20 Feb 2013

My Passport To Style| Lomography City Guide London Review

Review Of Lomography City Guide London 

I feel like I have just been initiated into a secret society, well in truth I kind of have. I was offered an opportunity to review the Lomography City Guide To London and you have to admit given that the world is currently consumed with all things London post Olympics, the timing was pretty good.

 For those of you not familiar with Lomography and the society, it is simply a movement to enjoy using film rather than digital to capture images, the society urges carefree  abandon, when snapping, control and perfectly honed images are not at all where it's at, the colourful plastic cameras that Lomography shops sell reflect their fun carefree approach to photography, I love this approach, I'm a great believer that too much perfection can be boring, it's the imperfections that make life interesting, if we get too hung up about producing something the end result can be producing nothing.

Perfect For Instruction Phobics 

I am guilty also of a being impatient too which means generally not reading the instructions for how to use anything, but through a process of trial and error and discovering how to use the said item with a lot of cursing in between I eventually figure it out, so it won't come as a surprise to you to discover that maps and holiday guides are rarely read by me either! I like to find out from people first hand where they like to visit or read travel blogs, I'm not keen to follow the neatly laid out floor plans of where to partake in some culture. So whilst being eager be taken on a voyage of discovery through the streets of London with the people of Lomography, I have to admit I was a little sceptical of how me and this guide would, you know, gel, but guess what it was a great experience!

 Easy Reading 

So here's why I have been won over by this guide, I found it was really just like looking through a friends photo album, instantly appealing to a reader of blogs like myself.The guide offers an invitation to follow various local Londoners and lomo fans around their personal favourite haunts in London using lots of colourful non-digital photographs and their take on what makes their favourite spot special to them, some of the contributions, verge on the poetic and our honest and fun. The guide also features guest appearances from various aficionados of London, some more well known to outsiders than others such as my favourite contribution by Harriet Vine of Tatty Devine plastic jewellery.

Better Than The London Eye 

The Lomography City Guide London also offers a section of bespoke lomo tours which I thought was a fun idea, there are metro maps and top tips also. Four Icons helpfully dotted throughout the guides pages highlight The Best of British, Romantic and Missions and Events.

The guide has made me itch to go back to explore London some more, my personal highlights and places to visit now include - Dolly Dare clothes shop, combining vintage with futurism and  with no more than twenty garments in each look produced at any one time and all produced in London.With ever changing window displays Dolly Dare makes for a great shot for fashion lovers. Under the mission section, I was thrilled to discover, being a fan of Mexico and the film Nacho Libre, that there is a London school of wrestling, Luchra Libre. I might not attend a class, yes classes are available, but I would love to see the Mexican art work and watch some wrestlers in action clad in glitter and masks!

Zebras, Modest Mice, Foxes And Others Make An Appearance 

Next up has to be a visit to a cinema, I love old cinemas particularly and the Prince Charles offers classic films at classic prices for just £1.50. Next stop the Troxy, ok I'm a sucker for quirky names so I admit the name got me, but when the contributor mentioned an awesome Modesty Mouse concert he had seen there, the old fashioned architecture at the Troxy and an incredible carpet, I book marked the page with yet another lime green post-it note.

 At this point in my mooch around the guides pages I was starting to realise I was picking up on some fun history facts, like did you know the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing has been given grade ll listed status? Me neither I thought this was beyond cool.

 As I flick merrily through the guide sniffing the newness of its pages I'm introduced to talented street artist Malarky, his signature work is bold graphic foxes, I would gladly buy his work were it available on canvas. Malarky specialises in stealth spraying, spraying painting his colourful animals on vans and shop shutters at night. I did think if I was a shop keeper I would be more than happy to lure him to spray paint my shutters with his preferred tipple of an export Guinness left outside my shop door.

 Then there is the Scoop, I was delighted to discover the city of London is home to its own amphitheatre where regular events are often held for free. At the risk of offending people I have recently been thinking that perhaps camping at festivals in sodden fields up to your armpits in mud is a little over rated, so mention of Londons Field Day festival which is a draw for many big hitting artists such as Florence and the The Machine and the heads up on incredible food from Venn street market warmed the cockles of my heart!

Top Tip - Buy A Stack Of Post-It Notes To Stake Out Which Pages/Places You Plan To Visit There Will Be Many! 

Other must sees include the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street, Rose Bakery, home to lovely eats and Japanese designer threads, I confess to a weakness for Japanese designers and a well done full english breakfast, so The Breakfast Club cunningly devoted to all things breakfast and served all day has to be included on my check list as is visiting the White Rabbits on Brush Street.

 I'm saving the best till last, the oldest anything, is always intriguing, the oldest wine bar, Gordons, established in 1890 is more or less a candle lit cave and of course offers an extensive wine list, finally I was tickled by the thought of a bingo hall (The London Palace Bingo Hall) where they serve curried goat and cauliflower cheese, sounds yummy, see you there!

Finale Word 

 Whether you know anything about Lomography or not, have never ventured to London, want to explore the great city some more or have been many times, this guide not only looks rather splendid on your coffee table and provides a fun talking point at your dinner parties, it's brimming over with the magic and quirk of London as seen through the eyes of Lomography fans and their cameras who are clearly in love with this city.You can buy the Lomography City Guide London, from the on-line shop at www.lomographyuk.com priced £16.90

*please note I was provided with a guide for the purposes of this review only, photos courtesy of lomographyuk.com


Matthew Spade said...

pretty cool, i didn't realise they did city guides. good review and it's safe to say it's a colourful one

Side Street Style said...

Oooh i am a huge fan of Lomo so I really want to get this - looks so fun and cool, love it

Laura x

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