Opinion

My London: Liz Hoggard

My London: Liz Hoggard

This is part of our new series focusing on Londoners and your London: what you love about the city, what drives you mad, and where you go to get away from it all...

Liz Hoggard grew up glued to TV shows about London. Photo: Rebecca Reid.

Liz Hoggard is a journalist, and author of Dangerous Women: The Guide To Modern Life. She's also a long-time Londoner, shuttling between rooftop bars, underground supperclubs, and art events in surprising locations.

What's your history with London?

I first came here as a student. I was desperate to experience the city's music, arts and nightlife. In my adolescence I was glued to TV programmes about London (the newly launched Channel 4 was a beacon of culture for those of us growing up in the West Midlands in the 1970s and 80s!).

Where do you spend most of your time in London?

Peckham, where I live, for the art galleries, pop-up restaurants and cool events. Frank's Bar on the roof of the car park is the best place to take friends for a drink, plus cutting edge sculpture and the panoramic view.
Looking over Peckham from Frank's Bar. Photo: Helen Graves.

What keeps you here?

Everything exciting in my life has happened in London — from trying my first avocado in a restaurant age 18 to walking across the top of The 02, chained to 20 other people. It's a brilliant, tolerant, diverse city that celebrates eccentrics and outsiders. Yes, London can be tough at times, but it's fair to say it saved my life!

If you could own any building in London, what would it be?

Could I have Provost's Lodging, a lovely house in between Shakespeare's Globe and Tate Modern? It's a five-bedroom house, dating back to 1712. Very handy for the theatre.

Where in London do you go for some peace and quiet?

I love the Chelsea Physic Garden. They hold secret supper talks on Thursdays in their Tangerine Dream Café.  And Green Park is my second office.
A lovely autumnal shot of the Chelsea Physic Garden by Laura Nolte

What's happened to you recently in London that made you go 'wow'?

As part of Greenwich+Docklands International Festival I went to a concert in a former ammunition factory in Woolwich, where we were blindfolded. Each piece was performed three-dimensionally, with musicians dispersed around the building. It took you back in time in an extraordinary way. And I'll go to any Gingerline dining event — those girls are geniuses. Thanks to them, I've had supper in the Mary Wollstonecraft chapel and even recreated The Lost Gardens of Heligan under London Bridge station.
Gingerline events: immersive and inventive

If you weren't in your current job, what would you be doing instead?

I'd love to launch a website called the Greedy Hiker. I walk miles around London most days and love knowing how many calories I've burned! The website would recommend great walks, with a gallery or sculpture garden to visit, and the best place for lunch nearby.

What's the strangest thing that's happened to you in London?

Sitting in the Grade-II listed masonic temple at the Andaz London, watching artist Lindsay Seers's video installation inspired by occultist, magician, poet and novelist Aleister Crowley as part of the annual London Art Night trail. It was filthy, profane and magical.
The masonic temple at Andaz London. Photo by Tabish Khan.

What's the best thing that's happened to you in London?

Having supper with Meryl Streep when she came over to promote the Margaret Thatcher film, The Iron Lady. She even cooked us the apple cake from her film Julie & Julia. The lady didn't disappoint.

What's the best thing you've eaten or drunk recently?

I had a fabulous organic tiramisu in Oliver Maki in Soho, which fuses Japanese cuisine with Mediterranean elements. It's served under glass like a mini terrarium. The chef uses green Matcha cream to create the 'moss' covering and chocolate chunks to make the 'rocks'.

Last Updated 02 August 2017