Top 3 things to do London as the Londoners do

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London Attractions

While there are definite merits to taking in the world-famous sights of London, such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Portobello Road Market, often you really get the real feel of a place when you go somewhere a bit off the beaten track.

Portobello Road Market - Notting Hill Neighbourhood

This is particularly true of London, due to its sprawling size visitors to this amazing city can find it daunting to travel down some lesser-spotted routes and stick to their city guides.

As ever, if you know someone who lives in London then you’ll have the inside track on some great places to visit, but if you don’t, here are three things that you should do that will make you seem like a true Londoners…

Ditch Covent Garden and Portobello Road Market

Yes they are beautiful and Portobello Road is where part of Notting Hill was filmed, but it and Covent Garden can turn into tourist traps at the drop of a hat. (Unless it’s Notting Hill Carnival, then you should go to that, without hesitation).

Exploring Covent Garden in London

Try Brixton Market or Borough Market, which are in Brixton on the Victoria Line, London Bridge on the Northern Line or Jubilee Line, if you are travelling by tube.

As these are marketplaces, they are busy, but they’re full of Londoners, particularly those who live close to the area.

The Shaftesbury Hotel prides itself on being elite and unique and so too is Borough Market, as it is one of the most highly regarded food markets in the UK. This market is favoured by top level London chefs, who source their restaurant’s ingredients from here.

Borough Market is an ever-changing haven that will tempt your tastebuds; to keep up with their timetable of events have a look at their website for more details.

Altogether different is Brixton Market, which is a community market run by its traders and seeks to benefit the local area. Here, you’ll find a mix of homeware and clothes stores, with a dash of vintage clothes and antiques to keep things interesting.

Take your time choosing which of the market’s restaurants you’d like to have a spot of lunch as it offers cuisine from all over the world. At one entrance try some spicy Mexican or dander next door and eat some authentic Thai food.

Search for The Star At Night

Although it’s rumoured that gin found its origins in Holland, some say its spiritual home resides in the streets of London.

To this day you’ll struggle to find a Londoner who doesn’t love this juniper-infused spirit and who doesn’t have an opinion on exactly how it should be served. Some argue the case for lime over lemon, while others are certain a slice of cucumber and a dash of freshly squeezed orange bring out the best flavour.

But one thing is certain, you’re on a voyage of discovery led by The London Gin Club to come out the other side as a connoisseur of all things botanical.

The London Gin Club was started over a decade ago, by a group of gin enthusiasts, who were determined to bring enjoyment of the beverage to everyone. They’re nestled in Soho (accessible by various tube stations) and each night in their bars, they offer over 210 different gins for people to educate their palates.

One of the best bars in The London Gin Club is The Star at Night, which is in its Soho home, just off Tottenham Court Road.


Cocktails at Park Grand Hotels London – Espresso Martini

If you’re looking for a quiet and delicious drink with some cheese and biscuits then The Star is the place for you. You have to book in advance to get a table in this bar and it’s all table service so you can relax and enjoy yourself. The staff in this bar are all huge gin enthusiasts, ready and willing to give you recommendations based on what you like to drink and they will have tidbits of information about gin too, every sip is an education.

Walk

You would be surprised at the amount of Londoners who walk everywhere, considering the city is so famous for its underground railway system.

Underground Tube station walking

However, as many people who live in London are at the tube’s mercy to get to work every day, Londoners take to the streets on the weekend to enjoy the city in which they live.

Tourists and Londoners Walking

It’s actively encouraged that when you visit London you walk as much as possible, because it’s then that you stumble across hidden gems.

The good news is that you don’t have to go too far from the centre, as you can head to Smithfield Market in Farringdon and wander its alleys, discovering a Rubens painting or even some old, original medieval walls built on Roman foundations.

Take the time to discover areas of London on your feet, don’t forget that as long as you have your smartphone and an Uber taxi app, you’re not going to get lost!

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