London, England, is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and every year, millions of people flock to experience the quintessential Britishness of venues such as Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Leicester Square and much much more. Though wander off the beaten path and explore further East and there is a great variety on offer.
The diversification and gentrification of this East London has made it much more appealing to the average tourist. Here are some of the highlights to visit in this increasingly popular area of London.
Wander and travel to London’s oldest food market, Borough Market, which is bustling with life, noise and energy from the break of dawn to the end of day trading. There is plenty of fresh produce on display and readily available and the choice reflects the diversity of the city itself. Nearly every nationality and culture in terms of dining cuisine and culture is on offer here and those with a discerning palate will be spoilt for choice.
The selection on offer tends to all be fresh and visitors can select everything from the finest selection of cheeses to Thai food to traditional fish and chips. For the latter, visitors can visit Fish Kitchen located on Cathedral Street. They serve the fish fresh from a specialist fish monger and it is cooked and served incredibly quickly.
For some of the finest cheese melt sandwiches, venture down to Kappacasein Dairy located on the corner of Stoney Street. The sandwiches are deemed arguably the best in London and there are frequently long lines of people waiting to sample and see for themselves.
To sample some fine blends of coffee as well as cakes and snacks then, you could look no further than Rabot 1745 located at 2-4 Bedale Street. It serves some of the finest coffees and assorted hot drinks which are all lovingly prepared and the strong aroma of these drinks In the hustle and bustle of the market, this cozy restaurant acts as a bar, cafe and terrace and overlooks Borough Market and is perfect for people watching and catching up with friends.
ADDRESS: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
HOW TO GET THERE: The closest underground station is London Bridge
THE TEN BELLS AND JACK THE RIPPER WALKING TOURS
Spitalfields market is the one of the hippest places to visit for it’s plethora of independent shops, market stalls and hipster shops.
Though, the area has lived with a dark history for over one hundred years and every year, visitors embark on “Jack the Ripper Walking Tours” through the area with most of them starting at Tower Hill underground station.
The walks are guided with an expert on the subject and when we attended our walk, the guide was well versed on the history of the city, the living conditions at the time in London and of course, details of the crimes and the hysteria at the time and the heightened sense of paranoia. More importantly, the guide humanized all the victims and reminded everyone to do the same.
The walks end in Spitalfields market and there, it is possible to have a drink at the Ten Bells pub which still retains it’s victorian interior and design. We took the tour with Strawberry Walking Tours and would recommend all interested parties to do the same.
ADDRESS: Ten Bells – 84 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LY, UK
HOW TO GET THERE: The closest underground is Liverpool Street Station.
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM
History buffs can consider visiting the Imperial War Museum located in the Elephant and Castle area. For those with an interest in military history, each floor of the the museum is like venturing back into time and the exhibitions have been well-documented and researched; the two major world wars have moving displays as well as some authentic exhibit throughout the venue.
The shop located inside is also filled with related books and is worth a stroll around. History lovers could literally spend hours on end in the museum and it is well worth taking an afternoon there.
How to Get There: The nearest underground stations are Lambeth North and Elephant & Castle
FOOD: WHERE TO WANDER AND EAT IN EAST LONDON
The East End of London also has a diverse array of cuisines to select from. This ranges from traditional fish and chips to the best food from South-East Asia. Here are some of East London’s finest places to dine out.
SPICE MERCHANTS (WEST FERRY)
Spice Merchants, a little gem of a dining venues was established in 2005 at the heart of Canary Wharf in the Docklands and enjoys widespread popularity in the area and beyond. The food is the best of the Indian Sub-continent and includes specialist dishes such as Goan Lamb Shank, Balti Chicken, Dumka Chicken and much more.
The interior is modern and comfortable and the staff are knowledgable about their dishes and lovingly create them for the customers. It is one of the best restaurants in East London and definitely one of the best South-Asian restaurants in London.
38 Salter Street
E14 8BH (Go to West Ferry DLR)
Phone and Website:
020 7987 8779 / http://www.spicemerchantsdockland.co.uk
Fast Break on Old street is a cozy and comfortable venue with friendly staff and a whole choice of different food selections of which all are of a decent portion. The cafe style here is very casual and laid back and features a mix of British, European and ‘cafe’ style dining choices. It is the perfect place to spend a long and lazy Sunday for brunch and to chill out and relax.
Address: 113 Old Street, London EC1V 9JR England
One of the hippest and trendiest restaurants in East London is Tramshed. As the name suggests, the venue is held in a renovated former East End tram-generator building.
The food is traditional British dining cuisine and the specialities are the Steak and Chicken dishes which all have a touch of the modern fusion style of cooking.
Address: 32 Rivington St, Hackney, London EC2A 3LX, United Kingdom
Wander and travel over to East London as there is a lot to savour and enjoy!