Monday, February 02, 2009

Pop Trash Guide To London

A group of my Spanish friends are flying over to London next week and turned to me for some travel advice. As the world's worst tourist I'm probably the last person they should be asking but I'll do my best. Sightseeing bores the hell out of me and, if I'm totally honest, London generally rubs me the wrong way. That said, I always seem to go back for more so it must have something going for it. The city's appeal has a lot to do with my amazing friends (Mark, Paul & Bobby - I miss you!) but London is not without charm. I'm told it has a lot of pretty buildings and historical landmarks but I've never been very interested in piles of old bricks. You can complete my tour for a tenner and still have enough memories to last a lifetime! Here goes nothing...

1. Breakfast Bliss

No one does breakfast quite like the British. I suggest starting the day with a "butty" (bread roll) filled with sausage, eggs and bacon. From experience this is best consumed with a side dish of baked beans and extra toast. If you want to be fancy, order yourself a nice cup of Earl Grey. The delicious concoction above left my tastebuds screaming for more and cost all of two pounds. Value!

2. Channel Kerry Katona

The single best thing about the United Kingdom is Kerry Katona. Living in London, I became completely obsessed with her drunken television interviews, post plastic surgery nude spreads and signature fragrance, which she exclusively revealed smells "like me, like kebabs". Best of all, however, are Kerry's amazing commercials for Iceland (above) - a budget supermarket specialising in frozen food. One of my favourite pastimes in London was to grab a trolley and stroll the aisles of Iceland in the hope of running into Kerry. It never happened but the dream continues.

3. Be A Hoxton Twat

London is the home of all things cutting edge and cool, so you might as well get a taste while you're there. When in Rome and all that. I'm rather fond of East London but it is home to some of the nation's most pretentious wankers, so head over to Hoxton and do a bit of people watching. Just bring your skinny jeans and pretend to be strung out on heroin if you don't want to be mistaken for a tourist.

4. Walk Around Soho

Get on the tube and head over to Soho. It isn't the gay mecca it once was but it's still fun to wander around. There are a couple of second hand CD stores worth checking out, a bunch of sex shops for sluts (like my Spanish friends) and the former home of GAY nightclub. Lay some flowers in front of the Astoria in tribute for all the times a glamorous Minogue graced the stage. Make sure to pick up a copy of "Boyz" so you can make plans for the evening. Soho is also close to all the major stores - so drop into HMV, Borders or Zavvi for the latest Ladyhawke 7" vinyl.

5. Eat Some Fried Chicken

After all that walking, chances are you'll be famished. One of the most exciting things about London is the seemingly endless choice of fried chicken. When I stayed in the glamorous surrounds of Peckham, I counted 9 different outlets on the one road! I personally survived eating at Morley's, Texas Fried Chicken, CFC, Perfect Chicken and the Chicken Cottage. They all taste like the poor man's KFC so there's no point being choosy.

6. The Tate Modern

If you don't need to spend the next hour on the toilet, use the time to walk around the Tate Modern. I'm not completely immune to culture and the Tate Modern is my favourite gallery in London by far. I love the ugliness of the building and I'm yet to see a boring exhibition there. It's also close to St Paul's and most of the big landmarks, so you can tick a bunch of boring tourist attractions off your list in one fell swoop.

7. Watch Some Trash TV

It's time to return to the hotel for some down time after all that exertion. I've always found an hour or two of trash TV to be the perfect antidote to a busy day and the British are world leaders in the field. I never really got into UK soaps with their light-hearted themes of child abuse and mental illness but reality TV more than makes up for it. "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here", "Celebrity Big Brother" and "X Factor" are all world famous but I suggest checking out "The Underdog Show" (basically a bunch of Z Grade celebrities train dogs) and "Hole In The Wall". I love the horse faced hostess of the former and the latter could well be the most brilliant show ever made. Basically, the lowest "celebrities" on earth play human Tetris. It's genius - check it out above!

8. Eat Dinner

Defrost the frozen banquet you purchased in Iceland. I find paper plates and plastic cutlery perfectly compliment this feast.

9. Buy Bad Drugs In Vauxhall

After downing your delicious meal, it's time to hit the town. Consult your copy of "Boyz" to find a suitable location, which more than likely is located in Vauxhall. The clubs in Vauxhall are great but the real highlight is chatting with the mobile drug dealers that hang around each and every venue. The guys are usually good for a laugh and are generally pretty harmless. Just be aware that you will probably end up snorting crushed aspirin.

10. Experience Kelly Wilde Live

As far as I'm concerned, your London sojourn is completely invalid without witnessing the glorious goddess of Hi-NRG pop - Miss Kelly Wilde. This amazing diva's breathtaking vocals, stunning dance moves and exquisite costumes are the thing of legend. I was lucky enough to see Kelly at two extremely classy gay bars ("The Two Brewers" and "The Black Cap") and both evenings were unforgettable. Check her busy schedule here.

Bon voyage, boys. Have a fantastic time!


John said...

I am going to be there in May, so I will print this out, or better yet, commit it to memory. I don't want any bitches getting in my way at the Chicken Cottage.

Jay said...

I was half expecting too see a visit to Hampstead Heath or Clapham Common on the list...

There is a fabulous 24 hour place across the road from Liverpool St station (and night bus terminal) where you can get an all day breakfast and another slightly more upmarket one across from a sex shop in Kings Cross.

And Hoxton is sooooo 2007 dahlink! The fashionistas and socialites really should move to Lewishman or Deptford.

TJ said...

London never really appealed to me until reading this..
Now i'm itching to go!

Jamie said...

I almost have an orgasm everytime I watch 'Hole in the Wall'. I dont know whether its the sight of Dale Winton or all those washed up celebrities in skin tight silver lycra suits.

My favourite story was the one recently reported by The Sun (it must therefore be true) that Amy Winehouse was obsessed with the show and wanted to go on it. Referring to the silver suits they classily wrote 'The closest Amy normally comes to foil is cooking up a little treat with a lighter'

Paul said...

Absolutely amazing and brilliant guide to london. I love the place for two days and then always want to leave. And don't forget people! There is a lot of Britain outside London too :)

tommie said...

I think they meant they were going to a prostitute named London, not the actual city.

Nathan said...

LOL! Do you offer guided tours?

The Prophet said...


Anonymous said...

I think I just choked on my Iceland chinese banquet! Mike you never fail to impress, brilliant!

heavy crisco xx

scandipop said...

Kelly Wilde! Yum!

I interviewed September this week and uploaded it to last night.

I know you're a fan so I thought I'd let you know.

And feel free to mention it on this site too! ;)