#StrangePlanet: London Edition

The new National Geographic book London Book of Lists, written by Tim Jepson and Larry Porges, reveals the quirky customs, culture, and cuisine of England’s capital, from the Tower of London’s resident polar bears fishing in the Thames to Harrods’ early 20th-century embalming service.

Here we crown our four favorite London discoveries:

Hat Trick: A family business since 1676, Lock & Co. Hatters is also the world’s oldest hat shop and the birthplace of the bowler style. The St. James’s Street showroom has topped the pates of notable customers such as Winston Churchill, Prince Charles, and Charlie Chaplin.

Garden Variety: Japanese maple trees, multitiered waterfalls, and roaming peacocks calmly coexist in central London’s Kyoto Garden, located within Holland Park.

Music Man: In 1764, centuries before the Beatles ever strummed “Love Me Do,” eight-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his first symphony at Belgravia‘s 180 Ebury Street.

Home Fries: More than a battered and fried local specialty, fish-and-chips also played a part in World War II—the British used the term as a way to identify fellow soldiers during the D-Day landings.

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