England · Expat Life · Listicles · London · Moving to London · Personal · Recommendations · UK

London Favourites: From A New Local

You’d think I’d be prepared when someone asked me what my favourite London spots are. I swear, it’s a question that leaves me struggling for words; “Uhh … I love it all! My favourite thing is just exploring the city!” Though that may be honest, it’s a classic BS answer.

I am always prepped with an answer for “Why did you want to move to London?” thanks to my blog post that’s pretty much my cheat sheet. Now it’s time for me to prep myself for the OTHER question that always follows suit. 

londonfavourites2

1. Fancy a Tipple?:

No I did not just make a pass at you … that will come after the tipple. I learned this word when filling out a New Joiners Questionnaire at my job. Thank God I had time to Google this and wasn’t asked on the spot; a Tipple is a beverage. Glad your mind is clear now.

Mr. Fogg’s Tavern is a place to go if you want to drink a scrumptious gin cocktail, or 10. If you go with a group, I’d recommend ordering one of the punches (serves 1-4 people). We tried a few of the cocktails and my favourite was by far the One Punchy G&T (with gin, lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice, grapefruit tonic, and sparkling wine). The tavern is decorated with random bits and bobs that are so quirky you’ll find yourself playing a real life version of I Spy.

2. More of a Cider or Beer Person?:

Euston on Tap is where I went on my first London Tinder date. I chose it because apparently admitting you like Strongbow in the UK is like admitting you drink piss. What better way to expand my cider palette than to go to a bar dedicated to offering a large variety of ciders and beers. The bar is located within two Victorian gatehouses – the beer and cider gatehouses are across the road from each other. Every time they run out of a drink on tap, they replace it with a completely new type, so you can keep going back. Best part? If you are trying to find a new favourite, they let you sample a couple before you choose a pint to commit to. The place is also great for dates because you can sit outside and people watch – gotta prepare in case the dude is a dud!

Пиво теплым воскресным вечером

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3. On a Booze Budget?:

Simmons has become my go-to bar in the past few months. There are multiple locations around the city, so you are sure to find one convenient to you. The vibe is chill on the weekdays and lively as the weekend commences. Happy Hour lasts multiple hours every night and the deals are mental: wine/beer/spirits for £2.50, 2 for £10 cocktails, and bottles of wine for £10. That may seem expensive coming from Canada … but this is like a godsend in London.

happy hour is v. dangerous when @aimeysherwood and I are involved.

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4. A Proper Night Out:

Queen of Hoxton is a great option for a bigger night out (aka one where pre-drinks are necessary). You can go without pre-drinks, but don’t complain about not being able to afford McDonalds on the way home!

I really enjoy Queen of Hoxton because it is split into three levels with three different atmospheres. There’s a club in the basement, a bar scene on the main level, and a rooftop level (who doesn’t love a rooftop bar??). As much as I love to dance like no one is watching, I love meeting new people and having conversations even more, so it’s good when I can actually hear what said people are saying.

We've waited for Friday the whole week ✌️ Come party with us ⚡️

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5. Cheap Eats:

Pizza Union has become a go-to for my pizza cravings. Another hidden gem of a bargain – and the pizza is delicious too. My typical order is a combo that will apparently make foodies cringe: a Funghi pizza, creamy garlic dipping sauce, a side of mixed olives, and a glass of red wine – all that for about £10. And if you just go for the pizza (which is 12″), it’ll cost you only £4.95!!!

A perfect dinner. Great pic @madnesswoo 🍕🍕

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6. Cheap Entertainment:

£1 Cinema Club is something I already talked about in my Christmas Guide to London, but I felt it was worth another mention since it’s a year round activity. Want to watch a movie with friends, eat unlimited popcorn, have a few drinks, and get rowdy with a crowd singing, yelling, or cheering along to your favourite scenes? Thought so. Check out their movie line-up because the sooner you book, the cheaper the tickets! They can go up to £5, so if you don’t want a hole in your pocket, grab them while they are still only £1.

7. A Kinky Night Out:

Going to a West End show may be considered touristy, but it’s a guaranteed good night (unless you get food poisoning, of course).

I saw Kinky Boots a couple months ago and it was so fun! I would go on and on, but I do say this about a lot of the musicals I’ve seen. It’s like the last guy you’ve been with – not necessarily better, just sticks in your mind more. Best way to get over one musical is to get under another!

