How to eat and drink like a Londoner

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London as a city is so massively sprawling that there’s something for everyone, but do you always want to look like a tourist when you’re visiting? Not necessarily – there’s something really gratifying about fitting into the fabric of life in a place that you aren’t from that makes us feel really good.

The best way to go about this is usually to visit someone who lives in that city because you get to see it in a way that regular tourists don’t get to. A native Londoner, for example, might take you to somewhere iconic, but they’ll know the best time to go there when it’s not too busy.


Cocktails at Park Grand Hotels London

Even better is the fact that they’ll know all the best hidey holes to go to for you to beat the crowds and try something new.

We’ve got a list here of places that you can head to and so you’ll be blending into the London scenery in no time.

Ozone on Old Street

Londoners absolutely love going out for food and in particular for breakfast – they’re busy people and completely addicted to their coffee.

This might not look like the prettiest part of London, but it’s one of the best places you’ll find for excellent coffee and freshly cooked eggs.

Ozone itself is in an old warehouse that is fairly standard for this part of east London; it feels airy and lively so it’s a great place to revive the senses on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Akin to New York, the best seats in the house are at the bar, where you can get some chat with the chefs who are lively, fun and can give you some great tips of things to do during the day.

Ottolenghi

Created by Yotam Ottolenghi, his namesake cafes appear throughout a number of different spots in London. Although we wouldn’t normally recommend a chain restaurant, there are few things more inspiring than seeing an independent chain flourish in the Big Smoke.

Once you’ve been into one of these you’ll see what all the fuss is about. We’d recommend the one in Notting Hill Village because you can head along to the markets and boutiques after breakfast to satisfy your curiosity about the area.

You’re a goner once you’ve spotted the cakes and pastries in the window that are perfect with an espresso or a flat white – if you’re so inclined.

If it’s busy, you can always get your food to take away and sit under a nearby tree – in the sunlight there’s just about nothing better.

There are lots of great London city hotels to stay in near Notting Hill, but the best in The Shaftesbury Collection is the Hyde Park Hotel on Bayswater Road. Not only is it the height of comfort, it’s also only 15 minutes away on the Central line of the Tube.

To get there, take the Central Line from Queensway Station to Notting Hill Gate and you’re practically on top of it when you arrive.

La Fromagerie

We’re all aware that cheese isn’t just a necessary part of a French person’s diet, it’s also a staple in the lives of everyone in Britain.

There are so many wonderful cheese shops in London, but one of the best is La Fromagerie, located just off Marylebone High Street and it’s widely accepted to be one of the best cheese shops in the whole of England.

It’s not just cheese you’ll find here though, you can pick up everything you need to make the perfect antipasti or a dinner party in your hotel room. From coffees to pastries and cheese – of course – to meet and wine – this is a one-stop shop for your weekend shopping trip.

Boundary Rooftop

When the sun is out, so are the Londoners – with this in mind, you should make sure that you’re out in a rooftop bar with the best of them.

Let’s face it, the sun isn’t out all year round in the UK, so you might as well make the most of it before it disappears on you!

Boundary Rooftop is located in east London and is perfect to grab a drink with your friends and have a chat over some tapas. It sits just behind the iconic Shoreditch House, so it will be easy to find, but nowhere near as busy.

As it’s a rooftop, you’ll also be treated to views across the city and don’t forget to try the French restaurant and bar on the lower level of the building.

Vinotecca

This one is for the wine lovers among you all. It’s an award-winning wine bar and again, you’ll find it in east London, this time behind Farringdon Station.

Farringdon is actually very close to St Pancras, so you can walk to this bar if you happen to be in the area and in the mood for a fantastic glass of wine.

Really, if living like a Londoner is something that you want to emulate then you can’t go wrong with Vinotecca. Feeling hungry? The food is designed to accompany the wine and both change regularly, so your experience here will never be quite like the last one.

One thing that’s particularly good about this place is that it isn’t expensive so you can feel like you’re splashing out even though you’re not breaking the bank at all.

La Trompette

Unsurprisingly, London is a breeding ground for Michelin-starred restaurants, which is a great thing if you love eating excellent food.

Not only this, but because they are so plentiful, you’ll find that they often offer lunch menus at a serious bargain.

Try La Trompette in Chiswick, it’s a blend of classic French cuisine, with a modern British twist; expect seafood so fresh it’ll jump off your plate and wine recommended by a highly trained sommelier.

Borough Market

Never underestimate how much people in London love their markets – why is this? Quite simply, they love to eat, drink and strike a bargain and markets are the best place in the city to do this.

Borough market

Borough Market is a favourite for everyone who makes a trip to the Big Smoke. It’s set in the heart of London Bridge and is awash with noise and life and you’ll see chefs bartering early morning for the best and most fresh produce for their kitchens.

It’s only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and if you don’t feel like getting involved with the crazy mayhem of the weekend, we’d suggest going on Thursday morning for some breakfast.

There are plenty of pubs surrounding Borough Market too, which make for the perfect stop for a traditional roast dinner on a Sunday – an absolute must if you’ve never tried it before.

Broadway Market

Venture into the residential part of Shoreditch and Hackney to find yourself just off Columbia Road and into the thick of Broadway Market.

Here is where you’ll find authentic French and Italian food to gourmet standard that looks like a work of art. Honestly, you won’t know whether to take a picture on Instagram or just gobble the plate of food down.

Oh The People You Meet particularly recommends La Bouche, a French Cafe and providore for a good strong black coffee and a breakfast pastry.

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