Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Saturday List #140 - My ten London spiritual homes

I believe that to be a "real Londoner", you need a Spiritual home in London. This is not a place you live, but a place that is a refuge for you, somewhere you feel comfortable and at home. Somewhere that you go out of your way to spend time in. It could be a pub, a library, a cafe, a football ground, a church, a mosque. Like your real home you can move it. You can have more than one (just like some folk have holiday homes). Here's my ten!

1. The Mill Hill Tandoori, in Mill Hill Broadway. This is my favourite restaurant in London. The food is reasonably priced and good. It is at the bottom of my road, I've been going for years. The last time I had a meal with my Dad before he had a heart attack and died was there.

2. JD's Cafe in Tudor St. Wherever I have an office, I've always had a cafe. JD's is my current one, next to my office in Blackfriars. A cup of lemon tea and sardines on toast is my dish de jour. Friendly and convenient.

3. The Harrow in Whitefriars St. As well as a cafe, I always have a pub! My current home is The Harrow. It's a fine Fullers pub, with a very friendly ambience. The food is good and it's a great place to spend a lunchtime or evening. As it's off the beaten track it doesn't get absolutely rammed like the other pubs in the area.

4. The Roundhouse. This is not so much a spiritual home as a spiritual cathedral. I am honoured to have my name on the wall, in their display about the history of punk rock, in the 1970's section. It is simply the best venue to see a band in London. As a musician, this places it at the top of my list of venues.
5.Mill Hill Music Complex. My studios and my business. I set it up to be a place that musicians could rehearse, record and feel comfortable and of all the things I've done in my life it is the thing I am proudest of.

6. Powerleague in Mill Hill. I love football. Although I'm 54 yars old and rubbish, I still play five a side twice a week with friends at Powerleague in Mill Hill. It is very much a spiritual home for me.

7. Cafe Buzz in Finchley. For all of us involved in the Barnet Blogging scene, Cafe Buzz is the epicentre of our scene. It's owner Helen Michael is our Archbishop of Canterbury. I doubt that the Barnet bloggers would have evolved to the force we've become in local politics without it. And Helen does a fine breakfast!

8. Friern Barnet People's Library. When the Tories shut the library, us the people reopened it. We stocked the shelves and we created a space where the community could thrive. Occupy took a central role, but the community made it. It was a beacon of what a community can do.

9. Vinyl Boutique records in Parkway. A love record shops and vinyl boutique is run by my old mate Boz Boorer and his missus Lyn. I love the place.

10. The Chandos Arms in Colindale. Run by Are and Emily Kollviet, a run down grot hole, avoided by most sane people has been transformed into a vibrant, friendly, award winning community pub. It is the place I most enjoy drinking beer in London and it is a graphic demonstration of how management can make a difference.

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