For quirky goods such as crafts and one-off clothing items – all found along winding alleys – travel to Camden Market (below). If you’re more into knick-knacks and antiques, try Portobello Road Market near Notting Hill.
Different parts of London celebrate the various cuisines of its multicultural communities. You can have Indian curry on Brick Lane in the East End or Vietnamese food on Pho Mile along Kingsland Road in Shoreditch.
For the best in fresh local produce, have a gourmet lunch at Borough Market (above) near London Bridge. Anchor Bankside, one of the city’s oldest pubs, offers great fish and chips, and overlooks the River Thames.
Spot o’ tea
A favourite nook of mine is Tea and Tattle, a little known cafe-bookshop in Bloomsbury. Quintessentially British, it serves a range of tasty sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones on traditional crockery, and offers an extensive menu of teas.
If you want something unconventional, try the Gin & Tonic Afternoon Tea (above) at Le Meridien Piccadilly’s Terrace Grill & Bar. You can choose not only your tea, but also flavour-infused gin (served in a glass teapot) to go with it. Or if you prefer, just stick to regular champagne.
Night at the museum
London has more than its fair share of bars and nightspots, but one of my favourite options is the monthly Lates series that turns some of the city’s museums into pop-up bars – with free entry.
At the Natural History Museum, watch up-and-coming artistes perform on the last Friday of every month and enjoy cocktails and food beneath the venue’s most famous resident – a giant diplodocus skeleton. The last Wednesday of the month at the Science Museum is billed as a drinking and thinking event that features live music, comedy shows, fun pub quizzes and workshops.
Aerial and river views
Don a harness and literally climb over the top of one of London’s best-known venues, The O2, to view the city in a fun way. There are no steps, just a slightly steep and bouncy walkway to get you to the top, and an observation area to see the surrounding city.
Many of London’s famous landmarks lie along the River Thames, and you can get a great view of them from the water. Often forgotten are the many riverboat services that run each day. They pass by landmarks such as the London Eye and Tower Bridge.
Richmond Park is a spot just outside central London that’s great for a picnic in summer. From the top of the hill, you can see as far as St Paul’s Cathedral on a good day. Animal lovers may also like to get close to the local resident deer population that roams free.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now a public space, with parklands that boast intricate fountains, plenty of wildlife and even a climbing wall.
View other useful insider’s guides.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.