Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hidden London: the streets they didn’t want you to see.

Hanway Street. It hides out the back of Primark where young staff loiter puffing their lives away on bad cigarettes, drugs, and a lifetime of depression … Oh that’s someone else’s tune! We always think about the London that impresses. The cool fuss of Soho, the ecstatic pleasure of Regent street, Berkeley square, Whitehall, Pall […]

King’s Cross station, a confusion of the present

Social media is abuzz (or at least mildly humming) over the new forecourt of King’s Cross station. That green shed out front has been removed to reveal an open space, a place for people to meet, or at least offer an easier way across to the McDonald’s at the corner. But spaces are all about […]

Challenge day 5: Friday finish line

A friend of mine stated categorically the reason why Londoners dine at chain food palaces. The low-key caffs, sandwich bars and restaurants offer such bad quality food – and in some ways he’s right. We eat at chains because we’re scared of what’s gonna end up on our tables. Sure, there’s plenty of good – […]

Challenge day 4: Scouring the streets of Soho

The thing about this challenge is that you find yourself getting a bit of exercise thrown in. Take today. I searched. I went into a cool cafe and found an idle lone croissant on the counter. In the Vietnamese round the corner, the fluoro type meant I wasn’t sure if it was a chain or […]

Challenge day 3: Make mine, purlease

I was really spurred on by yesterday’s luncheon. At No 26, the woman behind the counter seemed genuinely honoured when I told her of my challenge to eat at a non-chain everyday this week. I was honoured that she was honoured. An honourable glow permeated from me all day. Today, however, I was killing for […]

Challenge day 2: Down Charlotte Street way

Day 2 of my challenge takes me towards Charlotte Street once more. Basically, No 26 looks like everything I desire. With not a scrap of advertising in sight, my eyes are immediately drawn to the diet Coke in the icebox (see how my mind works?). Still, it’s in a bottle with a cap the women […]

Puppet challenge no 1: “No chain, no hunger pain.”

I make no secret of my dislike of Pret. I never want to spend a single penny in one of their stores again. Once, they offered a service, a place to buy lunch. Now they own lunch. No high street, junction or boutique village is complete without one. I don’t like it. So the challenge […]