Goodbye London: you’ve been a cool place to explore

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

Although I wouldn’t phrase it quite so strongly as Johnson did in the 18th century, I very nearly agree. I love London: have done since I arrived in February 2001. There are wondrous experiences to have elsewhere, though, so here we go.

But there have been so many places, sights, and events here that have been amazing. Here are some I won’t forget.


  • Outsider Tart make amazing sweet treats at their Chiswick shop or several London markets
  • Colchester Oysters from an alley behind Columbia Road flower market
  • L’autre, the Mexican and Polish restaurant in Mayfair
  • Ealing Italian food at Osteria del Portico
  • Southall, and especially Madhu’s: the best Indian ever
  • Kiraku’s super Japanese in Acton
  • Wonderful gastropub the Ealing Park Tavern


  • Sitting on the pavement at The Bulls Head pub in Chiswick, letting my legs dangle over the Thames
  • Crispins Wine Bar in Ealing: so low-key, so local
  • Monmouth Coffee and their shops around the city
  • The Gallery bar in West Hampstead
  • Proud Bar and Gallery in Camden stables
  • West Kensington’s Builders Arms pub
  • The old warren of rooms that is the Hollybush pub in Hampstead
  • Ealing’s Red Lion pub
  • Munson’s coffee and deli in Ealing
  • Taste a thousand ales: the Great British Beer Festival at Earl’s Court
  • Smallest pub in London, The Nag’s Head in Knightsbridge

Sights and Things

  • The Thames. Pubs along it, walking along it, the South Bank, boating on it. It’s a peaceful, pervasive river
  • Notting Hill Carnival is so exciting
  • People whinge about the Tube, but it really is a great way to get around the city
  • The Woman in Black play at the Fortune Theatre. So scary I saw it twice
  • Borough Market near London Bridge has been running for a thousand years. It’s great for foodies
  • Crazy, busy, stand-offish, multi-ethnic, bustling, keep-to-themselves, widespread, worldly Londoners
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Museum
  • British Museum
  • British Library
  • Feeding the fanboy: Shaftesbury Avenue’s Forbidden Planet
  • The Tate Modern
  • Walking and running and playing frisbee and watching kite-flyers on Hampstead Heath


  • The Astoria would be here, but it’s now gone
  • Brixton Academy is just the right balance of size and vibe
  • The O2 for large-venue modern style and efficiency
  • The Royal Albert Hall is magic
  • Ain’t Nothin’ But… in Soho for my live blues fix
  • Indie opulence at Camden’s Koko

2 Responses to “Goodbye London: you’ve been a cool place to explore”

  1. October 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Don’t go! There’s still so much to do!

  2. 2 Miss B
    October 11, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Think about what you’d seen and discovered when you first landed in London – you’ll be standing in that same spot in Sydney. So much to see, do and discover I look forward to readign the antipodean equivalent from the New Country.

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