It’s here! A full on kickass piece of art! A travel guide for all of you who dream of London’s britpop sadness or for all of you who live here and might want new tips of what to check out. I’ve tried to vary the spots of this city guide, but inevitably they tend to all be in East London, because it’s the best. I will continuously update it so just come check it out whenever you need some tips
So here we go, all my hidden gems of London:
// BARS //
The Royal Oak (73 Columbia Road, Shoreditch, E2 7RG) is my favourite pub. Perfect for dates and picking up cuties every day of the week. Always full and friendly, with small courtyard and people spilling out onto the street. They make it extra homey around Christmas.
Pamela (428 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA) is a brand-new bar near Dalston that still feels as cosy as if it has been there for an eternity. Named after Pamela Anderson her portrait covers several walls and the drinks sounds odd but are surprisingly good. Try their banana cocktail!
Frank’s Cafe (10TH FLOOR, PECKHAM MULTI-STORY CARPARK, 95A RYE LANE, SE15 4ST) in Peckham is a lively bar at the top of a car park where you have a view over the entire city. Come around seven to avoid having to queue and get to see a magical sunset.
the Sebright Arms (31-35 Coate Street, E2 9AG) have great and cheap gigs most days of the week.
Satan’s Whiskers (343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9RA, United Kingdom) is a small cocktail bar filled with a mix of devilish whiskey and moist hiphop. Show up early!
NOLA (68 Rivington Street, EC2A) is a New Orleans blues bar completely hidden above a disgusting bar in Shoreditch. You whisper to the bouncer who then escorts you upstairs where you knock on the wooden door. Inside it’s decorated like an old, classy bar in Louisiana with lovely cocktails. Obviously perfect to impress people/a date! Show up early as it’s a members bar and they have restricted entry after midnight.
// CLUBS //
Miranda at the Ace Hotel (100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ) is a club in the basement of the lavish and trendy boutique hotel in Shoreditch. Here you will find heaps of well-dressed babes and tasty drinks, good music and strange nights. Start upstairs for cocktails and then move down into the basement to dance or to see some of the gigs. Note that they have very mixed DJs so check what event’s on for the evening.
Birthdays (33-35 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8BJ) is a typical ~cool~ place with a pretty bar upstairs and a basement with great gigs and DJ nights. Filled with lovely and slightly too self obsessed hotties and can be SO MUCH FUN. Check out their website to know what’s on.
Ridley Road Market Bar (49 Ridley Road, Dalston) is a small and colourful bar with the impressive theme of ~tropical kitsch~. Among the fake palm trees they serve beer for £ 3 and mojito in the pints for £5, but the best part is that it’s always good music and dancing! A mix of Fleetwood Mac, The Strokes and TLC. Show up before eleven because it gets packed and the queue is insane.
NT’s in Netil House (2nd Floor, Netil House, 1-7 Westgate St, E8 3RL) is a bar in a New York style warehouse that you enter by ringing a buzzer hidden down in an alleyway. They have a roof terrace and great view, which kind of sums up all my obsessions. Electronic music, cute boys and red neon lights.
Visions Video Bar (588 Kingsland Road, E8 4AH) is for you hiphop obsessed cuties. People go NUTS and battle and stuff.
Moth Club (Old Trades Hall, Valette Street, E9 6NU) Opened in late 2015 this gig venue has sure added some glitter and glam to the music scene in Hackney. Decorated like an 70s highschool dance they host all kinds of interesting bands most nights and on weekends you can also expect pretty good dj-sets and themed evenings. Like the Fleetwood Mac night not long ago. Remember to buy tickets though!
Shacklewell Arms (71 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, E8 2EB) is the grimiest and also one of the most legendary pub in Hackney. This is a late night spot and where everything else closes people come here and dance until 4am. It smells of old beer and dodgy souls, has brilliant bands playing and the danciest of djs. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad night here.
// RESTAURANTS //
Meat Mission (15 Hoxton Market, N1 6HG) is my favourite hamburger spot. Located in an old church you sit in old church benches listening to loud rock music and ordering beer in pitchers. Perfect to get into a party mood! I highly recommend their whiskey sours, the deep fried mac n cheese(!) and the Dead Hippie Burger.
The Richmond (316 Queensbridge Road, E8 3 NH) is a new but lively little seafood restaurant and bar in an otherwise very quiet part of Hackney. Come here during their £1 oyster happy hour and impressive cocktails.
La Bodega Negra (9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JE) is a former strip club turned Mexican restaurant in Soho. The old peep show neon signs outside lures both one and another man to enter and quickly turn in embarrassment. Nowadays served delicious Mexican food and expensive drinks in the luxurious cellars. Note that you need to book ahead of time and that it has to be the Old Compton Street, not their other location!
Crate Brewery (The White Building, Unit 7, Queen’s Yard, E9 5EN) A brewery with loud music, artsy kind of people and heavenly pizza. It’s located in one of the warehouses by the sanal in Hackney Wick, so the sunny days are magical.
Mezcal Cantina (127 Kingsland High St, Dalston, E8 2PB) A Mexikan with a massive Frida Kahlo mural covering a whole wall, delicious Pisco Sours and Mexican families singing along to the loud music.
Viet Grill (58 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP) Vietnamese food revolutionised my life. And out of all the hundreds of spots out there this is one of the fancier one but I like it.
Voodoo Ray’s (95 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB) Stop by here to feel cool. Period. They serve American beer, gigantic slices of pizza and frozen margaritas along with badass music. In the heart of Dalston’s club land.
