London is a cool hunters paradise, with many global trends starting off on the streets of England’s capital. If you want to have your finger on the pulse, a walk around some of London’s coolest neighbourhoods will reveal what the rest of the world will be wearing, eating and drinking next year. To make sure you get the most out of a visit to London, we recommend you hit some of the more ‘off the beaten track’ neighbourhoods. Sure, Buckingham Palace is impressive and everything, but to feel the real London you need to venture a little further out. So here’s our guide to the coolest neighbourhoods in the capital.
This is where the hipster revolution started in London and although sometimes now it can feel like a bit of a tourist trap, the Shoreditch and Hoxton area is still home to some of the capitals coolest restaurants, bars, hotels and shops. Head to House of Hackney on Shoreditch High Street to discover one of a kind interiors, sip bloody Mary’s on the roof of the Boundary Hotel or eat your body weight in steak and chicken at Mark Hix’s Tramshed. Observe the creators of tomorrow tapping away on laptops in the lobby of the Ace Hotel or blag yourself a table at Michelin favourite, Clove Club. Spending a day wondering around Shoreditch with all it’s independent boutiques, street art and secret corners will never fail to inspire.
Church Street is the beating heart of Stoke Newington and this area’s plethora of independent shops and cafes makes it a must visit for anyone in North East London. Seek out Search and Rescue which is full of Nordic-inspired nick nacks that you never knew you wanted until now. Eat a middle-Eastern inspired brunch at local favourite Good Egg and duck into The White Hart on Stoke Newington Road to uncover one of the best beer gardens in London. Clissold Park is perfect for an afternoon stroll, as is the Abney Park Cemetery.
Once you’ve finished in Stoke Newington, head directly south to Dalston where it only gets cooler after dark. Kingsland Road is the now iconic thoroughfare which becomes the place to see and be seen in the evenings. High end restaurants like Jidori share a street with with iconic nightlife spots like Vogue Fabrics and the vegetable sellers of Ridley Road Market. Still a little rough around the edges, that’s what gives Dalston even more charm. Don’t miss the brunch at Brunswick East. Just trust us.
Source: Daily Mail
After Shoreditch became too commercial, the artists moved East to Hackney Wick. Once a sort of ghost town of warehouses and estates, it has developed in recent years (in no small part thanks to the 2012 Olympics which were held on the other side of the River Lea in Stratford) to become a must visit destination. The canal is lined with local favourites like Crate Brewery and Breakfast Club and pop-up bars and shops seem to open here every week.
Source: The Financial Times
Broadway Market and Columbia Road
The list of London’s coolest neighbourhoods wouldn’t be complete without Broadway Market and Colombia Road. A short walk from each other, these two market streets never disappoint. In the week Columbia Road is a sleepy cobbled passage with pubs like the Royal Oak and restaurants like Brawn keeping people visiting but come Sunday it is rammed full of flower sellers shouting in cockney accents at unsuspecting tourists. Broadway Market on the other hand really comes alive on Saturdays, with food vendors and craft sellers lining the narrow street. Broadway Market is also worth a visit any day of the week with Netil House, La Bouche, Bella Vita and The Dove being highlights.
Source: Visit London
Home to one of London’s most iconic gig venues, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire has kept people coming to this West London area for decades. And recently lots of other reasons have cropped up. The monolithic Westfield shopping centre opened here in 2014 but it’s Shepherd’s Bush Market where you should head to get a real flavour for the local community. There are lots of pubs worth visiting, including Princess Victoria, which is in fact a restored Victorian gin place. With the opening of Shoreditch House’s latest outpost inside the old BBC Centre, this West London enclave is only getting cooler. See you at the rooftop pool.
Source: Time Out
People have been calling Peckham the ‘new Hackney’ for years now and every month it proves the people right with new openings and launches that seem to just get cooler and cooler. The iconic Bussey Building is one of the best places for a night out in the capital and it also hosts regular events in the day like rooftop yoga. The oh-so Instagrammable Frank’s Bar is on the top of a multi storey car park giving you views over London while you sip on your Aperol. And Peckham Levels has just opened in the seven floors below, providing affordable, creative workspaces for local artists and entrepreneurs.
Source: Peckham Levels
Brixton has earned a reputation as one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in London in recent years. The South London district was shrouded in controversy after the 1981 Brixton riots and seen as a bit of a no-go zone. But since the late 1990’s it has scrubbed up without sacrificing any of its charm or sense of community. This creative hub boasts Brixton Market and Pop Brixton for eating, drinking and shopping and it’s also home to one of London’s best cinemas: the Ritzy. Dig in to Indian small plates at the critically acclaimed Kriket and party the night away at late night venue Dog Star. Oh and it’s the birthplace of David Bowie. So that automatically makes it cool.
Source: Time Out
One of London’s most famous areas thanks to a certain Hugh Grant film, there’s more to Notting Hill than that blue door. Meander down Portabello Road enjoying all the vintage treasures, dart off down the back streets and discover pretty community gardens and rows of impeccable Georgian housing that you’ll wish you lived in and find a seat at a roadside cafe and watch the well heeled residents go about their lives. Visit in August to experience Europe’s largest carnival and sample the famous jerk chicken.
This Central London district has a bit of a sleazy reputation but we say embrace it! The countries LGBTQ capital is full of character and there’s no other place we’d rather spend a Friday evening. Sip on espresso martinis at the Dean Street Town House, swing by the French House for a half pint (the iconic pub only serves halves) or head to Soho Square and enjoy the people watching in this cultural melting pot. Finish off your night dancing at one of Soho’s iconic venues. You’ll also find some of the best pizza in the capital at Pizza Pilgrims on Dean Street. Expect to queue but it’s worth the wait.
Source: The Times
While Camden might be on most tourist’s list, we suggest heading North (away from the fake handbags and I <3 London T-shirts) to Kentish Town. This neighbourhood has a definite village feel with cozy pubs, homely cafes and residential streets. Take a stroll around the colourful rows of houses before heading over to nearby Hampstead Heath where you can breathe in the city’s skyline. Finish off your day at the award winning Bull & Gate pub with a scotch egg and an ale. Dreamy.
Source: London and Property