London – City Of Excess

When you think about excessive or decadent cities you tend to think of Berlin, but either I’m doing Berlin wrong or it’s nowhere near as excessive as London, a city which Frank Harris described as like a bedraggled woman you turn from in disgust, only to discover she has undreamed-of depths. London’s allure is paradoxically […]

Another London Landmark Becomes A Chain

Kettner’s restaurant in Soho was opened by Auguste Kettner, the chef to Napoleon III, and became one of the first French restaurants in London. It boasted among its regulars Lillie Langtry, Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby. Everyone in Soho has a favourite memory of the place. For my business partner’s 40th birthday I […]

London Corners: Simpson’s, Kettner’s & Rules

There is only one Simpson’s and it’s not yellow. There used to be two – the other, Simpson’s of Piccadilly was a gents’ outfitters (as they used to be called). It’s the building with invisible glass that became the Waterstones flagship store. Simpson’s-In-The-Strand belongs to a different world, and is at the Aldwych end of […]