1. London, Burgundy
Imagine London, but French. Replace the bowler hats with berets, fry up some saucissons and oeufs for your full French and hey presto! You have London, Burgundy. At least that’s how we’d like to imagine northern France’s very own London. But sadly it’s actually a small agricultural town near Dijon, the home of non-English mustard. Quelle horreur!
2. London Hudson
It’s not just the Beckhams who name their kids after places, erstwhile Guns N’ Roses guitarist (and Hampstead’s most famous export) Slash named his own child after our fair city. Just imagine if London Hudson became great friends with Chelsea Clinton, Brooklyn Beckham, Paris Hilton and North West. It would be like a new UN.
3. Window of the World, China
Many first-time visitors feel in awe of London but intimidated by its endless crowds of grumpy bastards. If you are one of those people, you may be happier in China. How’s that, you ask? Well the world’s most populous country is home to the Window of the World theme park, where you can walk around mini versions of London landmarks. It’s just like the real thing, except really small. And without all the grumpy bastards.
4. London Island
One of the things that makes the mad hustle of London bearable is knowing that if you need to escape, you can hop on a plane at any of the five airports, board a train at countless stations or just get a coach the hell out of here. Should you find yourself on London Island in Chilean archipelago Tierra del Fuego (yeah, the land of fire), you’ll have to spend hours on boats and buses before even reaching a local city. Still, at least you won’t ever have to take a nightbus through Camden.
5. ‘London’, by William Blake
Billy Blake’s eighteenth-century poetic polemic against what he saw as the hypocrisy of royalty and the church is a reminder that living in London means taking the rough with the smooth. As a Londoner himself, Blake was a wellplaced critic of the city’s ‘mind forg’d manacles’, and would himself have heard ‘the chimney-sweeper’s cry’. We imagine it went something like: ‘Look guv, if you hate London that much you should just sling yer hook!’hould just sling yer hook!’
6. East London, South Africa
To some, the idea that there is more than one east London is the stuff of nightmares. Does the world really need two Kingsland Roads? But in 1836, long before Hackney was the home of men who wear beanies in the summer, East London was established as a seaside town on the Eastern Cape. The year-round warm weather, idyllic scenery and total absence of jellied eels are everything that our east London is not.
7. London, Texas
Texas is all cowboys, blistering sun and funny accents. We have all of those things here too, but our cowboys are builders, our Sun is made of paper and our funny accents aren’t funny at all because we invented the English language so we can speak it however we wish. The real difference is that Texas doesn’t get eight months of incessant drizzle. Which sounds quite appealing, really.
8. Jack London
John Griffith ‘Jack’ London is an all-American hero. He not only wrote a couple of great books about the Klondike gold rush including classics ‘White Fang’ and ‘The Call of the Wild’, he also worked as an oyster pirate and an official fish patroller, and even found time party pretty hard. Then he had State Historical Park named after him in California. That’s what you need to do to have a park named after you in America: write something about pioneers and get drunk a lot.
9. London, the punk band
Coming up with a band name is really hard. That’s why bands end up calling themselves things like Hootie & The Blowfish and Coldplay. So naming yourself after your home town is an understandable, if slightly uninspired, move. London were a UK punk band who toured with The Stranglers. Drummer Jon Moss went on to play with Culture Club and singer Riff Regan is the owner of what has to be one of the best names in rock.
10. London, the heavy metal band
It’s not just punk rockers who love London; heavy metallers have got in on the act too. LA glam metal ruffians London were formed by Nikki Sixx, the man who would go on to be bassist in Mötley Crüe and marry no less than two Playboy playmates (although not at the same time). Another member was Billy the Fist, who sounds like a proper Cockney gangster if ever there was one.
For more tremendous top tens, take a look at London’s top ten dogs.