Our guest blogger for this week, Taani Lin, tells us about her perfect day in London. Taani, a New Zealand native with a serious passion for travel, has been living in London for 6 months. She says, “I am in love with this city even more than any other. I make it my constant aim to discover unique things about London and I haven’t been disappointed yet.”
My perfect day in London would start out in a stroll down Brick Lane. Brick Lane is one of my favourite places, not only because of the bustling markets held on Sundays but also because the area hosts amazing street art. London is known as an expensive city but for art, it is not. Museums and galleries are free of charge, but if you want to get away from the classics and indulge in some local talent, I find wandering down Brick Lane and Shoreditch to be a real treat. Parts of the area can appear to be a bit run down but this just creates an atmosphere of authenticity. I mean, street art and graffiti just doesn’t seem genuine unless it’s randomly yet strategically placed on the side of slightly rotting building.
Seeing I was already in the Brick Lane area and it would be a beautiful sunny Sunday, I would be tempted to join the crowds at the Brick Lane Market. You can buy anything here for a reasonable price. It can actually be quite a dangerous place to be because the bargains seem too good to be true and I have a weakness for coats of all varieties and end up buying at least one every time I visit
simply because it’s cheap and pretty. The Sunday Up Market in the Old Truman Brewery is always worth a visit, not for the pretty arts and crafts which are usually too expensive for my budget, but for the most delicious chocolate brownies in the world.
Somewhere within this market is a vendor that sells unique combinations of muffins, such as pistachio and ginger but if you ever find him, just beeline for the brownies. It’s worth the calories. All that shopping and absorbing of art would then make me incredibly hungry for proper food and nothing seems more London to me than the Rootmasters Bustaurant. Where else but in London could you find a vegan restaurant inside a double decker bus! At first I was hesitant of the food as it is vegan food only and I am a huge fan of dairy and meat products, but the falafel plate looked amazing and I wasn’t disappointed.
London is just too big to describe in a short blog and well worth just wandering around yourself, however, many people find they get more out of a visit with a guided tour. There are many local tours and really unique ones that run in London, but at Get Your Guide, you can find many of the local listings in London. There’s something like 200 tours available so knock yourself out.
davidacronin on January 27th 2012 in Area guides, Best of London
It’s that time of year again – the leaves are falling, Christmas lights are already up on Oxford Street and you men and growing staches for charity, specifically for those supporting men’s health. Mo Bros, if you will.
Movember is a time when Mo Bros embrace pogonotrophy (the growing of facial hair) and compete to win the Movember prize! Er, we mean unite to raise vital funds and awareness for causes such as prostate cancer.
Turns out that it’s also a great time for discounts around London as a thank you for helping the cause.
At Penhaligon’s flagship boutique in Covent Garden, Mo Bros can receive a complimentary Mo Trim throughout the month of Movember. This gentleman’s shaving service was in place when Penhaligon’s first opened on Jermyn Street 140 years ago and is back exclusively for Mo Bros.
Meanwhile, free burgers are sizzlin’ on the grill at Byron’s for any Movember member who raises £25. Alternatively, you can order the Movember special: the Gizz-Mo. Created by chef and TV presenter Gizzi Erskine, the Gizz-Mo is a cheeseburger with Welsh Rarebit topping (made from mature Cheddar, smoked Cheddar, English mustard, Guinness and Worcestershire sauce) priced at £8.25 and will appear on the menu as a special throughout Movember. Byron also donates 50p for every Gizz-Mo served.
Lucky Voice in Islington will host a dating night for Mo Bros on Tuesday 22 November. According to Lucky Voice, women find men with moustaches to be “tough, mature, aggressive, dominant, and masculine—and as the best romantic partners, either for a fling or a long-term relationship”. Fascinating! We wish you the best of luck in your ‘tache-related romantic endeavours.
Over at Herman Ze German you Mo Bros can get 25% off sausages and coffee throughout Movember when you show your moustache and sponsorship page. How’s that for short, sweet and simple?
Finally, you can look for other lip fluff related events here.
Recently christened “South London’s coolest quarter” by Vogue, Bermondsey has more than its fair share of top-rated venues. Throw in a friendly community plus London’s best public space and it’s no wonder that people are flocking to the SE1 borough.
Hungry? Then Bermondsey Street alone has it covered. One of the top Italian restaurants in Europe, Zucca is renowned for “beautiful food without leaving you bankrupt.” We’ve heard excellent things about the tagliatelle with a veal ragu and panna cotta “that made you want to lick the plate clean and beg for more.” Definitely our kind of restaurant. Or if you fancy something lighter, sample some of London’s best patatas bravas and dry sherry at José just down the road.
Described as the “elegantly batty ballerina of Bermondsey Street”, The Garrison is a little on the pricey side and should really be booked in advance. But what you get is a beautiful gastropub (perfect for impressing dates) that does everything from a full english breakfast to slow-roast lamb shoulder very well indeed.
If you’re in Bermondsey on a Saturday morning then a visit to Maltby Street Market is essential – you’re guaranteed all the foodie delights of Borough Market but none of the touristy crowds. Expect to find Neal’s Yard Dairy, Monmouth Coffee Company and plenty of cheese, pastry and charcuterie stalls in a “secret garden atmosphere.”
Bermondsey Antiques Market
But there’s more to Bermondsey than (albeit excellent) food. Bermondsey Antiques Market is the place to go for Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian finds on a Friday morning. For a dose of culture, the Fashion & Textile Museum is worth a visit. Founded by designer Zandra Rhodes, it’s unsurprising that the bright building explores fashion, textile and jewellery design.
Shortwave Cinema is billed as “a great addition to the ever-trendifying Bermondsey Street area” and screens a selection of films that you might not find at your local Odeon. Plus, you’re allowed to take in your drinks from the bar.
Know of a hidden gem in Bermondsey? Add it to our guide!
Image of Bermondsey Antiques Market from bagelmouse’s flickr photostream