5 places ‘off the beaten track’ in London


When it comes to going on holidays or city breaks, people are becoming less and less interested in basic package trips or seeing famous and obvious landmarks. Similarly, there is less intrigue in shopping in mass produced malls or eating in chain restaurants.

Although there are lots of high street and commercial aspects of London, this also happens to be a city that celebrates independent businesses of all kinds. People and their creative ideas are thriving in all of the city’s nooks and crannies, which is great news for those of you who seek to find the best places that are ‘off the beaten track’.

Londoners know better than anyone that new restaurants, bars and venues pop-up at a moment’s notice in the city and they invest lots of their time and money in discovering the best there is to offer.

How do we know they are the best independent places in London? Quite simply, because the people who visit and frequent them get to vote in things like the Love London Awards, which allows us to showcase the best five places are for those who enjoy wandering happily off course during their holidays.

1. Southwark Playhouse

You’ll find this events venue and cafe that is right near Elephant and Castle and Borough in the centre of the city.

Founded in 1993, it houses theatre that is high quality and accessible to anyone with a passion for the arts. This playhouse gives opportunities to new companies and practitioners that has become a huge resource for the community in the area.

We’re sure you’ll love the range of events that are on in the theatre’s calendar and you can bet that there’s something for everyone.

2. Borough Market

There are an abundance of markets strewn all through London but one of the best is arguably Borough Market, which houses some of the most delicious food and drinks in the city.

Coming here is like seeing the epicentre of the food culture in the Big Smoke, there are tourists who come to sample the best British fare and locals who come to do a weekly shop or pick up something special for a meal. For those of you who consider themselves foodies, Borough Market is going to be a haven for you, particularly because there’s a chance you’ll see a famous chef picking up and bartering for some ingredients the morning before service.

In the summer, especially enjoy Gelataria 3B, which makes some of the most delicious ice creams in the whole of London.

3. Try glass blowing in Bermondsey

Glass blowing is an interesting pastime for anybody to take up but there aren’t that many to be found in London, which is why The London Glass Blowing Studios on Bermondsey Street are something pretty special to behold.

This is a studio and artistic hub that not only acts as a great collection of glass works of art, it also allows you to take glass-blowing master classes in groups! Not everybody has the technique but the only way to find out if you can make bowls, wall-art or a bit of a mess is to have a go! Whatever the case, you’re bound to have fun.

4. Bunga Bunga

Bunga Bunga isn’t just a funny-sounding phrase, it’s also a great place to get brunch for anyone, from someone dining alone to large groups of friends.

Of course, you can enjoy more than brunch here, as you can hire the venue out for parties, including karaoke specials. However, party brunch on Saturday is what it’s best known for and it’s then that you can enjoy two hours of prosecco, bellini kits and a three-course brunch.

That isn’t all though, you can also have a great time with the live stage entertainment while you enjoy your food. Expect for everything to be outrageous and delicious, it’s a great mix and a really fun way to kick-start your weekend.

5. The Watch House

There are countless places for you to enjoy a great coffee in London across all areas of the city, but one of the best to be discovered is tucked away on Bermondsey Street.

We’re taking you now to The Watch House, which boasts luxury artisan coffee that uses organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Our favourite of all is its atmosphere, which is warm and friendly but you don’t have to fight the crowds, which is a rare thing in the city.

If you like your coffee with a side of art, you’ll enjoy all the paintings on the walls, which are sourced from local artists and for sale to anyone with a keen eye.

What’s even better about this place is how it started; as a literal house in the early 19th century that was built for the guards who kept watch over the neighbouring churchyard graves. Since then, it’s had a huge makeover, but it’s nice to know that every sip of coffee is accompanied by a bit of history.

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