A – Z Challenge: L — London

Ah London, the Big Smoke itself. As Samuel Johnson once wrote, ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’. It has provided the backdrop for many a novel, ranging from stories that explore the particular lives of Londoners, like Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, to the multiculturality of the city like Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. 

All life really is here thanks to the many ways you can define a “Londoner”. The city opens its arms to people from different places and it all gets woven into the tapestry that is known as London, meaning that you are just as able to find bang-on fish and chips as you are an authentic pad thai. 

And luckily for us as students at SAS, we are slap-bang in the middle of it. Located in the heart of Bloomsbury with the delights of Covent Garden, the bustle of Oxford Street, and the canalside calm of King’s Cross, we are a stone’s throw from some of the biggest landmarks the city has to offer. Moreover, I am fairly sure you can find an outlet for pretty much any interest: dance groups, crafting clubs, sport teams – there’s bound to be something for like-minded people close by.

If the recreational side of the city somehow isn’t enough to draw you, being part of the capital has its scholarly plus points too. Is it libraries you want? How about the British Library, countless university libraries and archives (that as students of the University of London we have access to), and of course, our very own Senate House Library. Museums? How about the big-hitter next door in the form of the British Museum, or the tucked-away gems like The Foundling Museum or Sir John Soane’s Museum. Furthermore, being part of the University of London means that we have a network of fellow researchers right on our doorstep with whom we can have thought-provoking and innovative conversations.

It truly is a privilege to be able to live and study in such a place and to weave our own threads into the fabric of the city. 

Here are some collected impressions of this great city of ours!

Written by Natalia Fantetti, IES PhD Candidate
Photos by Conny Kaufmann, IMLR PhD Candidate


Check out the other A-Z Challenge participants as well!


  1. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    I have only transited London’s Heathrow en route to the US many times.
    I would love to visit. My earliest introduction to Britain was in the British Libraries in India.
    Loved your post.
    My latest post – N for Nandi Hills

  2. My detailed reply earlier doesn’t seem to have gone through.
    Hope this goes through …
    I have only transited through Heathrow en route to the US many times.
    Would love to visit London.
    N for Nandi Hills

  3. Thanks to the pandemic it’s been over a year since I was last in London seeing friends. I can’t wait to meet up with them again at Piccadilly Circus and have the confusion of which tube exit everyone has come out of 😀 One of my favourite places in London is Daunt Books in Marylebone, I love how they have split their books by where the author is from so it’s a great place to find international and translated works.
    My A-Z in April is all about characters I love. Latest post: O is for Sally Owens.

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