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Things-to-do-in-London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Top 10 things to do in London for travel snobs

Things-to-do-in-London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

One of the most popular cities in the world to visit, London is a tourist’s dream. With plenty of amazing hotels to stay in the UK capital and famous attractions at every turn you won’t be short on things to do – although to get a real feel of the city you may need to throw away the guide book. From cocktails to cupcakes here are 10 things to do in London for travel snobs:

Spend a day (and a night) in Angel, Islington

Upper Street, Angel - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Most of London’s visitors head to Oxford Street to shop, although if you want to avoid the masses try the historic London borough, Angel Islington. Angel’s main high street, Upper Street, is far less crowded than the city centre making it a much more pleasant shopping experience. The Islington thoroughfare is a trendy consumerist’s heaven, home to boutique shops, vintage stores, design shops and even an antiques market (located in Camden passage). Stay until the evening and also find yourself choosing from a huge range of upmarket bars and restaurants which cater to an eclectic range of tastes.

Drink from Berlusconi’s head at BungaBunga

Bunga Bunga Bar - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

London has no shortage of bars to choose from, although there are many that take themselves far too seriously – unlike the beautifully kitsch BungaBunga. The bar/pizzeria/karaoke joint is named in a nod to the notorious parties thrown by the infamous (and now ex) Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi and inside you’ll find Vespa helmets a plenty and a bar shaped like a gondola. Bring your friends and drink cocktails out of mugs shaped like the ex Premier’s head or share giant pitchers formed like miniature Leaning Tower of Pisas. A fun bar and an alternate reality where Berlusconi has never been so popular.

  • Bunga Bunga Bar – 37 Battersea Bridge Road  London SW11 3BA

Explore Tooley Street

Tooley Street - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Tooley Street is a good place to start your tour of the trendy docks area of London. The street has a number of good independent shops and cafes but its proximity to other interesting areas is the reason why it’s made the list. Now fully gentrified, this part of South London is filled with achingly fashionable restaurants (Live Bait, Butlers Wharf Chop House etc.) cool DJs bars and stylish pubs, all of which have a much more laid back attitude than the centre of town. Cultural enthusiasts will also have plenty to see here – the international Design Museum is within walking distance, so is the ever-popular Borough Market, The Shard and Vinopolis.

Gorge on fine foods at Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Still in the same area but deserving a special mention of its own is a place that has been hailed as the ‘new Borough market’. Head down the road from Tooley Street to Bermondsey and you’ll eventually get to Maltby Street – London’s latest haunt for those who love to eat and cook. Every Saturday (from 9am – 2pm) a collection of rented railway arches are filled with independent artisan producers and specialist drink retailers who sell everything from freshly baked goods to unusual varieties of vegetables.

Satisfy your curiosity at the Hunterian museum

Hunterian Museum - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This is a place for the curious of mind and strong of stomach. The museum is actually part of the Royal College of Surgeons and the building houses one of the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens in the country. Curated by 18th century anatomist and pioneering surgeon John Hunter, expect to find eight strangely interesting galleries spread over two storeys. Exhibits include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish giant’ and various parts of humans and animals perfectly preserved in formaldehyde.

Hang with the cool kids at Mildreds Vegetarian Restaurant

Mildreds - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Sadly many excellent vegetarian restaurants come and go – even in a forward thinking capital like London. Mildreds, however, is the exception and the trendy but homely restaurant has been serving up reasonably priced meatless fare for the last twenty years. The eatery – which serves everything from hefty veggie burgers to chunky burritos – is much loved by London locals, Soho media types and even a handful of celebrities. In fact it’s so popular you will probably have to queue at peak times. Okay it maybe narrow and a little hectic but the well-proportioned food, friendly staff and great specials will more than make up for that.

  • Mildreds 45 Lexington Street, London , W1F 9AN

Find your sweet tooth at the Hummingbird Bakery

Hummingbird Bakery - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Portobello Road in Notting Hill is of course famous for its excellent (and very long) Sunday antiques market and if you’re in this area you also shouldn’t miss the original Hummingbird bakery. Born out of a trendy cupcake revival, Hummingbird is the bakery that spawned the hugely popular must-have cookbook. It’s also one of the best places in town to satisfy your sugar cravings. Choose from Brooklyn blackout cakes, New York-style cheesecakes, cutely-named whoopie pies or just grab an exceptionally pretty cupcake to take away

  • Hummingbird Bakery 133, Porobello Road, Notting Hill London W112DY and other branches at Soho, South Kensington and Spitalfields.

Try a speakeasy-style night out at the Experimental Cocktail Club

Experimental Cocktail Club - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Bars that do things a little differently always go down well in London, so another place to try is the Experimental Cocktail Club. The city’s fascination with the 1920s has started quite a collection of  speakeasy-style nights out and one of the best options is this China-town located drinking joint. Its scruffy exterior and unmarked door belies its polished interiors and inside expect exposed brickwork contrasted with mirrored tables, ornate wallpapers, and long dark comfy seats. Head to the top floor to find an intimate piano bar where skilled bartenders will whip up your favourite cocktail classic or serve you with top-end spirits. Just remember to smooth talk the doorman (or book in advance) for an easier entrance.

  • Experimental Cocktail Club 13a Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PS

Go Undercover at St. Ermins Hotel

St Ermins Hotel - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

To complete your London travel snobs experience you may want to find a unique stop over. If you’re looking for hotels in Westminster a good choice is St. Ermins. Definitely one of the more interesting 4 Star Hotels in London, the elegant Grade II listed Victorian building has played a major part in British history. It was the place Winston Churchill once held secret wartime meetings and many famous spies were also said to have met here (including the 1950s double agent Guy Burgess and the Cambridge Five, who later became immortalised in the Hollywood thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”). It’s also had a rather lavish £30 million make over which blends its original opulent features with a new modern style, making it one of the most celebrated and intriguing boutique hotels in London.

  • St.Ermins, 2 Caxton Street London SW1H 0QW

Discover Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema - Things to do in London on GlobalGrasshopper.com

A trip to the cinema usually doesn’t get any more exciting than choosing what size carton of popcorn you want. This is where Secret Cinema – the underground club with more than 100,000 Facebook followers – aims to change all that. An alternative to the usual theatre & hotel London this is more of an experience than an outing. The organisers transport guests into a surreal alternative reality complete with intricately designed sets and enthusiastic improvising actors. Events take place monthly and only the most quirky of venues are chosen, although you’ll only know where you’re going a few days in advance. Of course fancy dress (based around a leaked theme) is actively encouraged promising to make it one of the most fun and unusual nights out in town, just remember to tell no one!

If you’re spending a little longer in London also try to pay a visit to the Outsider Tart Bakery in Chiswick, The Armoury of St.James, The Wellcome Collection and Notting Hill Arts Club. Enjoy your trip!

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

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