London Bucket List: recommendations by local Londoners
We’re not afraid of a London bucket list or two and we actively encourage visitors to London to set down their guidebooks and listen to local recommendations and personal experiences at every opportunity. What we like to do is put our heads together, ask around and give you a snippet of London that you might otherwise not have heard about. This time we’re thinking with our bellies as we venture into Brixton and Chinatown, while also serving you some Sunday treats and great ideas of things to do in London with the kids. Healthy Haunts 2015 is all about healthy eating, and while we may be slightly slow to catch on, we’ve fallen hard now! If you’re looking for somewhere to break from the hearty traditional British food (warming winter pies, fish and chips etc) there are plenty of light and healthy options to feast upon in London. From fresh salad bars to vegan-only restaurants, some must-visits are Mildreds in Soho, the Good Life Eatery in Chelsea and if you’ve got a sweet tooth why not try it raw at Tanya’s café. If they didn’t tell you it had no sugar in it, you wouldn’t know! The Monument One of London’s lesser appreciated attractions despite being one of the most historic and eye-catching landmarks, is The Monument. In case you don’t know, this monument marks the spot on pudding lane where the great fire is believed to have started which ravaged through the city of London in September of 1666. It’s a great landmark to learn about an event which has shaped London’s urban landscape and history, plus if you get to the top (311 steps later...) you’re promised spectacular views over the city – and you even get a certificate to take home too! Columbia Road Flower Market Columbia Road Market is a popular haunt for the locals and even people who live in West London travel East to catch the blooms on a weekly basis from 8am – 3pm. Anyone who’s anyone in the boutique world of fashion and jewellery wants a shop along this street, too, where you'll find expertly sourced vintage picks and delicate jewellery to be had for reasonably prices. You can also recharge at a range of family run cafs, up market restaurants to proper old man pubs if you plan on making a day of it. A quick note; it’s best to check London Weather Forecast before you visit as most of the experience is outside and you don’t want to dampen your spirits... New World Restaurant Who doesn’t love a bit of Dim Sum? These traditional Cantonese bite-size dishes are a firm favourite of diners-out across the world and in London nonetheless. One particular experience that is worth sharing is in Chinatown, where it’s really best to have a recommendation before you’re lured in by the shining lights. New World Restaurant is a classic Cantonese restaurant where at lunch (or until 5pm) you can order pretty much whatever you want from hot trollies that circulate the restaurant for the duration of your sitting (from fried and steamed dumplings, to belly of pork and spring rolls). We'd advise that you have a healthy appetite so you can really make the most of those never ending food trollies! Brixton Village Now let’s go South of the river to Brixton where for years it’s been (arguably) the ‘place to be’ with some of the best bars and restaurants in the capital. Brixton Village under the railway arches is a labyrinth of shops, restaurants and bars promising a wide variety of things to do in London. From fancy French restaurants servings thin tasty crepes, to delicious Spanish tapas, it’s the definition of multi-cultural and offers a blend of relaxed pavement café culture and no frills fine dining. If you fancy staying out late, there are plenty of bars and clubs open in Brixton until the early hours often hosting some top UK DJs. Puppet Theatre Barge If you’re visiting with the family, we’ve got some great suggestions of things to do in London. Over in West London, in Little Venice, you’ll find the Puppet Theatre Barge in the canal. It’s a great place to go to give the kids some proper old fashioned entertainment. While you’re in the area, why not hop on a Jason’s Canal Boat tour and wind your way down Regent's Canal to Camden Lock where you will learn about the canal’s history from the 1800s up to the present day. Fun fact, the canal measures 8 miles - nearly 1/9th of the canals in Venice itself.