Popped into Magma last week and by chance discovered my new favourite book, LeCool: A Weird and Wonderful Guide to London. Maybe I have been living with my head buried in a cultural sandbox but somehow news of LeCool had passed me by.
How is that possible?
This is an utterly brilliant, beautiful book and I have already brought 3 copies for my present box to give as gifts to some lucky friends in the future.
Does everyone else know about LeCool expect for me?!?
If not they should!
This is a little taster of the beginning:
"WE CHOSE THIS CITY
We came here in a borrowed suit and our funeral tie to be interviewed for that big-money job in the city.
We came to graffiti the trains at Willesden Junction one night, met some people, got a job in an art supplies shop and ripped up our return ticket.
We came here because of Jeffrey Bernard, or Jazzy B, or Johnny Rotten.
The myths are all true. Dragons stalk the city, the streets are paved with gold. There are angels in Peckham Rye and paradise is by way of Kensal Green.
We're here because we choose to be. This is our London."
It had me from the very first page. It's poetry as well as a guidebook. It brings a lump to my throat.
Apart from the excellence of the copywriting, the design is incredible with each page having a fresh visual look and feel.
But it's the fact that they have cool unknown stuff to do and see in places like New Cross, Stoke Newington and Archway that is so great. It's real London. Messy, inspiring and unique.
I am a born and bred Londoner and pride myself on knowing the place inside out (although I don't really do West London for some inverted snobbery reason), anyway I got so many new top tips - The restaurant at the Indian YMCA, the CrossBones Graveyard in SE1, the Romanian restaurant in the Old Bailey, the private room at Princess Louise in High Holborn ("London's best pub? Could be.") and Unit C103 in Deptford's Creekside.
Hunt for it in a High Street bookshop because it doesn't bloody well seem to be on Amazon (!), you can also buy direct via PayPal on their own website.
I almost want to give you a money back guarantee that you'll love it, but I won't - so you'll just have to trust me...
(Mat Osman you NEED to sort out the lack of Amazon stock asap!!)