The London Grill: Katie Wignall

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.

Katie-Wignall

[K]atie is the founder of Look Up London, an award-winning blog about the London secrets hidden above your eyeline. A born and bred Londoner, she recently left her full time job to become a walking tour guide and currently runs walks along Fleet Street and in Spitalfields (with more in the pipeline!)

Small-business-awards_thumb.gifWhat’s your secret London tip?
I guess I’m going to have to say; Look Up! I promise that you’ll spot something new as you’re walking through The City.

What’s your secret London place?
I don’t even want to tell you because it’s so good, but as you’re twisting my arm… Townhouse, Spitalfields. It’s a glorious coffee shop, gallery and antique dealer which houses the fascinating ‘Huguenot Map’.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
As a born and bred Londoner my biggest gripe are the stereotypes of London, we’re not all angry and unfriendly, honest!

What’s your favourite building?
I love the V&A for it’s sheer vastness and grandeur but other smaller galleries are fantastic. My favourite is probably Leighton House, if you want a fancy interior, go no further.

What’s your most hated building?
The Barbican. (BUT!) Only from the inside, it’s impossible to navigate. From the outside on a sunny day though it’s glorious, I have a soft spot for Brutalism.

What’s the best view in London?
I used to work at the National Theatre so the walk across Waterloo Bridge, both to the East and West cannot be beaten.

What’s your personal London landmark?
It’s so hard to choose but I’ll have to say Crossbones Graveyard. It’s a place that many people have walked by and not noticed, but once you delve into its history it’s a fascinating and desperately sad story. I think it’s a great example of the layers of London history, right up to the current work of activists battling to protect it.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
I’m going rogue here but I love the Londonist podcast, it’s a chance to hear real Londoners who are all doing unusual things in the capital.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
I love the Morgan Arms in Mile End, cracking food and a great atmosphere. If you’re lucky the head chef might also come out and sing an aria.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
I have a huge list of places I want to visit (the best thing about London is that there’s always more to discover) so I’d check off something on the list, next up is Ilford Hospital Chapel or Eltham Palace. Got any other suggestions? Let me know on katie@lookup.london

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