London's Hidden Gems
London is famous for many things from Buckingham Palace to Camden Market and you should, of course, visit those main tourist spots. However, if you want the best London experience then try out some of the hidden gems below. You won't be disappointed.
Mr Fogg's Tavern
If you, like me, love gin, then this quirky bar needs to be on your London list. With its comically named drinks and eccentric decor, you will not want to leave its cosy interior. Just 2 roads away from Covent Garden Mr Fogg’s Tavern is perfect for starting or finishing a night on the town.
Evans & Peel Detective Agency
Evans & Peel Detective Agency is the dictionary definition of a secret bar. Hidden behind an inconspicuous door in Earls Court, this bar is fun and different. You arrive at what looks like an office on a side street and press the buzzer. The door is opened by an American detective living in the 1920's who takes us into his office to present our case. Once you have been through the 'interrogation' they open what appears to be a bookcase and lead you to the bar. The interior feels like an authentic speakeasy with an exceptional attention to detail. This is not to be missed! Prior booking is a necessity!
Another underground speakeasy with an authentic retro feel, Cahoots is designed like a disused underground tube station. Located in Soho's Kingly Court, this bar has an amazing atmosphere with fabulous staff and yummy drinks. After going down stairs to the underground station and being shown to your table, you can choose from an array of fabulously named cocktails from a newspaper menu. Be sure to book ahead of your visit otherwise you may not be let in.
Rock & Sole Plaice
London's oldest fish and chip shop Rock & Sole Plaice, is located in the heart of Covent Garden. Stop by to try some typical British fish & chips and experience a little bit of history. Sit outside in the English summer, book a table inside for those colder days (which is most of the year) or take away and munch in the park.
Also in the Soho area with its unique concept is Temper. The BBQ eatery cooks everything in front of you with huge open fire pits in the middle of the restaurant. Everything is cooked using wood and charcoal and the food is perfectly paired with creative cocktails and wine. This restaurant is best experienced with a group of people.
Ma Petite Jamaica
Ma Petite Jamaica is a simple but stylish diner, with delicious Caribbean food. On my last visit to London, I struggled to get a table at this popular Camden eatery so be prepared to wait. The rum cocktails are to die for and the buzzing atmosphere is contagious. Booking is advised but not necessary.
Alice's Adventures Underground
This show was incredible, I can't recommend it enough. In this new take on theatre, you are immersed in an interactive and realistic production of Alice In Wonderland. Each and every member of the 'audience' will have a different experience and you will be unlikely to have the same again if you return. Set in the vaults under Waterloo, Alice’s Adventures Underground will capture your imagination whilst you are whisked through the disorientating underground tunnels. Your journey is all decided with what card you pick. If you pick different from your friends you may not see them for the rest of the show!
If you want a different and, er, interesting take on a tour of London then ‘Bullshit London’ promises to teach you absolutely nothing about some of the capital city's most prized landmarks. Tickets are very reasonably priced and should be booked in advance. For a comical, out of the ordinary tour, give it a try.
Explore the Flower Market
Located on Columbia Road, London's famous flower market is a great place to take photos and wander, admiring the beautiful blooms. Fresh flowers can be picked up for much cheaper than normal supermarket prices and you will be introduced to more flora then you knew existed. Plus the pictures will look great on your Instagram.
Afternoon Tea & Cakes
Alice In Wonderland at St James' Court
There are hundreds of afternoon tea spots in London but this is one of my favourites. Themed with Alice in Wonderland table dressings and adorably decorated cakes the luxurious display is almost too good to eat. An extensive list of teas, imaginatively decorated macarons and little chocolate plaques with 'eat me' & 'drink me" written on them make up a lovely way to celebrate an occasion or fill an afternoon.
'Tale as Old as Time' at The Kensington Townhouse
Another wonderful themed afternoon tea with gorgeously decorated cakes and yummy delicacies. This charming Beauty & The Beast afternoon tea is magical, beautifully presented and perfect for any occasion. You can also add a glass of champagne to make it extra special.
This gorgous little bakery and cafe is nestled in London's Belgravia and is completely pink inside and out. Order a slice of cake and a cup of tea and sit outside to watch people go by. The beautiful flowers surrounding the entrance are the perfect backdrop for a photograph so don't forget to take a snap before leaving. Peggy Porschen
The Best Things in Life are Free
St James' Park
Here you can people watch or sit with a good book in front of the lake. Hang around long enough and you might catch a glimpse of the Pelicans at feeding time. St James' Park is moments away from Buckingham Palace and Clarence House so make sure you pass through while sightseeing.
Browse The Soho Book Shops
Soho is home to many independant book shops where you can pass the hours by perusing the shelves and exploring classics. Try Foyles’ on Charing Cross Road as it is one of the largest in the area or head to Quinto Bookshop where you will find a large selection of second hand books.
Head to Platform 9 3/4
Harry Potter fans can push a trolley through to a magical world at the wall marked Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station. Satisfy the child in you and then head into the gift shop that is designed like Olivander's Wand shop to explore.
Watch the Street Entertainers in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is always buzzing with excitement, more often than not due to the excitable street performers entertaining the crowds of shoppers with their acts. From juggling to puppet shows you will be drawn towards the commotion, but careful you don't get too close to the front, you may end up participating.
There is so much to do London and you won't be able to do everything in one trip but if you are looking for somewhere to start ... start here!
“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
All opinions in this blog are my own.