Best Things About London
I lived in London most of my 20’s and early 30’s and recently returned because I missed it. London is a city that more than anything, for me, provides opportunity, encourages you to grow and more importantly, it inspires. Coming up with the best things about London, is one of the easiest things I could do.
Sure, the weather sucks most of the time-it gets cold, very cold in winter and often in summer too. England’s summer’s are renowned for being… well, shit. But that’s not why you visit, that’s not why I love living in London.
Having spent a large portion of my younger days in Perth, Western Australia, I’ve tried to summarise what it is about this great city that keeps drawing me back in.
Covent Garden, what a frantic melting pot of people! It’s always busy, there’s always some new store you’ve never noticed before, there’s excitement in the air, entertainment in the streets and most importantly, great coffee on Monmouth street! I recently met with Monique, the woman who’s name I’ve changed but is the centre of my new book titled ‘Monique‘, funnily enough, in Covent Garden. We both love that there’s so many pubs to choose from! Want quiet? Sure, there’s one over there. Oh wait, it’s too busy. Oh look, there’s one right across the road. Perfect… in we go and find ourselves seated next to a real fireplace. The decor is old-English and the other patrons completely ignore us. Just the way we love it. I pulled my laptop out, and we began collaborating on some changes we’d discussed on the phone. “Wait, I need another pint” says Monique, and quickly orders us both one. Even though I actually was happy sipping the first one. By the time we’d had 3 pints, I was struggling to see my laptop, just as Monique decided we needed a change of scenery.
A short walk through Charing Cross and we find ourselves browsing books. Or rather, I’m browsing books while Monique is wondering how long until we go for another pint. No, she’s not an alcoholic, she just doesn’t get out often and when she does, she wants to drink and chat. A few minutes later, we find ourselves in Soho and surrounded by a variety of food from all over the world.
If all the excitement and buzz itself isn’t enough to keep me here, the fact that I met Monique in London all those years ago sure will.
Another thing to add to my list of things I love about London, the food! Its plentiful- competition is fierce, so it has to be bloody good, and it’s reasonably priced for a big city. We ate Chinese and continued along Compton Road until we soon found ourselves swarmed by shoppers on Oxford Street. Coming up to Christmas, the excitement is so thick, you can snack on it as you walk through it. Yet another of the best things about London
Because I never get sick of this fine city, I often find myself looking around at the architecture of buildings, older than the country I grew up in. In all the years I’ve lived in London, I never feel like I don’t belong here. There’s so many cultures, so many tourists and locals, all rushing about and none of them, not a single one, could give a fuck about me. That’s the best part! You can wander all day and feel completely connected and still be utterly alone. Not for the needy, that’s for sure, but a wonderful place to gain inspiration.If the weather’s great, I’ll happily sit in Russel Square with my laptop and knock out a blog, or a chapter, or a few emails. If the weather’s shit, I’ll sit in a modern cafe, usually with WiFi, and do whatever I need to at that time.
There’s an awesome cafe that recently opened up in South Ealing called Paperback, not as central, but still London. Interesting, because they have a lot of old books on display, in a world that seems to have forgotten what physical books are. Plus their coffee is fucking awesome. England loves its tea and as a result, it generally makes shit coffee. There’s exceptions to this, places on Monmouth Street in Covent Garden, a few dots around London and Paperback.
Another of the best things about London is that it gave me the inspiration for my book Monique, and for that, I owe it my heart. We’ll talk about Barcelona and Florence in other blogs, cities which inspired Toby and Mr 303.
Skateboarders, artists, bankers, writers, teachers, they’ve all got a place in London and that in itself, will keep me coming back for more.