View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Life
22 May 2019

Rihanna: Seven tips for your move to London

By Eleanor Margolis

Why anyone would want to move to the most expensive city in this drizzly, poorly written soap of a country is beyond me. Nevertheless, welcome, Rihanna. Please help yourself to a Greggs sausage roll, a permanent state of dread, and the following tips for living in London.

1. Bring a coat

Twenty-nine degrees and not a cloud in the sky? Bring a coat. Thirty-eight degrees and old people are dying? Bring a coat. London weather is like a particularly volatile Roman emperor. One minute it’s all smiles and libations, then someone looks at him the wrong way and it’s utter carnage, with vital organs flying merrily hither and thither. Roll up your coat. Stuff it into your bag. Knead it in there like dough. You’ll thank me later.

2. No one understands Old Street Tube

If you’re unlucky enough to be summoned to Shoreditch for some reason, you may well end up at the M.C. Escher etching that is Old Street: the sick bastard of the Northern Line. When you Google “Old Street exits”, the map indicates there are four of them. This is a conspiracy and a lie. There are at least twelve, and the only way to choose the right one for you is to search inside yourself for any trace of psychic ability. It’s said that Uri Geller once picked the right Old Street exit on the first try.

3. London is big

London is basically the size of a country, so if someone who lives on the other side of the river asks you to do something up their end, here are a list of excuses you can borrow:

“Just looked and the overground is being mental” (extremely realistic)

“Someone sneezed in my face on the tube and now I have a cold” (extremely realistic)

“I bought a flat white and a sandwich in zone one and now I’m halfway into my overdraft” (extremely realistic, even if you’re Rihanna)

4. Rooftop bars are shite

As soon as the temperatures top 17 degrees (although we’ve already been over how this means nothing) people will start inviting you to get pissed on the rooftops of Peckham, or (God forbid) Dalston and Shoreditch. Sure, the view of the London skyline from Frank’s is spectacular. But you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of it through the sea of 800 people who – each and every one of them – think they’re enjoying some kind of “hidden gem”. Then again, if queuing for an hour, for an £8 cocktail in a small plastic cup is your hobby, then go for it.

5. Landlords are your sworn enemy

Rihanna, I realise you have a net worth equal to a small country’s GDP, but listen… if you want to fit in as a Londoner you really need to start complaining about paying £750 a month to live in a portaloo in Deptford, with nine other people. You will be required to tweet at least twice a week about bringing back the guillotine for landlords. If you do not meet this quota, your status as a true Londoner will be revoked.

6. Book at Silk Road

Camberwell’s Xinjiang restaurant is easily one of the most hyped in the city. And for good reason. It’s small, a bit dingy and cheap by London standards (i.e. less than £16 for a main course), and the food is phenomenal. So it ticks all the boxes of literally every London media-type millennial, looking for an “authentic” experience in a city with – apparently – three Prets for every person. Therefore, book. Even if you’re going at six in the evening on a Monday. I can guarantee they don’t care if you’re Rihanna. I’m pretty sure the following exchange has taken place there:

Silk Road staff member: Your name, please?

God: God.

Silk Road staff member: we’ll have a table in about an hour.

God: I created the hour.

Silk Road staff member: OK. Your table will be ready in about an hour.

7. You love Sadiq

Never forget: Sadiq Khan is every Londoner’s lovely London dad, and he can do no wrong. Even when he tried to make those hellish “Tube chat?” badges happen, the response was less “BURN HIM” and more, “God, Dad, you’re so embarrassing.”

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU