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.
[S]EAN PATTERSON is an actor and walking tour guide who has lived in London for 35 years. His specialist walks examine Victorian philanthropist Charles Booth’s famous poverty maps, and Sean includes loads of historic and contemporary readings too. He moved to the riverfront at Deptford two years ago and loves to row a Thames Cutter all year round.
What’s your secret London tip?
When not in a cab, ride on the top deck of a bus. Many streets that look dull at ground level, like Tottenham Court Road, look great higher up.
What’s your secret London place?
The bottom of Back Hill in Clerkenwell. You can clearly hear The Fleet River flowing below the drain in the middle of the road.
What’s your biggest gripe about London?
Late and cancelled trains!
What’s your favourite building?
The BT Tower, or Post Office Tower as I continue to call it. When I was a kid I assumed all buildings would be like that in the future, but it remains unique.
What’s your most hated building?
The Walkie Talkie. It’s overbearing.
What’s the best view in London?
The view from the terrace of my flat on the river in Deptford. City skyline to the west, Dome straight ahead and Greenwich to the right.
What’s your personal London landmark?
The Cutty Sark.
What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
The London Nobody Knows narrated by James Mason. My God London was awful in the sixties.
What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
Dog and Bell pub which is my local in Prince St Deptford. It’s old-fashioned without being old-Manish, the atmosphere is great and the beer suburb. It’s got more CAMRA awards than practically anywhere.
How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
On the river. I’m part owner of a Thames Cutter so we’d row down to the Thames Barrier and maybe stop for lunch at The Gun on the way back to Deptford.