London’s most authentic cultural experiences; get in before the tourist hordes do.
1. Watch a play in London’s smallest theatre. The Jermyn Street Theatre used to be a changing room!
2. Avoid all Brick Lane Curry Houses. Why wouldn’t you when Tayyabs is so close by?
3. Go to the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath’s best pub, for Sunday lunch.
4. Avoid Old Street on Friday night, also known as Sodom & Gomorrah.
5. Eat a salt beef sandwich from Monty’s in Maltby Market.
6. Visit the South London Gallery. Contemporary art in London doesn’t begin and end with the Tate.
7. Buy Books at Foyles, London’s best bookshop; a major chain with an independent spirit.
8. Eat at a Tooting curry house; the cheapest Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan food in London, also the best.
9. Visit the Wallace Collection, one of London’s hidden artistic gems.
10. Go to Willesden Green’s Sushi Say for Japanese food. Slightly cheaper and much better than most places in Central London.
11. Have a pint at the Harp. Forget lager, the selection of ale here is unbeatable.
12. Sunday Dim Sum at Dragon Castle; the best Chinese food isn’t to be found in Chinatown.
13. Go to G. Kelly Pie House in Roman Road Market for proper East End grub, including jellied eels.
14. Drink at The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, a cocktail bar hidden inside a fridge which requires a password.
15. Dine on Polish Dumplings in Elephant and Castle Shopping Mall. The oldest shopping mall in London, and the weirdest. But the dumplings from Mamuśka! are amazing.
16. And then work off those dumplings by going bowling in the shopping mall’s Palace SuperBowl, far cheaper than any other bowling experience in London.
17. Walk along the river from Hammersmith to Putney, possibly the most beautiful stretch of the Thames.
18. Drink at Frank’s. You can’t beat pints on a carpark rooftop in Peckham at the height of summer.
19. Go to Wilton’s Music Hall, London’s last remaining East End Music Hall.
20. Watch some of London’s lesser known football teams. Yes Arsenal and Chelsea are world famous, but you’ll have far more fun at a Leyton Orient game.
21. Eat a Brick Lane Bagel (from Beigel Bake of course).