Back in London: A crime and pub tour

Here I am again, dear friends, back in London at last, after a PRETTY stressful two months in Piraeus… My daughter told us that she wants to take over and redo the flat, so my darling husband and I had to move all our belongings to the small bedroom, throw out literally tons of old stuff, help Marianna tidying up and so on and so on. And then, when we finally came back to Tottenham ten days ago, first thing we had to do was – have the boiler replaced! We also continued our hunt for the necessary papers for my permit in the UK, after I’d finally managed to get my new passport in my new name from the German embassy after a four-month paperwork marathon. But – life in good old London town is just SO different! There’s always something to do, somewhere to go…

So, as soon as we found time, we went off into town to see some places I’d always wanted to see – mostly connected with my foible for everything crime-related… First, being a devoted Agatha Christie fan, I’d had “Whitehaven Mansions” on my bucket list for a long time – the fictional residence of Hercule Poirot, the greatest detective in the world as we all know. The building that was used for the Poirot TV series starring David Suchet, of which we own the whole box set, is really called Florin Court, and it’s situated in Smithfield, close to London’s famous old meat market. We found it without difficulties – and it was really thrilling, to stand in front of that iconic 1930s Art Deco apartment building that we’d seen so many times on TV!

 

Feeling and living like a Londoner, though, means you don’t just go sightseeing like a tourist – a stop at a watering hole now and then is absolutely part of the lifestyle! So, before heading for our next famous ‘crime scene’, we went into a lovely old pub close to Smithfield Market, the Fox and Anchor, for a drink; the stylish interior really takes you back into time while sipping your whiskey soda…

 

Then we set out for Hatton Garden – for many years just known as one of London’s big jewellery areas, but nowadays world famous: on the Easter weekend of 2015, a gang of senior robbers performed the biggest safe deposit heist in history there. The old boys were all aged from 58 to 77, and their coup really had a stroke of genius about it: They entered the building with the help of an insider when the whole area had closed down for Easter weekend, and instead of trying the immensely massive vault door they drilled their way into the vault from the lift shaft over the course of the weekend – and got away with a loot of an estimated £200 million! Well, they didn’t in the long run, because following a huge police operation they got arrested a few weeks later and sentenced to long jail sentences – but this most extraordinary heist certainly immortalised them…

Three movies have already been made about the Hatton Garden heist, the first one in 2016, one in 2017 starring Larry Lamb as their leader Brian Reader, and one in 2018 with an all-star cast including Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Paul Whitehouse, Tom Courtenay and Jim Broadbent – and they’re all excellent. And just last week, ITV showed a wonderful four-part miniseries plus a documentary with all the latest on Britain’s favourite pensioners’ gang; and I must say that standing right there at the door of 88-90 Hatton Garden that afternoon was a great experience…

 

After that, it was time to continue our pub tour: we went into three more – which actually isn’t that much considering the amount of establishments in the Clerkenwell area! Anyway, we chose the Craft Beer Co., which offers a nice choice of real ales, and the Old Red Lion – the very place we’d celebrated our stag and hen night almost seven months ago, which of course brought back a lot of romantic memories…

 

And then, on our way back to King’s Cross, we visited the Lamb, one of my very favourite London pubs; a wonderfully cosy old place, with beautiful interiors and, of course, a great choice of booze of all sorts!

 

And what about afterwards, did we go home to Tottenham? Not yet, no – at King’s Cross, we went to our favourite Indian for a nice hot, tasty dinner! That’s London for you: so many places to go to and things to do! Oh how I LOVE it…

 

 

So, on your visit to London, friends, don’t miss out on Whitehaven Mansions and Hatton Garden – and explore some of our fabulous public houses and restaurants as well!

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