Are you missing going to London? If the answer is yes, then I have a list of films and tv series to take you there from the comfort of your sofa .

I dug deep to bring the less familiar or one's that you may just have forgotten , all feature London Stories, Style and Structure of the City.

There are links added for ease, many from Amazon Prime Video. Alternatively look to Google or other search engines to find the many other places to download from .

Phantom Thread

Daniel Day Lewis plays a 1950's Couturier in London who runs his house with dedication and precison until he falls in love .


The 2015 biographical crime thriller film adapted from book "The Profession of Violence ".

Tom Hardy plays both Kray Twins.

Filmed across London - Waterloo, Limehouse, Greenwich and Hackney .

Driving Lessons

Rupert Grint and Julie Walters along with the majestic Debenham House star in this charming 2006 coming of age-comedy.

The film is a gentle story of a young boy who takes a job assisting an eccentric elderly actress and forms an unlikely friendship with her over a long Summer .

Filmed on location at glamorous Debenham House in Holland Park which is Julie Walters Character Evie's home. This hidden gem of London is now a private residence and was previously home to the department store owner Ernest Ridley Debenham.

An Education

Based on the true story of the journalist Lynn Barber, this coming of age movie is like being transported back to 1960's London .

Filmed around the Ealing and Acton areas .


Judy Garland arrives in London in 1968 to play to sell out concerts.

Lots of lush London Locations including The Hackney Empire and The Banking Hall and The Jerusalem Tavern Clerkenwell.

The Trial of Christine Keeler

The true story of a nineteen year old model who got entangled in a love triangle with a spy , and a minister that lead to a trial which rocked 1960's Britain . This became known as The Porfumo Scandal . A defining moment in the history of 1960's Britain .

Fantastic styling and story telling .

Starring Sophie Cookson, Ellie Bamber and James Norton.

This Filmed in Bristol - set in London .

Sophie Cookson and Ellie Bamber . Trial of Christine Keeler BBC .

Stan and Ollie

A comedy drama based on when Laurel and Hardy came to the UK to tour in 1953 -54.

Locations included The Royal Opera House, The Savoy Hotel and Eltham Palace .

Another Year

Tom ( Jim Broadbent ) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a cosy older couple whose life is documented over one year as Gerri's friend Mary (Lesley Mandville) leans on them for support after her Husband leaves her .

A 2010 Mike Leigh Film - Nominated Oscar for Best Original Screen Play.

Set and filmed in Wanstead, East London .


Romantic Comedy.

Based on a true story of how love can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Diane Keaton plays a character who lives in posh apartment she no longer can afford and falls in love with Donald, a loner who lives off the land in a makeshift cabin on Hampstead Heath.

Filmed in Highgate Cemetery, Hampstead , as well Cliveden Estate in Berkshire.

Small Axe

Steve McQueen's award analogy of films for the BBC based on real life experiences of London's West Indian Community between 1969 -1982.

Film locations include Brixton, and Hendon .

The Look of Love

The story of Paul Raymond who became one of London's Richest Men and one of Capital's most well known characters.

Of course filmed in Soho locations - look out for The French House and L'Escargot.

Lady in the Van

Only in London !

Based on the true story of Mary Shepard a homeless woman and the writer Alan Bennett.

Mary 'temporarilly' parks her van on Alan's drive and ends up living there for 15 years.

The film was shot around Bennett's old house in Camden Town .

It's a Sin

Russel T Davies drama serial depicting the lives of a small group of young gay men living in London as the AIDS/HIV Crisis erupted from 1981 - 1991.

The series is set in London, but was mainly filmed in Manchester .

Finding Your Feet

A Rom - Com feel good movie starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie .

Locations include Hampstead Ponds, Hackney Empire Theatre and Soho .

High Hopes

Social Comedy .

Another Mike Leigh, filmed in 1988 in Kings Cross area and centres around a family with very different ways of life and views.

Filmed at Kings Cross (much altered now) Highgate Cemetery, Bow and Broadgate .


The Savoy

See behind the scenes of the World Famous Savoy in this recent series. You will meet guests as well the staff to the Hotel. Get to know how them and see how they keep standards high and guests happy with exceptional service and commitment . Towards the end of the Series we see the Hotel coping with the busy periods of Christmas and New Year and then the outbreak of Covid -19, which sadly forced the Hotel to close doors temporarily .

Mr Selfridge

The story of how in 1909 Mr Harry Selfridge came to London form Chicago and brought to life his plan for the biggest, finest department store the world has ever seen.

Located in London filmed in Aldwych (disused) Underground Station, East London Calvert Avenue and Arnold Circus, but mostly filmed on sets built in a disused carpet warehouse in Neasdon .

