I ride a pushbike. I don’t smoke. I failed my motorbike test the first time, mucking up the U-turn in a narrow road.
All these things conspire to limit the appeal of Vine Street in Westminster. And it’s not just me; local authorities concur. Between 1940 and 1972 it was wiped off the map.
Even if you are minted, you can forget any Monopoly-inspired dream of putting four compact but bijou townhouses on this 40m-long scrap of London W1 that’s barely wide enough for a three-point turn, never mind chucking a U-ie.
A single property actually fronts on to Vine Street – helpfully its office reception is prominently signed “one vine street” to avoid any confusion with, er, with…
Someone has however already got in with a hotel (albeit only the goods entrance to Le Meridien) so that Monopoly link is covered.
It’s appropriate therefore that stopping by here is costly. The entire street is a shrine to double yellows and – this being Westminster – there’s nowhere safe to leave a bike and precious little at ground level to attach one to.
As befits the former site of a slightly famous police station (hence its appearance on the Monopoly board), this is a street that shouts, “Move along, nothing to see.”
It’s a thoroughfare that would probably quite like you to go back to Old Kent Road. (Don’t try advancing to Mayfair – you’re already in it.)
Unless, that is, you are a smoker.
Surrounded by the back entrances of shops, offices and hotels, this is a corner of England that will forever be a foreign (tobacco) field, thanks to the cigarette butts and litter left by the constant stream of local workforce smokers getting their nicotine fix.
Where: Grid reference TQ293806 or more usefully W1J 0AH, just west of Piccadilly Circus between Regent Street, Piccadilly and Swallow Street.
How: I’d walk if I were you.
What’s actually to do there
Get a parking ticket.
Wonder whether Coldplay’s Yellow was inspired by Vine Street.
Practise your smirting, your counting to 1 or your really difficult U-turns.