The Ulitimate Bucket List For London
Catch A Powerful Play
You don't have to be an actor to perform in the West End. There are plenty of opportunities for all sorts of gigs, from bandstands to orchestras and even street performers. You can make your own way into the West End, too! Londons iconic theatre district is located on the edge of the City of Westminster. In recent years it has undergone several changes that have brought a whole new element to it. One major change is The Crossrail Project, which is the largest construction railway development in Europe.
Construction is now complete and it officially opens on December 2018, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). London's open-air rooftop museum features over 300 pieces and sculptures bathed in light from dusk till dawn making this a great option for those seeking a more exciting evening. You dont have to be in London to catch a great play, and with so much choice (the West End alone boasts more than 30 theatres) its difficult to pick what to see. There are big and small companies making innovative work.
Sometimes, though, its about catching a production in the second act something that has proven its popularity or become an audience-favourite classic. You might even be lucky enough to see a performance by a big name star like Redmayne or Rob Brydon. No matter what you pick, if youre heading out for a show there are some things you should bear in mind. Ive been to London many times and have always been fascinated by the stage performances there.
London is a place that has so much history in theatre that it draws some of the most talented performers in the world, especially in musicals. I think its also fun to see people perform on stage because you get to watch them naturally versus watching them in movies or a television program. Another bonus is that its a new experience each time you go and you get to learn more about different languages and cultures since the plays usually are in their native tongue.
The West End has long been synonymous with top-quality drama, comedy and musical productions and London offers a carnival of choice for theatregoers. From the National Theatres iconic home in South Bank to the Royal Courts experimental space on Sloane Square, this is where head-scratching new spectacles run alongside raucous musicals and classic dramas. It’s also home to some of the world’s most famous theatres including the Lyceum and Adelphi that attract top-class performances from all corners of the globe.
As a theatre tourist, you will no doubt come across one of the dozens of theatres in Londons West End, but there is so much more to this area than The Phantom of the Opera (unless youre planning on seeing it). You can explore the history of the music hall and even catch some of today's best musicals although these are as likely to be performed in London's equally vibrant east end. Brawn has been serving the locals in Columbia Road, East London for a decade now, and is celebrating with a tenth anniversary menu that’s as simple as it is smart.
Celebrate Gin Oclock
Gin has a rich history that predates the 17th century. It was famously favoured by the Duke of Wellington and notable figures such as William Hogarth, who celebrated the spirit in his works. It was during this time of popularity that London itself also became known for great gin. This was thanks to distillers like Suttons, whose products were renowned for their quality. But sadly by 1751, the City of London had become over-saturated with gin shops and concerns rose over alcohol abuse.
Thus, the Gin Act of 1751 came into effect and imposed strict controls on distilling, including a £50 annual fee and a ban on distilling spirits for other bars to sell. These restrictions didn’t last long however. What you pour in your glass once the clock has struck five varies from gin to gin, but what we can all agree on is that a venerable gin and tonic never goes out of fashion. Pitched as a classical cocktail, its constituents were inseparably linked in the Victorian imagination.
Physicians might have prescribed potions of juniper to calm upset stomachs but out-and-out drinkers would have asked for a dram of it with just enough tonic water to get any medicine past their lips. But by the time the repeal passed anyway, gins had entered something of a golden age, with businesses like Beefeater and Tanqueray experiencing boom years. London has an abundance of gin distilleries. Some of the notable ones are Beefeater, Sipsmith as well as brands such as Edinburgh Gin, and Portobello Road Gin.
Recently London has seen a trend in luxury Gin bars opening including the Martin Miller’s Gin Bar & Restaurant Mayfair which serves an exquisite selection of over 350 different Gins, and the Anchor And Hope Gin Bar which also serves a wide array of Gins including their own brews. Getting to grips with the many types of gin can be tricky so it is worth reading up on London’s best gin bars to find somewhere that suits your tastes.
When you're visiting a city famous for its broad range of beer, it can be easy to forget that London is also home to some very good gin bars. And unlike in New York or Los Angeles, their proliferation has not increased their variety: there's still just four. But they're all pretty excellent, and they're certainly worth remembering too for those times when you're in the capital and opt for a nice G&T instead of another pint.
If it says on your birth certificate that you were born north of the Border, part of your Scottish DNA is programmed to appreciate a good G&T. In fact, Scottish distillers make some of the very best. Unsurprisingly, London has capitalised on our love for juniper and turned it into a craft industry, with the number of gin distilleries all over the place going through the roof in recent years. Grilled calots are served with ajo blanco (garlic and white cabbage sauce), while crab bisque and wood pigeon come together on one plate.
Dawdle Around Dalston
1. Niki's Thai Street Food – Fabulous! Unmissable. 2. The Albion – Michelin-starred food for those nights when you want to fork out a bit. Handmade eucharist and dumplings, and a cocktail bar that stays open until the early hours (it’s been there since 1820). 3. Dalston Superstore – Multiple floors of vintage clothes and accessories that’ll make you feel like a million dollars (or at least a couple of quid). 4. Dalston Roof Park – Up in the clouds in this stunning glass-sided oasis, with views over the canal to the City.
5, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Dalston Curve Garden – It might not be a permanent feature (. The best bit of living in Dalston is that it's full of cafes, vintage shops, bars and restaurants, so there's always somewhere to go. My favourites are the vintage stalls on Ridley Road Market on the weekend, coffee at Proud East in E8 (for their avocado toast) and lunch at Rocket & Rum for a moreish eat-in or takeaway meal. I like to go to Dalston Superstore to buy art supplies and then walk from there along the canal over to Broadway Market for dinner – Sofi's Crepes are my favourite.
