Ask any traveller around the world and they will more than likely know something about London, whether it is one of the world famous buildings that line the horizon, like the Shard or the London Eye, or one of the streets like Mayfair, Piccadilly Circus or Kings Cross, they will know something. What about the things the travellers don’t know.
There are many secret places all through London that have been tried to be kept a secret, but with the way the world of technology is evolving, this is no longer the norm. In this guide, we are going to let you in on the some of London’s best kept secret gardens, cafes/restaurants, shops and speakeasies, but you may have to travel quite far to experience some of these amazing places and remember… SSSSHHHHHHH! It’s a secret.
Speakeasies: (What is a speakeasy)
Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is located on Artillery Lane near Liverpool Street Station. Although this is suppose to be a ‘secret’ speakeasy, the signs advertising this basement bar, outside make it quite obvious. To enter the bar, you need to say bar tender ‘I need to see the Mayor’. Once this has been said you will be lead to a ‘Smeg’ fridge door, which opens to a staircase leading down to the basement cocktail bar.
69 Colebrooke Row (The bar with no name) is located away from the bustling street on a side street of Islington. This very unusual bar that mixes ingredients into cocktails that you would never think should go into a drink. The Jazz-aged bar, has a very 1920’s fell to the place, with black and white checked floors, pianist player playing some of the best swinger hits and early 1900 advertising all over the walls.
With most speakeasies, we would advise to book a head for most of them as they can be very busy and also to have quite a bit of cash to spare for some, as they can be quite pricy. Check out Timeout’s Top 10 Speakeasy Bars in London.
Café’s And Restaurants.
Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar, located in the Southbank Centre on Belvedere Road, is designed by The Eden Project and is replanted every Spring to keep it looking it’s best. It is on the roof of the Southbank Centre and offers a range of savoury snacks and pasties, as well as delicious cocktails at very fair prices.
Karpo Café & Restaurant located at Kings Cross, just opposite the station, making this upstairs, open plan restaurant, an ideal place to have a date or catch up with friends. The food is to a very high standard and the décor of the price is truly inspiring. This is a definite must if you are staying with us at Clink.
Yalla Yalla is a Lebanese style chain of restaurants located at Shoreditch, Greens Court and Winsley Street. The one to head too would be the one at Greens Court, although the one in Shoreditch is easier to find. The private owners offer excellent food at very very reasonable prices, including sharing platters that are placed in the middle of your table.
Kew Gardens is located on Kew Rd in Richmond, west of Shepherds Bush. The 300 acres World Heritage site is home to over 3000 different plant types as well as a evolution of plants exhibition and a aquarium. There are many things for the kids to do too, including as rope bridge between the trees and a indoor and outdoor play arenas.
Chealsea Physic Gardens is located on Royal Hospital Rd, just off the Chelsea Embankment on the river Thames. The gardens were founded in 1673 and contains the worlds oldest rock garden, made from rock and flint brought up by ship out of the Thames. The gardens are mainly focused on the medicinal properties of plants in the modern world. On April 1st 2014, the gardens will be opening a new section which will focus more on the medicinal purposes of plants and a exhibition of the history of how plants have been used in medicine. The gardens are completely charity based, but do rely upon donations from visitors to the gardens to keep them in such excellent condition.
Chiswick House and Gardens are located on Burlington Lane, between Shepherds Bush and Richmond, just off the Thames. The house is set in the spectacular gardens, which in 2010 went through a £12million renovation, to make them look as good as they do now. The gardens over the years have been a inspiration for the English landscape movement and were also inspiration for many gardens and parks around the world, including Central Park in New York.