I’m in London Wednesday to Friday this week. Thursday’s fully booked during office hours but otherwise parental unit and I are free. I mean my mum – dad’s filming in Bristol, replete with masses of Sunday roast leftovers destined for some apocalyptic fry-up. He took them in a Pyrex bowl, it feels a bit like he’s the student.
Our natural stomping ground is always Soho, Covent Garden, Charing Cross way (food, shops, books) – we used to stay in Piccadilly but this time, for various reasons, it’ll be the City. This is our second visit – until the first, I don’t think I’d ever set foot in the place before. I’m wondering about the bits of London I don’t know so well, and which to explore this time.
I/we already know Southwark, Spitalfields/Aldgate/Aldgate East/Petticoat Lane/Middlesex Street/Liverpool Street way, Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Camden, Haringey, Hampstead, Mayfair, Marylebone, Waterloo, Kensington, Camden and Maida Vale/Warwick Avenue/Little Venice way reasonably well. And no, that list wasn’t in any kind of geographical order, thank god, it was by emotional association – Shepherd’s Bush is my friends Lucy and Jenny, and the Oxford Tube. Haringey is at least five Oxford friends. Charing Cross is Rhian, Kensington’s a recent addition, the South Bank is school trips, Maida Vale’s my uncle and Hampstead is my mother. Camden is the summit of ALL my EARTHLY AMBITION when I was about sixteen.Waterloo is the Old Vic first night party where Jack and I almost disgraced ourselves (Jack really wanted to run up behind John Suchet and shout BONG, possibly my clearest memory of the evening).
I don’t know where else to go. I welcome suggestions! Help me, lazywebs, you’re my only hope (&c).
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.