970’s & 80’s when the […]

Farewell To Mrs Slocombe’s Pussy

Mollie Sugden, the saving grace of the dismal 70s Britcom ‘Are You Being Served?’ has died at 86. Here, to remember her as she would have wanted – as the butt of some dreadful cheap jokes – is her pussy compilation.

London Pubs: The Anchor & The Banker

A stroll along the South Bank brings you to the tourist hell that is the Globe on a summer’s day. Actually, it’s a very civilised form of tourist hell, as everyone’s queuing for returns to ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’. Next door is The Anchor, a pub you think should be ruined by visitors staring […]

London’s Summer Madness Part 2

I always think London is best enjoyed unplanned. Indeed, when you try to plan anything, it always goes wrong here. I was heading down to Gabriel’s Wharf to see the beach – there was supposed to be a beach there, with lifeguards and surfing (a stunt by the Australian Tourist Board). Only there wasn’t. I […]

London’s Summer Madness Part 1

In any other European city it would be welcome – in France or Spain, summer sun usually means fine outdoor dining, fountains and aircooled rooms. Not in London, which descends into an urban death-rattle of heat, sweat and filth. Tube cooling never appeared, Oxford Street is looking especially unappealing now that the council has stuck […]

Things To Do On The London Underground

Have a dinner party.

Return To Roofworld

This is a short called Samparkour, by Wiland Pinsdorf, revealing the city of Sao Paulo via Parkour. If the sport had existed when I’d written ‘Roofworld’, I would definitely have included it in the book. I sometimes go and watch the kids do it at the South Bank, but this is amazing. Perhaps one day […]

America In London

Further to my post about Texas, I passed a rather neglected statue with American historical significance yesterday. John Cartwright was the first English writer to openly maintain the Declaration of Independence, and as it says here ‘Refused to draw his sword against the Rising Liberties of an Oppressed and Struggling People’. It would be nice […]

Greening London

There I was complaining about the lack of imaginative greenery in London when Billy Riley of the old Cross club fame has reopened The Driver in King’s Cross, complete with a stunning vertical garden, created by Patrick Blanc, who built the one in Paris (actually I think this is the nicer of the two). I […]

B & M & G & S

Right at the beginning of the Bryant & May series, back in the last century, I turned Arthur Bryant into a Gilbert & Sullivan fan, mainly because I’ve always loved G&S, and they’re so deeply unfashionable that it seemed appropriate for Arthur. The problem is that too many horrible amateur productions have been performed; when […]