And across the pond...Brenda @the_dailybren "I'm an admin/agents assistant to a film agency. Blogger, Photographer, Traveller. I'm actually a jack of all trades but soon to be a (MA)ster of acting.
Grey. Very grey. You'll often look up in complete and utter bewilderment as to why there is a thick grey cloud that seems to have permanent residence in the sky. That's the smog. But when the sun comes out, and it does, despite what many people around the world think, London is teeming with colour and life. You can visit almost any part of town and instantly feel at home, no matter your religion or class. It is expensive though so bring coin.
Despite appearances, Londoners are very friendly. The only time we can get moody is during the morning commute. So if you're visiting London, do not, I repeat, DO NOT travel during rush hour! We will roll our eyes and *tut* at you if you do not follow the train protocol eg. Standing on the right when using escalators. Also, always offer to buy us a pint. We like that. Very much."
Good morning from London! Firstly, thank you @withthelocals for allowing me to invade their feed for the week! My name is Brenda and I'll be showing you around my fav haunts around London. I'm a born and bred East Londoner so don't expect red buses and Big Ben - I think there are many wonderful Instagram accounts that show the more touristy side of London - I'd rather show you a more authentic experience of what East London and the surrounding areas have to offer. So to kick start I thought I would get one of the more touristy ones out of the way and that is the famous foodie paradise that is #BoroughMarket. Only I would start with a foodie Market and mostly likely end with another as London has so many of these scattered around town. The best time to visit (or in my case eat) is between Thursday and Sunday 10am-5pm where you can buy the freshest organic produce, flowers and the best truffle butter. Have an amazing flat white at @monmouthcoffeecompany and eat your weight in salted caramel fudge. One of my fav stands is @scotchtails which pitch up every other week and serve the best #ScotchEggs and #SweetpotatoFries. I inhaled the whole lot and didn't come up for air.
One of my fav places to loiter is near #EborStreet in #Shoreditch you can admire (or scorn at) the graffiti which is all over the place and totally legal. The borough actually hires artists to decorate designated areas. Opposite is #BoxPark whereby the clue is in the name, it's a long stretch of vendors and restaurants stacked on top of one another in black and white and has become a popular place to spend weekends.
Now this place is a gem. Still East but located more centrally- East Central to be exact- @sg_SkyGarden is the best place to visit if you're strapped for cash. It's completely free to enter (except for the food and drink) but the only catch is that you have to book wayyyy in advance. And then there's the weather. There's never any guarantee that when you go it'll be blue skies but all the incredible landmarks make up for it. I love how the tropical plants are misted with water periodically those moments are worth capturing. For automatic guaranteed access, I recommend booking brunch at #DarwinBrasserie located at the very top. This means you can dine and have the views. Allocated tickets state one hour maximum stay but that's just a guideline and you can stay as long as you want.
I'm so proud that London managed to remain the confident open and progressive city that we are during these tough times. It makes me so bloody proud. We remain unflappable in the face of bigotry and prejudice and insist that we are the best because of other people from around the world. Which leads me to food. @KoyaBar is London's best kept not so secret place for authentic #UdonNoodles. For me, hopping on the #centralline to go a few stops is totally worth the (almost monthly) pilgrimage. I've been dying to go to Japan and eating at Koya Bar is pretty close. It's a tiny nook which can easily be missed if it wasn't for the little red hut neon sign outside the door. The first time I ate here I felt a tear in my eye - the food was THAT good. It's open from morning until 10pm at night with no reservations and the line is so long. The best time to go is between 3-5.50pm when it's almost empty and you can grab the only seats by the window. I always order #Kikani which is slow cooked pork belly with mustard. This place is great for a first date and they sell amazing Japanese beer. This is a MUST EAT when you're in town. You'll thank me later.
The next stop has to be London's best kept secret. Shhh don't tell everyone! This is #RegentsCanal which is almost exclusively used by us locals. Rent a bike and cycle (or walk) from the canal's more popular and scenic routes varying from Paddington, Little Venice and Islington in the #LondonBoroughofCamden, all the way down to the Olympic Village in Stratford East London. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were out in the country side and not in the heart of London! Many locals including myself use it as a jog or cycle path and a great place to reflect, sip coffee and feed the ducks and swans too. Don't forget your iPhone because you'll want to shoot the hell out of this. For more information about Regents Canal go to https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network/regents-canal
Good #artisan coffee was virtually unheard of 10 years ago, now they're on every street corner. There are some stupendous places for the ultimate brew, but if you're an East Londoner chances are you'll favour @allpressespresso in Shoreditch. It's a tiny nook with high wooden stools and one of the few places in town that blend their coffee onsite. Another favourite coffee place is #TheDepartmentofCoffeeandSocialAffairs, I know, long name! They have quite a few branches, one being on Bishopsgate Road that leads down to Shoreditch. My fav branch though is the one just down a little enclave just off #CarnabyStreet in the centre of Town. You can't use Internet though. They encourage good old fashion conversation.
This pic is an oldie but I posted this pic because I absolutely insist you take a walk through #OldSpitalfieldsMarket it's best to visit on a Friday and is full of antiques and delicious food trucks. The surrounding area has the typical cobbled alleyways and cute shopfronts and quirky buildings alongside the sky scrapers of the banking district. Stop by The Breakfast Club and explore the streets- but this part you should save for a quiet Saturday morning when you don't have angry bankers barging you out of the way on their lunch break!
