Essential London: Day Two
After spending your first day checking out London’s most iconic sites, it’s now time to unlock the city’s less-conventional hotspots. Forty eight hours in London will enable you to get away from the traditional tourist track and into the quirkier neighborhoods, where the city’s creativity is best displayed. Immerse yourself in the local street food scene and take in fascinating graffiti art trails to experience what modern London is all about.
Leave the regalia behind and spend the morning wandering London’s coolest markets
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even in the UK, so don’t skip it. If it’s the weekend, tuck into a wholesome brunch at Mildred’s, an entirely vegetarian restaurant with plenty of options to fill you up, including waffles, BLTs, and the “Big Brunch” consisting of scrambled tofu, sourdough, beans, tomatoes, toast, and vegan sausage. Mildred’s mouth-watering brunch menu is served between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM every Saturday and Sunday.
If it’s not the weekend then head to the Blues Kitchen for an equally satisfying breakfast of pancakes, hash stacks, and huevos rancheros accompanied by the sounds of blues, soul, and jazz.
Camden Town, a northwest neighborhood that’s home to London’s punk and rock scene, is a place where musicians, artists, and anyone who refuses to conform to societal expectations, come together. Quirky shops line the streets with gothic, vintage, and futuristic fashion. Each storefront has a colorful exterior with giant shoes, animals, and other eccentric decor. Start the day by wandering through Camden Market, a hugely popular market that has been selling records, unique clothing, and London-inspired homeware since 1974. This market has over 1,000 local traders along with Asian, Middle Eastern, and South American street food. If all those rebellious spirits have gone to your head, have ice cream for a mid-morning snack. Chin Chin Labs is the first liquid nitrogen ice cream shop in Europe where you can try ever-changing unexpected flavors.
When you’ve had your share of weird, hop back on the Underground at Camden Town station and take a 19-minute journey to London Bridge station. Located just a five-minute walk from this station is Borough Market, a historic market full of local butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers, and other food suppliers. By lunchtime, the vibrant aromas of the market’s street food stalls will entice you. There’s something to suit all dietary needs and appetites with a range of British and international options. For a super tasty veggie option, visit Horn OK Please serving up the best in vegetarian and gluten-free Indian cuisine. If you’d prefer some traditional British food, then Hobbs Meat Roast puts pork, turkey, and all the trimmings into a good old sandwich. The market is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and on Saturday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Put on your walking shoes and enjoy a free art show
Walk back to the London Bridge bus station, located next to the train station, and take a 12-minute bus ride to the Shoreditch High Street stop. Shoreditch is a hip neighborhood in London’s East End, home to some of the city’s best street art. The best place to start on a self-guided tour of the many murals scattered around the area is Rivington Street, where you will find pieces by Banksy, along with many other thought-provoking works by local and international artists. Brick Lane, Fashion Street, and Shoreditch High Street are also great places to find street art.
Take a multicultural, trendy, and dancey detour to Brixton
Brixton is a charismatic neighborhood located in South London and accessible via the Victoria tube line. The area is well-known for its street art, music venues, and diverse cultural scene. Take a walk through Brixton Village, a popular indoor boulevard of boutique stores, craft and fabric shops, and cafes. The area is also famous for its murals, particularly the David Bowie portrait opposite Brixton station.
As a multicultural neighborhood, Brixton has strong Caribbean influences. Embrace the local culture with dinner at Fish, Wings and Tings located in Brixton Village. This laid-back eatery is a popular local restaurant serving jerk chicken, curried mutton, and split pea fritters, to name a few.
Spend the night with the locals at The Hootananny, a family-run club and pub on Effra Road. This charismatic Victorian pub always has up-and-coming musicians performing. If you pop in on Thursdays, you can kick back to classic reggae tunes.