A year or so ago, I made a list of London Favourites from a New Local. Time to revise that list with a few gems I’ve found since. Living in a city with endless options of restaurants, bars, and things to do, I rarely go to places more than once … but these are the few that are hard to resist!
Live Music: Sofar Sounds
Where: Multiple Locations (Globally)
Sofar Sounds is my favourite way to discover new music/musicians. There are events throughout the city nearly everyday, with an array of performers. You choose a date and a general location, then closer to the day they reveal the address. You don’t find out who is performing until you arrive either. Sometimes big celebrities even make surprise appearances! I’ve been to one in Mayfair (seen in the image below … yes, I’m in that crowd) and one in Camden. I intend to go to as many gigs as I can. I love how intimate the venues are. You aren’t allowed to talk or be on your phone during the performances (unless you are promoting an artist on social media).
Unfortunately, the prices have gone up in 2018, from £10 to £18 per ticket. That being said, you can bring your own alcohol and food, free of charge! You will be amazed by the pure raw talent and the range of music styles.
Notable Mention: Blues Kitchen (Camden, Shoreditch, Brixton)
Have a Laugh: Angel Comedy Club
Where: Angel (North London)
Those who know me well know that comedy drives me and has shaped my life. I grew up reenacting scenes from Saturday Night Live and quoting Austin Powers at inappropriate times. It was only when I got older that my love of stand up formed (probably because my brain was finally developed enough to understand the jokes).
Going to a comedy show is a killer way to spend a night, and Angel Comedy Club provides the laughs for FREE. Of course, they love when you buy a drink (plus it makes the comedians even funnier) and love it even more when you leave a donation at the end. Why would you not go for a free night of laughter (aka free therapy). London can be super gloomy at times, so I highly recommend spending a night every now and again going to a show.
Notable Mention: Top Secret Comedy Club (Soho)
Summer in the City: Brixton Beach
Where: Brixton (South London)
Summer in London is the absolute best. So many rooftop bars, garden parties, and boozy picnics. The much needed Vitamin D we lack the majority of the year kicks into full gear and everyone is keen for a good time.
Brixton Beach (hosted by Brixton Rooftop) is a great boozy venue to pretend escape the confines of a bustling city and dip your toes in the sand.
Notable Mention: TBD this Summer (going to explore!)
New Flavours: Foley’s
Where: Fitzrovia (Central London)
Foley’s is my favourite restaurant, as it fuses a multitude of cuisines and flavours. They change their menu nearly every month, so there is always something exciting to try.
They also have fantastic cocktails. My favourite is the English Garden. It’s super fresh and gives me the feeling of drinking green juice while simultaneously getting buzzed. That’s balance, right?
Notable Mention: Nothing compares … Yet
A Proper Cuppa: Black Sheep Coffee
Where: Multiple Locations (too many to list)
For a proper kick in the ass of energy, I love getting coffee from Black Sheep. My favourite drink to order is an Iced Americano with hazelnut milk during the summer. Such a nice treat.
These drinks are full on with caffeine and always give me the boost I need. The staff are always super friendly too.
Notable Mention: Tap Coffee (Central London)
Wine and Cheese Please: Vagabond Wines
Where: Multiple Locations (Battersea, Clapham, Fitzrovia, Fulham, Shoreditch, Victoria)
I’ve formed a (healthy) obsession with red wine. I genuinely enjoy having a glass with a meal … or with a writing session to get the creative juices flowing. But when I’m not enjoying wine at home, I opt going to Vagabond. There I can sample different wines, so I can better pretend I’m well informed and don’t just pick out the cheapest bottle at Tesco.
All you need to do is load up a card with money, then you browse the selection (with a wide range of colours, flavours, and countries of origin), tap your card, select the oz size, and watch the magical liquid fill your glass. Put simply, it’s a vending machine for adults.
You can also enjoy a lovely charcuterie board with your wine … what’s better than wine and cheese?
Notable Mention: Gordon’s Wine Bar, Soho
Send Noods: Kanada-Ya
Where: Covent Garden (Central London)
Kanada-Ya is where I discovered my love for ramen. I used to be pro-pho, but this place convinced me otherwise. Ramen all the way! Though pho is still great when feeling under the weather.
This place is tiny, so expect to queue outside. The fact that there is even a queue proves its good, right?! I swear, some people just queue for anything; they love that shit!
Notable Mention: Shoryu (Multiple Locations)
So Much Good Food: Camden Market (KERB)
Where: Camden (Central/North London)
Camden is a really eclectic and edgy neighbourhood that is great for exploring. So when it gets time for food, make sure to check out KERB Market by the canal. They have loads of cuisines, with options for dietary needs as well (vegans I’m looking at you). A MUST try for non-vegans is the halloumi fries (seen below). Delicious.
It gets really busy, so best to set a meeting point with friends, then meet up with your food and enjoy it by the canal. If you have self control, go for a stroll and take your food up to Primrose Hill for a great view with your meal.
Notable Mention: Pop Brixton (Brixton)
Find Serenity: Regent’s Park/Primrose Hill
Where: Camden (Central/North London)
My favourite way to unwind after work or fill up a lazy day is to go for a long stroll through Regent’s Park. There are beautiful flower gardens and fountains throughout, and sometimes even art exhibits! My walk usually extends to Primrose Hill, which has a great view of the city.
During the summer, I highly recommend to grab some friends, food, booze, and a blanket then go to Primrose Hill to watch the sunset. You’ll see all the iconic buildings light up in the skyline.
Sweat Out the Alcohol: One10 (Nirvana)
Where: Marylebone (Central/North London)
I discovered One10 when I joined Class Pass. Class Pass provides a grand selection of boutique exercise classes throughout the city at a discounted price (would not be able to afford them otherwise). It’s rejuvenated my joy of exercise, which was fading fast this winter.
One10 Nirvana is a cycle class with club music and colourful lights that play in-sync to the beat. It’s one of those classes that are really fun and I legitimately have a stupid grin on my face throughout (a mix of happiness and pain).
If you’d like to join Class Pass make sure to use this link; we both get £40 in free credits! Alternatively, try out 2 weeks for free! No cancellation fees. This is how I got hooked! Help me help you!
Notable Mention: Psycle (Mayfair, Shoreditch, Canary Wharf)
I will be writing another post about where to go for nights out and where to enjoy the summer social scene. So stay tuned!
In the meantime, make sure to follow me on Instagram. I post a lot to my story; if you want to see these places (and others) in action!