Monday, 2 May 2016

Old Haunts: Where To Go In London

This weekend we did our final move, everything is in our flat now (and some of it is leaving the flat again, by way of some local charity shops) which is why this blog is out a little later than normal. Despite the fact we were moving, a three day weekend meant that we were actually able to spend some time in London before loading up and heading out and I'll be back for the next Bank Holiday weekend.

I'd like to share with you my favourite places in London, places that I love and visit regularly and places that I think you should check out too. These are old haunts I'll be revisiting when I come to London and the places I miss most. I hope one day soon to share some current Portsmouth haunts.

The Priory Tavern, Kilburn
One day Rich and I fancied a Sunday pub roast. We googled the best roasts in London and, to our delight, found one practically on our doorstep (translation: three tube stops away).

The Priory became one of our regular hang out stops - we took loads of friends and family there to try the fantastic roasts (when Yorkshire puds have to come on a separate plate, you know you're onto a winner) and their huge gin selection.

It's got a really cool, laid back vibe. The staff are lovely and no one batted an eyelid when we were parked there for five hours plus playing Lords, Lands and Legends.

Cookhouse Joe's, Soho
We found this place during the World Cup 2014, when we were starving after a game and Cookhouse was conveniently just across from the pub we were watching it in.

The prices are great, the food is delicious. Top tip: get plenty of sides, they are possibly the best thing in the place. As a hummus fiend, I can attest to how delicious it is.

The Lexi Cinema, Kensal Rise
A tiny little cinema, which doesn't actually charge the earth. It also shows a fantastic range of shows - from current releases to broadcasting plays and operas. It's got a lovely set up inside as well, with little cafe tables, as well as traditional cinema seating. You should totally go!

Princess Victoria, Shepherd's Bush
Another pub we found by googling 'best Sunday roast in London' (we like food, ok?).  A bit more expensive that Priory, this was a bit of a treat. Great roasts, but their other menus are delicious too. It's also just a gorgeous old pub, it looks amazing and is such a lovely place to curl up in for a chat or a read of the paper on a rainy day.

This is here at Rich's insistance as I, unfortunately, only ate there once. It's a tiny cafe just around the corner from Trafalgar Square and the food is just amazing. If you're doing the day trippy thing in London, go here for lunch and nowhere else please!

(When googling Orsini, they don't actually have a website, so the top Orsini search isn't actually this little cafe).

The Globe / Regent's Park Theatre
Two of my favourite places to see plays in London (see also: The National Theatre and Hampstead Theatre) because they are so atmospheric.

I highly recommend seeing a play in the summertime at The Regents Park Theatre. Go early and take a picnic to have outside the theatre (the food and drink inside is stupidly priced - I do not recommend!). They time the plays to start just before dusk and the lights and fairy lights in the trees come on just as the light starts to fail, it's magical.

The Globe is just brilliant. It's one of my favourite places, even if I'm not going to see a play there (yes, I've taken the tour about three times). I can highly recommend the midnight matinees, I've seen Doctor Faustus and The Tempest at midnight, both of which were perfect for it. Definitely bring a cushion and a blanket and make sure you take a nap first.

I always get restricted view tickets and can recommend them for longer plays where you don't fancy standing as the view is still really good. The tour is interesting and the new Sam Wannamaker Playhouse is stunning. I've only seen one thing there (a reading of The Death of King Arthur by Simon Armitage) but it is a striking and beautiful setting.

Honourable mentions...
Daunt Books (in Hampstead and Marylebone)
The Harwood Arms
L'Autre Pied

Phew! That's a long post! Let me know if you ever visit any of these or if you think I've missed any places.

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