Gangster Granny

Not just for kids !

A heart warming comedy drama based on David Walliams Book. Stars David Walliams, Julia McKenzie , Miranda Hart and Reece Buttery .

Made me giggle and I loved the locations which included Ealing and East London.

White Teeth

Drama from the books by Zadie Smith covering three generations of Love , Friendship and Culture .

Shot mostly in Willesdon and Cricklewood.

Darkest Hour

Wartime Drama.

Gary Oldman plays Churchill making decisions at the start of WW2 .

Shot at various locations in the UK including Westminster. Some of the filming actually took place outside the Palace of Westminster, but sets were built to replicate the interior, as well as the London Underground (as seen below) and the Cabinet War Rooms.

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Make your walks more inspiring with a new perspective

As the lockdown months roll on have you found your usual daily walk around the block has become less than inspiring and more of a chore ? Could you do the loop with your eyes closed and describe every detail ? I have found myself listening to podcasts instead of the birds, and not noticing anything unless it's straight in front of my nose. After so long walking the same paths it's so easy to just switch off . We disconnect with what's around us and end up missing what fresh eyes might even see as magical.

I decided to try to make my daily dog walk more interesting after being inspired by Philippa Stanton's photos from her walks in the Brighton area on Instagram. Her shots feature a lot of close up detail and are often abstract. Very unlike my usual way of seeing the world. I dusted off my copy of her 2018 book 'Conscious Creativity' and started to plan. Impatient to get started I didn't read it from cover to cover, or follow the exact program, it doesn't matter though as it's the sort of book you can dip in and out of and interpret in your own way .

If you want to try for yourself I recommend going for a walk with just one theme in mind, you can decide once you start your walk what this will be.

Something simple like one colour or shape. Look for it at all levels from the ground up. Scan areas you wouldn't usually take a second glance at. Notice texture, shape, patterns, movement, etc.

The first day I did this I choose white as a theme.

I took photos with my phone camera , but you don't have to take pictures. Maybe you sketch or paint ? Record it however you choose. Or you may prefer to just enjoy observing and record in your memory.

Maybe you fancy picking up a few things along the way like pine cones , pebbles , feathers anything that catches your eye or imagination. You can then observe them further at home. I made an album of a few my pictures from my phone.

When you are ready, move on to other ideas . You could choose a different focus per day or week.

A few ideas to get you started

Colour - pick one or maybe two

Shapes - Circles, Squares, Stars , Rectangles

Text - Typo, look at sizes and shapes and unusual places where you can see words placed.

Scale - large and small how they fit into the landscape .

Shadows - how they change and where they tell a story

Old and New - styles; architecture; plants; and trees etc

Abandon and Neglected - forgotten buildings, rubbish , furniture

Texture Hunting - manmade or natural

Go Backwards

Walk your usual walk in the opposite direction.

Start where you would usually finish.

Change the timing

Try to go out at a different time of day to your usual habitual walk. The light will be different and you will have a very different perspective.

If you always walk in the morning try an evening walk or vice versa .

Go 360

Don't just look straight ahead . Be sure to look up , down and all around, lots of interesting stuff is found very low to the ground or high above.

Fiat 500 . Mini UK . British Cars. Creative Photography Ideas

Finding unfamiliar in familiar places.

Yes it can be a challenge, but it's not an impossible one.

Think of it as a game - a grown up version of I - Spy .

I hope that after reading this you've been inspired to look out for new things and take in a different view of your regular walk.

If you want to see more please go to where I will been sharing more on my Instagram stories . I may even be writing a few more blog posts on this subject as I have been so inspired.

You can find Philippa on Instagram

Conscious Creativity is available from Blackwells

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Do you want to take better photos ? Have you reached the point where you are scraping around for something good to watch after so long in lockdown?

I was too and after a dig around I managed to find some great documentaries on some legendary photographers from Netflix and Amazon Prime. Each had a very different approach, great style, something unique and all are very watchable.

I am sharing the ones I have watched so far, along with some cheeky recommendations.

My favourites were Love Cecil and Finding Vivian Maier

Enjoy !

Slim Aarons: The High Life

A visual escape from grey skies and every day living .

Slim Aarons spent his life documenting jet setters, movie stars and Royalty.

" He showed life looking even better than it was"

Slim could always be found with his camera among the most beautiful people in the most beautiful of places during the 50's, 60's and 70's. Whilst there he managed to document a bygone era with his signature elegance and style.

You may not know the name, but will certainly recognise the style. His work is referenced today by Designers and Dreamers the world over. Expect glorious colour palettes and oodles of inspiration for small square posts.

Watch with a Martini on the rocks .


Nancy Beaton Shooting Star 1928 by Cecil Beaton

Love Cecil

A slideshow from heaven.

