My London #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19
#14. Lloyd’s Building, Lime St
London’s pompidou, this place is all inside out. The style is known as bowellism: maximising space on the inside by pushing everything outside. Lifts, stairs, power and pipes all surround the building, casting a wobbly shadow onto Leadenhall Market below. It was designed by Richard Rogers and houses Lloyds of London (the insurance market).
#15. Liberty, Great Marlborough St
Not as old as the tourists believe, but still a building of stature. Liberty sits just off Regent Street, a mock-tudor mansion amidst a sea of beaux-arts buildings. Inside, its a nightmare to navigate, but for all its intricate dark wood panelling, you forgive it. The timber was given by ships including HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable.
#16. 30, St Mary Axe
Famously known, of course, as the Gherkin. An icon, and not just for its appearances on The Apprentice opening credits. On screen, it looks slightly toyish. But in the flesh, its scale is mesmeric. Stand underneath it, and the curvature will throw you off balance and makes you weak at the knees.
#17. Leadenhall Market, Leadenhall Pl
Tucked away beneath the Lloyds building sits Leadenhall market. It dates from to the 14th century, and as you step underneath the vaulted ceilings, you’re transported back there. The shops here include a knowledgeable cheesemonger, a great wine shop, a pen specialist and an old man boozer. My people.
#18. Borough Market, Stoney St
One of the first places I try to take visitors, its busyness has the perfect energy to help them acclimatise to the hustle of everyday London. At over 1000 years old, its the original craft food market, and there are still some fantastic suppliers nestled underneath the railway lines. Very worthy of a place on my list.
#19. Selfridges, Oxford St
A temple to commerce. Romantic classical fascia, on an early 20th century frame. There’s always something interesting on display, and there’s a fantastic cigar room in the basement. It holds a special place in my heart, being the first place I had lunch with my wife.