Little boxes are useful for all sorts of stuff. You can keep spare buttons in them or fill them with emergency sweets. You could use one as a little living room for your pet woodlouse. London blogger Carly-Ann Clements puts thoughts in hers, then puts them in the internet for us to see. She’s chosen five secret London spots that she thinks ought not be quite so secret; make the most of your Bank Holiday Monday and get exploring.
‘Living and working in Central London means there’s always a need for something fast and easy to eat on the go and Kati Roll is just that. Offering delicious roti wraps (think of them as Indian burritos) with a choice of curried meats, potatoes and eggs, the ridiculously quick and ridiculously filling rolls are my number one choice pretty much every time. Though the menu offers something for everyone, I would recommend trying the Chicken Unda roll for a smokey, spicy taste sensation that’ll make you return time and time again. The shop itself isn’t much to look at, though the amazing Bollywood posters on the wall (including The Matrix) can entertain a drunken mind for hours.’
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
‘On a seemingly normal street in the East End sits the world’s only functioning monster shop. Offering a range of ghoulish products that are bound to put a smile on anyone’s face, it’s the perfect place to pick up a quirky birthday present or the perfect stocking filler. For the literary buff they offer original works from Nick Hornby, David Nichols and Zadie Smith and for the outright childish they offer Cubed Earwax and Zombie Mints. To top it all off, all proceeds go to the children’s literacy charity Ministry of Stories just so you know that each bite of Thickest Human Snot is for a good cause.’
‘If you’re already on Hoxton Street then Willow should be your next stop. A tiny, two person establishment that offers a selection of tasty homemade salads, fresh cakes and coffee, it’s a great place to step into yet another world that east London has to offer and grab a plate of fresh, healthy(ish) food. They only serve food from Monday to Friday and it sells out quickly so make sure you get there early! But even if you miss the food, you can always have a quick look at the quaint items they have on sale or even pick up a beautiful bunch of flowers to take home.’
Kyoto Garden in Holland Park
‘Being so close to Hyde Park, Holland Park always feels like a neglected cousin. The park itself has a flock of peacocks that can entertain you for… well, maybe not hours but they’re definitely worth a look and if you’re in need of a much more relaxing environment then head to the Kyoto Garden for a much more zen experience. With a sizeable waterfall and dozens of koi carp, it’s the perfect place to read a book or even take a nap – just make sure you haven’t guzzled a litre of water before you go.’
‘What’s better than a cup of tea and a slice of cake? Not much really and Yumchaa definitely offers a wide selection of both. Yumchaa isn’t London’s best kept secret but it’s definitely worth a mention. The new Tottenham Street branch is bright and airy with miss-matched furniture and a hell of a lot of open space. It’s the perfect place for a quick cuppa and gossip with a friend, an indulgent scone during a work meeting or nice sit down while you update your blog. There are dozens of teas on the menu (including some fresh blended iced-teas for the summer), some delicious cakes and homemade sandwiches and salad boxes making it the perfect place to take a well deserved break during your day.’