Cecil's story has a Cinderella like quality with highs, lows and more than a few surprises along the way.

Remembered for being part of "The Bright Young Things", a post-war group of artists and creatives there is a great deal more to his life than that short period revealed.

Cecil broke new ground from the 1920's with ethereal backdrops and clever lighting techniques. From then onwards he remained a highly a sought after photographer until almost the day he died.

He had a talent for taking faces from ordinary to otherworldly, and because of this he became a firm favourite with London Society, eventually becoming Official Photographer to the Royal Family.

Later he moved to Hollywood and keen to expand his work beyond photography became a set and costume designer.

This dazzling documentary reveals much about the man behind the facade through his frank and honest diaries and photographs.

Pour yourself a Pimms and enjoy .

Heery's World

Snapping around Sydney

Gary Heery Photographer Self Portrait .

Follow Gary as he whirls around Sydney sharing his enthusiasm for his subjects and having a great time everywhere he lands. Thriving on variety and a driving need to show the beauty of whoever or whatever appear in front of his lens this film shows us just why Gary is a World Class Photographer.

Starting back in 1976 he has shot famous and infamous characters spanning music, art, film politics and sport as well as feathered friends for his dazzling book 'Bird.' His portfolio includes album covers for Madonna and Paul Simon (Graceland) and advertising campaigns for names like Pepsi , Swatch, Sony and Karl Lagerfield.

Watching Gary at work is an education in the art of connecting with people. We see him in teasing out the shots from his subjects with his playful banter from a Sex Shop, Bikers Chapter, Homeless Charity and a fashion shoot of nude models with flowers and fauna.

Watch with a gin and tonic and an open mind.



Finding Vivian Maier

Prepare to be intrigued .

Vivian was a loner who left a legacy of around 100,000 photographs. A mysterious Nanny with a dark side and many hidden secrets, including her photos which she kept locked away from all eyes apart from her own.

This film is her story told by John Maloof . John is the buyer of a largest collection of her negatives sold due to her not keeping up payments on rented storage space.

Most revealing are the interviews of families Vivian worked for in the 60's and 70's , all who seem to have been left with quite different impressions of her personality.

Vivian Maier is now regraded as one of the 20th Century's most important photographers. Her photographs have been shared around the world causing much controversy and debate as she went to such great lengths to keep her work private during her lifetime .

Enjoy with a glass of wine to celebrate Vivian's French Heritage

Looking for Light - Jane Brown

'Ah there you are'


Watching this feels like a cosy trip to see your Nan as this unassuming legend quietly reminisces with her son about her life and work revealing her secrets of how she took such great portraits.

Jane worked at The Observer for six decades breaking new ground as a female in a male dominated world.

Her long list of subjects includes both The Queen of England and Queen of British Couture, Vivienne Westwood as well as many other famous faces. Jane was renowned for putting her subjects at ease with her minimal equipment and fast working style .Her ideal shoot would be a roll and half of film exposed with just 15mins spent shooting it. With just the right always.

A truly inspiring film of a woman who was quietly one a remarkable photographer of people.

Watch with tea, biscuits and a notebook.

Bill Cunningham New York

Street Photographer , Style Hound

Bill Cunningham New York Photographer

Bill Cunningham had endless energy for taking photographs, an obsession that lasted his lifetime.

He lived a frugal life alone in his apartment packed from floor to ceiling with his photographs with barely room to sleep. He spent little time there as he was so busy working .

People on the street would look for him on his bike wanting to be spotted and land on the pages of The New York Times. He was out everyday taking shots . For Bill it didn't mater who you were. It was all about the colours, the styles, shapes, how they were being worn and spotting trends.

This documentary showcases his work along with his joy and enthusiasm about it .

Enjoy with your glass half full - just like Bill always did.

Elsa Dorfman : The B- Side

"I somehow have this misguided therapeutic idea that it's my role in the universe to make people feel better."

Elsa Dorfman with her Polaroid Camera 20x24

Watching this felt like I was going to visit an old tutor who was letting me into her studio and was sharing her story of how she came to be so sucessful.

Elsa passed away in May 2020 , leaving a legacy of thousands photographs . Many of these shots which were taken with her giant 20 X 24 inch Polaroid Camera. These are pretty unique captures as only 6 of the cameras were ever made. Her pictures are mainly of ordinary folk whoElsa asked to arrive exactly as they were . No pretence or fancy gimmicks, this was her trademark . She then took 2 poses, always keeping the un purchased shot, calling them the B sides.

The film is a fitting tribute to Elsa the unassuming artist.

Enjoy while you knit yourself something cosy .

Further reading and images

I have included some further links on you may enjoy about the Photographers.

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