I’m in a huff with London again. I’d like to say it’s not London’s fault, but it kinda is. Or, it’s the both of ours.
I’m not sure I’m all that suited to living in this city. I go through phases of feeling like this. I can be hating living here one day and loving living here the next. Some days I battle through the massive crowds of tourists at Westminster, get on the Northern line and battle all the suits and then have to fight my way down the roads that are never empty. Some days I walk to work over Westminster bridge, I see the glorious sight of Big Ben lit up in the morning sun and I miraculously have a clear path over the bridge, free from the tourists and it’s wonderful. Sometimes I feel like the city charges me just for breathing its polluted air and sometimes I’ll happily pay £15 for one drink. Swings and roundabouts.
I think after three years of living here, the shine has worn off.
It’s been replaced by drudgery. I only moved here for work – jobs in politics aren’t that easy to come across in Birmingham. But now that I hate my job, I often find myself questioning whether politics is even a field I want to stay in. Whether this city is worth all this crap. The expense, the missing my family, the shit shared flats in dodgy estates, the crowded tube and the unbelievable loneliness. I see friends who have moved away and they’re making such a go of it elsewhere and I’ll admit I’m jealous.
But I know that really, I don’t want to leave just yet. I moan about London a lot, and yet I still know that I don’t want to leave just yet. So I figure that there’s got to be something to make me fall in love with this city. Make me remember why I moved here in the first place. Realistically, it can’t have been just about the job opportunities.
So I thought I’d write a little London wishlist. Even after three years, there are still so many things I haven’t done here that have been on my list for ages. I’ve never actually written the list down before, they’ve just been ideas floating around my head. Having lists usually helps to get things properly done.
So here we go…
Cocktails & Bars & Drink
- Go back to Cahoots and have a drink in an old tube carriage. Both the transport and cocktail geek in me can be satisfied.
- Go on a gin tour at the Beefeater Distillery.
- Frank’s Café – I’ve been meaning to go every single summer since I’ve been in London.
- Drink at De Hems and relive my Dutch student days.
- Drink a coffee at the Attendant.
- Head behind the fridge at The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town.
- Scarfes bar. They have 400 gins so need I say more?
- Bar Américain. I’ve eaten at Brasserie Zedel (always recommend) but need to just pop across to the bar.
- Trek down to Herne Hill for a cocktail at First Aid Box.
- I still haven’t been to Lower Marsh market. Despite living in Kennington. As my closest market, I think I’ve pretty much fucked up there.
- I went to Bermondsey Square Antique market once, but it was just closing. I haven’t managed to get back properly since.
Broadway Market. This has been on my list for ages, but for some reason, I’ve just never managed to go.
- Columbia Road…but when the market isn’t on. I love going to Columbia Road on a Sunday but would love to see all those cute shops without the thousands of people in front of them.
- Islington Farmers Market. It’s hardly a surprise that Islington was the first place in London to play host to a farmers market, and I loved the Balham version so why not give this one a go.
- Hackey Flea Market. Because I haven’t found a good flea market in Lonon yet and I’m still on the lookout.
- Get a beigel from Brick Lane Beigel Bake. Not quite a market but close enough to Brick Lane to be in this section.
- Get hold of a St John’s Bakery doughnut from Maltby Street Market.
- South London Gallery.
- Morris Room.
- Kenwood House.
- Erno Godfingers house.
- Tate Modern Viewing Platform. Does that count at the Museum? I don’t fancy a trip around the Modern as I’ve done it recently but I keep walking past the viewing platform extension and wanting to go up.
- Design Museum – ever since I saw the adverts on the tube when I first opened and I’ve just never got around to going.
- Sir John Soane’s Museum.
- Horniman Museum.
- Highgate Cemetary.
- Kew Palace.
- Hampton Court Palace.
- I’d like to visit somewhere in each and every borough in London. Even the really boring ones that no one ever goes to.
- Sky Gardens. I keep missing the chance to sig up for a trip to go. I know I could just go up for a drink instead but there is something about going up for free when you can.
- Going up the Shard. It’s an archetypical thing to do in London but has to be done!
- Cable car. Probably a waste of money, and more than likely a bit of a waste of time, but I’ve still always fancied it.
- Finnish Church.
- Kensington Roof Gardens. Another free gardeny kind of place that I’ve not managed to get to yet.
- Go to the West End. It’s becoming almost embarrassing that I’ve never seen a play there.
- Climb up Monument.
- Swim in Hampstead Heath ponds. Maybe I’ll save this one for last in case I freeze.
- See a film at Whirled Cinema.
- Have a chippy from Poppies.
I know it’s not a massive list, but it’s a good start. And even though it kind of goes against the aim of the whole thing, I’m actually pretty happy to add to it. So if you have any ideas of something that is a must see in London, then please let me know!