The London Grill: Andreas Kambanis

We challenge our contributor to reply to ten devilishly probing questions about their London and we don’t take “Sorry Gov” for an answer. Everyone sitting in the hot seat will face the same questions that range from their favourite way to spend a day out in the capital to their most hated building on London’s skyline to find out just what Londoners really think about their city. The questions might be the same but the answers vary wildly.

Andreas Kambanis

[A]ndreas Kambanis runs the LondonCyclistBlog. It is the most popular cycling blog in London. Inside, he covers topics such as great cycling routes in the capital, staying safe on two wheels and reviews the cycling gear that is worth the money.

What’s your secret London tip?
As a cyclist, my tip would of course be to get on two wheels. It’s often the fastest way around the capital and it’s friendly on the wallet. You may be shocked at the number of pleasant routes through our city. If you don’t have the London knowledge then iPhone and Android apps such as BikeHub will show you the secret routes around London, acting like a GPS for cyclists.

What’s your secret London place?
Just last weekend I was introduced to the Captain Kidd pub in Wapping. This is probably one of my favourite beer gardens in London, with a view over the Thames. Also, it’s a Sam Smith’s pub so the drinks prices are reasonable.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
I’d love to see more cycle lanes through the city to keep cyclists separate from traffic. I think drivers are often confused about cyclists and cyclists are often scared by traffic. Therefore, a raised path or somehow physically separated route for cyclists is the widely agreed best way forward. I’d love to see an end to stories about cyclists been crushed by heavy goods vehicles.

What’s your favourite building?
The Hampstead Pergola. It feels like a secret garden from a movie set. I love how nature is reclaiming this building. A great quiet spot to wonder around.

What’s your most hated building?
I absolutely adore the small gardens near the Mayor’s office by Tower Bridge. However, a housing development is going up behind it. I really think this will change the feel of this part of London. When it’s built, that will be my most hated building!

What’s the best view in London?
Waterloo Bridge at night – I struggle to keep my eyes on the road when pedalling over it.

What’s your personal London landmark?
I’m not sure why, but Marylebone station always feels like home to me. I travel back to Birmingham occasionally to visit family and the familiar site of Marylebone always makes me feel at ease with life.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
I’m a sucker for the old Hitchcock films. Frenzy in particular was a good glimpse in to familiar sights in London many years ago.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
An almost impossible question to answer! There are so many. However, I can never say no to a pint in the Lock Tavern in Camden. The music is to my taste, as is the atmosphere and crowd.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
It would almost certainly involve a bike ride. I’m a creature of habit and a favourite ride of mine is from Tower Bridge, along the Thames Path to Greenwich Park. You even get to cross over the Thames using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. On the other side, Greenwich is a particular pleasant part of London. Little shops, restaurants and an enormous park to lie down and slow things down in this busy city of ours. I’d end the day with a drink in one of the pubs lining the Thames. I’m a particular fan of the ones by Tower Bridge.

This ‘Grill’ was first posted on the Radio Taxis blog.

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