London Calling

(Background Image Above: Jeremy Horner/Corbis)

(Outfit Above: Twiggy Earrings, Trafalgar Square Dress, Cosmopolitan Cuff in Night Out, Brick Lane Bag in Grey, City Lights Ballet Flats)

In a sprawling city with so much to do, you might have to do some Sherlock-Holmes-style investigation to find cool places that aren’t over-run with tourists. If you’re not ‘f-Ealing’ up to such arduous sleuthing, this week’s Travel Bug is here save the day. Not to be ‘Tooting’ our own horns, but one read of this blog post will help you discover parts of London that will have you ‘Clap-ham-ing’ your hands in delight.

Take the following recommendations to heart, and your next trip to London won’t go down the tube.

1. Going to Scooterworks Bar and Cafe feels so much like stepping into 1960’s-era Naples that their front door might be actually a time portal. The ideal place for a cappuccino that’s smooth, rich, and frothy – in short, perfect – Scooterworks is an eclectically pleasing mix of Vespa repair shop and cafe. Full of retro Vespa memorabilia, rickety tables and comfy chairs, this cafe will make your day.

2. Any place with a light up rubix-cube-like dance floor is a sure winner. So, put on your Trafalgar Square Dress and head to the Electricity Showrooms for a night of dancing in the hip Old Street section of town. The ground floor looks like a mix between a Victorian sitting room and funky town, and the dark basement dance area jives with old favorites and new hits. Always hopping, never stopping, this place has got ‘watt’ it takes to make your night bright.

3. The first thing to come to most people’s minds when you say “London Indian food” is Brick Lane. Though this street certainly has atmosphere and may be a great place to show off your Brick Lane Bag, the best Indian food is found elsewhere. Centrally located near Charing Cross Station, Strand Tandoori cooks up fabulous fare that’s packed with flavor. No matter what you order, you’re sure to be pleased.

4. If the heaven of cheese truly exists, it’s disguised under the name of Neals Yard Dairy. Packed high with enormous wheels of Cheddar, oozing blocks of Chabis and pungent towers of Stitchelton, this store will make any cheese-lover weak at the knees. With a bevy of workers happy to slice you off a sample of any cheese you even look at, you’ll try so many delicious cheeses that you’ll find it impossible to walk out without purchasing a bag full of delectable delights.

5. You may have heard of Bansky, but he’s not the only Englishman making street art. Head down to the Leake Street Tunnel off of the Lower Marsh, SE 1 for a glimpse of the city’s street art talent. Marked at its entry with the scrawl of: “Graffiti artists will not be persecuted beyond this point,” this tunnel is a ever-changing display of visual wonders. From the simple tag to the breathtaking masterpiece, artists from all over the city spend time marking their mark on these walls. No two days at this tunnel are the same, as one picture is layered over another, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new!

Next up is Boston, so put your red socks on under your traveling shoes!

4 Responses to London Calling

  1. Jen Erickson 09/03/2009 at 6:16 pm #

    What a great Put-together! =D Lovvvveee the dress!!! =D =D <33

  2. Anna H. 09/03/2009 at 7:47 pm #

    I must keep Neals Yard Dairy in mind! I **adore** cheese. 😀

    My suggestion is that while you’re in London, don’t pass up a visit to the Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner! (Yeah, I know it’s well-known and all that, but it’s seriously pretty worth it.) Last time I was over the pond I went there and got to watch an old, old man dance a jig in a short, SHORT kilt. For peace. :-p I would recommend you not go there alone, though… preferably go there with a burly person of the male persuasion (at least, that’s who I wish I’d had along…).

    Something more low-key is to eat a take-along lunch in Holland Park, near Notting Hill. It’s like a little bit of wilderness–and a Japanese garden, and a playing field, and a youth hostel, etc.–in the middle of London.

  3. julie 09/04/2009 at 11:56 am #

    love that outfit, and wish i’d heard of those places before i went to london last summer! something i found useful, though, was to stay near an attraction you’re really interested in. for example, the british museum and the national gallery don’t charge for admission and are HUGE, so if you’re nearby you can check out a section a day whenever you’re swinging by the hotel! it’s a good way to experience more without wearing yourself out in crowds.

  4. Lulu 09/04/2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Don’t forget the Vintage Fair in Hammersmith town hall! It’s only on once a month, but if you’re ever there when it’s happening, it’s more than worth a look!

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