Monday, 1 April 2013

do london like a local

The experience you have in London depends on how long you have there and what time of the year/week it is, but there truly is something for everyone. I always try to keep away from lists but sometimes they're just so damn good, you can't help but share. So here's how to do London like a local. Pick and choose, or do 'em all, you won't be disappointed! note: in no partiular order

Abbey Road – any Beatles fan would appreciate a good re-enactment and best of all, it’s free. Be careful of traffic though because it’s still an operating road. Mai and I took the different coloured suits and did a photo shoot. Pretty fun! Be sure to write on the wall at the Abbey Road Studio

Brick Lane - salivate over the infamous curries, banksie street art and the funky vintage stores, Brick Lane is a London must-see. check out the website, there's bound to be an event

The Borough Market (Fri/Sat) – one of the oldest food markets in London, it’s a foodies heaven. Visiting with n empty stomach is a must and do try the haloumi burgers and the salted beef rolls.

The Portebello Road Market (Fri) - full of little souvenirs and trinkets, Portebello Road is classic London.  

The Camden Stables Markets (daily but best on weekends) - a bit more eddy/hippy with great local handmade stuff. Camden is a great place to wander around and is famous for it's music. 

Camden Canal ride - I never go thte chance to do this but if the weather is good, apparently this is a really nice outing for under 10 quid!

Soho - this is seriously London at it's best! Vintage shops, cafes, records stores, funky desinger shops, street food, you name it. Just wander around during the day or bar hop at night. Read the Soho date circuit for more tips or check out Timeout's Soho Area Guide

Picnic in summer – I didn't get a chance to do it myself but told it is a must on a warm summers day! Hit Primrose Hill or Regents Park with a bunch of friends 

House party in winter - Space in London is pretty hard to come by, but house parties are a fantastic way to save money and stay out of the cold

Go to a Theatre show - look at last minute tickets online for the best deals, or you can just rock up and ask for the cheapest tickets

Oxford Street shopping – maybe more for the girls, Oxford Street is a shoppers heaven of high-street fashion but be warned; it’s always packed and as always, watch your bag.

Take a stroll down Carnaby Street – One of London's most iconic shopping streets full of independent boutiques, global fashion brands and restaurants. I’m told there’s a great burger place and coffee shop here too.

Museums – are free! ‘nuf said (Timeout article: Free Museums in London

Tate Modern - London art gallery housing the UK's collection of modern and contemporary art

Park it up - head to one of the many royal parks (try Richmond park or Hyde park),  go for a run, ride or a wander. These parks are huge! Also if you fancy spotting deer, check out Richmond park.

Piccadilly Circus-  it’s always packed but go by night, even if it’s just to take a photo of a red bus passing those beautiful buildings  

Monopoly Pub Crawl - a DIY pub crawl stopping off at every street on the monopoly board. You can find all the locations online

Ain't Nothin' But – an awesome little blues bar in Soho. Go any night of the week and they'll surely have some live music on. They also sell coopers pale ale stubbies…

Find a gig – London is full of music, there’s bound to be something on while our in town. Check out Songkick and also my other article, london live

Southbank – stroll along Southbank either by day or night, most of London's icons are here (St. Pauls, Big Ben, London Bridge, the London Eye etc). Be sure to stop at the Founders Arms for a pint looking across the Thames at St Pauls.

Fulham and Chelsea – get on the tube to Fulham Broadway, it’s a great neighbourhood (it's where I lived). Check out Manuka Kitchen (an excellent little cafe specialising in brunch) and all the charity shops along Fulham Road, where the rich people donate hardly worn designer clothes.

The Cafe scene - London's cafe scene is definitely up-and-coming (thanks to good ol' Aussies and Kiwis bring over the culture). A few years ago you had to settle for Starbucks and Costa Coffee, but now the independent 'third wave' coffee culture has exploded. You can read about my fvourite cafes here

Sunset chasing - one of my favourite things to do, anywhere, any time (when the sun goes down). Head to one of London's many rooftop bars (weather permitting obviously) and watch the sunset over the city

West End Lane in west hampstead – the upper part of west end lane is great fr charity shops and little bars/cafes

Notting Hill - where the famous Notting Hill Carnival is held, there are lots of funky places for a good night out, just walk around. Oh, and I guess if you're a Hugh Grant fan you could go to the blue door featured in the film

Special occasion dinner (for the 'flashpacker') – try one of the Michelin Star restaurants. I’ve been recommended the Ledbury, but book way in advance

Breweries - Like beer? Believe it or not, London has some great local boutique brews (list of breweries). But do try Brewdog Brewery (one near Shorditch and Camden), which isn't on the list....and I think its Scottish but myeh, it's good!

Electric cinema – Australia’s version Gold Class but ‘em, a little classier. I’d suggest going a little earlier and dining at the Electric  Diner. Try the Scottish Stout is on par with Guinness and has a lovely choclately flavour 

Plastic People -   If you'd prefer small independent clubs over the super clubs sprawling with drunk teenagers, this is right up your alley. PP is is a tiny basement club in the heart of east London's Shoreditch. With world famous sound system (all the walls are made up of giant speakers) and dim lighting, you'll surely have a great night with heavy bass oriented tunes pumping through your body. 

Bars and nightlife - There are SOOOO many good places in London, and it really does depend on the area. I wouldn't do it justice trying to list them. Good job someone else has done all the hard work....If you have an apple device, download the BarChick app. London is the most extensively covered city on this app, so do what I did and work your way through the list. Flick to the map page and see what’s near you, in most cases there’ll be something around the corner! You can also read about my favourites in soho or for live music

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