8. Discover How Stupid You Can Be:

In the UK, pub quizzes are a super common excuse to head to a pub for drinks on a Monday or Tuesday (not that you need a reason here). I’ve gone to a few now and don’t feel any more confident in my general knowledge skills. Don’t let your winning streak from Trivial Pursuit fool you … you aren’t going to be the star of your team.

The Old Queen’s Head has been my favourite pub quiz venue to date. The MC is an actor, and pretty much a comedian, when normally the MC just reads out the questions and tallies the scores. This one heckled the crowd and we heckled back. Between each round of questions, there were also bonus point rounds that included activities like who can hit the MC with a paper airplane from across the room, or who has the best dance moves while playing the kazoo?

#christmas @oldqueenshead mulled wine and a roaring fire every night 🎄🍷🔥

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Have you been to any of these places? I’d love to know if you have any non-touristy recommendations. Hoping soon I’ll discover enough great spots to create a Part 2!

 

 

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42 thoughts on “London Favourites: From A New Local

  1. I’m a huge fan of the Handsom Cab in Kensington (walk from Earls Court tube or Kensington High Street). Great pub food with a more upscale feel, but really lovely people behind the bar. For more traditional ‘you’ll find a dog on a bench’ we also love The Champion in between Queensway station and Notting Hill Gate. It used to be our local, and while it is a chain (several sister pubs, the Lamb in Chiswick and another in Richmond), the food is good, great Sunday roasts, and friendly people. Plus lots of beers.(I’m strictly a Guinness or stout girl though.) For quiet and definitely local, try the Leinster Arms on Leinster Terrace (Porchester Terrace on the 94 bus or Queensway or Bayswater tube). We lived down the block and used to frequently spend Sunday here for rugby matches. Owned/run by a Canadian couple, the menu is limited but good, it’s all about the welcoming atmosphere here.

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  2. Hey Sam. Some great ones tehre that not even we know about – very keen to try the pizza place looks delicious. I am working on a Essential London post for you to help you find some new haunts… Have you ventured up to Camden? we love it up there. Used to go to a whole host of gigs and ate in the market – theres no place like it. In town however I always seem to end up a Waxy O’cConnors which e have some great memories in! Drop me an email on travel@awanderingmemory.com and I’ll send you a few other ideas –

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      1. Brilliant, we are just near Milton Keynes so am in London a lot. Working on the Essential UK for you – maybe a three parter but will keep you informed. I look forward to the email.. I am sure Megan and I can come up with some great new places for you to explore…

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  3. Great post!
    London is my favourite city and I love to discover new places there. In 4 weeks I am in London and I am looking forward to check your recommendations out.
    Do you know the pancake house ‘My Old Dutch’? The pancakes are huge and so delicious! One of my favourite places is Neal’s Yard (it is a secret garden).

    XX Patricia

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    1. Thanks :) Ya it’s so expensive! The more cheap nights out you discover, the more nights you can afford to go out! It’s such a shame when you live in an exciting city and have to stay in for the weekend because of budgeting

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  4. £1 cinema club sounds fun! I never knew about this!

    Soho is pretty interesting. So many things, food, restaurants to discover – I can’t point out what really is my fav spot there 😂

    If you ever feel like going to little Korean town, head over to New Malden. Anything and everything Korea stuffs – the restaurants are pretty good no matter which you choose

    If you feel like having Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani kind of food, head over to Stepney Green (or along Whitechapel towards Mile End). For about £5 you could get doner, chicken wings, bread, fries and a drink. Biryani, curry, all are around that price. Very cheap place for food

    If you’re feeling hippy, Shoreditch/Brick Lane is interesting. A lot of graffiti, there’s a cereal place with all the American cereal (price is a bit high imo but the place is interesting. They use beds as seats…), there’s a bakery that sells rainbow bagels, and there are cat cafes around the area

    Also there’s a golf…bar? Near Bank/Aldgate called Swingers. I’ve never been there, it’s on my to go list haha they’re pretty new

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  5. Well, Samantha, I’ve been wondering what it will be like when I finally return to Merrie Olde now that I no longer drink alcohol. I’m not certain this post inspires me! Some of my happiest hours (that I remember) were in pubs, and it’s fun to read your account. Thanks for all the visits to Under Western Skies.

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