Our Q&A with Tom Bartlett,
founder of Waldo Works design-architectural practice.
What makes London special in winter?
It may be dark and damp, but you can’t beat that fireside mentality that hugs the city in the colder months. It’s fun going for dinner, battling the elements and sitting somewhere warm and sociable. Even when it’s wet the city glimmers in the lights.
Favourite restaurants and bars?
Cigala on Lamb’s Conduit Street for tapas and beer. Fischer’s Viennese Café in Marylebone for winter comfort food and the amazing Austrian wine list. Duck Soup in Soho for small plates – it is not all soup! And A Little of What You Fancy on Kingsland Road or the White Rabbit in Dalston.
It is difficult to leave Vessel in Notting Hill without something beautiful in a bag. Walk through Temple on a winter’s night towards the National Theatre to see a play. Brace yourself to climb Primrose Hill in the wind. Get fuzzy in a good drinking pub in Soho on a Saturday night – no gastropubs allowed! – and watch the mayhem descend. Shop, stroll and graze on Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street on a Sunday.
I always pop into a Sir Christopher Wren-designed church when I am in the City – I especially like St Stephen Walbrook.
You Me Bum Bum Train, which is a difficult thing to explain – partly because you encouraged not to talk about it. Let’s just say it’s an incredible interactive immersive journey through different scenarios in venues that change minute by minute. Completely unforgettable. If you can get a ticket – it can take years! – travel from wherever you are in the world to do it.
Where inspires you?
I love the Victoria & Albert Museum – I find their collection of objects really calming and interesting; the new Japanese Galleries are so well put together. Galleries such as Maureen Paley on Herald Street, and my sister Laura’s around the corner. I find London’s street wear inspirational. Keep a beady eye on the kids on Redchurch Street, Mare Street and Portobello on a Friday and you can spot what’s going to be the next design or fashion movement a year or two before it hits anywhere else.
24 hours in London…
Have your day planned geographically and head west to east. Start in at Coffee Plant on Portobello Road, walk north to Golborne Road, then wend your way to a South Kensington museum, first stopping at Selfridges and ending up in Soho for lunch – try 10 Greek Street. Next it’s over to Bloomsbury for the mighty British Museum and finally window shop your way along cobbled Lamb’s Conduit Street. Pause for a drink in the Lady Ottoline just off John Street, and end up in Hoxton or Hackney for dinner.