In the first of our London Voices where we invite Londoners to share their views of living in the capital, we chat with George McGeorge. She was born in Ilford and has spent all her life in London – when not travelling – and now works as a virtual assistant and a life coach in North London.
Thanks for agreeing to be our first London Voices guinea pig. What do you love most about London?
What is there not to love?! I love the people and the culture from the theatre to art exhibitions, concerts, film, food from every part of the world to being connected both nationally and internationally to travel anywhere of your dreams.
What have you missed most during the pandemic?
I’ve really missed live theatre. I tried watching an online event in the early days of the first lockdown and it wasn’t the same for me. It made me appreciate the theatre even more. I’ve also missed music gigs and the cinema. Nothing beats live music and seeing films on the big screen. I’m most looking forward to seeing friends and family again. We’ve stayed in contact by phone and over the internet but social get-togethers are the best.
Have you started doing something new during the lockdown?
Zoom meetings. Those days of working virtually from bed have long gone!
If you had one tip for a new visitor to London, what would it be?
One tip. That’s such a hard question as there is so much to do in London. I’ve just thought of one. Go on an open top bus tour to get your bearings and to see how all the London sights are connected. As I know London bus routes well, I always took visitors on the local buses jumping on and off with our daily bus passes but then I had older relatives visit so I took them on an open top bus and I’ve never looked back. From that moment, whenever my partner and I visit a new city either in the UK or overseas, we always start with an open top bus tour to give us our bearings and an idea of which sights we want to investigate more.
The perfect pub in the heart of North London with a beautiful pub garden which makes you feel like you’re in the land of Narnia or the Tardis
Or if they only had one day to spend in London, what would you suggest they do?
Have breakfast at the Sky Garden for amazing 360-degree views; walk across London Bridge to Borough Market and sample the wonderful produce; enjoy a refreshment at Aqua Shard on the 32nd floor of The Shard; jump on a Thames Clipper along the river to Greenwich where you can take a trip on the cable car, visit the millennium dome, the market and stand on the meridian line in Greenwich Park; jump on the boat back to the Embankment to sample the delights and the surroundings of Gordon’s Wine Bar; then finish the evening at a hidden gem in Piccadilly Brasserie Zédel for a meal, a cocktail in Bar Américain or a show at The Crazy Coqs.
Most importantly, what’s your favourite watering hole?
It’s too hard to narrow my favourite pub down to one but I think I’ve done well naming just three. The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park – the perfect pub in the heart of North London with a beautiful pub garden which makes you feel like you’re in the land of Narnia or the Tardis! Just how did they build it?
Gordon’s Wine Bar, Embankment – it takes you back in time. It’s a place so many Londoners miss as they walk down Villiers Street but slow down and head down to this cellar bar. It won’t disappoint you from the amazing selection of port and wine to the selection of cheese, pâtés and a great Sunday lunch.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead – a warm welcome is waiting for you at this pub tucked away in the backstreets of Hampstead. A perfect pit stop after you’ve had a leisurely walk on Hampstead Heath.
Finally, if you were Mayor of London for one day, what would you do?
Make public transport free for all to encourage everyone to get out and explore the sights and sounds of London!
George is the first of our London Voices. If you wish to nominate someone to join our series, then simply email us at [email protected].
Main London Voices image: George at The Rotunda @ Kings Place, King’s Cross with partner Boon (photo by Andy Clowes). Background image: Gilbert Scott ceiling at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, King’s Cross St Pancras Station.