An A - Z
of London

Capital Numbers

An alphabetical guide
to London


A is for 'orses
B is for Bow Bells
C is for 21st Century
D is for Dome
E is for Escalator
F is for Fog
G is for GLC
H is for History
I is for Information
J is for Jellied Eels
K is for Keeping Safe
L is for London Transport
M is for Money
N is for Nightbus
01 for London
P is for Plague
Q is for Queen
R is for Red Route
S is for Streets of London
T is for Thames
U is for Underground
V is for Villages
W is for WestEnders
X is for Charing X
Y is a Year in London
Z is for Zoo

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J

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J is for Jellied Eels


This traditional wriggly Cockney delicacy can still be bought in a few East End restaurants. However, when today’s Londoners dine out on cylindrical rubbery fish, they’re more likely to be heading for the sushi bar.


With the decline of local specialities, London cuisine has been overtaken by the following:

Aberdeen Steak House: Lying in wait on every other street in the West End, alternating with the virtually identical and equally bland Angus Steak House. Renowned for their nauseating green and red colour scheme, evidently designed by a colour-blind vegetarian. One sure sign of Scottish culinary excellence is that there are no Aberdeen Steak Houses in Aberdeen.

Pub meals: Only a cynic would say that pubs charging £13.95 for ‘ye olde fish and chips’ is a marketing ploy aimed at parting innocent foreign tourists from their hard-earned money.
Pubs charging £13.95 for ‘ye olde fish and chips’ is a marketing ploy aimed at parting innocent foreign tourists from their hard-earned money.

Pret A Manger: A jumped-up sandwich-making company, who’ve discovered that if there’s one thing Londoners hate it’s to wake up 5 minutes early in the morning just to cut some bread in half. Instead commuters will happily pay over the odds for someone else to do it for them. Of course, were my office not exactly 7 floors above one of these retail outlets I’d make my own sandwiches, honest.

Starbucks: In the 18th century London suddenly filled with coffee houses, where professionals and ordinary citizens alike met to drink, talk, read and eat muffins. Things are little different today, except that the beverages now have ridiculous foreign names and varying degrees of special froth, and cost rather more than tuppence.

Lithuanian/Mongolian/Ethiopian cuisine: Obscure restaurants serving up traditional family pets in sauce, frequented by middle-class Guardian readers who will later go home and send large cheques to foreign aid charities supporting villagers abroad who have to eat this stuff day in day out.nd the cause of crackly interference right across the VHF waveband. Or else maybe that’s what the music’s supposed to sound like?

Adverts: Piccadilly Circus has some of the most famous billboards in the world, but across London adverts are everywhere. They’re on huge posters beside every road, they’re about all you can read on the tube, and it’s hard to walk down any street without someone thrusting some litter into your hand. And by the way, has anybody you know ever been to the ‘Golf Sale’? Thought not. Just wondered.