Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

31 January 2011

Relax in the Fox and Anchor

Your author is a pub purist, and usually balks at the term 'gastro-pub', but occasionally it is done very well, and the Fox and Anchor, in Smithfield is an example of the better side of things. It's a beautiful pub, with a good range of ales, and the option of either pewter or a dimpled pint mug when you're drinking them.


When your author popped by on Saturday afternoon with Jane from Jane's London and Malcolm from London Ramblings not only was it open - unusual for a pub in Smithfields at the weekend - but it was packed, which is a good measure of the popularity of the place. On the downside, the proper drinking area at the front is really quite small, but if you're eating there is plenty of space, including some hidden nooks and booths in the back rooms.

The Fox and Anchor also operates as a small hotel, with six rooms upstairs, and the beautiful interior and exterior really do show what can be achieved with a good central-London pub, without ruining it or pricing ordinary punters out of the market. In fact, the only way it has been ruined is the addition of a cringeworthy website front page statement, announcing 'The pub just got chic'. Yuck!

For more information, visit http://www.foxandanchor.com/

30 January 2011

Join a band at Rough Trade East

The 'Drummer Wanted' board at Rough Trade East is a place where East London's musical hipsters come together to scrawl notes about how they need other hipsters to make their dream work, by playing in their band.


London is presumably where hip young things come to try to make it in the music business, and whilst they're not posing in record shops and riding fixed-wheeled bikes, they actually have to do some practice, and find other musicians to play with, so Rough Trade helps them so it all with bike storage, a huge record shop and a noticeboard.

Rough Trade East is on Dray Walk and is open lateish every night. For more on the shop and its opening hours, click here.

29 January 2011

Converse with Maggi Hambling's Oscar Wilde

Maggi Hambling's A Conversation with Oscar Wilde Statue was installed in 1998, in Adelaide Street, Charing Cross. She created it from green granite and bronze and shows Wilde rising from a sarcophagus, inviting passers-by to sit down and converse with him.


It wasn't until the late 1980s and early 1990s that people started to publicly question why London did not have a memorial to Wilde, and film-maker, author and painter Derek Jarman suggested a statue. When Jarman died in 1994, the Statue for Oscar Wilde committee was formed to ensure that his dream was realised.

Of twelve artists, Hambling's idea was chosen, showing Wilde rising from his tomb for a chat, smoking a cigarette. The base carries his famous quote from the play Lady Windermere's Fan, "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars".

For more information click here.

28 January 2011

Drink at the French House

A favourite of many of those who work around Soho, the French House styles itself as a bohemian hangout, and maintains its gallic stubbornness so well that it even refuses to serve beer in pint glasses.


Originally opened by a German, and subsequently owned by a Belgian, it wasn't until the Second World War that The French House took on its Frenchness, apparently being patronised by Free French Soldiers looking for a nice bar. It is even said that Charles De Gaulle wrote his famous speech, "À tous les Français" in the pub.

The French House subsequently became popular with local artists and writers, who enjoyed the bohemian style of the bar, with Brendan Behan, Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Daniel Farson, Lucian Freud and John Mortimer all having apparently popped in at some stage.

The pub, which had previously been called The York Minster, changed its name in the 1980s, becoming The French House. Today it is known for its attractive downstairs bar, its wines and cocktails, and its atmospheric upstairs dining room.

For more information, see http://www.frenchhousesoho.com/

27 January 2011

Buy choice cuts at The Ginger Pig

Ginger Pig is a posh butchers with branches in Hackney, Marylebone, Borough Market and Waterloo. They aim to provide meat from the best, happiest animals, raised on Grange Farm, East Moor Farm and Blansby Park Farm in the North Yorkshire Moors.


Whether its Longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs, or Dorset, Texel or Swaledale sheep, it's all jolly nice, and it's available all over town from well-trained butchers who know what they are doing.

And if this sort of thing really excites you, The Ginger Pig also does Butchery Classes under the tuition of their team of skilled butchers at the Marylebone store, but as with the meat itself it comes at a price.

For more information, visit http://www.thegingerpig.co.uk/

^Picture © alex_lee2001 used under Creative Commons^

26 January 2011

Learn about Australia House

Another national day is upon us, for today is Australia Day, so let's examine Australia House on the Strand, the High Commission of Australia. When they were handing out High Commissions, Australia certainly lucked out, with a huge building begun by Dove Brothers in 1913, and finally opened by King George V, in the presence of the Australian Prime Minister, Mr W. M. Hughes, after the First World War Armistice, in summer 1918.