There’s more to Dalston than meets the eye. Since becoming somewhat of a major London attraction, it has evolved into a hub for all things cool and quirky. Nowhere is this more apparent than the main thoroughfare, Dalston Lane – it’s an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants which spill out onto the pavement. If you want to fill your days with fun then there are plenty of things to do in Dalston. Surprisingly buzzing on an evening, this upmarket, candlelit bar is the perfect place to woo a first date.
Start with some cocktails – or try that modern classic, a Bucks Fizz. Afterwards, the dining room delivers classic British dishes in a modern setting. Our tip? Get there early and bag one of the coveted booths (they hold six people). Dalston offers an eccentric array of unique establishments, from the renowned Dalston Roof Park to the live musicof The Stagger Inn. And if you're looking for a quirky gift, you're in luck – there are quirky shops and markets selling anything from vintage clothing to odd-shaped vegetables.
Drink Up Some Dreamy Views
To the east, skyline watchers can spot Canary Wharf, Old — and soon-to-be new — London Bridge, and City Hall. To the west, you can take in Tower 42 (formerly NatWest Tower), the Gherkin, and St Pauls. There are plenty of smaller views to be found within London itself — it is said there are more than 200 high-rise buildings in the centre alone. One of my favourites is from the rooftop bar at <a href" thisismargate.co.uk " >The 21</a> hotel on Grosvenor Square near Park Lane in Mayfair (pictured below).
The Shard: The tallest building in Western Europe, at 1,016 feet, was inaugurated in early 2012, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). You can go up the observation deck for stunning views of the city and also for a very nice cocktail with a glass made of ice. If you’re feeling especially flush, you can book out a table for dinner (reservation advised). We're heading into the Lake District. Truth be told, I had no idea how much I'd enjoy this place.
So far it's been breathtakingly beautiful, incredibly peaceful, and utterly captivating. An ideal getaway for anyone or couple looking to find a quiet and gorgeous place way off. London Eye – You can’t talk about London views without mentioning the London Eye, which like Big Ben or Westminster Abbey, is one of those things you kind of have to tick off your list. The good news is, it’s now open until late on weekends.
From London, you can see a lot more than just the capital. There are many places in the UK and further afield that make excellent viewpoints for enjoying the capital's skyline. Let's start by looking at London from above. Go for Sunday brunch at Wayward Social Club. This place is so popular it regularly has a queue up the street and you can see why. While you're waiting, pop across the road to the Dalston Superstore and pick up some treats (Revolver Espresso and Larder is a must).
Eat Your Veg!
You don’t have to be vegan to appreciate the incredible eateries in London that serve up the best veggie and vegan dishes. London has become a huge hotspot for vegetarian restaurants, among other places. You can now say goodbye to boring meat-free dishes and welcome in an exciting new world filled with delicious options: from pie & mash to curries, you’ll have no problem finding a feast for your taste buds. If you don’t know where to start, check out our guide to some of the best vegan dishes in London.
If you’re inspired, check out our list below for some of our favorite veggie hotspots in London. Have you ever had a tough time finding good veg-friendly places to eat in London? It’s not just you lots of people (even veggies!) struggle! Vegetarianism is growing in popularity all the time. This means there are more and more restaurants popping up offering delicious meat-free meals. However, it can also make it harder to find those restaurants.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, especially if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, read on…. Vegetarians can survive! …in London, at least. It may surprise some people to know that there are many options available for veggies out there, but this carnivorous city hosts an array of vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants. Whether you’re a full-blown vegan or just looking to cut down on meat every now and again, we have set you up with a few ideas for places to visit, from ethical and organic to tongue-tinglingly delicious.
Vegans and vegetarians alike, unite! It is in your favour that I write this guide. London is a veritable treasure trove for meatless mortals whether it be high end cuisine or a skanky take-away in the depths of Hackney. With some help from my friends (both vegetarian and omnivorous) here are 61 veggie friendly eateries to get you started. Vegetarian restaurants are hard to find in London. Well actually, you can find veggie restaurants everywhere, from ethnic stores to those fancy Michelin-starred places, but finding a restaurant that also happens to be vegan is a whole different story.
Embark On A Riverside Pub Crawl
The Thames Path is a National Trail, meaning that it's maintained and signed by the Forestry Commission and National Trails, both of which also issue maps to the trail. More locally there are plenty of less official maps to be had, most of which simply take a little bit too much creative licence in marking pubs as well as public toilets as blue-blazered entrances to the underworld (well, maybe not, but at the time you may wish it were so).
The Thames is a pretty monumental waterway, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). As the second-longest river in England, it’s one of the longest in Europe, too. It’s also one of the major focal points of the capital – it’s hard to think of London, in any meaningful way, without picturing its serpentine course snaking around the northern edge of the city and beyond. Not only is The Thames Path Britain's longest and oldest river path, it's also pretty darn scenic and a damn fine opportunity to combine a beautiful walk with a hearty (and maybe even boozy) lunch.
Or dinner! Just pick up some extra pints at the first pub you see. To walk the Thames Path from source to mouth in one day is pretty ambitious, but at least you get to start well into the headwaters. It’s a beautiful section of river and, if you time it right, boaty fun to paddle along too. The journey along the Thames may not have the drama of Hemingway’s voyage up the River Douro in Spain, but it is (arguably) a more accessible option for Londoners.
Enjoy The Best Of The Fests
Great British Cheese Festival (Tate Modern, May 26-27th) Currently in its third year, this festival of all things cheese is on course to become one of the citys best annual events. Taking place at the Tate Modern, you can expect to sample a selection of over 200 cheeses in a variety of different styles. Theres also some demonstrations and talks about making cheese so your bound to pick up some useful tips to impress your fellow cheesemongers.
