Our favourite models of London are united in a new home: The London Centre.
"It's just amazing really," says the elderly gent.
"Yes. It really is," agrees his companion.
The pair are leaning over this three-dimensional model of the City of London. And we have to agree with their assessment.
This incredible object, built by model-makers Pipers, shows every building in the Square Mile at the scale of 1cm to 5 metres. More than that, it also includes structures that have received planning permission but have yet to rise, like the two taller buildings beside the Gherkin.
This is the City Model. Whenever a building gains planning approval, the developers pays for a detailed model to be included on the ever-changing 3-D map... unless they don't pay, in which case they only get a beige representation. The model was previously on show at the now-closed City Centre, and has now migrated to the other end of Guildhall.
The replica Square Mile is just one of three scale models of the capital on show at The London Centre. This temple to the built environment can be found at Guildhall Library. It's the fresh home for New London Architecture (NLA), who've decamped from their traditional base on Store Street, off Tottenham Court Road.
They've brought along their own model, too. Were we ever to compile a list of the Seven Wonders of London, then this masterpiece would surely feature. It shows pretty much every building from Wembley in the west to the Royal Docks in the east. It is immense.
The third model shows the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula area. It includes future projects with outline planning permission, as well as existing buildings and ones under construction.
Any one of these three models would be worth a visit, but having all three together makes this the kind of place you'll want to drop into time and again, whenever you're in the area. The space also contains a wall display showing London's key development areas. And it's right next to Guildhall Library should you want to delve into their peerless collection of London history books. A Londonist's paradise!
The London Centre can be found at Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury. Entrance is free, with no pre-booking. Open Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. All images Matt Brown