So most people have been to London at least once and done some of the touristy stuff – but once you get the London Eye, Oxford Street and Buckingham Palace out the way, you get the chance to explore the cool parts of our capital city.
I just had the chance to intern at Hearst Magazines for the month of May and whilst living with my Londoner sister, visited lots of new restaurants and cool places. I want to give The Edit readers some recommendations of places to go when you are next down.
My sister stays next to Wandsworth Common so I lived there for the 4 weeks, which meant we could easily pop into Chelsea as its so close. Chelsea has some amazing places to offer and despite not being posh enough (or anywhere near posh enough) to even make it as an extra on Made in Chelsea, I tried a few of them.
The Big Easy Omg if you like American food – you want to go here. We went for my sister’s birthday and between four of us got the platter – an unbelievable amount of BBQ ribs, chicken, fries and beans. It was amazing. And don’t worry about spilling the BBQ sauce, they give you bibs! The atmosphere is cool, very London and its on the Kings Road – in the heart of Chelsea. The mango margaritas were also pretty awesome.
The Curzon Theatre Think the GFT, but in Chelsea – I swear I thought I was going to see MIC’s Marc Anthony here sipping champagne. We went to see The Great Gatsby here in 3D. The Curzon offers a massive theatre like cinema and serves champagne to cinema goers (I can’t lie, I opted for the popcorn and diet coke, but hey champers was an option). The ushers were dressed in 1920s dress for The Great Gatsby opening night, I thought that was cool.
Megan’s Wine Cellar This small cafe fits in perfectly in Chelsea and offers amazing salads, sandwiches, cookies and cakes. Brunch, lunch or dinner this place would have something amazing to offer. The massive thinly cut cookies and the caesar and pesto salads were my favourite, but the Eggs Benedict my Dad got looks pretty good too.
Whilst Chelsea was nice to visit, it would be an expensive place to spend your whole weekend. East London was more affordable, more laid back and just cooler. On my first week we visited Professor Green just walking around. When I am taken somewhere with a cool vibe and amazing food or drinks I am so happy that I’ve been I like to tell other people so they can go to – so here we are…
Shutterbug Crepes, coffees and delicious delicacies are served at this cute cafe, just a short walk from Liverpool St station. The Red Velvet crepe was so yummy!
There are a few of these in London and if you like burgers – you must visit. Voted one of the coolest places to currently go in London in Time Out, these restaurants have hour long queues outside if you go at the weekend. My sister is obsessed with the place, and thus takes all her visitors – luckily I was one. I would recommend the chicken buffalo burger – my mouth is watering thinking about the hot sauce and blue cheese sauce combination. Other people I was with got the cheeseburger and the chilli cheese fries and said ‘it was the best burger they’d ever had’ – that’s a hard one to beat. The cocktails here are so so good as well.
Again there are a few of these about the place, but they are all pretty similar. Serving cocktails all day, starting with a breakfast mojitos at brunch to cosmos at night this place is cool. There was a 40 minute queue outside when I went for Sunday brunch, but as promised the food was worth the wait. I had delicious pancakes and a customary morning drink (obv a morning mojito) and it was lovely. With comfortable seating, random furniture and a vintage feel, The Breakfast Club is a really London place.
Now you probably think I am the size of a house from all the unhealthy places I recommend but I did manage to do some other things apart from eat whilst I was in London. The market options for one, are vast.
Spitalfields Market runs into Brick Lane which is the funnest place I went. People playing chess on the streets, mountains of vintage items for sale, small boutiques and food markets that you need serious willpower to avoid. Me and my friends managed to snap up some goodies for our summer travels there.
Greenwich Market is situated next to the river, and accessible by water taxi (how cool) or subway if you are not feeling the boat. Surrounded by nice cafes and shops the market offers great accessories, gifts and clothes. We had an awesome afternoon tea in the Red Door Cafe, down one of the lanes, and it was perfectly yummy and charming. There are loads of places like this around the market.
Southbank Market is a food market placed right next to the London Eye – so if you are doing the touristy stuff this is the perfect place to grab lunch after. Cakes, crepes, and all the usual meaty deliciousness is on offer.
It sounds like all I did for the full month was eat and shop, but I promise I managed to fit in some work too. My internship was a mixture of researching articles for journalists, preparing items for photo shoots and working with stylists. If you get the opportunity to do a placement in London, and have someone to stay with (accommodation would be so pricey), I would 100% recommend it. The contacts you can make and the experience you would have would be well worth the trip. And its usually sunnier in London too 🙂