We are straightforward creatures. Head down, we navigate a raft of obstructions in our bid to get to work as quickly as humanly possible, coffee in one hand, croissant in the other, never looking aside save for traffic.
Looking upward on Kingsway, that major thoroughfare dividing Holborn from its more pleasant neighbour Covent Garden, a delicious array of classics can be sought in times of repose! Haussmann would be proud. A dead straight line of barefaced cheek cutting straight through the middle of ye olde London, there’s nothing like a bit of grand planning to really ruffle feathers. I have no idea if it did. All I know is that I likey-likey.
It’s the Portland stone. And the columns. And the large wooden doors that hide other worlds. Attics with residences. Pavements that are wide and luxurious allowing people an orderly journey into work. A festival of confidence, nineteenth century grace contrasting the odd modernist beauty, capped off at the end with the elegant art deco BBC World Service (Bush House). What’s not to love?
Arcadian – that’s a word! – an ideal when Kingsway was but a twinkle in its creator’s eye. Of course we are not Paris (and in some ways the better for it). There’s nothing like scruffy old London poking through the grandeur.