Top 10 Hidden Gems in and around the River Thames
We've teamed up with the local London experts at Daily Secret to come up with 10 top hidden gems in and around the River Thames. From quirky museums, to fancy restaurants; breath-taking views and roof-top pools - read on for some truly unique things to do in London and city secrets so good, you'll never want to share! 1) Dandelyan A hotel bar, really? Sounds counterintuitive to anyone who wants to have an authentic London experience, but Dandelyan bar in the Mondrian Hotel, designed by Tom Dixon, is well worth your while. Think emerald-hued marble décor, sophisticated cocktails (try the Dry-Hopped Gimlet or Concrete Sazerac) and breath-taking views of the Thames. Southwark, 20 Upper Ground SE1 9PD, 0 207 37471000
2) Ivy Market Grill Restaurants serving brunch in London: countless. Restaurants serving toadstools for brunch in London: just one, really. The Ivy Market Grill, an esteemed café and restaurant in Covent Garden, serves creamed wild mushrooms with marjoram on a toasted brioche (every weekend from 10 a.m) that will leave your taste buds tantalised. If you’re a food and funghi enthusiast, this one’s for you. Covent Garden, 1A Henrietta St., 0 20 3301 0200
3) Fan Museum London has a lot of museums, that’s a given — and we’re not ones to discourage you from visiting them all. But if you’re looking for something truly unique, you should pay a visit to the Fan Museum. The only one of its kind in the UK, it features a collection of over 4,000 (predominantly antique) fans from around the world, dating from the 11th century to the present day. Go for the exhibits, stay for a spot of tea. Greenwich, 12 Crooms Hill SE10 8ER, 0 20 8305 1441
4) Churchill War Rooms Another not-to-miss museum in London, on your adventure by the River Thames, is the Imperial War Museum. Descend below ground to the Churchill War Rooms, an underground maze of rooms that once buzzed with round-the-clock planning, strategies and secrets from WWII. From the maps on walls, to the nervous scratch marks on the arms of Churchill's chair, here you can really immerse yourself in Britain’s wartime history. Westminster, Clive Steps King Charles Str. SW1A 2AQ 5) Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden London is famous for its parks and gardens, but in the summer you can take it to another level. Up on the rooftops of London’s famous buildings lie verdant spaces waiting to be discovered. One of our favourites is at the top of the Southbank Centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden. Stroll among fruit trees, wild flowers and blue potatoes (you have to see it to believe it) while watching the sun go down over the iconic River Thames. Southbank Centre, +44 844 875 0073 6) J Sheekey Oyster Bar Finding it is not the easiest as our hidden gem, the J Sheekey Oyster Bar, is discreetly tucked away in the West End, between Charing Cross Road and St Martin's Lane. Once inside, you’ll understand why this place is a must: perfect for pre- and post- theater dining, the open kitchen of this intimate oyster bar will whet your appetite in no time. If you dare, try the Tempura Oysters with wasabi dressing – but make sure you have a glass of water at hand! Covent Garden, 28-35 St Martin's Court WC2N 4AL, +44 2072402565
7) Flesh & Buns Burgers are so 2014. In this basement Covent Garden eatery, they up the ante with steaming Japanese hirata buns filled with succulent savories. Choose your filling of choice from delicacies like braised pork belly, crispy duck or robata-grilled sea bass with tangy coriander miso and tomato salsa. Pack your buns; thank us later. Covent Garden, 41 Earlham Street, +44 20 7632 9500 8) Stanfords Maps, geographical prose, and guidebooks galore - this bookshop in Covent Garden is the perfect place to satisfy your wanderlust. Get inspired and pour over the exotic destinations at your fingertips with all manner of information and accessories available. Who knows where your next adventure might be... Covent Garden, 12-14 Long Acre WC2E 9LP, +44 20 7836 1321
9) Oasis Sports Centre London’s summer time might be unreliable but when the sun’s out it gets hot. Very hot. Where better to cool off and detox than at the Oasis Sports Centre on Endell Street; an open-air swimming pool (with heated water!) to pretend you’re on the beach. Afterwards, treat yourself to a healthy green smoothie from the pool cafe and consider visiting the centre’s squash court if you’re feeling really keen. Covent Garden, 32, Endell Street WC2H 9AG, +44 20 7831 1804 10) Alice Through the Looking Glass Experience your very own Alice and Wonderland moment in this tiny Alice-in-Wonderland themed boutique – complete with its own furry resident, a white rabbit called Harley. As well as Harley (who, sadly, is not for sale) you will find first editions of the Lewis Carroll masterpiece, prints by Victorian illustrator John Tenniel, top-hats, chess pieces and everything else you need to fall into your very own rabbit hole. 14 Cecil Court, +44 207 836 8854 Want more? For hidden gems around the world, make sure to visit Daily Secret.