Home » London Book Review - Non Fiction » The Search for Quiet London – The Books of Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

The Search for Quiet London – The Books of Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

qiuet london postcards

Finding a peaceful haven in a stressful city is the dream of many city dwellers, one such city dweller Siobhan Wall  turned the search for peaceful havens into a series of books. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, then Quiet London which was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York. Each book seemed to strike a chord  with her readers who may like the hustle and bustle of city life but crave a quiet corner to unwind and reflect.

Following on from the success of her early Quiet London book, recently Siobhan has written three Quiet London books that expand on the theme but look at distinct areas. Quiet London (Quiet Corners), Quiet London (Food and Drink) and Quiet London (Culture) all represent ways of finding peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living . One misconception of the ‘Quiet ethos’ the author is quick to point out is that it is more about a determination to find a space in which values peace and quiet rather than finding empty and unused locations.

This is an important distinction because it is possible to be social in a quiet way without excessive noise, in fact it is often easier to have conversations if you are not shouting above loud music. The book suggests a surprisingly wide range of peaceful and tranquil places in London that will allow you to enjoy your surroundings. London is fortunate to have a number of parks, gardens and opens spaces, however there is also a number of alternative locations such as places of worship, churchyards and cemeteries.
Cultural institutions can offer many areas of peace and quiet, on the surface it may seem a rather strange idea that you seek peace and quiet in places whose prior aim is to attract people to their institutions but there are peaceful havens if you know where to look.

it is this last point that makes the Quiet books so useful, many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet haven which they frequent, however the books offers a wide range of quiet havens all over London.

The author stresses the importance of finding these Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.
With people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’ and increased stress levels are driving more people to mental health problems like anxiety attacks and depression, the ‘Quiet Revolution’ represents a partial antidote to this modern phenomenon.

In the book on Food and Drink,the author explores peaceful places to eat and drink which forego the modern trend of having a constant background of music. She also author recognises that the past decade has seen the principles of the ‘Slow’ Revolution especially regarding food gaining footholds in many of London’s neighbourhoods.
The Restaurant section offers quite an eclectic selection ranging from Hazuki , a small Japanese restaurant to the historic Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. But regardless of size and expense, the main criteria for inclusion they all offer the opportunity to enjoy your own company or the company of friends without the distraction of loud music or excessive noise. Finding a quiet pub or bar can represent more of a challenge but there are an increasing number who ban music and even sometimes the use of mobile phones.

Each book offers something quite different in London, an escape from the fast-moving environment and find places that allow to you can enjoy your surroundings. What the author realised sometime ago is that peace and quiet is a valuable commodity in the hustle and bustle of city life, to find places to sit and enjoy is one of the pleasures of city life. Each of these books succeeds by taking away the sometimes onerous task of finding these peaceful havens by ourselves, instead we are provided with a large number of locations and establishments for us to explore.

If you would like to buy copies of the books or even an attractive Quiet London postcard book that features photographs of many of the best sites, visit the publishers site here.

If you would like to read the our reviews of the individual books  press the appropriate link.

Quiet London (Quiet Corners)

Quiet London (Food and Drink)

Quiet London (Culture)

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