Designed by Scots architects, A. Marshal Mackenzie and Son, the building is certainly impressive, and apparently its interior has the dubious honour of having been used as the set for Gringotts Bank, in a children's film about a young wizard called Harry Potter.

Various Australian Agencies operate from the building, including the National Library of Australia, which has an office charged with collecting printed materials, documents, paintings and photographs relating to Australia. With voting in Australia compulsory, Australia House also sets up as a polling station for at election-time, and we are told that London's large expatriate Australian population means that more votes are cast here than at any polling station in Australia itself.

For more information, visit http://www.uk.embassy.gov.au/lhlh/History.html

25 January 2011

Remember Robert Burns at the Embankment Gardens memorial

Tonight is Burns night, and the famous poet's presence is certainly felt strongly in London. Not only are there a vast array of London Burns Night events on offer, but the man himself is remembered in various ways across the city, perhaps most notably by a statue in Embankment Gardens.


One of three casts of the same sculpture by Sir John Steell, it was presented to London by John Gordon Crawford and unveiled by Lord Rosebery in July 1884. The other two statues are in Dundee and New York. A bust based on the statue can also be found in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

For more information, see http://www.robertburns.plus.com/MonumentsLondon.htm

^Picture © www.gardenbreaks.com used under Creative Commons^

24 January 2011

Spy the Admiralty Citadel

It's right at the heart of London, just a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and the Mall, but many people have probably never heard of or spotted the Admiralty Citadel. Marked above ground by a squat windowless World War II fortress covered in Virginia creeper which has died back a bit, possibly because it is currently winter, it is oddly well camouflaged for such a prominent location.


Constructed in 1940-1941, apparently as a bomb-proof operations centre for the Admiralty, complete with gun emplacements, the Citadel has foundations 30 feet deep and a concrete roof 20 feet thick. It is known for its ugliness, described by Churchill as a "vast monstrosity which weighs upon the Horse Guards Parade", and its appearance has even been the subject of a debate in the House of Commons.

Sadly, it isn't open to the public as it is still used as a working building by the Ministry of Defence, but it is interesting to cast your eye over as you walk around the area. For more information click here.

23 January 2011

Experience the awful service at Cafe Churchill

Right at the heart of touristland, at 49 Parliament Street, in Westminster, Cafe Churchill is a fascinating place. Obviously not worried about attracting repeat customers, the staff are amazingly abrupt, and prices for average food are inflated to the point that very few of the thousands of civil servants who work within a few hundred metres ever go back.


On one occasion, sitting in a completely empty downstairs area with friends for lunch, your author was asked to move to a smaller table, which he did. He ate at the new table, as his original one, and all others remained entirely vacant, and left before a single new customer had entered the room.

Your author doesn't want readers to think that he is annoyed with the Cafe at all, in fact he has been back fairly often, and finds the bizarre attitude of those who work there oddly endearing, but he wouldn't want people to misunderstand, and take this as a recommendation.

Even the student rioters seem to have taken it, graffiting the awning with the word 'revolution' during a recent protest, perhaps in an attempt to get the staff to notice them.

For more on Cafe Churchill, try clicking here.

22 January 2011

Seek out the grave of Giro the dog

In the shadow of the Duke of York Column, at the top of the steps by the Royal Society and Carlton House Terrace is the grave of Giro the dog, whose owner Dr Leopold von Hoesch, whilst he was a well-respected diplomat under both the Weimar Republic and Nazi Government, famously received a full Nazi funeral in London in 1936.


Giro was an Alsatian, who actually died two years earlier in 1934, and probably had no idea what was going on in his home country, being a dog and all. However, often judged guilty by association to the newly-elected Nazi Government, whose British base was at the German Embassy at 8 & 9 Carlton House Terrace, nowadays Giro is almost as famous as his late owner.

Killed by accidental electrocution, having apparently chewed through a live wire during extension work, Giro was laid to rest in what was then the grounds of the Embassy, but is now basically just a patch of bare earth.

