I have a love/hate relationship with the city. If I am in one of my favourite secret places in London I love it. Catch me on a bad day and I will moan about how rude the people are, how bad the weather is and how busy it is there. Catch me on a good day and I will happily tell you it is the best place on earth and I have always wanted to work there. The trick for me with London is to realise you need to split your work time and free time. Travelling up there for work is a nightmare, but I still go up to London in my free time, because when I do have the time to wander, there are some incredible places. I wanted to share with you some of my favourite places in the city you might not know about.
The Richmond Theatre
Situated well-away from the traditional “theatre district”, The Richmond Theatre has a simplicity that is very attractive to someone who enjoys the theatre as much as me. Since I started writing for The Live Review, I have been lucky enough to visit quite a few shows there. I don’t know what it is that makes me feel really at home at the theatre, but this particular theatre makes me feel even more so. Maybe it’s just because it’s a little bit cosier than the bigger London theatres in the West End. The fact this place is so peaceful is the main reason it gets designated one of my best secret places in London.
Great for. . . feeling cultured
Mei Leaf is a little slice of heaven in otherwise-heaving Camden. I’ve always been a huge fan of herbal tea and I became an even bigger fan when I gave up alcohol. The thing that makes Mei Leaf so spectacular is that they have a small, sit-in cafe bit at the back where they will serve up a traditional Chinese tea in the pot, on the wooden tray and everything. The staff there know their stuff as well. Most years, some of the staff actually visit China and handpick the tea. Teatulia is another tea bar I really like in London, I found out about them after going to a blogging event at their London tea bar.
Great for. . . forgetting reality
When I first heard about it, the Japanese garden was something that was on my list of places to visit for ages. I think in the UK, we are constantly waiting for the “right” weather to do certain things. So I put the visit to the Japanese garden to the back of my mind because it was winter. Then, I realised how close it is to my office. Holland Park, where it is situated is just a couple of stops away from me on the central line.
If the weather is dry, this is a beautiful place for a little lunch-time walk. You can find all of the details you need to visit the Kyoto Garden here.
Great for. . . getting back to nature
Camden Lock Canal Boat Tours
I know you are probably thinking that a canal boat tour isn’t the first thing you would associate with the busy city, but a boat tour along Regents Canal is one of my favourite things to do in London. the London Waterbus Company do tours that go to London Zoo or Little Venice. They are inexpensive, and I can’t think of anything better to do on a sunny London afternoon than hop on a boat to one of the most beautiful places imaginable (Little Venice).
Great for. . . something different
The Churchill Arms
I’ve already written a review on The Churchill Arms, on my food section, but I thought it was worth mentioning again here. Based in Notting Hill, The Churchill Arms has quite an interesting outdoor and indoor decor. The food is really good as well. Unexpectedly, they do a fantastic Pad Thai.
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