The London Grill: Lloyd Shepherd

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.

[L]loyd Shepherd is a writer, journalist and digital producer. He is the author of The English Monster, and lives in South London with his wife and children.

What’s your secret London tip?
The Vale Street Recycling Centre in Lambeth. It’s not a proper tip anymore, but you can recycle almost anything there, and the blokes who work there are always friendly and helpful.

What’s your secret London place?
Either Wapping or Rotherhithe. Either side of the Thames, both are still strangely undeveloped and filled with old buildings, intriguing walls and, best of all, great pubs. Try The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping or The Mayflower in Rotherhithe.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
People who are always griping about London. If you don’t like it, do feel free to move.

What’s your favourite building?
County Hall (1922-1986)

What’s your most hated building?
County Hall (1986-present)

What’s the best view in London?
The view from the top of Brockwell Park.

What’s your personal London landmark?
There are two, each one the birthplace of one of my children: my house and St Thomas’s Hospital.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
From Hell, by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. An extraordinarily rich graphic novel retelling the saga of Jack the Ripper.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
Pub: the Half Moon in Herne Hill. Restaurant: Franklins in East Dulwich.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
I’d take the Overground to Wapping, have lunch in the Prospect of Whitby, walk along the river into the City and along the Embankment, watch the lights of London come on from Waterloo Bridge, and then see Richard Thompson playing in the Festival Hall. Followed by a boat down to Hammersmith and supper and a beer by the river. Note: this may not be physically possible.

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