DISCLAIMER: For those of you who have ever said “Oh I don’t like London!” or “Oh, I could never like London…it’s too busy!” based solely upon that fateful day trip to Leicester Square that you made with your mum and dad in the late 90’s, I kindly ask you to stop reading this article because I do not wish to be associated with such pea-headed ineptitude. Thank you, that is all.
Now for the meat and potatoes…
Imagine every redeeming quality about Southampton, or any other UK city for that matter, multiplied by a factor of 1,000,000 and condensed into beautiful mosaic of different peoples and cultures that has existed for over 2 millennia. Congratulations, you have just envisaged any one of London’s 32 boroughs.
While London may not possess the romance of Paris or drama of New York, our nation’s capital has a cultural identity like no other city in the world. Regardless of where you step foot within this labyrinth of treasures, there is an overwhelming sense of spectacle and pageantry steeped in thousands of years of history. It is this palpable yet strangely ethereal sense of timeless importance and grandeur that gives London her enduring appeal.
Indeed, from the height of the Roman Empire to the apogée of the British Empire, right up to the present day, London has been consistently at the forefront of the human experience, pushing the boundaries of just about everything there is from film and media to sport and politics.
Then there’s the food…Oh the food…With such a vast array of culinary delights from usual suspects like Indian and Chinese to more obscure yet equally delicious fare such as Georgian and Burmese, London caters for even the most pernickety of customers. And the best part about it is that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the bank to have a great meal in London as every borough can offer great value with Lambeth and Islington being particular foodie favourites.
The thing I love most about London though is that for most Londoners it doesn’t feel like you’re in a major world city. While I love city life and the energy that central London generates, I am most fond of how the city transforms into a green, idyllic wonderland once you leave zone 1 and venture outwards. With countless parks and green spaces, it is more than possible to have a little slice of country life within city limits, firmly dispelling the preposterous notion that London is unliveable because it’s “too hectic.”
Granted real-estate prices are astronomical and completely disproportionate to the rest of the country but this is not a plea to move to London, rather it is a plea to appreciate a fine city in all her glory. And with the Queen’s diamond Jubilee coming up this summer followed by the Olympic Games, London is sure to be at her best this summer.