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Michael Pollitt of ‘Snipe’ chooses his five secret London spots

Posted at 5:15 pm, April 9, 2012 in Secret London, Top 5
Marsh Marigolds at London Wetland Centre. Photo by Ross Paxton

Snipe cover an impressive array of London-centric stories, including the more serious sorts of news that many London blogs steer so clear of that you’d think they were on diversion. They’ll update you on city politics but also inform you of what’s good on the London agenda for the day, and explain why we city-dwellers are all in such a hurry. Find out which little corners of London their editor-at-large Michael Pollitt is particularly fond of below. Snipe is available in print all over east London, in case your smartphone battery’s running low. Ashleigh Arnott

City Hall
No, we’ve not gone mad. City Hall is one big free theatre. It has heroes (Boris), villains (Boris), and jokers (guess who!). It has arguments, rivalries and shouty bits. Like all the other theatres, it has serious bits where you might find yourself nodding off. And if you’re a cyclist, a tube user, a council tax payer, a driver or just someone walking around London’s streets, it’s immersive theatre, because it directly affects your life. Check it out.

Fast Food Corner, next to Mile End Tube Station
The best chicken burger in all of London (NB – we’ve never been here sober). The batter is exquisitely crisp, and as golden as the sun. The chicken inside is moist and pale and always fully cooked. The bun is functional, an unobtrusive canvas for the masterpiece within. All this for the low low price of £2.50. Remarkable.

London Wetland Centre
In the winter, a mysterious monster lives here. A dinosaur’s descendant, skulking in the reeds. This creature is a bittern. There are only a couple of hundred in the country and they’re as elusive as hell. An old man at the Wetland Centre (above) told us he had been visiting for 10 years and never seen one. A young woman told us she had seen one on her first trip there. The bittern is capricious. Will it favour you?

The Teapot, 56 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3HF
Good coffee, good cakes, good cream teas, good decor, good staff, good ambience, good location on the way to the Horniman Museum. It’s good.

Crystal Palace Antiques and Modern, Imperial House, Jasper Rd, SE19 1SG
Four floors of furniture, lighting and bric a brac. Perhaps the best place in London to find things to give your 8ft square bedroom that ‘Mad Men’/’The Killing’ vibe.

Read more at Snipe’s website or follow them on Twitter.

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