Insider guide to London: Lucy Grogan

Lucy G on Tower Bridge, 2013, by Jessy Boon Cowler
Lucy G on Tower Bridge, 2013, picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

There are many women in London who aspire to the rock chick look, but Lucy is the real deal. She works for Apple Corps, the music publishing company set up by The Beatles, and she’s a biker too: in November 2013 she completed a non-stop ride from one tip of the UK to the other – Lands End to John O’Groats – to raise money for a charity that is close to our hearts at The Wandering Tattler. She knows the best places to get down and dirty and listen to really, really loud music, she can belt out a tune like a pro and she drinks a lot of gin.

Lucy G on Tower Bridge, 2013, picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
Lucy G on Tower Bridge, 2013, picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
Hawksmoor restaurant
Hawksmoor restaurant

Best restaurant for a fancy dinner: The Hawksmoor (any branch). Don’t dress up, do dress up. It’s up to you. Whether you’re ball-gowned or tattooed up in a white vest, the Hawksmoor staff treat you like royalty. This steak house has the best beef in London and you can BYOB too. The service is second to none, the food is beyond deliciously mouth-watering and it’s perfect for romance or a big family dinner. I dig it.

The 12 Bar Club, London
The 12 Bar Club, London, image via http://www.urban75.org

My favourite bar is the 12 Bar Club. Boasting the smallest gig venue in London, it’s a place that knows its good points. The bar itself is stocked to the nines, the music is dirty rock, the bands are hot and heavy but it’s separate from the bar so you’re not forced to listen, and they’ve got pool tables. Do you need anything else?Plus, you can make lots of noise as long as you’re polite to the bartenders. Hey, I got a free shot out of it.

Lucy G on Tower Bridge, 2013, by Jessy Boon Cowler
picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

Best place for ambling: Tower Bridge. The magnificence and history of Tower Bridge and its surrounding buildings are hard to miss. You’ve got the bridge itself, the Tower of London, the Thames and the long walkways that hold all these things together. Whether you turn right or left on either side of the bridge, you’re going to find something to do. Although, if you’re like me and just want a romantic walk with beautiful city skylines and scenery, you’ve come to the right place. Try to stay until nighttime after all the lights come on – you’ll really see something then.

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich
The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, picture by C G P Grey

Best place for a brain workout: Greenwich. Take the Thames Clipper (about £12 return) to Greenwich Pier and go see old London. You’ve got the Cutty Sark ship which you can actually go inside of, the National Maritime Museum that has awe-inspiring exhibitions on space and the great outdoors (it’s not just about sailing), or the Old Royal Naval College which is one of the most beautiful places of education in London. It’s unmissable. As a cute added benefit there are lots of little one-off shops and warm old pubs with proper British cuisine bursting out of the seams.

The Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London
The Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London

Best place for evening drinks or cocktails: Radio Rooftop Bar, ME Building. This 5-star hotel allows non-guests to all their bars and restaurants but the one you cannot ignore is the rooftop bar. They’re always up for making the drink that best suits you, but I have to admit they also make some great classics. A dry martini with a twist is perfect. The real reason you need to go is for the view. Their outdoors area provides welcoming soft chairs, lounge seats and tables where you can admire the view of London. Whether you go at night to see the twinkling lights or before sunset to admire the daytime architecture from above, it’ll be superbly breathtaking.

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