There are plenty of gigs taking over London this summer, but these days it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth travelling to. Will your favourite act put on a great show? And will there be enough space to squeeze your way to the bar? Fortunately, we've done the hard work for you and have scoured live listings to bring you our top picks of music festivals in London that take place this summer.
Open Garden Squares Weekend (June 4-5): An all-day, multi-venue festival of music and cultural events in London's parks. Organised by local authorities, community groups and charities, the sole purpose of this weekend-long celebration is that people come together in their local communities; enjoy a drink or two; contribute to the fun; make new friends and experience some great live music. Lovebox, which moved this year to Gunnersbury Park in west London. It's still a festival favourite, with hosts including Jessie Ware and Jamie xx, as well as all-female grime collective Girl Unit.
Enter A Whole New World
Most people go to an immersive experience expecting a truly unique evening. The best immersive dining experiences offer just that. Some have been designed to be more of a walking tour, while others are a series of different rooms you enter, so its really your choice. They put you in the middle of the action and give you an insight into everyday life in London or somewhere else entirely. Some of our favourites include. If youre a fan of Shakespeare, then the chances are youre familiar with Hamlet.
You knew something was odd about The Mousetrap, and it didnt take long to work out that you were part of a set-up. The actors on this immersive murder mystery offer clues (in the form of telegrams) allowing you to piece together whodunnit and why. Forget dinner and a movie feast on the entire five-course meal as you float down the Thames or explore a post-apocalyptic shopping mall while you make your way around the world as part of The Diner.
It’s all possible at these immersive dining experiences. London entices you to lose yourself in its rich, atmospheric backstreets – but do you have the stamina? Walk on the wild side with this guide to London’s best immersive dining, drinking and theatre experiences. If youre heading to the Southbank this week, or have already made your way here, our friends at the Imperial War Museum Northve a fantastic exhibition dubbed Secret London. From fish and seafood pastries to one of the best Caesar salads I have ever tasted, each dish is excellent.
Explore A Fascinating Art Exhibition
London has such an enormous and varied art scene that no list can do it proper justice. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some must-visit places that aren’t covered on every blog and guide book to the capital. Our list of iconic art galleries and museums in the city is a little more tongue-in-cheek than usual; the majority are institutions with storied histories and impressive collections. But there are also a couple of contemporary galleries on there for those seeking something new.
Art lovers descend on London in droves, and if youre visiting the city youll most likely want to take in what London has to offer. Whether its the archives of the Tate Gallery or temporary exhibitions like Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the V&A, London is home to some of the finest artworks of this or any other generation. However, with so many different exhibits and museums to visit its best to get a sense of whats on show before you arrive and not just rely on serendipity.
Art is a luxury for cities to have. It defines culture and impact the economy: it is a major part of development in any city. In London, we have some of the most stunning art collections in the world. It's a great way to spend your free time, or even as a lucky charm for your London holiday: visiting one of these galleries and museums will ensure you take away with unforgettable memories. When it comes to the worlds of art, London is the place to be.
The capital has some of the worlds most iconic galleries and museums boasting some fantastic collections. But if you havent got time to take it all in at once, may we suggest narrowing your focus to these five major galleries and their expansive permanent displays. You might not have been to any art galleries before, but thats okay, because thats what this guide is for. From the five best art museums in London to a list of fantastic art exhibitions to see right now, this guide will help you have the best time at your first art gallery visit.
London is a city of culture and art. From the Tate Britain to Tate Modern, there are plenty of opportunities to view art. There are no shortage of galleries scattered around the city's neighborhoods hosting exciting exhibitions, which makes the visitor's choice a tough one indeed. If you have room for pudding, save space for the praline soufflé with pecan sauce and walnut ice-cream (pictured). Vegetarian, vegan or just want to sample the best of what London has to offer? If so, you're in luck because this city is full to the brim with vegan friendly places.
Explore Gorgeous Greenwich
Although it is full of tourists, Greenwich’s connections to the sea helped its growth. It is close to the Thames, a fast-running tributary that provided access to many areas around London and for trade. Greenwich was also home to a Royal palace in the Elizabethan age so wealthy merchants settled here. The local riverside area became known as Greenwich Village. It was full of pubs, theatres, and seedy gentlemen’s clubs. At the same time, well to do people built harbour mansions along the riverbanks — many of which still stand today.
Down by the river is where to go for expensive and tacky souvenirs (by London standards, anyhow), plus you can see all the old ships under repair. The Cutty Sark, in full sail and looking for all the world like it’s about to launch out across the Atlantic, still looks impressive despite a recent fire that left it badly damaged. You can climb it for an entrance fee of £8, but unless you want to brag to your friends back home that you’ve climbed one of the most famous ships in London, I wouldn’t bother.
Greenwich Park, which covers nearly 10 square kilometres of the capital, is home to some of the city’s best known landmarks. The prime attraction is the Royal Observatory, built in 1675 (and home of the time ball), but there’s a smattering of other things to do here too. You could go boat spotting on the Thames, check out the cute little cafe by the park entrance, or just laze around on the grass for hours on end.
The prime attraction is the Maritime Museum on the southern tip of the park, which stages exhibitions for schools as well as summer shows from big-name artists. But join the locals lapping up the atmosphere and meandering around the airy 17th-century Royal Observatory, strolling along the green grassy slopes to reach it, stopping by at its observatory-style cafe to enjoy a cup of tea. Named after former Greenwich resident (and Duke of York) King George I, the square is dominated by a grand statue and a rather charming fountain.
