Clara Amfo’s podcast interview with author Reni Eddo-Lodge on the This City podcast will make you miss those big nights out in London.
We love hearing about the relationship that some of our favourite people have with the wonderful capital city of London. From the places that defined their childhood to their favourite bars and restaurants, it inspires us to get out there and explore our city (outside of lockdown, of course). That’s why we’re big fans of Clara Amfo’s podcast, This City.
In previous episodes, we’ve enjoyed Amfo’s conversations with Olympian Dina Asher-Smith, Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and documentary king Louis Theroux. This week, it was the turn of Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race author Reni Eddo-Lodge to share her stories about London.
Earlier this year, Eddo-Lodge became the first Black British woman to top the paperback non-fiction chart. She’s also the woman behind the hit podcast series About Race. And, as a former Stylist magazine cover star, she led a fascinating talk about race at last year’s Stylist Live Luxe.
Talking about the time she spoke to a stranger who was reading her book on the Tube, Eddo-Lodge tells Amfo: “I just went up to him because he was reading it. And he was so sweet, so kind, so friendly. He told me that he was an Australian man, he told me that it was [his] housemate’s copy and he’d only just started reading it. And I chatted with him all the way to my stop, actually. He was absolutely shocked, and I was like, ‘It is me.’ And then I was like, ‘Just look at the back of the book, because there’s a picture of me there!’”
She adds: “I signed it for him, and we went our separate ways. I can’t remember the entirety of our conversation, but I do remember seeing him and then debating in my head whether or not I should go up and say hello. And then I decided, you know, it’s so rare. I hear a lot from friends and family, that they’ve seen people reading it, but I personally never have. And so, having seen somebody, I was like, ‘I’d better take this opportunity.’”
The writer goes on to talk about the London she grew up in, including where she used to party, saying: “I would meet up with friends and we would go to Dalston and stuff like that, you know? You know those clubs that are, like, in the basement of a shop…
“After I was legally able to drink – well, before I was legally able to drink – there was a pub in Wood Green that you could get into with a fake ID […] a lot of us would go there and drink, like probably the age of 17 and up. Also, a lot of people from our local boys’ school would go there as well. So, it was where we would all go to create drama and gossip to discuss on Monday, basically.
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She reflects: “I would say that Wood Green and Wood Green High Street was our main meeting point. You know, because there’d be the people coming from Enfield, people coming from Edmonton, people coming from Tottenham; the public transport facilities, they’d all find a way to Wood Green. So, we’d all meet in Wood Green and we’d get the 29 bus into Soho. And we used to go to this club, I think it’s on Greek Street, and I don’t even think it exists anymore. It was called Moonlighting.”
The two women also get nostalgic about the night bus, with Amfo saying: “Do you know what? I was just thinking this the other day, and I will always say, the night bus is a rite of passage for everybody. Whether you have no choice but to take it or not, whether you just want to take it once to experience it, I feel like everyone who goes out in London, you just need to take the night bus. Because you never know what can happen.”
Eddo-Lodge agrees: “And sometimes, you can have more fun on the night bus than you can in the club…”
If this has made you yearn for a night out in London, you can listen to the full conversation on This City with Clara Amfo.
Images: Mark Harrison, This City
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…