There’s London after which there’s Richard Curtis’s London. The 62-year-old filmmaker has spun the town into a comfortable, romantic oasis in back-to-back cinematic hits — from “4 Weddings and a Funeral” and “Notting Hill” to ”Love Really.” His newest movie is “Yesterday,” a comedy concerning the enduring energy of the Beatles.
Mr. Curtis was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and moved to England when he was 11. He credit his outsider perspective for the snow globe model of London that he portrays in movies. “I believe in some methods it lets you relish the place you’ve arrived in,” he mentioned. “I’m accused of giving a really sunny model of London as a result of I do. I take the nice and don’t really feel too dangerous concerning the dangerous.”
The screenwriter lives with the author and producer Emma Freud in Notting Hill. The neighborhood has been his residence for 25 years.
Early on in his profession, Mr. Curtis mentioned he determined to put in writing solely about locations he knew and locations he cherished. The primary movie he wrote was set in America and, after a disappointing assembly in Los Angeles, the place executives instructed him his dialogue and jokes had been too British, he flew again to London and determined to scrap the venture altogether. “I got here residence and mentioned I’m by no means going to put in writing something that isn’t set within the streets of which I dwell. And I’ve very almost lived as much as that.”
What London spots encourage him? Right here, Mr. Curtis recommends 5 locations.
1. Abbey Street
If you happen to’re fast to put in writing off Abbey Street as a vacationer lure, Mr. Curtis encourages you to suppose once more. The crossing was featured on the duvet of the Beatles’ 11th album, “Abbey Street,” and runs simply subsequent to Abbey Street Studios, a stately trying, Georgian constructing the place the band recorded 190 of its 210 songs. Mr. Curtis, who did the music recording for “4 Weddings and A Funeral” contained in the studio, identified that it is among the few remaining relics of the Beatles period.
“If you happen to go to Strawberry Fields, there’s simply nothing. There’s a crimson gate and, for the time being, there’s nothing behind it. It’s only a unusual little bit of land,” he mentioned. “Abbey Street has the cross street, there’s the gorgeous studio with the stunning steps main as much as it. It’s satisfyingly actual.”
three Abbey Rd; abbeyroad.com
2. Alfred Hitchcock Ceramics
Since 2001, the Leytonstone Station Tube cease has been the house of a colourful, large-scale tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, who grew up only a brief distance away within the East London neighborhood of Leytonstone. Sixteen vibrant mosaics, designed by artists on the Greenwich Mural Workshop, are discovered on the station, every a homage to the director and his movies. Mr. Curtis, who’s keen on each Hitchcock and ceramic artwork, stumbled upon the show when he was on his method to watch his son carry out at a close-by music gig.
“I used to be so bowled over that there was this actually great factor, which I believe individuals would pay to see if it was put up in an artwork gallery,” he mentioned.
His favourite is the “North by Northwest” mosaic, which recreates the well-known scene of Cary Grant sprinting from a airplane, framed with splashes of vivid yellow, blue and crimson tiles.
Leytonstone Tube Station; tfl.gov.uk
three. Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop
For a decade, this bookshop has sat on a vigorous stretch of Notting Hill, lined with colorfully painted storefronts. Head inside and also you’ll discover a second of quiet within the vivid, well-organized retailer. There are intricately folded guide pages hanging from the ceiling, handmade painted playing cards on the market up entrance, and a winding staircase that results in extra books and a desk for studying.
Mr. Curtis, a neighborhood native, likes to browse on the weekends, normally with one in all his 4 kids, ages 15, 17, 22 and 24. “I actually encourage the youngsters to go there and purchase books as a result of it does make them higher individuals,” he mentioned.
21 Kensington Park Rd; lutyensrubinstein.co.uk
four. Primrose Hill
Make the small uphill trek to the highest of Primrose Hill in northwest London and also you’ll be rewarded with a surprising, 360-degree panorama of London. The summit — which stands at 206 ft — was used for duels within the 18th century. Today, guests lounge on the lantern-lined grass, canine roam, and a round lookout level provides sweeping views of the town.
It’s additionally nice for sledding. “It’s the place to go when it snows right here. It has the proper curve to take a 7-year-old little one,” Mr. Curtis mentioned. “Primrose Hill, the little village, can also be actually lovable. There’s a beautiful bookshop there and a stunning Greek restaurant and an incredible previous newsagent. It’s a really satisfying day trip.”
Primrose Hill Street; royalparks.org.uk
5. British Movie Institute, Southbank
There’s numerous film magic packed into this glass-sheathed constructing nestled alongside the Thames River. The four-screen cinema provides previous and up to date motion pictures and hosts a sequence of movie and tv festivals. It additionally homes the BFI Mediatheque, a free library of greater than 30,000 movie and tv titles, together with uncommon tv broadcasts and British cinema classics.
“Backing onto the river is an entrance to the cinema bit, however in the event you go down the aspect, there’s this good widespread area and a superb film bookstore,” Mr. Curtis mentioned. “The opposite day I went there and so they have these very daring sequence of T-shirts with simply the names of ladies administrators.”
Belvedere Street; whatson.bfi.org.uk