This hugely popular London tourist spot is well worth a look, and you can balance your historical knowledge with a picnic before crossing the river to take in some of the fantastic views from the top of The O2. Packed full of history, including but not limited to the famous Naval College and the observatory (where Captain Cook worked and died), Greenwich is also home to a plethora of monuments, murals, statues, and plaques, all celebrating these aspects of London.
Explore Regents Canal
If you’re a fan of films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, you’ve probably heard of The Regent’s Canal. This canal network has become famous thanks to its use in many movies as a crime hotspot, but it deserves much more credit than that. Making its way through the heart of London, terminating at Limehouse Basin, it is home to a fantastic mix of wildlife, history and delightful architecture. From the dizzying heights of the Emirates Air Line to the glistening waters of the Olympic Park, London is full of attractions for both tourists and natives.
But there are also quieter delights, hidden corners to retreat to or strolls to take in the sights and smells, away from the tourist crowds. A stroll along Regent's Canal is one such treat, an absorbing walk which will show you a different side to London. Regent's Canal was constructed in the early 19th century, and it's one of the 11 canals still left in London today. The interesting thing about Regent's Canal is that it's actually locks.
These locks tend to be longer than other ones, as they were designed to transit boats commonly pigs and coal from the industrial Birmingham towards the centre of London. Regent's Canal is a wonderful urban space that hugs the streets of London. This tree lined canal offers a distinctive experience on one side with grand buildings and parks, whilst on the other you can find bustling areas such as Camden Town, Dalston and then Hackney.
Frequent These Glorious Fried Chicken Joints
Down in the heart of east London, this fried chicken shack is the epitome of a neighbourhood fried chicken joint. There's hardly any space to sit down, and the queues out the door are often full of hungry punters waiting for their share of the floured goodness that is Hotbox's signature buffalo wings with spicy BBQ sauces. If you are a KFC fan, then you may already know that there is one across the street from your flat in Marble Arch.
But this is London! Where there’s one, there must be more, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). If you are seeking for something a bit different, here are my recommendations for great places to go for fried chicken. Fried chicken is a serious business. We dont have the history with it that they do in the south but thats starting to change, and there are plenty of joints across London bringing the finger lickin goodness to our doorsteps. Our mouths began to water just thinking about these crispy chicken morsels.
If you don't have your fill after London's, make sure you check out the restaurants below when you visit the rest of the UK next time. A Trip to Frenchie. This recent Saturday evening, Jon and I dropped into Frenchie on our way back from an entirely unsatisfactory visit to another Covent Garden restaurant (will it ever make a blog?). I was determined not to drag my heels this time. My meal at Frenchie was one of my best meals in London this year.
Grab That Famous Gram
If you love London, have an Instagram account, and cant get enough photos of looking at the iconic sites that make up this beautiful city, then you might want to check out this post. Weve put together a list of some alternative sites to pose in front of for those Instagrammers who dont just like to take photos of the big tourist attractions. Go on – live your best life. What do you do for your city? Do you know where the best street art is? Where the most instagrammable places are? Id wager a lot of people would have no idea.
To help you find out, weve used data to find you the locations in London with the most notable mentions on instagram. Londons iconic locations might be all bookmarked, but no one says you cant recreate the glories of the city yourself. With Instagram now a go-to when its time for an inspo shot, we've trawled through your favourite tags to get you to the best spots in these capital cities. If you want to start living a life that resembles Instagram, then you need to get yourself there.
Admittedly, it wont be as easy as pressing a button on an app but, if youve got time on your side and a love for travel, theres no better place to start than London. Whether youre a lover of the outdoors or you like to turn up in style, Londons got it all for you. Scroll below to discover the best spots in town for that summer sunset, rooftop drinks, or Saturday afternoon wander.
Have A Wizard Time Indulging Your Inner Potterhead
The city where writer and film maker JK Rowling was born, lived and found much of her inspiration for the Harry Potter books, London is packed with amazing sights and activities for fans of the wizardry. There are tours to suit all styles, from packed day trips to more exclusive dinner events in some of London’s most recognisable pubs. Whether you’re a full-blown Potterhead or just quite into the movies like me, it’s hard to come away from London without a few extra notebooks and a bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
Join me as we guide you through the best places to meet witches and wizards and mix with other fans. Fantastic beasts are hidden all over London, but you’ll need a well-timed spell to catch them. Over the years, the city has presented many magical experiences for Harry Potter fans. Here are nine you should seek out, including one that isn’t far from King's Cross Station. There’s a little bit of wizardry for everyone in the captivating world that is Harry Potter.
From broomstick training, to butter beer, to a tour through author JK Rowling’s birthplace, London has all the adventures you could wish for (and more). Whether you think you’re a wizard or not, a trip to Harry Potter Studios is well worth taking. If you aren’t up the North of England, there are plenty of places across London that are filled with Potter-themed puns and treats. Since we are all living in London, I decided to take a look at what other people in London are posting about on Instagram.
Have A World-Class Coffee
If you’re a big fan of coffee, you’ve probably spent many an afternoon trekking around different coffee shops, from east to west London and everywhere in between, trying to find the best coffee. It’s a serious addiction that can get pricey when you’ve spent £4 on a flat white alone. And with bucketless toilets being an alien concept at most coffee shops, £1 costs for toilet breaks are also something our money-saving instincts can be keen to avoid.
London is the coffee capital of the world, but we can't all live in Shoreditch. So how can you find the best local coffee shop in your neighbourhood? These are our picks for the top indie coffee shops from across London. Hi guys, this is Jodi. We finally have coffee in London! Specifically, we have some great indie coffee shops, often with delicious baked goods and a cosy, friendly atmosphere. (Seriously, I just moved here from New York.
