You haven’t got a hope in hell of keeping up with all the fun stuff London throws at you. You are but one being. The internet is here to help though, with its wealth of London blogs, all stuffed with temptation. Pascale Barget helped found Twenty Something London, which digs up some of the city’s most intriguing events especially to share them with you. She’s chosen five great secret London spots to help you start filling your diary.
A venue that’s bursting with character, The Bridge in Shoreditch is a unique café by day and bar by night. Aside from the phenomenal décor – a mish-mash of Baroque, European and Middle Eastern influences – one of the things I love about the place is their big middle finger to all things of the 21st century. No Twitter, no Facebook, not even a website, only a landline number and a host of blogger reviews on the internet.
Independent boutiques always win me over compared to generic high-street chains, and Pipa, tucked away on Formosa Street in Warwick Avenue, is one of my favourites. Bhavna, the owner, has the most wonderful taste. It’s effortless and not faddy, nor is it too pretentious. She stocks the best women’s jeans, has a range of accessories perfect for gifts, puts on great sales and also hosts pop-up shopping evenings.
In my opinion, one determinant of a secret spot is the element of surprise you get during your first visit. This is exactly what happened when discovering Café Viva in Peckham. The hectic nature of Rye Lane suddenly evaporated into calmness when entering through their doors. Funnily enough, despite being packed with people during lunch times with punters munching on fresh sandwiches, cakes and smoothies, the atmosphere is home to quiet murmurings and Chinese whispers.
In between a fast-food joint and someone’s front door lies one of my favourite bars in London, Lounge Bohemia in Shoreditch. What makes this place is its ability to serve all visitors who wish to have proper in-depth conversations with their fellow companions, plus its superbly well thought out cocktails that will send you into blissful merriment.
For those who want to dance and dabble in some late-night cheap drinking, Sevilla Mia, a Spanish bar hidden down an inconspicuous side street just off Tottenham Court Road, will be able to service such a need. Not only is the place free entry with very reasonably priced drinks but the crowds drawn to such an unusual place are always up for having a laugh.