If, unlike me, you are not a born and bred Londoner, you may wonder where you should be living in this city. Worse, you may find yourself living south of the river somewhere east of Clapham.
When selecting your residential location, I therefore suggest you adhere closely to this guide. Failure to do so may lead to social isolation and the shame of throwing a party in a location favoured by hipsters, the bearded, or net tax recipients.
Tier 1 – Knightsbridge / Chelsea / Marylebone / South Kensington
Why? Your boss lives there. There’s always a Waitrose within a stone’s throw of the address. Wander through on a Sunday afternoon and you might see a Fortnum & Mason delivery van parked in the street.
Downside: Dry cleaning costs roughly twice the market rate.
Tier 2 – Earls’ Court / Canary Wharf / Notting Hill / Fitzrovia / Covent Garden
Why? If you live in Notting Hill or Covent Garden, your wife/girlfriend/arty boyfriend will like it and you can feign bohemianism at the weekend. If you live at the Wharf you will have no need of using public transport to get to work and you can sleep in.
Downside: Whilst you are feigning bohemianism you may trip over a tourist. If you live in the Wharf, you’ll spend a long time travelling anywhere at the weekend as the area’s dead both days. The ‘local weekend shopping’ is over-rated, unless you like Gant and Krispy Kreme.
Tier 3 – Clapham / Barbican / Clerkenwell / Paddington / Islington
Why? Beloved of lawyers and PR types, whom bankers turn their noses up at breathing the same air as. A good place to start out but really should be considered a temporary location until you get your first decent bonus.
Downside: Islington and Clapham (especially Clapham) are full of braying mothers, who will soon infiltrate your home via your wife/arty househusband. Barbican and Clerkenwell are full of aspiring hipsters with 9-5 jobs.
Tier 4 – Putney / Battersea / Balham / Chiswick / Barnes / Richmond
Why? Great for children. Almost like living in the Home Counties.
Downside: Almost like living in the Home Counties.
The author works on the buyside and does not live in Clapham.