). London is buzzing with brilliant new independent coffee shops. This is a round up of the best indie coffee shops in London with details on where to find them as well as our honest reviews. Where are the best independent coffee shops to get your morning fix in London? Read on for our pick of the capital's most underrated independent coffee shops. Delicious coffee is hardly a rarity in London, which is why weve dedicated a whole guide to the best independent coffee shops in London.
Let Your Inner Child Run Free
My inner child is so happy! To live in a world that has not screen or connection, it really helps me spend quality time with my family again. I believe at this world a lot of us have forgotten how to just be ourselves and enjoy life without distractions. But if you end up trying this, please let your kids know what it is all about. It isn't explaining to your elders that we need to unplug every once in a while so that we can recharge ourselves and learn how to communicate well again.
Doing so will lead you to being a responsible person too, but you have to let your inner child run free first, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). From the very young ages we grow up as adults and tend to neglect our. You all know that deep down, kids are the happiest of people. They dont need fancy toys or smart phones to make them happy. They love a good game of tag and theyre the master of finding fun in the simplest things.
What we can learn from this is that sometimes were too serious about our work--we want it to be perfect and polished. Playing in the mud, fighting over the swing and holding long discussions about nemesis under the cover of darkness used to be what we did all day. Now we work by day and eat by night. If you’re looking to recapture that youthful spirit and bring a wee bit of fun to your world here are some ways to let your inner child run free.
Decades have passed since we played in the mud, climbed trees and collected bugs. As weve grown older, responsibilities have increased making it less and less likely that we revert to our childhood playfulness. But what if you could? What if you could take a break from the stresses and demands of your daily life and let loose?. I ran across this story on the news about a company in Colorado, that lets employees tap into their inner child.
They have an actual ball pit, with balls that are dropped down from the ceiling, with slides. There is also a paint room, and video game room, I guess for when they are really tired of having fun in their play pit. If youve been feeling like an adult gone bad lately,makeover your home with furnishings made for fun (and secretly remindyou of the good old days)including kid-sized items that can be usedfor grownup play.
Make Some Time For Wine
Wine bars are terrifically exciting, as are Spanish wines, so if you find yourself in a wine bar in London that doesnt have on tap the wines of La Rioja or Ribera del Duero, then youve found yourself in the wrong bar. But thats the beauty of London. It is a city where a new world is always being created, where both tradition and modernity meet. Around every corner there is a chance to discover something new.
For those who already know Spain very well, its even easier to find new things, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Every time you visit somewhere youve already been before, you get the impression that youre learning more about it because you now know what to look for or whats hidden behind that door that lies between what. The wine bar scene in London is so exciting it doesn’t take a trip to the Alps for your glass of pinot! Theres no better place to experience fancier wines like natural, biodynamic, white and orange, or green, depending which one youre into.
There are plenty of wine tastings in London too, sponsored by tonnes of brands like Lidl and Paddington Wine Company who sell bottles for as little as £5. At these events you can try anything from the regions finest whites to New Zealand reds. I’m kinda jealous it doesnt snow in London because I could do with a hot chocolate right now, but theres no doubt that the capital has some brilliant wine bars dotted throughout its hidden.
One nice September evening, you feel the need to go out and enjoy an evening with your friends. You go through the events calendar and decide on a few places to check out. There are a couple of wine bars in London that have amazing wine lists. London wine bars are one of the best places to drink. There's no denying that a glass (or three) of wine with your dinner is a lovely way to unwind after a stressful day.
That said, making time for a post-work wine or three might be one of the most underrated ways to unwind midday and forget about the stresses of the day. Some of London’s greatest (and coolest) wine bars collect some of the finest vintages, so come in, kick-back, relax, and watch the sun set on the good times. I'm talking about top-notch toasted panini, a near impossible to resist burger, and some seriously decadent fries. Here are some playground-inspired goods thatwill help prepare you for a return to the bedazzled summer daysof youth.
Pick Up A Plant
There are so many beautiful plants out there for us to buy, but sometimes you just don’t know where to get started. Browsing the shops, full of succulents, tree ferns and pachira, can get a bit overwhelming. And then there’s always the question of whether or not these plants will survive your living conditions (or lack of natural sunlight). In an effort to help you find some gorgeous houseplants, we’ve rounded up our top picks for the season in three different price brackets.
Catford, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Catford seed boss Espadana is bringing back the plant shop to south London. Expect to see Euphorbia in white pots, lots and lots of rubber plants ranging from miniature to full size, as well as terrariums and tropicals. If you're feeling inspired but worried about the number of pets you have to look after already, they also sell all their plants online for delivery or collection. Crazy Plant Shop, Tooting Market : Home to some of our favourite plants including the best succulents in London and palm trees that you can have delivered.
If you want plants in Clapham Junction, best to stick with this one. Super lush has a great range of exotic and common houseplants, its the perfect chance to try your hand at some tropical greenery. Just remember to water them. It was during this period that Simon Rogan opened a second site, Quince restaurant in London's East End which gained its own Michelin star. This has led me to compile a list of Londons prettiest spots, according to Instagrammers.
Play A Drinking Game
Once your friends are rounded up, these games might just keep them in your social circle. Leave the awkward small talk behind and join a team for a fun-filled night out in London with Cheeky Explorers. These 12 pub games have been specially selected to suit a range of personalities and are guaranteed to get you laughing and forgetting about how much you hate that distant relative who keeps trying to kiss you. So come on, challenge your mates to some board games – once you’ve worked through this handy list why not test out these ways to improve your board game skills?.
