In February last year, I shared with you some of my favourite (non art) spots in London, places I go to regularly that I often recommend to friends visiting London and to my followers (ha! still hate this word) via Instagram. This was one of the most read and shared post, so I thought that it was about time to publish a part 2.
As you may know London is biiiiiiiggg, I don’t think that a lifetime will be enough to visit, see, and eat at all the places I would like to, and it’s fine by me. I like having my “usuals”, that’s why you see me often brunching at Barber & Parlour and sipping an ice coffee or a matcha at one of the Grind. I like discovering new spots as much as I like to be in a familiar environment, so you can be sure that all the places from this list were tested and approved as you will probably run into me at some point.
The Monocle Café
I’ve been a big fan of Monocle magazine for years (I love how they talk about culture, design, global affairs, and lifestyle from a business perspective), and often deal with them for work (they also have a well curated shop) so naturally I love stopping by their café while I’m in Marylebone. Minimal interior, very Japanese like, the café serves drinks (one of the best matcha latte in town), food, and pastries from Lanka (a patisserie which fusions traditional French and Japanese savoir faire). Monocle is obsessed with Japan, and you can really get a taste of the Japanese coffee shop culture while at their café. You can check their menu here, and stop by any day of the week.
Alex Eagle Studio
Mostly going there for inspiration, brand hunting, and to get little gifts for my loved ones, Alex Eagle Studio is the ultimate concept store. Eagle is the creative director behind SoHo Farmhouse and The Store, and she understood really well that when it comes to shopping people wants a edit across everything in their lives from food to interior design, from clothes to books and art. Located in a beautiful building in Soho, the shop feels like an apartment and is very welcoming. Their well curated selection of local and international designers/brands will please anyone seeking for a different retail experience. Not too far from there, I recommend also to stop by The Basic Store which is holding a pop-up until August.
Ok, this one is art related but I had to mention it as it is one of my favourite place in the city. Close-Up is the first cinema I’ve been to when I moved to London (I was living few steps away from there), and three years after I still think that it’s probably the best one. Located in the heart of Shoreditch, Close-Up offers high quality programmes (amazing line-up of international films and retrospectives) which will both appeal to film connoisseurs and to anyone looking to deep in cinema history. They also have a library, and good online archives. Check their programme here.
Where? 97 Sclater St, London E1 6HR
Columbia Road Flower Market
Probably my favourite Sunday stroll in the city. Even though the flower market is oh so busy, the vibe is always good and it’s nice to see everyone carrying big bouquets and plants. You can also find many cute little independent shops like Choosing Keeping , coffee/food spots, and vintage stores like B Southgate (my fav). But let’s get real for a second, I mostly go there for Lily Vanilli delicious bakery. Freshly baked pastries and cakes that completely justify crossing the city all the way from Kensington and sometimes having to “fight” for a seat. If you are in the area you may as well walk a little bite more and enjoy the Broadway Market in Hackney.
Where? Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG
I’ve only been once, but it was love at my first sip of raw juice (Blue Magic for me). Located in Notting Hill, Jusu Brothers is a juice bar and a Japanese inspired eatery with a cool, breathy, and minimal look. Their juice menu is large and not boring, and I can’t wait to try their Hoshi shakes and their food (plenty of vegan and vegetarian options). They say that they are serving remedies for the soul, and try to offer a meaningful lifestyle through their approach of nutrition and clean aesthetic, so even though I’m not sure how much a charcoal chia pot can heal my soul I like a good cantine that is not afraid to play around with flavours and offer a good alternative to your boring avo toast.
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