The London Grill: Geoffrey Riesel

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.

[T]ODAY WE GRILL Geoffrey Riesel ex-Chairman and CEO of Radio Taxis Group for his responses. His interests include music, reading, movies, theatre, Manchester United, Formula 1, driving, food and drinking champagne. He should know a thing or two about London for he has held a taxi licence for many years. Rather against the spirit of “The Grilling”, he claimed that it was quite nice to do, but he did have to think quite hard because he has so many favourites, so his answers must come under favourite favourites.

What’s your secret London tip?
Take the river bus from Greenwich Park to Westminster and back; London looks so magnificently different from the river.

What’s your secret London place?
The Goring Hotel, it is such a calm, old fashioned and gentile backwater.

What’s your biggest gripe about London?
It has to be the “traffic calming” bumps and street furniture along with CCTV cameras being used to “nick” cab drivers who are just going about their work.

What’s your favourite building?
The Savoy Hotel fantastically restored luxurious art deco building.

What’s your most hated building?
Centre Point. I attend the CBI London Regional Council there and even the inside is totally soul-less.

What’s the best view in London?
From the top of the London Eye.

What’s your personal London landmark?
The Gherkin is a smashing and iconic building.

What’s your favourite London film, book or documentary?
It’s a toss-up between The Lady Killers filmed at Kings Cross starring Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom and Passport to Pimlico starring Stanley Holloway.

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
Also the Goring Hotel restaurant with crystal lights by Lord Linley and cordon bleu English food including one of the Queen Mothers’ favourite recipes.

How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London?
Taking my grandchildren to play around Primrose Hill, then lunch at Harry Morgan’s Salt Beef bar in St Johns Wood and finally taking the grandkids around the toy department at Selfridges (I’m sad to say the music department there is no more). Then finally buying some deli from Selfridge’s food store before spoiling the Grandchildren with chocolate from Selfridge’s resplendent sweet shop.

What do you have to say for yourself?

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