Since when did drinking turn into such a chore? Ordering pointlessly overpriced cocktails, endlessly fueling the dancefloor instead of singing, paying extortionate prices for a tepid glass of water? These days it seems you can find yourself at such a place at any time in London's pubs, clubs and bars. Well guess what: its possible to find the same atmosphere and banter of a likeminded bunch of mates without the hassle. Playinggames while your drunk has alwayseems to have been really fun.
Most of us had the experience at some point in our lives of playing a classic drinking game, likeI’ve Neveror Dirty Charades. That is when you are not swimming in booze and end up waking up in your own vomit. Now those were the days. But seriously, these games can be super funny if you’re well loaded. There's nothing quite like a good old-fashioned party game to get the night started (or endear yourself to your new colleagues).
And you're in luck. London has got loads of bars that run themed nights, meet-ups and tournaments. Whether you're looking for a low-keydate idea, or a more competitive alternative to karaoke on a Friday night, we've found everything you need. Booze and board games. You cant go wrong with that combination, unless of course, you muck it up and end up off the rails. Here are some suggestions for how to do just that, while drinking your face off in style.
Rock Up To A Gorgeous Garden
I’d say there’s nothing more emotive than a beautiful flower garden. But then visitors to the great urban jungle of London would say otherwise. We see flowers, but in London they’re hard to come by — we just need to look up or remember our country botanical gardens. If you want a stroll through the award-winning Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, where you'll find 10 miles of pathways and exotic plants from all over the world (opening hours vary seasonally), or even the National Trust Bank (gardens are free).
If you'd rather see some English roses without climbing on top of a double-decker bus, check out the neighbourhood's tiny pocket-sized havens: Fitzroy Square and, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). There are few things as pleasurable on this cold rock we call Earth as getting all hot and sweaty in a horticultural haven on a freezing grey day. Most of us can't afford the space for such a luxury, but luckily, London is full of tiny urban oases that are open to the public and free to enjoy.
And after a recent top-to-toe spring clean? These green spots are perfect places to unwind with a cup of tea or coffee, some birdsong, and a good book. People in Britain are becoming more interested in growing their own plants and flowers," says Richard Baggett of the Royal Horticultural Society. This has led to an increase in urban gardening, with green spaces springing up all over cities, from window boxes to allotments. Add these five flowery gardens to your list of sites worth a visit.
I hate to break it to you, but London ain’t all pretty parks. Like New York, which it keeps trying to copy, the city is actually an urban jungle (but don’t tell anyone I said that). So where does one go in this concrete-jungle for some cherry blossom down time? Look no further than my green-fingered guide to the best spots in town. There’s almost nowhere to find calm in London. Headlines tell us how our city’s a riot of noise, pollution, and litter.
Shop At A Wonderful Weekend Market
Forget chain know-how shops; the best shopping in London is at these charming stalls wedged in car parks or in vacant lots overlooked by traffic. There youll find gourmet food, retro getups, home accessories, beauty products, and even llamas and little goats. In need of a funky-chic frock? This vintage treasure hunter will steer you to fantastic finds. There’s a new addition to the London markets scene though and it’s like nothing youve ever seen.
It’s a giant market that takes over four enormous warehouses and is full to bursting with stalls: cafes, patisseries, breweries, bistros. It’s called Boxpark and it’s quite simply one of the best places to hang out in London right now. Such markets have been going strong for more than a decade and, for the most part, theyre as busy as youd expect. Most of them happen every weekend and draw shoppersto the diverse city neighborhoods these markets call home.
So snap out of your hungover weekend malaise, because theres a very right way to spend your weekend. Now that youve read our guide on what to do during the week, why not investigate some brilliant markets near you?. Let's be honest, London is not cheap. You can't afford to live here forever. Yet sometimes have to pinch yourself at the sheer wealth of affordable activities on offer in this city. But if you set your mind on some sweet blossom-spotting, you’ll find these five secret gardens where you can get away from the fray.
Shop Til You Drop At A Department Store
These shops all make it in to my wheelhouse because theyre daring, they have a history of excellence and they all have a style that is easily recognizable. Theyre also the kind of places shopping is more about fun than function. Its for this reason that I try to avoid shopping at chain stores like Primark or Top Shop. There are simply too many Londoners visiting to make it worth going out of your way to these shops.
Although it may be one of the most expensive cities in the world, London is also an amazing place to pick up shopping bargains and find some ever-gorgeous boutiques. Whether your’e a fan of pre-loved clothing, vinyl records or paperbacks, there really is something for every single person in the Big Smoke. So if youre looking for some retail therapy, why not check out my pick of the best department stores in London…. I love to window shop! I see shopping as part of the whole London experience.
I visit one of the many department stores around the capital and unleash my inner shopaholic. Unfortunately, there arent too many high street stores which have much character nowadays, so the department stores (Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, John Lewis, Debenhams etc) are your best bet. London department stores have been around for hundreds of years and there's one to suit everyone's taste. Whether you're wanting to splash out or just go window shopping, these city-centre shops have something for everyone…or something to make them drop their cash at least.
So you want to know where in London you can shop til you drop? We'll, buckle up because I'm going to share with you my favourite shopping spots in the capital. Each one of these has their own unique style and character and they are all great for browsing too. The department store is a dying breed, but London has some great ones. Harvey Nichols is upmarket, Harrods is old-world, Libertys is pretty and Selfridges is still very much the place to be seen.
Sip Somewhere Sophisticated
66. Drink somewhere sophisticated. With so many cool cocktail bars and lounges in the city, we feel its okay to get our posh on every once in a while. From sophisticated wine bars, to chic cocktail bars and hidden speakeasys basement drinking dens London is spoilt for choice when it comes to cocktail connoisseurs. Cucumber Tree, Soho. The epitome of hip and snobby Soho, this bar is all kinds of cool. If you want to make an entrance, do it here.
