© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


Giles Coren’s favourite bits of London

Posted at 12:30 pm, November 9, 2014 in Food & Drink, Outdoor London

Giles Coren

Our new columnist admits he does actually like some bits of London. For instance…

Chaucer’s tomb in Westminster Abbey

‘I find it hard to believe that old Geoff is truly in there, but he is said to be, and it was around his unsainted bones that the whole idea of Poets’ Corner was built. I sat on those bones (if they are there) and read ‘The Merchant’s Tale’ on the morning of my English A-level exam in 1987.’

Loftus Road Stadium

‘Home of my beloved QPR and the last Premier League ground to be housed in a corrugated-iron cattle shed like they all used to be. It is not named after a Middle Eastern airline, it is not a theatre of dreams, it is just a place where men chase a muddy ball around, and I will love it till I die.’

Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Greenwich foot tunnel

‘Built in 1899 as a way for dockworkers to get to the Isle of Dogs without waiting for an overcrowded ferry, this is one of the moodiest, most sexily lit spaces in London. You can often cross here completely alone. It is impossible not to feel like Sherlock Holmes on the way to solve a case.’


Lord’s cricket ground

‘Cricket has gone to shit but this is still the greatest sports ground on earth. To walk into the Long Room during a test match (which I can do only on the fourth or fifth day until 2029, when, no kidding, my full membership finally comes through) is like walking into an Edwardian painting.’

RAF museum© Iain Duncan

RAF Museum, Hendon

‘It’s like somebody froze time in the middle of the Battle of Britain. It is a place to give thanks for our island freedom, and incredibly convenient when you are the parent of toddlers and it is pissing with rain outside.’

Hampstead Parish Churchyard © Pgd© Pgd

Hampstead Cemetery

‘A beautiful resting place where my father is buried. He chose it because he took such delight in a place called ‘Hampstead Cemetery’ actually being in Cricklewood, and because he knew that its proximity to the Nautilus fish and chip shop meant I might visit him from time to time.’

the guinea grill mayfair© Michael Franke

The Guinea Grill, Mayfair

‘This hidden pub dining room, accessible through a secret door at the back of the Guinea in Bruton Place, not only feels like an engraving by Phiz from the pages of Charles Dickens, but it serves the best steak and kidney pie in England.’

The London Marriott Hotel Regents Park

‘When I learned to swim here in the ’70s it was called ‘The Holiday Inn Swiss Cottage’, but fashion called for an imaginary relocation. I’m now teaching my own kids to swim here and nothing else has changed. It’s got the same old lovely hot water, slippery floors and smell of feet on the spiral staircase.’

Read Giles Coren’s column here.

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