To-do & To-eat: A Lively London Respite

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

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  • England

  • London

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Entertainment

  • Foodie

  • Sightseeing

Parliament in London, England at sunset with pink and purple dark clouds and a woman standing across the river next to a lamp post.
Curator’s statement

After years of traveling to London, the city has a special place in my heart. This list is for those that want a little closer look at London, England – both in style and fun.

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Where to stay in London, United Kingdom

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Town Hall Hotel & Apartments

Located in London’s vibrant East End, this award-winning hotel combines architectural splendour with cutting-edge design and a devotion to the pleasures of life.

The Langham, London

Luxurious London hotel with elegant suites and city views perfect as a home base for exploring the British capital.

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Mama Shelter London - Shoreditch

One of the hippest hotels in London, Mama Shelter is located near the trendy neighborhood of Shoreditch and is a hot spot for local dishes, tasty cocktails and cutting-edge design.

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Things to do in London, United Kingdom

Blue yellow red brown faces and street art on a black brick wall in Shoreditch in London, England.

Located just opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, One New Change is a popular shopping and dining spot in the city. However, its free rooftop deck is often overlooked by tourists. Spectacular views and it’s free. 

Brick Lane is a seriously cool, art-heavy, diverse run of Shoreditch. Great eateries and shops dot the street and neighborhood. 

Grab a quick lunch or snack at Leadenhall Market. This covered Victorian arcade was a Diagon Alley filming location and was used in numerous films over the last century. Between the cobblestone alleys and richly painted walls, you’ll wonder if you’ve somehow stepped back in time.

Sky Garden is a really cool garden at the top of what some consider the ugliest building in London. It’s free to go up, but you may want to get a ticket so you’re not waiting in huge lines.

Everyone wants to shop on Oxford Street, but I’m partial to nearby Bond Street. And while we’re at it, Savile Row is a must for the dapper man. 

You like spooky-cool? Highgate Cemetery. That's the tip. 

Meander Brixton, London’s cultural melting pot. Good music and good food!

The Silver Vaults, beneath Chancery Lane house, might be the world’s largest collection of silver retailers. It’s quite secure, and it’s not for the bargain shopper. 

Neal’s Yard near Covent Garden is just a masterpiece of a place. A quiet, artisans' escape from the hustle and bustle of the area is well worth the stop.

Eat & drink in London, United Kingdom

The Churchill Arms pub in London, England covered in green, pink, white and yellow flowers.

Bounce (Shoreditch): A social ping-pong club. At the very least, it’s got a good pizza. At the most, it’s a wild ping-pong ride. 

Flight Club (4 locations, or so, maybe less after this pandemic): Yeah, it’s a darts bar, but you don’t have to love darts to go. I’ve met some fun people there, so I suggest it. 

Duck & Waffle (Liverpool Street): Fantastic British food in a most stunning place. Killer views. 

Dishoom (Kensington): Some of the best Indian food outside of India, and very approachable. 

Farmacy (Notting Hill): Vegan food that kicks butt. Seriously, it does. 

The Ned: A club that has certain things open to the public (but you’ll need a booking). Everything is good, but the Sunday Feast is mind-blowing. 

Coppa by the Tower: Reserve an igloo and enjoy the Southbank skyline while dining in a unique, fun place. 

Le Bab (Soho): Ok, so there are kebab joints everywhere. But if you want a real deal, curated experience, this is the place. 

The Churchill Arms: The floral pub on every London IG account is popular, but worth it. 

BOXPARK (Shoreditch): It’s like a food court, but awesome. I call it a food hall for every taste. Great food stalls, cocktails and a few nice clothing spots. 

Borough Market: The granddaddy of London markets. It’s touristy as hell, but it’s earned its place on my lists for good reason. 

Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town: Within the Breakfast Club in Shoreditch, you’ll go through a fridge (yeah, a fridge) to request to see the Mayor. Inside, visit a cool “hidden” bar. 

Evans & Peel “Detective Agency”: Make an appointment and tell the person you have an appointment. Walk through a bookcase to have some fun drinks with some fun people.

Cahoots (Soho): I can’t even start. I love this place. Look it up. 

Frank’s Cafe: Awesome views, casual crowd, cool place. The food here, though not fancy, will make you wonder why you aren’t in some nicer dining room, in a good way. 

Ballie Ballerson: This is the famous ball pit bar in London. This might be the most unique experience in London bars, but it’s not for everyone.

A note from Bijoy

Sunday prime rib specials and things of that sort can trace roots back to Sunday roasts at pubs. So go find a pub, if you’re meandering about on a Sunday. It’s worth it, honestly.

Need to Know

Only just a train ride away, check out my 'First-Timer’s Guide to Paris, France'. For more travel tips, check out my guide to Southwest England: 7-Day Itinerary for Exploring Southwest England.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

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Bijoy Shah

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