The staff here are also trained from the Art of Whisky so if youre into drinks (and have the cash) go for some fine aged whisky, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). I know what youre thinking, London? But there are some seriously sophisticated bars nestled away in the city that wont break the bank, they just require a bit of forward planning. Come here for an exceptional fine-dining experience in London. Play a drinking game and compete against your mates for boisterous bragging rights.
Soak Up Some Knowledge
Every year, TED organizes some of the best speakers in the world to talk about some of the worlds most important topics. This means you can listen and learn from a huge range of experts and subjects on just about anything you can imagine. They cover everything from technology and entertainment, to business and global issues as well as more eclectic choices such as the fascinating nature of humanity (Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte) or the depths of outer space brought to us by NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman at TEDxNASA.
Some of the best ideas are discovered accidentally — so youre just going to have to get out there and keep experiencing new things, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). Soak up as much knowledge as you can from smart people who have devoted their professional lives to studying things that interest you. And dont forget that sometimes, the best stories are told by the people who have lived these experiences. There are thousands of online bloggers who write about WordPress.
And they often write some really useful and neat tips and tricks about WordPress. But theres always a problem with this approach right? You might read one of those articles, but you can't keep up with all of them, right? Well I decided to do something about it. If you thought that the end of summer was “peak” season (ha) for talks and conferences, then brace yourselves: September is just as good if not better, with 50+ super-interesting events on the calendar — from the world’s largest user conference (yeah, that’s right, AOL.
For many people, TED is a source of some of their most valuable inspiration. But for many more, it can be a confusing experience — what talks should you watch? How do you navigate the endless sea of… conferences?. learn programming, learn about startups, design trends and why you should consider getting into games. Plus Neil deGrasse Tyson is the man. From the minimalist interior to the short but selective wine list, Six's style epitomises understated elegance.
Stuff Your Face With Pasta
The best pasta in London (or at least our top 10) is hard to pinpoint. For us Brits there is a certain stigma attached to eating carbs. We are very good at avoiding them, actually. There is some dense, stodgy pasta out there, heaped under sauce in the way-too-familiar white ceramic dishes. It is true you get what you pay for, but with pasta dishes in London currently costing an average of £13. 73 (according to The Telegraph’s Good Food Guide 2018), value for money counts for a lot – read more….
Una pasta, per favore, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). London is going through an Italian renaissance, and whether you’ve booked a table at the new Polpo in Covent Garden or are simply grabbing a bowl of spaghetti from your favourite independent take away, there’s never been a better time to stuff your face with pasta. Shells. Squid ink. Chicken. Ricotta cheese, it’s all there! Littlebird makes everything in house and they do it well. They’ve got all your favourite traditional pastas and loads of specials too; the fusilli is a must try.
Get yourself here, now. They come pretty darn close to my mum’s pasta, which means for Italians they are undoubtedly some of the best pasta in London. Owner Kevin Nicholls, whose flair for cooking led him to launching this restaurant with his wife Lisa, selects produce with the same care and attention that a sommelier pours into a wine selection. Choose from any of the below drinking games for ideas. The best part? It's free.
Surprise Your Eyes!
Where would you look for a cave? On the outskirts of a city? Maybe an underground cavern system like in San Francisco. But caves are actually all over London and theyre pretty amazing. My favourite is the Crystal Caves in Hampstead Heath. You can tell its set up as a tourist attraction, but the caves themselves are still pretty awesome. Have you ever looked up at a skyscraper and fantasized about what their offices are like? I know I have.
I used to think that one day, me and my life partner would move to the end of the hallway on the top floor of a building, without any walls (because walls are the devil), and enjoy sweeping views of our concrete jungle skyline. When I was born, London’s transport network comprised of a couple of marshland crossing holes with an ox cart or two. Nowadays, it could be considered the original sin and it’s a sin of luxury indeed.
Anyway, getting back to banal reality – if you don’t miss the trains anymore, you can always go underground(/away). London isnt all concrete and chaos. Believe it or not, we also have medieval castles, cave dwellings and calm. London is full of surprises, but nothing will shock you quite as much as the fact that these places are actually within the boundaries of the M25. Here are some highlights. This exhibition looks at the classic trick of optical illusions, and shows you how to create your own illusions.
Take To Two Wheels
Gone are the days where cycling was just for cyclists and Lycra-clad hipsters. It has become a mode of transport in the mainstream, and its environmental credentials are second to none. Cycling is also a fun way to explore London and get to know your local area better. For instance, I cycled to work every day from my flat near Peterborough Circus to Bloomsbury Group HQ on Great Russell Street without fail (25 miles +/-) over a period of 4 years, which I have now continued on with (although not exclusively) in the city where I moved to in early summer of 2016.
Imagine yourself in early April with the sun rising over Canary Wharf, a light breeze in your hair, and the promise of a new day, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). You are on your bike on the Embankment enjoying the quiet calm and leisured pace of this busy London road. You are not behind the wheel of a car, you are not on public transport at a hurried pace, you are relaxing and taking it easy. This is cycling in London.
Take to two wheels: do you know what my favorite 4-letter word is? Not velo, or bike, or even hydro, but CHEAP. There’s a cracking way of getting around London on the cheap – it’s called a bicycle. While it’s not really a complete solution for all your transport needs, cycling is a super cheap, green (energy-wise) way of servicing the shorter bits of your daily commute. There are plenty of options to get on your bike in London, whether you’re looking to hire a bike or go self-service.
