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Christopher Wren

Welcome to the captain's cabin: 'A life on the ocean wave provided

Come up to the roof of the erstwhile pub I bought and renovated with my husband, Olly Hoeben, 11 years ago, and you will see his dream of 50 years made real. Around the flat, decked roof with its expansive views of London, and a sky that seems so close you could touch it, are three timber, glass and lead units, precisely designed to look and feel like ships' cabins. But why cabins at the top of an urban building? The reason is found in Olly's formative teenage years. Aged 15, he went to sea as a trainee able seaman. It was what many working-class lads, growing up in Amsterdam in the poverty-stricken years immediately after the war, did to earn a living.

Barbecoa, 20 New Change Passage, London, EC4M 9AG

Before the TV shows, the bestselling books, the school-food campaigns and the browbeating of obese Americans, Jamie Oliver's approach to cooking was that of an experienced brickie – grab this brick, mix this cement, trowel the cement on here, plonk the mixture down there and bish, bosh, zing, zing, hey presto it's done. He convinced the nation that simplicity, rather than complexity, could deliver big flavours. Through the unveiling of his 15 restaurant, and his immensely popular Jamie's Italian chain, he has kept faith with the basic, the tasty, the honest-to-God. Devotees will be relieved to hear that his newest incarnation mostly maintains the tradition, at least when it comes to food. If only everything else about it were so simple.

Athlete/I Am Kloot, Old Royal Naval College, London

Rock festivals get everywhere these days. It seems every local authority with a small patch of grass wants to be in on the action, to earn kudos from having one or two mid-table bands play their back yard.

The Old Brewery, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London SE10

This fine summer's evening we are travelling downriver to Greenwich, to partake of a whitebait dinner and a glass of Hospital Porter. How delightfully mid-19th century. In Dickens' time, Greenwich was famous for its whitebait – the small fry of various fish which bred abundantly in this polluted stretch of the Thames – and visitors would journey from far and wide for an infanticidal fry-up. The fish may come from Billingsgate Market these days, but the traditional Greenwich whitebait dinner is enjoying a revival, thanks to an appealing new venture from local brewers Meantime.

24-Hour Room Service: Lower Slaughter Manor, Cotswolds,

There's no getting past the name. And there's a faint disappointment that Slaughter is not a reference to a bloodied battlefield or even an abattoir; it is actually a confused local stab at speaking French. William the Conqueror gave this corner of the Cotswolds to the Norman knight Philip de Sloitre and his reward was to have his name massacred.