Another favourite haunt is @somersethouselondon which is a former palace steeped in so much history. It's a grand and yet inexpensive place to visit and home of the #CourtauldGallery. This place will definitely take up a few hours of your time, whether it's to see an event or catch an exhibition. Somerset House has withstood so much throughout history and was once the residence of Queen Elizabeth I. If you happen to visit during winter, then the grounds turn into a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink. Take a leisurely walk all the way through to the other side and you can take in the magnificent views along the River Thames. My fav restaurants Spring and @tomskitchens are located here along with the always reliable @fernandezandwells for coffee, tea and cake. Or sandwiches if you prefer. A place frequented by tourist and locals alike.
"Waykey waykey eggs and 🥓 " There's no way I can introduce you to the best food market in London without mentioning the best coffee/bakery/cafe first. Then I realised: I'm going to need to dedicate a whole post to them! Introducing @pavilionbakery on Broadway Market Road and Pavilion Lakeside Cafe hidden among the trees in #victoriapark along the Old Ford Road. Coffee? The best. Bread? The best. Brunch? Possibly the best. - I mean I've had great hearty brunch but as you can see from images if you swipe left ⬅️⬅️ you're in for a real treat. So my typical Saturday mornings are usually spent sipping a flat white with a #cardamombun or #cinnamonswedishbun then weaving in and out of all the local artisan stalls of jewelry and other finery. I might pop into @baroffbroadway to say hi to @chefbyronknight and @mandsmillie who own the Hackney's finest waterhole 🍻🍸🍹 before heading back home to get ready for a workout.(I'll need it after eating my way through this place!) In the next post I'm going to reveal my fav food stall and how to work your way through the market. #hackneysfinest
Broadway Market @broadwaymarket only happens on a Saturday but if you're in town for just one weekend the then everything else can wait. Especially if you're a foodie like I am 😅 Despite its popularity, it's still largely unheard of on the tourista scene - probably because of how far East it is. If you're staying at @thehoxtonhotel or @acehotellondon then a trip down to this side of town should be a piece of cake. Even if you're not, don't let that put you off! Originally there were two markets but the @schoolyardmkt closed after 10 years today which leaves the main market on Broadway Market Road. @dumplingshack was always my go to and so when I heard they moved into the main Market, I pretty much jumped for joy. These dumplings are INSANELY good with a crunch at the bottom...so chewy and juicy...💦how can you not try? As I mentioned in my previous post, there's lots to see, do, eat and drink and I think it's the perfect way to spend an afternoon. They also sell organic fruits and veg and you can sample Ghanaian, Vietnamese, Chinese and many more all on one road. The only down side is no one's ever heard of a blimmin' electronic card machine (British sarcasm) so make sure you bring MAJOR coin. Er, I mean bring 💷cash. @the_dailybren
There's the British Museum, The Tate and the Tate Modern, The National Portrait & Victoria and Albert Museum and #KenwoodHouse #CuttySark plus many more. Either way you can't escape a bit of history slash culture in this town. There's a museum for everything- even toys!. The great thing about England and London in particular is that you can do a lot of history and culture for free or very cheap. There are so many parks too. Hyde Park Regents Park or the new #QueenElizabethPark but the best Park has to be #HollandPark it's a park so unique and not known to visitors or even Londoners because of where it's located. Holland Park has a Japanese inspired garden, kids adventure playground and peacocks, yes you read correctly peacocks running around freely on its grounds. Fancy that! Then jump on a bus/cab/tube or walk down towards Bond Street and on to the @wallacemuseum at Hertford House, it's located in Marylebone and about 10 mins walk away from Bond Street tube station. Whilst there you can marvel at the paintings or in my case the rather opulent furniture and then sit have tea at the Wallace Restaurant pictured here. Tea is paramount in England. We must have it. High tea, a very lavish exercise, is something you can do at Claridge's but lots of places provide #HighTea for much less if you're on a budget.
😭 my last post! I thought I'd end it with a few posts over the last couple of days. Today was #ColumbiaFlowerMarket @clumbiaroad another place I love to visit besides the best botany that money can buy, you can listen to music from a local musicians whilst picking up some hand made cushions from the local crafts boutiques ad people watch all the cool hipsters cradling coffees and hangovers. Columbia Road and the surrounding area has all the #doortraits you can possibly handle and all the cute vintage #nissanfigaro cars to boot. Get there really early to beat the crowd because if you don't do well in crowds you may want to steer clear because it can get quite claustrophobic. Especially today as it's #MothersDay in England! So as I prepare to give my mother some flowers 🌺 I'll leave you with the last few shots of good ol London Town. 1: @ColumbiaRoad 2: View from #SkyGarden 3: #Bicichic Scenes from Charlotte Street 4: Lunch/Brunch with a friend at the #ShoreditchGrind in #OldStreet 5: @botanyshope5 on #ChatsworthRoad 6: One of the most photographed #doorsoflondon East London to be precise! 🌱🌸🌿🌵Now go on, shove off! Just kidding. Thank you @withthelocals For having me and thank you guys for putting up with me for the week and feel free to follow me if you want, my Instagram handle is @the_dailybren I do a bit of fashion, travel, lifestyle and London. Cheerio! (I can't believe I said "Cheerio") 🙄I meant to say "Ta". As to say thank you in #cockney 😂(well they say it up north too)