Category Urban decay

My museum is better than your museum (plus two shards)

You may have heard of Dennis Severs’ House on Folgate Street in Spitalfields. It’s the small museum that makes a virtue of its crumbly interior, where rooms have been unrenovated and returned to their eighteenth century mood and your tour is provided by candlelight and the insidious smells of the past. It is a fascinating […]

Why does Georgian architecture look even better in the autumn? – plus a Shard

Like daffodils in spring and ice-cold chocolate milkshakes in summer, there’s nothing like a bit of Georgian architecture in the autumn. Light just hits those white-rimmed windows and sets them off, don’t you think? The quieter parts of Holborn are rife with the earlier and far stricter period, that of the 1720s. And just to prove that […]

Like a fading Hollywood star, Sitges looks great in the evening light…

Sitges. Home of the free pour. Can someone – please, anyone! – remind me of this for next time? The summer retreat of Picasso, Sitges has dimensions beyond its beach and bars. An impossibly idyllic old town struts out onto a headland, a church romantically at its stern as if put there for the photographs, and a meander […]

Signs of life in Bloomsbury

Or perhaps the School of Life? No matter, Bloomsbury remains the undiscovered gem of London, the British Museum its gate, moat and castle wrapped into one. ‘Stop. Do not come forward. Here is Bloomsbury’s waiting room but you will require further scrutiny before travelling beyond our gates.’ Bloomsbury is a neighbourhood scarred by its proximity to […]

Inside Florence’s machine

The flavour of a city comes from the depths of its streets. In this case, very deep streets. For this reason, Florence is the archetypal Italian city, the one everyone thinks of. Darting left, you can escape the throng, hide in another tunnel of darkness, finding your own peace. Puppetman Senior and Mother are in […]

At you like a ton of bricks

Brick Lane. Nothing says London better. Take a wonderful sunny day and then you’ve nailed it. Dive in because tomorrow is another day, as they say, and then it could all be so very different cos I remember the days of burnt-out buildings and tatty collectables laid out on blankets asking for best price. Spitalfields […]

Clerkenwell by night, textures, acid light

Some areas are made for night. Secret alleyways, abandoned buildings, mysterious figures hidden behind windows… really Clerkenwell is London’s horror film set. The smell of the city is thick here. What is that odour? – you ask. Age. Great age. We have somehow forgotten the Orders that used to call this part of town home but […]