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‘London for Lovers’ authors’ top 5 secret romantic spots

Posted at 5:30 pm, February 14, 2013 in Food & Drink, Fun London

Writing a whole book all about romantic shizzle to do in London should make you an expert. That’s why we went to loved-up authors of ‘London for Lovers‘ Sam Hodges and Sophie Vickers for five places to find romance off the beaten track…

1. The Wapping Project
‘Not only is this restaurant/exhibition/performance space in a former hydraulic power station architecturally striking and achingly hip, it also has excellent food and a fine artistic reputation. There is an irrepressible (and we think romantic) echo of the area’s true past when eating surrounded by the Victorian machinery that once hummed and whirred as it lit up Wapping’s streets and homes. In the garden outside lies what must be the smallest bookshop in London – a perfectly formed selection of art and design books inside a greenhouse.’

2. Hackney Wick 
‘Stroll through the former industrial wasteland of Hackney Wick and you will be sure to stumble upon many a hidden gem, one of those rare places in London where you can go on a real adventure.  Galleries, a theatre space, pop-ups a plenty and top brunch spots The Hackney Pearl and Counter Café are all hiding behind unlikely facades. Some of the artists that gave this area its unique character may have been pushed out by Olympic redevelopment, but its not Shoreditch just yet…’

3. Petersham Nurseries
‘Set up by long-term residents of Petersham House Gael and Francesco Boglione, Petersham Nurseries will serve you Michelin-starred food in a setting filled with salvaged artworks, potted plants and beautiful kitchenalia dotted amongst the herbaceous borders.’

4. Royal Observatory Greenwich
‘Climbing to the top of Constitution Hill in Greenwich brings you both outstanding views of London and spectacular star gazing in Christopher Wren’s Royal Observatory. You can even stand on either side of the Prime Meridian, Longtitude 0, at the same time, with one foot in the west and one foot in the east.’

5. Eel Pie Island
‘This tiny island in the River Thames at Twickenham was once host to the Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart in its famous hotel and concert venue. Today, walk over the footbridge separating the residents of Eel Pie Island from Twickenham embankment and you will find an artists’ commune in amongst the hulls of old boats. The only time to visit this private island is on one of the two open weekends when the resident artists open their studios to the public.  When we visited, we noticed a note on the Island’s noticeboard, which gives an insight into the character of this curious spot: “Wanted. Woman to cook and clean fish, dig worms and make love. Must have good boat and motor. Please include photo of boat and motor.” ‘

Sam and Sophie are the authors of London for Lovers, published by Square Peg. London for Lovers takes its readers off the beaten track in the Capital, uncovering hidden gems and inspiring imaginative deviations – for both first dates and soul mates. From sniffing out the Seven Noses of Soho, unearthing Gothic romance in Highgate Cemetery, or going anywhere that isn’t your local, there are ideas to suit every couple, budget or mood.

For more info on the book, see londonforlovers.net or follow @london4lovers to find out when they will be dropping books around the capital on Valentine’s Day.

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