Your author is sure he has heard a tour guide tell unsuspecting tourists that Giro's ghost haunts the Carlton House Terrace and Waterloo Place to this day, but that's probably just for effect, and ghosts don't even actually exist. For more, click here.

21 January 2011

Eat at the Horseshoe Inn - the Mongolian pub

Tucked away in the back-streets behind London Bridge Station, in the shadow of the Shard, sits a ordinary-looking pub, with a pretty ordinary clientèle. An interesting flash of colour in the story of the Horseshoe Inn, however, is that it has a special Mongolian menu, and Mongolian bar and kitchen staff.


Thankfully, the menu includes English translations, with various dishes on offer, and some interesting Mongolian Dim Sum, all very reasonably priced. It's a good spot for a drink and a bite to eat if you're in the area, and the regulars seem a pleasantly mixed bunch. There was even football on the telly, though disappointingly, it was English and not Mongolian teams playing.

For more information, and a proper review, head over to the Randomness Guide to London.

20 January 2011

Gaze into Kapoor's Turning the World Upside Down

There's so much to see in this great city, that until today your author has kept forgetting to highlight Anish Kapoor's Turning the World Upside Down, which is a great piece of installation art showing in Kensington Gardens.


You've probably all seen or heard about it already, but for anyone who hasn't it consists of highly reflective stainless steel mirrors, which, we are told 'create illusory distortions of the surroundings' and 'new vistas in this famous and much-loved setting'.

It's more immediately likable as a concept than the bizarre tower of money he's building for the Olympics, and there are four different ones to choose from, so even if you hate them you get a nice walk around a pretty park in between. Now if only we can secure a decent weekend of weather to make them work properly...

Turning the World Upside Down runs until 13 March 2011. For more, visit http://www.serpentinegallery.org/2010/03/anish_kapoor.html

^Picture © McKay Savage used under Creative Commons^

19 January 2011

Find the Golden Boy of Pye Corner

High up on the wall, on the corner of Giltspur Street and Pye Corner, in the City of London, is a full-size golden statue of a small boy. An inscription below recounts that it is here in commemoration of the Great Fire of London, "Occasion'd" we are told "by the Sin of Gluttony".


The reason that the site was chosen is supposedly that at the time, Pye Corner (for that was its name) was one of London’s most sinful places, and the aptly-named Cock Lane was full of brothels.

We are told that the boy once adorned the front of the Fortune of War public house, which stood on the site until it was demolished in 1910. Nowadays, as the picture shows, he retains a role as a place of pilgrimage for those on walking tours of the City of London. For more information, click here.

18 January 2011

Drink at the Cockpit

The Cockpit, on St Andrews Hill in the City of London, is a pub with an interesting history. Previously, as the name suggests, the venue for City cock fights, it also stands on the site of one of William Shakespeare's old houses.


However, that was all a very long time ago, as we are told that a pub has been here since the 16th century, when it stood by an entrance to Blackfriars monastery, and cockfighting was outlawed at the end of the 19th century. Though the pub has apparently undergone various adjustments and name changes, the gallery from which cockfights were watched is still very obvious inside.

When your author visited on Sunday, however, the pub was rather relaxed and 24 hour news was on on the big telly. It did gain bonus points for being a City pub which opens on Sundays, though, and the downstairs toilets seemed pretty 'original'. For more information, click here to visit the excellent fancyapint.com

17 January 2011

Park your bike at the London Bridge Cycle Park

Your author's bike is basically of no monetary value whatsoever, and that's why he likes it. However, for those with more expensive tastes, the lack of secure cycle storage in London can be a big problem. Yesterday, by chance, he discovered a brilliant solution, and a great example of what can be achieved, for beneath London Bridge Station is a secure cycle park with space for up to 400 bicycles.


Open daily, with secure card entry and changing facilities, the centre, on Weston Street, does make a charge for the peace of mind of having your bike protected. It costs £1.50 per day, £5 per week or £200 per year, with monthly and quarterly plans also available, but if like one of your authors friends you have had a number of bikes - some which cost a ridiculous amount of money - stolen in a relatively short space of time, it can be worth the investment.

The cycle park is presumably aimed at users of the station - in either direction - who want to be able to cycle for part of their journey, and as long as it is financially viable your author is a big fan of the idea.

For more information, see the bottom of this page on the TFL website, or click here.

