Book Two: London

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This is my London Accent From September to November 2013, I made two trips to London. The first was for 5 days, the second was for over a month. There was a lot of walking and bussing through every borough of the city, along with a constant rotation of kitschy LDN tunes running in my head (i.e. opening credits of Eastenders, Pink Floyd, Mary Poppins, etc.). The fun part was reconnecting with childhood friends, family friends, friends of friends & making some new ones along the way. To be honest, I wasn’t London’s biggest fan in the past, but that`s changed. It’s definitely a city I could love.

This edition was published on by Charles Malene Studio in 2014. Copyright Š Charles Malene Studio 2013. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright holder. All images (with the exception of the areal maps) were taken by Charles, Malene.

West London

portobello road

Every couple of days I would meet friends for drinks or to break bread on this strip. Cupcakes, Thai food you name it, you could find it here. In my normal life, I abhor shopping but the Portobello Market had me bouncing from one stall to the next, envisioning these amazing treasures in my imaginary Hockney-esque Notting Hill apartment. Total bliss.

East London

bethnal green Still rough around the edges, Bethnal Green reminded me a bit of my hometown Toronto. It was more the cultural diversity that felt familiar, rather than the aesthetics. It’s rapidly gentrifying - as is everywhere else - but I kept thinking of Zadie Smith`s White Teeth where she points out that the situation is not as kumbaya as we had hoped it would be. But change is good and BeGreen has character. There’s a lot of history here and I was able to find some pockets I grew fond of.

North London Belsize Park This was my hood for 5 days. It was cheerful with pretty shops, lots of families, close to Camden Town but I was in bed by 9pm.

South West London

Chelsea & Saatchi I had a few good nights out in Chelsea but I really ventured there for the art. It was my first time at the Saatchi Gallery & I was blown away by the work displayed. Such strong pieces by young contemporary artists. I mean, there was a room drowning in petrol that looked like black ice. So excessive yet ephemeral at the same time. A definite highlight of the trip.

Central London

Somerset house Street artist JR’s Inside Out Project was taking place at Somerset House, so a group of us decided to head down there to take part. We waited for 5 hours to have our portraits taken and then pasted to the ground. Good times.

Central London

soho Where I ate lots of sweets and drank EVERYTHING. The end.

South London

Brixton Village This was a HUGE day for me. You hear stories about Brixton, but I have nothing but love for Bowie`s original stomping ground. Brixton was speaking to me in colours: people, food, buildings, all of it. There was nothing touristy here which was a relief. My friend had invited me to the Black History Month screening of ‘Flame in the Streets’ at the Minet library. The film was just amazing but it was the Elders in attendance who moved me more. We then headed over to the gem that is Brixton Village Market for some eats. Simply. Wow. My Brixton moment will stay with me for a while to come.


Borough Market I ate my way through Borough Market. I was there for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was all so good. On my second last night, I had THE bestest night out with one of my oldest friends. We started with seafood, then dessert and ended the night with drinks at the Shard. That VIEW!! You can’t beat it... While trying to catch our breathe from what seemed like an endless fit of laughter, our server came over to let us know that they were closing. Through a blur of happy tears, we saw that everyone had just vanished. 3 hours had passed & were the last ones standing.

Very West London

brook green This was where I spent the majority of my stay in LDN. I really liked this neighbourhood because it was so easy to get in and out of. Really pretty pubs around the corner, Marcus Garvey Park, the new V&A Archive and it was a quick walk away from St. Paul’s Studios on Talgarth Road.

West London hyde park &

kensington gardens

The weather was so perimenopausal the day I had time to hang out in Hyde Park. Literally every weather condition happened in a span of an hour. So I passed the time at the Serpentine Galleries (old and new) and watched the birds (minus the bowl of warm milk & mushed biscuits).

Here is a shortlist of places that are in this book (by neighbourhood). I threw in a couple of extras as well. Enjoy.

West London Portobello Road Market, W10 Daylesford Cafe, 208 Westbourne Grove W10 The Prince Bonaparte, 80 Chepstow Rd W2 The Earl Of Lonsdale, 277 Westbourne Grove W11

Charles Malene

Hummingbird Bakery, 133 Portobello Rd W11 V&A Archives, 23 Blythe Road, W14

South West London Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Rd SW3 A warm thank you to Alyssa, Alex, Airi, Agathe, Florent, Tim, Bruno, Gilles, Caroline, Wendy & Leela. ‘This Is My London Accent’ was produced, written, edited, designed & photographed by Charles Malene. © Charles Malene Studio. 2014.

The Anglesea Arms, 15 Selwood Terrace SW7 Victoria & Albert Musuem, Cromwell Rd, SW7

North London Ginger & White, 2 Englands Ln, NW3 Camden Town, NW1

East London Gibraltar Walk, Bethnal Green E2

Central London

Cafe 338, Bethnal Green Road E2 Beigels, 159 Brick Ln, Shoreditch E1

Cafe Gourmand, 53 Lexington St W1

11 Bus Liverpool St. to Fulham

Fernandez & Wells, 43 Lexington St

Cotton’s Rhum Shack, 48-49, Boxpark


2-4 Bethnal Green Road E1

John Snow, 39 Broadwick St W1 Maison Bertaux, 28 Greek Steet W1D The Wallace, Hertford House W1U Shampers, 4, Kingly St W1 L’ETO caffe, 155 Wardour St, W1F Somerset House, Strand, WC2R

South London Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Rd SE5 Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Ln SW9 Borough Market, 8 Southwark St SE1 Litte Dorrit, 11 Park St SE1 The Shard, Joiner Street SE1 Oyster & Porter House, 11 Stoney St SE1 South Bank Center, Belvedere Rd SE1

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