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Treadwell’s, WC1E. On to an emporium of esoteric erudition; Treadwell’s has advanced the experience of shopping to something truly inclusive and 21st century. This is a very well put together journey through the full spectrum of the spiritual with plenty to cater for the sceptical as much as the scholar. A strong emphasis on history does it credit whilst the shop mascot Lady Luck and the ‘Browser’s Sofa’ add to the fun. http://www.treadwells-london.com/

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Growing Underground: A Visit To Clapham’s Deep Level Farm

Sandra Lawrence investigates a very unusual farm, buried beneath Clapham High Street in an old war shelter that might have been a high-speed tube line.

Eight deep-level bomb shelters were constructed across London in the early 1940s. You can still see their drum-shaped entrances at locations including Belsize Park, Goodge Street, Stockwell and Clapham. Each was capable of housing 8,000 of the capital’s beleaguered, blitzed citizens. The shelters were cunningly constructed in long, tube forms. The war couldn’t last forever and afterwards a brave new world would need fast, efficient trains to the suburbs. Whip out the bunk beds, install some tracks, join up the individual stations and commuters would be laughing.

The plan was doomed. Post-war Britain couldn’t build enough houses, let along invest in major tunnelling. The deep shelters mouldered. A few found odd short-term careers, such as Clapham South’s foray as a brief hostel for Jamaican arrivals on the Windrush. The rest, if they found work at all, were nothing more glamorous than high-security storage facilities.

Wild suggestions for re-using the shelters abound. But the very reasons that make them ideal for document storage would render them useless as nightclubs or bars. Emergency access sucks. For anyone who can make a go of 65,000 square feet of inaccessible tunnels 100 feet underground, however, London’s last squeak of affordable real estate is up for grabs.

“I saw the ‘to-let’ sign,” says entrepreneur Steven Dring. He and business partner Richard Ballard had originally been looking to disused office blocks for their new baby, an urban farm growing microgreens in a sustainable, carbon-neutral, local-to-need way. High-rise prices made vertical farming prohibitively expensive, however.

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Saturday: Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. Hot organic croissant with gruyere, Wiltshire ham, granola parfait and a giant bowl of caffè latte. Now time to go shopping! #symmetrybreakfast #breakfast #symmetry @lpquk #lpquk #lpqlondon #coffeebowling #london #saturday #weekend #organic #delicious (at Le Pain Quotidien, Goodge Street)

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