Take our quiz and find out just how badly you miss London
Maybe you’ve been telling yourself you’ve been doing alright in lockdown. Walking the same route around the park everyday isn’t so bad. You’ve got to know your Tesco Local security guard, that’s nice. You even get excited about doing ‘movie and takeaway night’ on a Friday. It’s fine: a bit like living in the suburbs. Maybe you’ve even thought about moving to the suburbs.
But you and I both know that deep down something is brewing within you.
Have you been starting to feel a bit… weird? A little twitchy? Like your internal chemistry is crying out for something vital and life-giving?
What you could be jonesing for, friend, is London. Proper London. Open London. The London where you eat Pret for dinner on the tube between work drinks and a Tate Late. The London where you have three birthdays to attend in different corners of the city on the same night. London with the tourists and landmarks and really good culture and food.
There’s only one way to be sure though. Take this helpful quiz, designed by the Time Out staff, to determine if you are indeed having London withdrawal symptoms.
1. When someone mentions a Tube station do you automatically calculate what changes you’d need to make to get there, even though you haven’t taken the Tube in eight months?
2. When the bins next to your local KFC gets tagged by an extremely half-arsed graffiti writer do you find yourself standing in the road, appreciating it like the vital street art it definitely is?
3. Is the perennially under-dressed bottom half of your body bitter because the top half gets to wear shirts sometimes?
4. While you’re still confident that you could ‘do’ an escalator, you’re not sure if you could just step onto one without looking anymore?
5. Can you no longer even remember the five basic types of London Tourist? (If not, they are: Spanish backpackers in Camden searching for Amy Winehouse’s home; Primark Pilgrims; fans of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’; Italian lads called Matteo getting sucked in by two-for-one deals in Shoreditch; old couples silently eating spaghetti in Angus Steakhouse before a matinee.)
6. Moreover, does the thought of Angus Steak House no longer inspire derision, but instead a hard-won sense of respect for a legendary London brand that would actually be quite nice to visit now, probably?
7. Do you now remember Shoreditch as a kinetic, fashionable hub for media disruptors instead of a desultory roundabout, popular with hen nights and misinformed students?
8. Do you walk past a shuttered pub – literally any pub – and think ‘ooh, wouldn’t it be nice to go in there?’
9. Could you no longer say with any deal of certainty what Tube lines connect at Liverpool Street?
10. Ever have a dream about any of the staff in that Pret A Manger by your office? Yeesh.
11. Six quid for a pint of beer in a room full of friendly people? Woof! Absolute bargain!
12. Have you visited Canary Wharf in the last few months and walked around the skyscrapers as a day out? And did it legit feel like being on holiday in another city, rather than an arduous schlep around probably the most soulless bit of London?
13. Ever find yourself clambering to the front of a socially distanced crowd in Victoria Park, to catch a glimpse of a busker ‘doing’ Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’?
14. Have you sat down in the evening to a hearty, richly spiced meal that you’ve spent an hour preparing, only to wistfully reminisce about inhaling a Five Guys between work and a show?
15. Can you even remember the last time you chuckled at the name Cockfosters?
16. That photograph on your camera roll of Waterloo Bridge at sunset? You’re thinking of posting it to Instagram aren’t you? Unironically.
17. When your old regular bus whizzes past you as you take your daily walk, do you have to stop yourself from smiling and waving, as if at an old friend?
18. Have you recently opened up the government’s map of live Covid cases, zoomed out a bit from your postcode and thought, ‘Oh that’s right, my neighbourhood is in London!’?
19. Do you sometimes wonder how that super-enthusiastic Jesus-loving evangelist outside King’s Cross is doing?
20. Do you ever open Citymapper to plan hypothetical journeys that at some point you might want to take? Do you then feel an overwhelming, crushing sadness that can only be extinguished using red wine or Disney’s ‘Moana’?
21. Have you started to imagine that were the city to reopen tomorrow you would immediately do a hedonistic tour of all the most vital bars and clubs in Peckham and Hackney, even though you know full well that young people make you nervous and the music they play is just noise anyway, really?
22. Do you miss ‘the hustle and bustle’ of Oxford Street?
23: In an attempt to recreate the anarchic, feel-good atmosphere of a Prince Charles Cinema screening, have you started throwing spoons at your TV?
24. Have you in the last six months purchased a deep-fat fryer in an attempt to ‘rustle up’ your own spin on Chick ‘N’ Sours’ ‘Disco Wings’, only to use it once, burn your wrist and then abandon the project?
25. Are you fretting about whether your Nando’s loyalty card could actually expire?
26. Does the fact you no longer commute mean you have a panic-inducing backlog of unlistened-to podcasts just sitting on your phone?
Let’s be honest, the fact you’ve taken this quiz and read to the end suggests that you are indeed having London withdrawal symptoms. Our suggested remedy: pootling around Soho on Google Street View with your face pressed up against the screen. And then order some food from your favourite restaurants. Or go on an actual virtual tour of a big gallery.
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