What baffles me about London is that its tired public transport system manages to get three million people to work each day.
London’s best-kept secret is the Parklands Walk in Haringey; there are not many better ways to spend an idle few hours in relative peace and quiet. The 4.5-mile walk starts in Finsbury Park, runs along an abandoned railway line and has some fantastic cafes and pubs at the end in Alexandra Palace.
When I want to chill out I head to any of London’s parks – Kew is especially relaxing (apart from the kid zone!). Greenwich is great, and has fantastic views from the observatory area at the top of the park, but can get quite busy in the warmer months, which is why I like Kew so much: even at the height of summer, it can be the most tranquil place in the entire city.
The most interesting person I’ve met was a mysterious-looking, middle-aged chap at a club in Spitalfields many years ago. He walked over to the table where I was sitting with some friends, and asked for a light for his cigarette. When I flicked on my lighter, it became clear very quickly that the gentleman was none other than David Bowie. Before I could say anything, he was gone …
My favourite place for a drink is Gordon’s Wine Bar, Villier Street, near Charing Cross. It’s a fabulous bar inside or out. The cavernous cellar is dark and intimate (and a bit crowded sometimes), but is quite lively – people always seem to be having a good time.
For when you’re hungover in London you can’t beat a cycle ride along the Thames Path. Seriously.
What gets me up in the morning? Work.
The last naughty thing I did involved a crowd of tourists outside Downing Street. Someone asked loudly what time David Cameron comes out “to go home”. Couldn’t resist a bit of mischief by saying that, in common with most UK prime ministers, Cameron usually leaves at 5pm to catch a bus to Notting Hill. I pointed at my watch and said they had just a few minutes to go, so they had better scurry over the road to the nearest bus stop. They did. I laughed.
Five words that sum up London: Chaotic, exhilarating, unkempt, creative, dirty.