It’s one of the most tolerant, accepting places in Britain – packed with theatres and attracting tourists from around the world.
But just three days after the country voted to leave the European Union, Colin Appleby, a gay resident of London’s Covent Garden, heard something he wasn’t expecting.
A group was making its way up Drury Lane on Sunday night, singing at the top of their voices:
‘Britannia rules the waves!
‘First we’ll get the Poles out, then the gays!’
Appleby told Gay Star News: ‘I was in bed just drifting off to sleep when I heard them.
‘There had been football chants all day long from the direction of the pubs so didn’t really pay much attention until the words became clearer.
‘This is Drury Lane in Covent Garden, London, it’s the home two theatres, a plethora of restaurants and bars and it is in liberal, tolerant London.
‘To those who voted Leave but didn’t have the balls to stand up and counter the racism underpinning that campaign, I say be careful what you wish for.’
While Britain voted 52% for Leave, that figure fell to 40% in London.
Since the vote, hate crime has risen by an incredible 57%.
Even children have been victims. The BBC reported on 11-year-old Matteus from Poland who found a card suggesting his family were ‘vermin’ who should ‘go home’.
Appleby has reported the hate incident to the Metropolitan Police and posted about it on Facebook.