DIVERSITY RIGHT ON YOUR DOORSTEP...IMPOSSIBLE TO BE BORED!
WHY I LOVE LONDON
WHY I LOVELONDON
The diversity - On the tube or anywhere you can hear a myriad of languages spoken. This has spilled out to create a melting pot of cuisine to choose from such as Camden Food market.
The people - A favourite area in London is Soho. Go while it still has some grit left to it!
The galleries - The choice is second to none. Personal favourite is The Hayward Gallery. Located along the Southbank and an added bonus is the great food market right beside it.
24 HRS IN LONDONSEE, EAT & DO
Head to Maltby Street market on Saturdays – still has a local feel and the area of Bermondsey isn’t top of the list for most tourists and there are some great galleries and design shops littered along Bermondsey Street. If contemporary art is your thing then stop off at White Cube which is only a 10 minute walk from the market.
Make a dash for Camden and join a walking tour with Unseen Tours – a social enterprise employing former homeless people. You’ll be taken well off the beaten path, and if you get Mike he’ll show you where an original Banksy was painted over, alongside where all the music legends hung and hang out – such as Amy Winehouse, Blur, Oasis… The tour lasts 2 hours and covers off some brilliant must see parts of London. Finishing back at the Camden markets – here your only problem will be choosing what to eat – from Spanish to Jamaican to Peruvian – a great example of London’s diversity. With a happy belly jump on a Thames river cruise– great way to see London from and even if you don’t get off you’ll learn some interesting things by the hosts on board who are cockney’s with a great sense of humour.
If there is time before the sun sets head up the Shard – and rather than go to the observation deck for about £20, instead go up to the 32nd floor to have a cocktail with a fantastic view. Make it snappy, so you have time to end the night at The Troubadour. Whilst the food is good, it’s the atmosphere and live music which is the drawcard for me. This spot has been running since the 50’s where legends such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan have played, and where the Rolling Stones played a secret gig at last year. It’s a place where emerging talent is showcased every night and you will see about 5 different artists perform. It is very relaxed and the staff know their thing about music! Being based in West Brompton there isn’t much else here so it attracts people that are passionate about music.
TOP 4 BESTSPOTS TO EAT
Kopapa – Located in the Seven Dials in Covent Garden is an absolute gem of a spot by a renowned Kiwi chef Peter Gordon. This is fusion at its best, with very innovative combinations. Their cocktails are brilliant and equally their wine list – particularly if you are a fan of NZ wines. They do a brilliant brunch menu here.
Address: 32-34 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden London WC2H 9HA +44 (0) 20 7240 6076
The Birdhouse – This is my absolute regular for brunch – their baked eggs with chorizo is a killer way to start the day. Run by an Aussie and a Cuban you’re guaranteed great coffee – and of course they know their flat whites. They have recently started to open up at night again with a Cuban inspired menu – lots of small plates to choose from that are brilliant – not only inventive with top notch ingredients but at prices that frankly are too cheap!
Budget – mid range
Address: 123 St John’s Hill, LOndon, SW11 1SZ 0207 228 6663
Pop Brixton – This is a relatively new community hub in Brixton that is home to small, local independents so you are pretty much guaranteed a good experience. There are many places to choose from here and one I particularly like is Mama’s Jerk. Their jerk chicken is beautifully cooked with a great kick to it, and can never seem to pass up their plantain. The people are super friendly too!
Address: 49 Brixton Station Rd, London. SW9 8PQ. Open Monday to Sunday 10am – 11pm.
The Joint – Chicken wing heaven! Their spot in Brixton Market is very low key and their no frills approach shows how good their food is. Their hot wings I can’t rave enough about – sticky, juicy and with a proper kick in your mouth. They also do a mean pulled pork burger – with homemade buns and all their meat is free range. Well worth heading to the South of London as Brixton has now become a food destination in it’s own right. I often do a food crawl having small bites at a number of places as there is so much to choose from and so many are brilliant!
Address: 87, Brixton Village, Brixton village market, Brixton SW9 8PS 07717 642812
- Rather than pay for a bus tour jump on the NO 11 Bus – the route covers Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St Pauls Cathedral, the posh neighbourhood of Chelsea and ends in the heart of the city. All for under £2!
- London continually has new restaurants popping up and a number of these run ‘soft launches‘. If you’re the type that does a little pre planning you will be able to grab a seat at the newest restaurants for 50% off the bill.
- If you plan ahead you can get seats to the ballet at the Royal Opera House for £10. Usually you need to book 2 months ahead. For me it is a classic part of experiencing the cultural side of London.
The bus is the best option so you can sit up high and see the view on the double deckers. That said, the underground is pretty efficient in getting you across the entire city and can work out to be reasonable when using an all day ticket to see all the spots.
I’m a big fan of Citymapper app – it will make your life very easy in London!
NOTE: Buses do not take cash. You will need to use an Oyster card a travel card from a station, or your bank card will also work.
Like any big city in the world, always best to keep an eye on your things. If using a cab other than a black cab ( not sure how long these will still be around ) just make sure the drivers are registered.
Anywhere around Leicester Square. If going for shows just put in a little bit more effort into walking a bit further into the back streets for much better restaurants.
An all time favourite in London is the The Vaults at Waterloo Station. This space is used for immersive experiences and currently is home to Alice In Wonderland – an experience that re-ignites your imagination and transports you down the rabbit hole – every event here is done extremely well by passionate people keen to deliver an experience that for me has always been brilliant!