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Radio and TV presenter Nihal Arthanayake shares his favourite spots in London

By
Matilda Egere-Cooper
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In the new book 'For the Love of London', an assorted bunch of Londoners reveal their fondest memories of the city. One of the book's contributors is Nihal Arthanayake – BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, proud north-west Londoner and a firm fan of fine threads and posh grub. In this extract, he shares his top three places in London.

 

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Benares, Mayfair

'The location alone tells you that you are not in for the type of clientele that stagger in, slump into their seat and in a slur ask for the hottest thing on the menu. The chef patron Atul Kochhar has had his Michelin star for ten years and you can understand why. The staff are all well informed and friendly, so no matter how you are dressed or how complicated the dish, the welcome and experience are always top notch. Make sure you try some of the cocktails, too. The mixtures of East and West contained within your glass you won’t find anywhere else, and on paper should not work. Trust me, they do. Rather too well.'

Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury

'If you want to dress really well – and avoid the stuffiness and high prices of Savile Row and the rather staid conservativeness of Jermyn Street – then head to Lamb’s Conduit Street. From British designers such as Universal Works and Folk to the more streetwear-focused Content Store, which carries a number of brands, Lamb's (as it is abbreviated to) is a place for those who feel that style supersedes fashion. It is also a street that exudes calm, so even if you don’t have a subscription to GQ you won’t feel intimidated by the thought of shopping there.'

Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill

'In my part of north-west London there is Gladstone Park, a lush, hilly, rolling slab of greenery situated between Dollis Hill and Neasden. An outdoor gym, basketball and tennis courts, football and rugby pitches, two playgrounds and a duck pond serve the locals well. At the very top of the park there is a walled garden, which in spring and summer is a beautifully maintained carnival of flora and fauna. It feels like a secret garden taken straight from a Victorian novel. It doesn’t seem to belong there, like a baroque painting on a subway wall. I only wish that I had more time to sit on one of its grizzled benches, listening to the hum of life in the distance.'

'For the Love of London: What Makes London Great by the People Who Make It Great' by Conrad Gamble is out on March 9. Published by Cassell, £14.99.

Want more cool places to explore in London? 

Check out vegan chef King Cookdaily's five favourite spots in London.

Or Mo Farah’s favourite London running spots.

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