16 January 2011

Attend a service at St Peter's Italian Church

There have been Italians in London for hundreds of years, and the population started to rise significantly in the 19th century. By the middle of the century, around 2,000 Italians had settled in the slums around Clerkenwell, and a Roman Catholic priest decided they needed a church. St Peter's opened on 16th April 1863, operating as a church for all Catholics in the community, with a distinctly Italian look and feel.


Designed by the Irish architect Sir John Miller-Bryson, using plans drawn by Francesco Gualandi of Bologna, modelled on the Basilica of San Crisogono in Trastevere, Rome, the church was originally the only one in the country in the Basilica style.

St Peter's offers lunchtime services on weekdays, with other services on Saturdays and up to four on Sundays. There are also various other community groups and an annual pilgrimage to Aylesford, Kent.

For full details, visit http://www.italianchurch.org.uk/

^Picture from Wikimedia Commons, © Lonpicman used under Creative Commons^

15 January 2011

See Rivelino's Nuestros Silencios

Yesterday, a new art exhibit was opened in Victoria Tower Gardens, just south of the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster. Designed by Mexican artist Rivelino, Nuestros Silencios consists of a circle of ten bronze five metre-tall sculptures, which represent the need for freedom of expression.


The sculptures were created in celebration of the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, and have already been shown in Lisbon, Madrid, Brussels and Berlin and have now arrived in London for about a month.

The sculptures will be in the Gardens until 16th February, when they move to Paris. For more information, see here, or here

14 January 2011

Infiltrate the Stafford's Wine Cellars

Your author has written about the Stafford Hotel in Mayfair before, when he visited their famous American Bar, but the hotel has another special secret. Below an old stable yard lies their 350-year-old stone wine cellar, created by Lord Francis Godolphin and, the hotel claims, home to between 18,000 and 20,000 bottles, making it one of the most complete wine collections in London.


The wines include Château Lafite Rothschild 1961 and 1976, a Château Leoville Poyferre 1978, and 'approximately 800 labels', all watched over by Master Sommelier Gino Nardella. If you are lucky, you might be able to persuade him to take you on a tour of the hotel's $1m collection, and very special guests might even get invited to dine down here.

The cellars were, your author understands, also used during the Second World War to shelter during air raids, and a collection of memorabilia from that period is also held in the cellar, as a memorial of that time.

For more information on the cellars, click here.

13 January 2011

Remember the 20th century Martyrs

A more recent addition than you might expect on such an ancient building, new statues of ten 20th century Christian martyrs were added the niches above the above the west gate at Westminster Abbey in 1998.


The statues, placed in spaces that had remained empty since the middle ages, commemorate some fascinating stories of figures who were killed before their time; by the Nazis, by religious fundamentalists, by the Bolsheviks, during the Chinese cultural revolution, and during the rule of Idi Amin, amongst others.

One of the most iconic statues commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr, who was assassinated in 1969, but they cover a range of figures, including the 16 year old South African schoolgirl Manche Masemola.

For more, and full details of all those commemorated by the statues, click here.

^Picture © gadgetdude used under Creative Commons^

12 January 2011

Drink at the Windsor Castle, Marylebone

If you're a royalist, or a fan of British eccentricities, the Windsor Castle, on Crawford Place in Marylebone, is everything you can hope for in a pub. There are trinkets and photos everywhere in the pub, all commemorating something or other, and it's a lovely spot to spend an evening.


A celebration of everything British, from the Queen Mother wall, to the handlebar moustache club photographs, the door is even guarded by a model Welsh Guard, in a sentry box. It's so British they even do genuine British Thai food - none of that American muck here.

If you want to thoroughly examine all the walls, it is probably best to arrive a bit earlier in the day, to give yourself time, and space, to take it all in, but you will probably drive yourself crazy trying to see it all. Probably best to just get a drink. You deserve it.

For more information, head over to the fantastic fancyapint.com

11 January 2011

Take a walk around Woldingham

The area around Woldingham, in the Surrey Hills, is designated an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', and is a beautiful spot for a walk, surrounded by steep hills and sweeping valleys, and just half an hour from Victoria by train.


Your author generally sets an arbitrary boundary for articles at the M25, and to demonstrate that he also caters for those in outer London, he took a very pleasant walk in the vicinity of Woldingham back in October.

