Books like Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five and The Secret Seven spawned a personal obsession with secret passages, bookcase doors and hidden rooms. The children’s adventure series were the reason I would knock on walls in my parents’ and friends’ houses. I loved the idea that I could sneak from room to room without anyone
Where are London’s highest points? In search of the capital’s thinnest air and fairest natural views, I got researching. The question’s initially problematic because it depends what you count as London – Wikipedia names Westerham Heights as the loftiest spot, for instance, but that’s, like, halfway to France, man. In the end, I’ve decided anywhere
A few years ago, whilst strolling over the Seine across the Passerelle-Solferino in Paris, I stumbled across hundreds of padlocks adorning the bridge, all inscribed with initials, hearts and ‘amour’. Bemused, I (of course) had a Google to find out more and came across a simple explanation – “padlocks symbolise the unbreakable bond in love”.
I like to soak up the local café scene on my travels (and at home in London) and am terribly snobby when it comes to coffee. Here are some of my favourite cafés around the world: Café New York, Budapest There’s something rather special about sipping espresso in opulent surroundings. Set in the Boscolo Budapest
Fancy a really interesting weekend break over the next few months, with great food, blue skies and sunshine, relaxation in a fascinating city and more than a touch of highly-accessible culture? Try Athens, which offers so much to see and do, and fit in visits to two fascinating museums. They could of course each take
If I have to go the Natural History Museum again this decade, I’ll cry. My ability to infect my child with enthusiasm for taxidermied animals is on the wane. Some days – of the 16 or so weeks of school holiday we have to fill each year – I just want to sit down, drink
London, early-2011. Four trends explode: Dalston, pop-ups, ping pong and supperclubs. As befits an exploding trend, they all immediately implode, and are mostly now, two years hence, officially ‘over’. To the point where Harry Styles is partying in Dalston, pop-ups are as exciting as press releases and table-tennis bars are ten-a-penny. Suppercubs, though – supperclubs
The smell of freshly baked bagels, the iconic yellow cabs swarming the streets and the relentless sound of police and fire-engine sirens. These are all features that, to some extent, define the city of New York. Having lived in the neighbouring state of Connecticut for seven years, I would frequently take in these sights and
You’re never too old for Disney. Sacrilege to suggest it, surely? Well – sacré bleu – I am.
Considering buskers as musicians who’ve passed an audition put them in a different light, and I cast my mind back to those who’d made a lasting impression on me…