Not only does cycling (safely) get you around London, it also means you don’t have to deal with crowded buses or trains it’s also generally a lot more fun. Check out some of the routes below and get ready for an awesome ride. London is not the most cycle-friendly of cities, but there are a few great ways to get around on two wheels. Plus, cycling is a fantastic way to get healthy and experience the city from a different perspective.
So whether you use one of the many hire services or take your own bike, pedal power is a good choice for getting around town. I'm not even a cyclist and I LOVE this. You learn about the city, you learn interesting things about the people who live or work near where you're cycling, and you're not stuck inside like if you are on public transport. This is a great blog to subscribe to if you live in London.
Train Hard For A Scenic Run
While the number of people entering the London Marathon is staggering, with your support, we can help the vital work of Cancer Research UK to make sure that life will never be the same for people affected by cancer. Both myself and Chris have been affected by cancer in our family. I lost my grandfather to throat cancer aged just 56 and Chris's father died from pancreatic cancer when he was 35-years-old. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to a variety of events including the London Marathon, and some super stunning running routes.
The park is a 2, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). 5km loop so you don’t have to worry about getting lost (or being run over by a bus like in Victoria) and closes 30 minutes before each event begins, so late runners can cross the starting line with a clear mind; no traffic lights to stress about here. The Virgin Money London Marathon is the most popular and well-known marathon in the world. Every year, it pulls in over 500,000 applications for its 35,000 places.
Which means that only 1 in 40? applicants will get into the London Marathon. By comparison, it’s more difficult to get into the London Marathon than it is to get into Cambridge and Oxford universities combined. The best thing about any of these races is that you don’t have to qualify or enter a ballot. The only thing that matters is that you enjoy the race and get your mojo back! If you’re ready to start training, check out Bupa Global’s guide for beginners.
It will help you to build your stamina and make sure that you’re in tip-top shape on race day…. 1. Royal Parks Half Marathon (September): Not only is it a beautiful course taking you through the royal parks of London, but if you can beat one million runners to finish in under an hour, then your name will be etched onto the famous golden plinth in Trafalgar Square! And who doesn't want their name on that?.
Try A Trendy New Dish
It’s never been a hotter time to be in London for foodies. The capital is offering up some truly unusual and unexpected treats, and Instagram offers a wide range of daily new discoveries, from an ice cream that looks like a cat to cronuts (croissant doughnuts). Here’s the lowdown on London’s best-loved unique new foods. If you want to dip into these delicious new food trends without actually eating them, we also offer product photography services here at Framestore.
Everyone loves a good burger or even a dirty doughnut, but London truly shines with its inventive and unusual options for hungry passersby, This Week In London (thisismargate.co.uk). From the Banh Mi burger in Brixton to the all-you-can-eat fries at Chubby Hubbys, there is a plethora of tasty (and untasty) treats to tempt hungry foodies. I’ve come close to having some pretty strange things on my plate, but no matter what you try, it’s always an experience. Londoners are renowned for adopting and adapting foreign food trends, like these instagram favourites.
Eggs benedict waffles anyone? What new foods would you like to try?. With so many new tastes popping up, it's easy to fall into the trap of eating the same meal over and over again. Whether you're stuck in a cooking rut or just looking for a culinary adventure, check out our map of weird and wonderful London food trends. Whether you have a fancy for beaver tail or a more exotic treat such as ox heart, London is home to some of the quirkiest food trends around.
Try Dinner With A Difference
The Spice Tailors is a restaurant with an identity crisis. One minute youre thinking youve stumbled into some sort of retro-themed cafe-bar combo, before realising that it has more in common with Goodfellas Bar and Grill than anything else. Of course, thats not a bad thing: the lights are low, the booths are leather, and theres even a uniformed barman who looks like hes trying too hard to fit in, despite being old enough to remember when the Spice Girls were one.
The menu is varied and spans from calamari rings to full English breakfasts. Whilst Londoners love and value the independent spirit, we also arent adverse to big chains. In fact, well embrace anything that offers us convenience – just take a look at the growing number of food offering to pop up right outside our doors. Many hotels fit into this category, with cafes on their reception floors, and restaurants and bars in their basements.
Having a cuppa in bed may be beyond your wildest dreams, but it isnt impossible in one of Londons five-star hotels. 51. Try dinner with a difference. In an ever-expanding London food landscape, there's a desperate need to stand out from the crowd. It's something these quirky restaurants have done pretty niftily; whether it's an unusual menu, wacky decor, a kooky theme, or even singing waiters, they've all found their own comfortable little niche. In an ever expanding food-scape in London, it's imperative that you stand out from the crowd.
I've been looking at some of the unique restaurants that have popped up recently and so here they are, nine quiet achievers who took a chance and now reap the benefits. And so, with a list of seemingly bizarre eateries in my mind, I went headlong into the London food scene and just like that, another blog post was born. From ice cream on toast to peep-shaped chips, the capital is a colourful cornucopia of culinary oddities.
Visit An Iconic London Museum
Immerse yourself in the culture of London by exploring iconic London museums. As you wander around the vast collections and exhibitions, you’ll come face-to-face with some of the most wonderful pieces of art and history on earth. So escape the hustle and bustle of central London for a while by visiting one (or more) of these many destinations. We’ve collected together a list of the best free museums in London; the ones that are definitely worth putting on your visitor list.
Each museum in this guide has a state-of-the-art facility, fascinating exhibitions and exciting events, and best of all – they’re totally free to visit. Any Londoner will know that there are a host of brilliantly famous museums just minutes away from our houses, but how many people know where to get their free museum entry? The answer is surprisingly few. There's a plethora of new, interesting and completely bonkers food trends that are taking over London right now.