The people who keep London ticking don’t always have the most glamorous jobs. From the barista who makes your morning latte to the cab driver who drops you off when you’re in a rush, these people are the ones who help this great city moving. But how do these stalwarts of the city choose pleasure? We spoke to them to find out.
Robert Lordan — Black cab driver, London
‘It sounds clichéd, but I love driving over Waterloo Bridge, especially in the evening at dusk. You never get bored of it as you can see both Westminster and the City. I also like going south of the river. People always say that cab drivers don't go south of the river but I like it down there. I find it a lot greener. I love Crystal Palace Park, Brixton, Dulwich and Greenwich, as well; it’s like being by the seaside.
‘My favourite thing about London, though, is people. I'm in a privileged position because I get to meet people from all over the world every day. When they're in the cab most people are happy to talk to you because it's a private space. It’s not like being on the tube when you're squashed up against lots of other people. [In the cab] they have space and they feel comfortable to open up. You can learn a lot about the world.’
Abdullah — Barista at Pret A Manger, Victoria London
‘I love that I can make someone’s day with the smallest of gestures – giving a customer a coffee on the house never fails to make someone smile. It’s up to each of us to decide when and why, so it’s difficult to give Time Out readers tips. I’ve heard that people try all sorts of tactics to get a freebie, which makes me laugh – I look for someone who engages in a conversation. I like to get to know our customers and it’s great to see their reaction when I surprise them with free latte.’
Graham Dear — Park manager at Greenwich Park, London
‘My simple pleasure is a short walk. I walk across Blackheath to work. Blackheath is really underrated. If you’re driving into London on the A2, you're in a lot of traffic in a built up area, and all of a sudden, just as you get into London, you’re into this open space surrounded by lovely Georgian buildings. You don’t expect that. It’s got a lovely character. It’s a surprise.
‘I’m lucky. I appreciate that I get to work in a lovely environment. My office is in a Royal Park. Actually, I suppose the Royal Park is my office.’
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