But London’s so expensive, you say. Well, it’s taken a knocking over the past year, and I challenge you to find me another top city in which a world-class three-course lunch could be had for £15, as it is at Michelin-starred Arbutus on Frith Street. As for property prices, take a look at Manhattan, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Delhi and London’s don’t look so bad. There’s a reason London is the tourist’s and immigrant’s favourite – people are happy to forgo low prices and a controlled, efficient atmosphere for a dose of beauty and life.
LET me sketch out the reasons why London is said to be the greatest city in the world: it is cosmopolitan, has brilliant restaurants, a thriving arts scene, lovely pubs, amazing architecture and green spaces. The museums are wonderful (and mostly free) and the City is the centre of the world’s economy.
Eight million people can’t be wrong, you might say, but I disagree. People don’t live in London because it’s particularly great, it’s because it is the one city in Britain that really offers opportunities for ambitious people. It is the only game in town. Let’s accept that, put the tub-thumping to one side – and book a minibreak to lovely Helsinki.