The London Grill: Mark Deighan

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.

[M]ARK DEIGHAN left school at the age of 15 to start an apprenticeship in the glass trade and went on to open his own company in 1997. His great-grandfather who was a Hansom Cab Driver was the inspiration behind him deciding in 2016 to become a London Black Cab Driver. His website is a diary of a journey as a knowledge boy, documenting everything he learns in his pursuit of the coveted green badge.

What’s your secret London tip?
Take the clipper along The Thames, and let the history of this great city sink in, excuse the pun.

What’s your secret London place?
Cherry Garden Pier, it was a lunchtime favourite when at Scott Lidgett School. Now that I’m older I can pop in The Angel for a drink, their balcony has a fantastic view over The Thames.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
Congestion, I find it incredible that we are still travelling at the same speed as a Hansom Cab did in the 1800’s.

What’s your favourite building?
Buckingham Palace, it’s majestic.

What’s your most hated building?
The Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, to add insult to injury someone had the flash of genius to paint it pink.

What’s the best view in London?
Looking across The Thames from Bankside by Shakespeare’s New Globe Theatre at St. Pauls Cathedral.

What’s your personal London landmark?
King Charles the First Island, I am on The Knowledge.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (The book or the film)

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
Manze’s Pie ‘n’ Mash at Tower Bridge Road, it’s like walking into a time warp. It has been in the same family for over 100 years and is London’s oldest surviving Pie ‘n’ eel house.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
I would start off in Greenwich, where you have The National Maritime Museum, The Royal Observatory, The Cutty Sark and The Market. From Greenwich, I would take the Clipper to Bankside as it has many options to while away the afternoon before taking a quick Taxi ride to a show to finish the evening off.

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