London, United Kingdom
John, 34
Chief of Staff, Paddleboard Coach
see his London city guide

ask John about

café parks viewpoints street style gym street art beer gardens

What are the London spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The River Thames. Such an important part of the city's past, present and future. Very historic and iconic and honestly, the best way to experience it is either a riverside pub or literally on the water - see my Food and Activities recommendations!

Do’s and don’ts in London: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Download Apply Pay onto your smartphone, and know that the cask beer taps at pubs are at room temperature.

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am the Chief of Staff at a "start up" within a large management consultant firm. I do it because I love building and leading teams that co-create incredibly innovative and disruptive technology products that solve real-world challenges. I am also a stand up paddle board coach on the side :)

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

Between 40 and 80 GBP (the latter end when I'm with my wife too!)

Which London shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

There is a Topman in Shoreditch, but the storefront is simply "General Store" - it is not quite the same as a standard High Street Topman stores (as it is higher quality), but the value is comparable.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

All over the place - from The Beatles to Bone Thugs & Harmony. More recently, SOJA and Oddisee.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

Shoreditch

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Westminster

What’s the one place in London you think is underrated?

Brixton

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

Waterloo embankment

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in London?

Chinatown

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Huddle up in a pub with a fireplace

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

Madison - rooftop bar and lounge overlooking St. Paul's Cathedral

Your go-to brunch spots:

Ben's Canteen (bloody good Bloody Mary)

Your perfect night out in London includes:

Starting out in a pub, going to a music venue, then going home to sleep because I have work the next day - there's something exciting about this to me.

Which local creators do you admire?

There are so many great photographers in London. It is a picturesque city, but their talents are genuinely through the roof. (I will offer some Instagram pages to follow.)

Special views that mainstream tourists don't know about:

Views of Big Ben from stand up paddle boards (I can tell you how to do this!)

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

The go-to sushi fast food joints - ex. Itsu, Wasabi, etc.

Tomorrow’s your last day in London. How do you spend it?

In a park or on the water stand up paddle boarding

You’re meeting the mayor of London - what constructive criticism would you give them?

More rubbish bins on the streets - the litter struggle is real.

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Dārta Vijgrieze