// BRUNCH //
Bistrotheque (23-27 Wadeson Street, E2 9DR) is the only must when you visit London! I doubt anybody has missed that this is one of my favourite spots. Hidden in a deserted alley you climb a flight of stairs and step into a bright industrial building with large factory windows and white tablecloths. In the corner a gentleman in pink hair plays Beyonce and Taylor Swift on the white grand piano. Surprisingly affordable and plain gorgeous! Ps only brunch on the weekend, but also worth going for dinner or drinks.
Allpress Dalston (55 Dalston Lane, Hackney, E8 2NG) This roastery makes delicious coffee and now also have this brunch spot in Dalston. Large windows and a bright space inside as well as a front garden to enjoy the sun in. The menu is filled with your standard eggs as well as extras like Swedish gravad lax or the delicious mixed plate. Also a golden star for the friendliest of staff!
Bill’s (1 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU) is a knick knack kind of spot with dried chillies in the ceiling and big ass smoothies. I go to the one in Hoxton but check the website because you can also find them in Soho etc.
Cafe 338 (338 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AG) on Bethnal Green Rd is dead cheap and fairly ugly but charming.
The Advisory (161 Mare Street, E8 3RH) a Canadian spot who make perfect fluffy pancakes, burgers, eggs and other yummy breakfasts. Small and cosy with nice decoration.
// CAFES //
Sketch (9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG) An explosion of pastel pink and much like a scene from a Wes Anderson film. Every two years Sketch let a new artist redecorate the space and for the past year and a bit it’s been inhabited by the work of David Shrigley. Go here for lunch, a cocktail or swoon over their afternoon tea. Grand and pricey, but it is out of this world. Make sure to book beforehand.
The Wolseley (160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB) is also a great spot for English High Tea, but book in advance.
Pavillion (Corner Old Ford Road, Victoria Park, London, E9 7DE) an organic cafe in the pavilion right by the pond in Victoria Park. Perhaps the most dreamy summer the place where you just have a lovely time.
Look Mum No Hands (49 Old Street, EC1V 9HX) in Clerkenwell is a nice bike shop, café and restaurant.
// ACTIVITES //
Tate Modern (Bankside, London SE1 9TG) is a modern art museum (my favourite one) located in a stunning old factory down by South Bank. This is a standard recommendation whoever you ask because it’s honestly a redemptive experience. Just the premises are breathtaking. Get off at St. Paul’s and walk over the Millennium Bridge that’s in this scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour is for all you Harry Potter nerds with burning hearts, but also for all who are generally interested in film. You get to walk through the original sets from the eight films, hear stories from behind the scenes, experience the special effects and view a huge collection of props. Just their exhibition with all the graphic design from the films is mind blowing. I thought I knew a lot about Harry Potter before I came but the detail behind this production is astonishing. I was here for five hours and felt completely taken and exhausted from all impressions. Remember to book a ticket some time before you go!
God’s Own Junkyard (Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ) is a remarkable private collection by Chris Bracey who’s gathered neon signs for the past 37 years. Some from today’s most famous films (Eyes Wide Shut, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Batman amongst others) and this is the result. Wander around in the trippy museum and experience what it’s like to be inside a pinball machine. Only open friday-sunday.
// SHOPPING //
GOOD HOOD (151 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3QE) is like stepping into Pinterest. This well curated shop sells a wide selection of minimalist clothing brands for both women and men as well as home ware and beauty products. I’d move in here if I could.
Artwords Bookshop (2022 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ) is a shop that manages to collect all the photo books, magazines and novels that makes you drool. Perfect for gifts, souvenirs and inspiration. They have two locations in east London but I prefer the one on Broadway Market.
Blitz Vintage (55-59 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JP) is located by the popular Brick Lane which is lined with vintage stores. This is the largest one in Europe and according to me the best one in London. Well structured with high ceilings and nice staff. If your legs hurt you can have a coffee here and browse through magazines midst shopping! A tip is to grab a flyer from the staff standing on the street corner and get 10% off all stock.
Otherwise, I have to recommend Covent Garden and Soho for most stores like American Apparel, Primark, & Other Stories etc. Get off at Covent Garden and work your way towards hell on earth aka Oxford Circus.
// STREETS //
Broadway Market in Hackney is stunning. On Saturdays they have a market that sells food, jewellery etc but I mostly go there for the vibrant feeling of being surrounded by ecstatic youths drinking coffee outside. Brilliant for people watching. In the summer you can buy something yummy here and locate to the neighbouring park London Fields that’s packed with hipsters barbecuing and drinking beer.
Redchurch Street in Shoreditch is East London’s small shopping street with APC, Aesop, Sunspel and the like. Super cosy to walk down, then sit at a cafe and watch people walk by.
Stoke Newington Church Street is pretty, quiet and far away from the tourist stress of central London. Visit the Whole Foods supermarket, have a drink at one of the bars or wander through the Abney Park Cemetery, which is a dilapidated cemetery where the Walking Dead and such was filmed.
Chatsworths Road I would say is what Brick Lane was perhaps fifteen years ago? A perfect shot to see the true local London. A market with vintage clothing, furniture and food on Sundays plus lots of cute restaurants and cafes all along.
// OTHER //
Finally I really recommend to check out London Calling by my friend Cajsa before and whilst you are here. She writes recommendations on what event to go to, whose exhibition is worth checking out, where to eat, which pop up shops to visit etc and is always on point.
Which are your favourite spots in London?
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