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Jules and Ben of London on the Inside choose their six secret London spots

Posted at 6:15 pm, February 3, 2012 in Secret London, Top 5

Jules and Ben of London on the InsideLast week we had an insight into some of Londoneer blogger Pete Stean’s favourite London locations to add to our sunny day bucket list, but today brings six east London hangouts from the pair behind London on the Inside. Jules and Ben have shared some great places for when you need to escape the rain (or possibly snow, the way things are going) that London is so often bothered by. Ashleigh Arnott

Fred and Fran
Fred and Fran is a neighbourhood cafe, located just five minutes from our HQ. This small but homely place makes everything from scratch including the bread and the menu changes daily. The avocado and homemade hummus on toast or bacon sandwich with slow roasted tomatoes and alioli are the perfect start to a working day. They also serve great coffee and some bad-ass cakes – try the chocolate orange one: to-die-for!

Netil House
We love Netil House for a few different reasons. It’s a stones throw away from London Fields which during the Summer is one of our favourite hangouts. Inside it has Platform, a cafe located on the second floor that serves great coffee, booze and a set dinner; starter, main and glass of house wine/beer for just £15. There is also a varied timetable of quirky events, from film nights to live bands. Head down the alley and dial 207 for the cafe. Upstairs, on the top floor, is the rather spectacular rooftop terrace Netil360 with views over the London skyline. We attended the opening night with yurts and a pop up bar serving winter warmers, and we have a feeling this will be a hot drinking destination this summer. Check the Facebook page for future events.

EFES Pool Club, 17B Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BH
EFES is like a grown up youth club which is packed to the rafters with trend setting fashion-east-ers until 4am Friday and Saturday night. No expense has been lavished on the decor, the bar serves beer from the can and the records come from the music channels on the TV screens. Most people don’t visit for the pool, although there are around 15 tables if you do fancy a game. Just watch out for that drunken reveller who accidentally falls into you as you’re just about to take a winning shot – you mustn’t get angry, everyone’s here for a good time! Oh yeah and it’s free to get in.

Located just off the horror that is Mare Street, RailRoad is a welcome retreat from the mayhem outside. The unfussy cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything is lovingly homemade from the crumpets to the ketchup. Moroccan Eggs and the Flourless Chocolate Cake come highly recommended. If you’re feeling inspired, browse the bookshelf which is crammed with cookbooks and tell yourself that you’ll make that one day, one day! An easy place to while the afternoon away or great first date location.

Pride of Spitalfields, 3 Heneage Street, E1
You wake up on a Sunday having blown your wage on a weekend of partying but you’re craving a roast dinner, preferably one like your gran used to make. If that sounds like a dilemma you often find yourself facing then head along to the Pride of Spitalfields where you can score a two course lunch for just £6. There is no menu, you get what’s on offer – one meat and one pud, usually beef served with all the stodgy trimmings and an apple pie or crumble with custard. Don’t expect anything posh mind. Even the lemonade is served from plastic bottles and the punters propping up the bar are usually drunk old men. Ignore them and you’ll be alright.

Vang Thong, 214 Stoke Newington High Street, N16
Vang Thong serves unpretentious, authentic, cheap Thai food. It’s open fairly late and it’s BYO so the money you save on food you can splurge on a decent bottle of vino. The friendly staff are super helpful and since discovering it last year we’ll usually get at least one visit in a week. Try the Som Tam pet, pet – we dare you.

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