This family-run Italian restaurant has fantastic food is fantastic for reasonable prices. A two-course meal for two with a bottle of wine cost under £30. Suitable for children as the menu contains pizza and pasta dishes, and there’s a great selection for vegetarians.
It’s easy to get to by tube or bus, and a five minute walk from the Thames, which is ideal for an after-dinner stroll.
The venue is quite small and always busy so it can get quite loud, but there is seating outside which is perfect in the summer. The service is outstanding and staff are very friendly. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
192-196 Jamaica Rd, London SE16 4RT;
tel: 020 7064 4631;
Two minute walk from Bermondsey tube station;
Local bus routes C10, 188, 47, 381 and P13
This cheap and cheerful Pakistani restaurant is probably not worth the tube journey to Upton Park all by itself, but very nearly.
This is an Asian McDonalds practically. Big family groups turn up for Pakistani feasts. Queue up at the counter and order kebabs, curries, dhals and bread to share. It will all be carried across to your table on a groaning tray.
Swig back sugary Rubicon drinks and get them to box up some desserts (I recommend their kheer) to take home – there’s no way you will have space straight after eating your meal.
Wander slowly back towards the tube looking in the windows at all the sari/sweetmeat/jewellery shops.
222-226 Green Street, E7 8LE
Left out of Upton Park tube and keep on walking.... (maybe 10 minutes)
There are several of these apartments all over London. They are a very reasonable alternative to a hotel and can be booked for a minimum of one night. In addition to a separate bedroom, there is also a small kitchen and dining area which is a real boon when visiting with small children.
To hell with the detractors who will no doubt bemoan the inevitable gentrification of Broadway Market. I for one, only just happened upon this much-forgotten (but very rapidly being rediscovered by all and sundry it would seem) corner of London, when I moved to Hackney last summer. And thus on the same note, to hell with those who will inevitably proclaim this gem of a pub isn’t as good as it used to be. What a wonderful place! A mighty fine array of Belgian beers are available in this relaxed and very cosy boozer that also has a lovely restaurant next door. Admittedly, I can’t vouch for the Sunday lunches, however having sampled the varied menu on offer during the week I can attest that the dishes are far superior to your usual gastro-pub offerings. The manager gave us a genuine welcome and went out of his way to ensure everything was to our satisfaction – something which is again a breath of fresh air in this city where apathetic service seems to be the norm.
24-28 Broadway Market, Hackney
Only available in the summer months, but ideal for the budget traveller and visiting groups. Four different residences (Hampstead/Waterloo/London Bridge/Denmark Hill) offering B&B or room-only ensuite in student accommodation from £19 per night. Very hard to find cheaper in central London.
Tucked away on a quiet street in Fitzrovia, this trendy five-star hotel is home to an intimate basement cinema. The Sunday night film club costs about £35 and includes a three-course meal at Oscar, the hotel's restaurant, and entrance to a film screening.
It's an affordable way to wine, dine and flop in front of a celluloid classic. The bright orange leather seats are pretty stylish and roomy enough to snuggle up in the back row-would really impress on a first date.
15-17 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RJ; 020 7806 2000;
Goodge Street station is the nearest underground;
A lovely low-lit restaurant just off Charlotte Street, serving top-end Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese food in a French colonial-style townhouse.
Not the cheapest but perfect date or anniversary territory.
1 Percy Street, London W1T 1DB
LIVE magazine is a youth publication, designed for the youths across the South of London. It is fast becoming the last word in youth culture and is rapidly becoming recognised in the mainstream media. The best part is yet to come. All of the journalists and creative designers are all between the ages of 11-21. The writers are mentored by professional journalists. This publication is blazing a trail through South London and is of a pristine standard. You can access them in libraries, secondary schools, youth clubs, south London based connexions and other places where youths "hang out".
34-44 Tunstall Road, London SW9 8DAContact them on: 020 7326 5979 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The ultimate night spot if, drinking, dancing and having a good time is your type of thing. This club offers a cultural blend of the hottest popular music in the world, including the likes of Arabic, Spanish, dance and R'n'B. If you're not completely fulfilled after all of this; you can book a table, order a meal and smoke the shisha until you "get some satisfaction". (Guestlist starts from £10)
9 Hanover Street, London W1S 1YFContact the promoter Delly Raheem on: 07887 592 929
A surgical museum with a huge collection of medical artefacts, including the pickled remains of unusual animals and humans - from the 7 feet 8 inch real skeleton of a giant from Ireland, to the digestive organs of exotic animals and pickled genitalia. Intriguing, but not for the fainthearted. It's housed upstairs from the Royal College of Surgeons, and not advertised from the outside, so remains something of a hidden treasure.
Hunterian Museum, The Royal College of Surgeons of England
35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE
Tel: 020 7869 6560, Textphone/Typetalk users: 18001 020 7869 6560
One of London's new boutique hotels handily placed for Clerkenwell, and therefore St Pauls, the South Bank and quite close to the west end. I think it is over priced, BUT the bigger rooms have terraces at the top and the cocktail bar and brasserie are well worth having on site.
If you're after retro clothes or pieces of kitsch design and you're not made of cash, this is the place to visit. Just round the corner from Neal Street, so you can buy a new outfit and then pop in to Diesel or Urban Outfitters to see just how much more expensive similar clothes are in there.
6 Monmouth St, Covent Garden, WC2; Tel: 020 7497 5262; www.pop-boutique.com
Although he only lived here for a few years, this is the only remaining house in London that Dickens inhabited. Not only can you go and see all the usual manuscripts, furniture and usual paraphernalia associated with museum houses, you can also actually hire the place for private functions. This must be the perfect place to hold a ‘Dickensian evening’.
48 Doughty Street, WC1. Nearest tubes: Russell Square, Holborn
Spot big stars from the UK Grime scene dressed down and competing for the microphone at this most intimate of nights, representing 'dubstep' (Grime's dancefloor-orientated strand). The rolling residents
include J Da Flex, Kode 9 and Slaughter Mob, all well versed in keeping the beats futuristic, the bass heavy and ensuring a hardcore following on the dancefloor month after month.
@ Plastic People, first Thursday of each month
147-149 Curtain Road, London, EC2
(020) 7739 6471
10pm - 2am
I ended up at one of these parties a while ago, led by rascally young friend of mine from Brixton. It's an all night party over three rooms with secret line-ups, a secret location and two of the UK's best labels (Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records, and Brixton's Werk Discs). Four Tet, Anthony 'Shake' Shakir and Herbert himself have all played there. Sniff out the next one on December 3rd. I'll definitely be there.
@ a secret location in south London
Contact: 07990 970 267
Jazz, funk, reggae soul, hip hop - whatever, in Honest Jon's it's all quality. There's nothing more to add. It's just good. Go there, and buy some music.
278 Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove; Tel: 020 8969 9822; www.honestjons.com
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