It's a lovely spot to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Central London, to wander along past Woldingham School and wonder who on earth can afford to send their children to such a school, where some girls bring their own polo ponies, but others just use the trained polo school ponies provided. The only problem with the walk is that - horror of horrors - Woldingham doesn't appear to have a pub.

For more information on a walk in the area, visit http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/northdowns/uploads/Woldinghamleaflet.pdf

10 January 2011

Pop into church.co.uk

As the church struggles to keep up with the modern world, it was inevitable really, and in 2003, Christ Church & Upton Chapel in Lambeth decided to rename itself church.co.uk.


Though the original Christ Church was largely destroyed during the Second World War, and Upton Chapel was completely wiped off the map, the current modern building was rebuilt in 1960, and the original spire of Christ Church remains.

Following the Second World War, the church operated without a base for some time. Because of this, the decision was taken to unite the two churches, and today, they operate as a normal church, also offering a home to the Hub Coffee House which serves decent soups and other snacks from 8am to 4pm on weekdays.

The remaining spire itself has an interesting story having been donated by the family of Abraham Lincoln in recognition of the support given by the church in the battle for the emancipation of the slaves in North America. For it was here, a short walk from the Houses of Parliament, that William Wilberforce and friends held many of their anti-slavery meetings.

For more information, visit http://church.co.uk/

9 January 2011

Learn about the Naval & Military Club ghost

Almost every old building in London seems to have a ghost, and the old home of the Naval & Military Club, at 94 Piccadilly, is no different. In the mid-1990s, an apparition was seen by one of the club staff, notable for its swept-back hair and a Second World War ankle-length brown trench coat.


The ghost was identified as Major William Henry Braddell, who had been a member until his death. Legend has it that, on his last visit to the club in May 1940, he had been set to dine with two friends, and left the room fleetingly, to return and find it bombed out, and his friends dead. Around a week later, the Major himself was killed in an air raid. It is thought he came back to haunt the club because he felt so at home there.

According to Steve Roud in London Lore, which your author received for Christmas, when The Sun covered the story in 1994, it reported that the club would not be calling in an exorcist, as Major Braddell was still a member.

For more on the story, see here.

***Edit - A reader more knowledgable than your author points out that the ghost was at the club's former premises (pictured) in Cambridge House, Piccadilly, and the club purchased a new premises at St James's Square in 1996, to which it moved in 1999. The ghost was, therefore, at the club's old premises. Sorry!***


^Picture © Herry Lawford used under Creative Commons^

8 January 2011

Watch the flood forecasting lions

The lions who keep watch along the Thames in Central London, holding mooring rings in their mouths, play an interesting role as a flood warning system for superstitious Londoners, keen to keep an eye on water levels in the Thames.


A rhyme helps to remember how to keep watch on the lions. It is said that...

"When the lions drink, London will sink"
"When it’s up to their manes, we’ll go down the drains"
"When the water is sucked, you can be sure we’re all ... in trouble"


So if the level of the Thames reaches their mouths, we are at risk of a flood. Thankfully, it hasn't yet. The rings were, we are told, designed by Timothy Butler and installed as part of Sir Joseph Bazalgette's Victorian sewage works programme in 1868-70.

For more on superstitious flood-watching, see here.

^Picture © Elliott Brown used under Creative Commons^

7 January 2011

Marvel at the British Museum Totem Poles

The towering Haida totem pole below, at the British Museum, is a certainly one of the most striking features in the Great Court at the centre of the building. It stands 39 feet high and was carved from a single cedar trunk.


Made by the native American Haida people of Kayang, near Masset, on Queen Charlotte Island in Canada, when Charles Frederick Newcombe acquired it for the Museum in 1903, it was already around fifty years old.

The pole, we are told, tells the story of the lazy son-in-law, and is topped off with a representation of the Haida house chief, holding his club. For more information see here or here.

6 January 2011

Discover your future at Mysteries

At the Mysteries shop in Covent Garden, they've been indulging in all sorts of new age nonsense since 1982, and they're still going strong, offering psychic readings, classes in creative mediumship, reiki and tarot and a range of books and other things.


Though your author isn't really a fan of the cult of celebrity, their list of famous customers is intriguing, covering people as diverse as Donna Air, Billy Bragg, Naomi Campbell, Jimmy Cliff, Alanis Morrisette, Jimmy Nail and 'Harry Potter', though your author was sure the latter was fictional.

