In the old world, when I was running from meeting to meeting, fitting in a yoga class and editing my podcast over lunch (so exhausting), I would literally take a nap wherever I could, on the tube, the train, a Costa. I have no shame.
I actually lived in a spare room above Bond Street tube station and it was one of the cheapest places I’ve lived as it was owned by a close friend. It wasn’t ideal, I think it had been used as an address for sex workers so for a while there were all sorts of men ringing the bell. It's pretty normal for me to have gentleman callers, but these guys weren’t asking for me. I lived in Old Street after that; it was so expensive and so awful. I was in a warehouse-y area, it was outdated and overpriced.
I’m really lucky in that I mostly rented from Daddy Gays that I knew. The only disaster is Old Street; I forgot to check out the bathroom when I viewed it and it was NOT selfie ready. There’s no way I could’ve posted thirsty shower pics on my Instagram.
Greggs at London Bridge. What a dreamy stop. I'd order a vegan sausage roll. I’m not vegan but it tastes too good and I feel like part of the liberal London elite by ordering one.
My bed. I’ve struggled with my mental health since living in London and there is honestly nothing safer than the comfort of your own bed. The struggle of keeping up with everyone’s success and fabulousness can be a lot to handle so my perfect no-spend day would be spent in bed (except I’d end up ordering Deliveroo). I also love riding the Thames Clippers to nowhere, but again, that’s not technically no-spend.
OMG, I have! For me, the trick was telling the truth. I was asked “How are you?”, so I replied brutally and said I was feeling pretty upset and angry because a boss hadn’t approved my holiday... and the employee gave me my flat white free.
Greenwich Park. It’s without a doubt the most beautiful spot in the city. The views across the capital feel like a postcard.
DO NOT MOVE SOMEWHERE BECAUSE IT’S NEAR CROSSRAIL. You’ll end up in Woolwich.
I’d get Crossrail open. I’d keep Covid road closures in Soho permanent and I’d give out free bananas.
Harrods! I’d get my nails done. I think I’d probably have a boozy brunch and buy a fabulous gown.
There’s an amazing, authentic and super cute Italian in the heart of Soho called La Porchetta! The pizza is SO GOOD and made right in front of you, a bit like Pizza Express but actually Italian and you probably won’t see Prince Andrew there. Bonus.
Open-minded, fun, huns.
James Barr co-hosts the award-winning A Gay and A NonGay podcast and presents the Hit Radio Pride breakfast show every Sunday morning. Check out his Twitter here.
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Courtney Bembridge is a TV journalist covering world news for the BBC. She hails from the sun-baked state of Western Australia – and moved to London in 2017. De Beauvoir-based Courtney has spent the pandemic rediscovering the things she loves about her adopted city, from lidos to markets.
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