The London Grill: Jack Cooke

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.


[J]ack Cooke was born in 1985. A sometime bookseller, copywriter and Japanophile, his first book The Tree Climber’s Guide was published in 2016.

What’s your secret London tip?
Go beachcombing on the Thames at low tide. You’ll find a thousand pieces of worthless junk and priceless history.

What’s your secret London place?
The top of pine tree in Regent’s Park.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
The traffic, over and underground.

Tree-Climbers-GuideWhat’s your favourite building?
Senate House. It’s got a single stairwell running through the tower and you can hear the wind howling through it.

What’s your most hated building?
All the generic boxes that keep popping up on the river.

What’s the best view in London?
The Horniman Museum gardens in Forest Hill.

What’s your personal London landmark?
The Hardy Tree in Old St Pancras Churchyard. It’s an ash with hundreds of gravestones growing through the roots.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
The Long Good Friday with Bob Hoskins, showing the docks before they were torn down.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
The Seven Stars on Carey St. Serves my home brew, Adnams, and it’s full of strange black cats in Elizabethan collars.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
A fry up in The Regency Café, a long walk along a canal, browsing in Ray’s Jazz and a swim in the pond on Hampstead Heath.

What do you have to say for yourself?

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