Samuel Johnson famously said that ‘he who is tired of London is tired of life’. While there is some truth to this, often it’s not until I leave this great city that I truly appreciate all that it has to offer.
There’s something about travel that brings out the old country in all of us. From every corner to every other corner of the globe, the homebody just has to look at a plane leaving Heathrow and starts yearn for another trip across the Thames. Once on foreign soil we then start behaving – eating, drinking and dressing – like a parody of our usual selves.
I’m no exception to this. Nothing brings out the Englishman in me more than leaving England. When in Rome I do play along and sample the pizza, when in East Asia I’m partial to Beijing dumplings. However I also find myself wanting to show their worlds a bit of Ye Olde London. In Singapore a lot of visiting and ex-pat English had the same feeling. For such a hot, humid climate the place was impressively suited-and-booted. If I didn’t think it would actually stick to my head I’d have brought along a bowler hat.
Each time I land back in our diverse country I want to carry on with this surge of citizenly love. Of course as a Londoner the city has naturally been an influence on me and my style throughout my life. However it’s coming back home that makes me actively seek out inspiration from the best the capital has to offer. Pinstripes and braces stand out in Malaysia but they’re dying out in the heart of the city.
That said London has a lot more than ‘the city’. Over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring and re-discovering a few of the hidden gems which remind me why Johnson was right and how much more London has to give before I’m tired of life...
Westminster - iconic, even through a window in the rain
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