It’s a hot Wednesday lunchtime and I’m opposite the most glamorous former Art Deco car park in Britain. The McCann building, London. As urban legend goes, the inspiration behind the plastic fantastic Fisher Price car park – universally loved by toddlers. It’s Miami meets Egyptian temple. Those chauffeurs parking their Daimlers for the night must have cut a dash!
My walking tour guide Yannick takes me to Art Deco buildings I’ve never noticed before. Bloomsbury suddenly seems at the forefront of modernity. A place where rakish cads have their pied a terre, conveniently located for work, play and the mistress. All very Jeeves and Wooster, not just Virginia Wolf.
We also stop to take in the occasional beauty from other eras. My fantasy future house purchase:
The Lutyens designed British Medical Association building with scalloped sea shells for extraction pipes. Perfection! And the Brutalist style Brunswick centre. Glorified football stadium from the back, dirty green house looking up - can we please put a blanket ban on net curtains! Still it has a marmite style charm and retail benefits. It’s important to appreciate the context of things.
I love this former 1920s petrol station (now Byron burger restaurant) with it’s swooping curves and Gill Sans font. Any occasion to slow down and appreciate your city in a new light is a joyous one. And Jannick’s tours are a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how we once lived and want to live now.
Find out more about Jannick’s London Unravelled tours here.