London calling, again? When you’ve ticked off all the mainstream tourist attractions and wandered around more museums than you can care to remember, there’s a whole host of tucked-away coffee shops, dizzying brunch spots and exclusive activities to get involved in. Our little clutch of gems will take you deep into the beating heart of this vibrant city, to places only those in the know will ever really know about. So welcome, Sloanies, to hidden London…
Lectures at Gresham College
With a packed schedule of free and fascinating lectures and talks every week, simply show up on campus one lunchtime and be truly enlightened. This is a unique London experience as well as a taste of a traditional, British university education.
Brunch at Heron Tower
This iconic skyscraper in the City of London is home to the delicious Duck and Waffle restaurant. Coffee? Oysters? Traditional full English with artisan sourdough toast? Whatever you fill up on here, you can be sure it’s organic, ethically sourced and beautifully presented. Enjoy the views!
Coffee at Ziferblat
Step inside this Russian concept coffee shop and you’ll be handed a little clock which will record how long you spend here. Tea, coffee and biscuits are totally free but you pay per-minute instead: 3p is the current tariff. A great little spot in trendy Shoreditch.
Rave-Workout at Morning Glory
Want to know how we combat jet lag? We book ourselves into a morning rave-workout session followed by a restorative smoothie at Morning Glory in Notting Hill. There’s no dress code, so show up in your pyjamas or your loudest lycra, because anything goes here. Rave your way into the day!
St. Christopher’s Place, Oxford Street
A jewel in the crown of this famous shopping area and tucked discreetly behind Bond Street tube station, this narrow alleyway is full of charming coffee shops, tiny boutiques and lovely restaurants. The perfect respite from the mad rush of the High Street.
Butler’s Wharf, Tower Bridge
Huddled under Tower Bridge is this fascinating area, a mere fifteen minute stroll from the Tower of London if you’ve been sightseeing for the day. The site – a den of 19th century warehouses built to store spices during London’s historical sea trade with the East – is used frequently for location filming for the big screen. Nowadays it’s somewhere to go for evening cocktails overlooking the river, or a quiet lunch away from the crowds.
Columbia Road, Shoreditch
Columbia Road is fast becoming the new Portobello Market, and hosts a world-class flower market on Sundays where you can buy anything from handmade hair garlands to banana trees, and everything in between. Then during the week it’s a great place to visit for its cafes, antiques and interiors shops, galleries, clothes shops and food stores.
What are your hottest tips for discovering London? Tweet us @SloaneRanger!