The London Grill: Mandy Southgate

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.


[I] am a South African expat living and working in London. By day I work as a Finance Officer but in my spare time I travel, explore London and blog about my adventures at Emm in London.

What’s your secret London tip?
The best way to discover the city is by foot.

What’s your secret London place?
The bombed out church of St-Dunstan-in-the-East.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
You know those signs everywhere telling you not to abuse staff at banks, train stations and doctor’s offices? They drive me crazy because more often than not, I witness those staff being rude and disrespectful to the public. London: that should change.

What’s your favourite building?
The Shard. I began photographing it when it was a hole in the ground and captured each stage of its development over the next four years.

What’s your most hated building?
The wire mesh monstrosity known as the Boiler Suit. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, it houses the old boiler at Guy’s Hospital and it is simply hideous.

What’s the best view in London?
So far, the best view I have personally had is from the London Eye but naturally, I cannot wait for the viewing deck at The Shard to open up.

What’s your personal London landmark?
Southwark Cathedral.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
Andrew Duncan’s fabulous book Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City, with Original Walks and Unusual Places to Visit.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
Ooooh, it is right on the far boundaries of London but I would have to say the Miller and Carter at Hall Place, Bexley.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
I recently realised that there is just so much I still have to do in London, so the very next day I get off, I will be doing something new such as exploring the Barbican, or going to the British Postal Museum & Archive, the Museum of London or the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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

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