The shop is situated at 9-11 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, and is open daily, with rather odd opening hours (Mondays, 10.02 - 18.55 etc). A half hour psychic reading costs £35. For more information, visit http://www.mysteries.co.uk/.

5 January 2011

Dine at the Wallace Restaurant

Set in a glass atrium that is also home to the Wallace Collection's sculpture garden, the Wallace Restaurant is a French brasserie, which promises seasonal dishes with imported French ingredients.


Part of Peyton & Byrne's extensive museum and gallery cafe arsenal, the Wallace Restaurant is undoubtedly an atmospheric place, even if the main menu is a bit beyond your author's means.

The restaurant is open daily from for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and also for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. For more information, visit http://www.thewallacerestaurant.co.uk/.

4 January 2011

See the Soho Square Gardener's Hut

Though Soho Square was laid out in 1681, it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that a distinctive half-timbered Gardener's Hut was placed at the centre, which according to local legend contained the entrance to a secret tunnel that links to Buckingham Palace.


The most recent hut was, it is thought, built by the Charing Cross Electricity Company in the 1920s, to hide an electricity substation. Today, the two-storey hut is a Grade II listed structure, and is maintained by Westminster City Council. Architecturally, the shed is, we are told, an octagonal market cross building in the Tudorbethan style.

For more information, visit http://westminster.gov.uk/myparks/parks/soho-square/

3 January 2011

Watch for Hawks in Trafalgar Square

Patrolling the area to keep the pigeons at bay since 2003, a pair of Harris Hawks are generally on out and about each day in Trafalgar Square.


They are rather attractive birds, and seem to do the job well, but considering that they have cost up to £78,241 a year, you would expect them to be helpful.

The tourists seem to like them, too, and if they are keeping the sky rats at bay, then this is presumably good, though when your author was younger he always thought that the Square was famed for its pigeons.

For more background, click here or here.

^Picture © Tony Hisgett used under Creative Commons^

2 January 2011

Visit the Harcourt, London's Swedish pub

London is blessed with many cultural communities, and the Swedish are no different. One notable example of life in Swedish London is the Harcourt, a short distance from the Swedish Embassy, in the same road as a Swedish Church. For a few years now, the Harcourt has been London's Swedish Pub.


Many their bar staff are Swedish, and they sell Swedish Cider, show Swedish sports, host Swedish events and serve up Swedish food. It's all rather Swedish, and it's also a nice pub on a quiet street with decent prices.

For more click here or visit http://www.theharcourt.com/.

1 January 2011

Reflect on TOLTOL's 2010

It has been another busy year here at Tired of London Towers. Your author has been doing his best to continue to think of things to do in London, and thankfully you have all kept popping by to read it, with the number of unique visits this year having nearly trebled on last year.


The most popular posts in 2010 were Sohos Secret Tea Room, which your author discovered whilst talking to strangers in the Coach and Horses in Soho, the Wibbley Wobbley in Greenland Dock, the Mayfield Lavender Farm and the Battersea Car Boot sale.

Following on from the establishment of Bored of Brighton in 2009, 2010 saw the concept go antipodean, with the start of Perthect Day, in the Western Australian capital, giving your author even more time to think about how he should have franchised this idea, and also the rather late launch of the Tired of London Facebook page.

Tired of London, Tired of Life's Second Birthday took place in October, and was lovely evening, allowing your author to meet readers, friends and other bloggers in the flesh and listen to some excellent music from Alexandra Carter & Tiramisu with the fantastic support of the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green. Your author also did a podcast interview for Londonist Out Loud, and was featured in the Times, which would have been brilliant if it wasn't for their new traffic-dulling paywall.

Your author spent time with some excellent London bloggers over the year, including everyone from Londonist and Twitter.com/LDN, Jane from Jane's London, Ian from Ian Visits, Mecca from Annie Mole's London Underground Blog and others, and thoroughly enjoyed the work of illusive bloggers he has never met, including Diamond Geezer, the Shady Old Lady and the Greenwich Phantom.

2011 will hopefully be just as productive, and your author will do his utmost to continue to suggest one thing a day to do in London, and hopefully even launch some other stupid boy projects...

Thank you all for reading this year. It has been fun.