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The best of London

Looking for inspiration? We've distilled the best places to go and the coolest culture down into bite-sized guides

Covent Garden Market
 Overwhelmed by the amount of awesome things to do in the capital? Start by working your way through our easy-read guides to eating, drinking and going out in London.

The best restaurants and cafés in London

Restaurants

Afternoon teas in London

Recent years have seen an explosion of afternoon teas around the capital, but some are better than others. Having tried most of London's better-known afternoon tea places for this feature, we've found some of them to be cynically overpriced tourist traps – but others have been utterly refreshing delights. Think we've missed a great afternoon tea in London? Let us know in the comment box below.Reviews by Zena Alkayat, Tania Ballantine, Simon Coppock, Guy Dimond, Charmaine Mok, Cathy Phillips Good-value afternoon tea in London Bake-a-boo Vegan as well as gluten-, dairy- and sugar-free bakes are a key draw at this princess-pink cake parlour. But it’s such a hit with north-west London locals, we wouldn’t be surprised if most customers were entirely uninterested in its innocent credentials. Cutesy to its core, the café is packed full of grandma chic such as doilies and net curtains, and serves as a pretty space for chattering mums, friends and hen do’s. Those with restricted diets love the individually named cupcakes – Roxy (raspberry), Bella (blueberry and passion fruit), Polly (plum and blackberry) et al – which are impressively baked without any artificial substitutes. A fifty per cent deposit and day’s notice is required for all afternoon tea booking, though. Afternoon tea served 2-6pm Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, noon-6pm Sun; £15 per head (minimum two people). Bea's of Bloomsbury Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a fast-expanding café, with new branches on the Ki

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Restaurants

London's best breakfasts and brunches

Discover the best restaurants and cafés for breakfast and brunch Our team of experts have sought out the best breakfasts and brunches in London. Whether you're looking for coffee and pastries in a café, a posh Sunday brunch, or a mouthwateringly meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day. Time Out's guide to breakfasts in central London Bill's Brighton’s Bill’s (not to be confused with Australia’s Bill Granger) has finally made it into the capital, serving a similar menu of classic breakfast items in a fun, laid-back space. The breakfast options include a vegetarian version of a fry-up with two poached eggs, mushrooms, guacamole, sweet chilli sauce and toast, topped with basil leaves. There’s also porridge with banana and honey, egg and soldiers and greasy-but-great bacon sandwiches (you can take those away too, if you’re a local worker in a rush). Breakfast for two with drinks and service: around £20. See more details Dean Street Townhouse Soho’s smarter denizens can be found breakfasting at this polished and very English restaurant, which – as part of a boutique hotel – opens early. If you prefer your morning repast to be accompanied by starched linen, heavy cutlery and smarly uniformed service, you’ll be impressed, although the dining room always carries a lively and informal buzz. The menu caters for those after something healthy (fruit salad, pink grapefruit, bramble porridge) and diners who need something meaty and cook

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Restaurants

London's best cafés and coffee shops

On the hunt for a classier caffeine kick? Here's Time Out's guide to the latest wave of London coffee shops creating a buzz There’s more to London’s coffee shops than just great brews. The last few years have seen an explosion of coffee culture in the capital, and these are the places to check out this creative community. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. Central The Attendant It’s been a labour of lav turning this former public convenience into a charming little coffee bar. The aromas wafting up from the subterranean cavern are now of roast arabica and scented candles, even though many of the original fixtures remain in place, from the Victorian urinals to a veteran hand drier. The loo has been locked up and unused for the last 50 years; now the transformation from piss-stop to pitstop is impressive. The beans are supplied by Caravan Roastery; our flat whites had rich flavour and a thick crema. On another visit the barista, obsessively committed to his craft, apologised because the blend might have a little too much citrus flavour from sitting for just three days after roasting (he likes six). It was citrusy, but it was wonderful. He offered to brew a free cup of something else, so we could compare and contrast. There’s a small selection of made-to-order sandwiches and hot snacks, and the cakes (supplied by Bittersweet Bakers) are more than decent. This central café is definitely worth spendin

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Restaurants

London's best cheap eats

Great food and good-value restaurants and cafés in the capital If you’re feeling stretched for cash, don’t worry – dining out in London doesn’t have to be wallet-busting experience. Check out London's best cheap eats in central, north, south, east and west London. We've also picked the best new eating-out-on-a-budget options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the best cheap meals in London's top restaurants. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. The full list of London's best cheap eats London dining doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg – the city is full of great-value restaurants, cafés and takeaways. Here is our full list of the top spots for cheap eats in town. Explore London's best cheap eats In central London In north London In south London In east London The full list Cheap breakfasts Cheap lunches Cheap dinners Cheap meals in top restaurants Map of cheap restaurants in London London's best... Breakfasts Whether you're looking for a Sunday brunch, or a meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day. Sunday lunches There are few meals more comforting than a traditional Sunday dinner. Go on, stuff yourself silly... Afternoon teas Find out where are the city's best spots for a quintessentially English experience. Steaks For the very best cuts of meat in the city, visit London's top ten steak restaurants. Most popular restaurants with offers Kopapa Just what you want in a

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More food and drink features and restaurant reviews

London's best bars and pubs

London's best pubs

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Cocktail bars

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Real ale pubs

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Speakeasies

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See the 100 best bars and pubs in London

The best museums and attractions

Museums

The top ten museum exhibitions in London

Get your diary out for London's best new museum exhibitions. Uncover artefacts from buried cities, follow the ch-ch-ch-changes of David Bowie or find out about the fragrant history of floristry. David Bowie is Fame, fascination, the evolution of the rebel rebel, along with the ch-ch-ch-changes Bowie made to his lyrics, scratching out words and scribbling in others, come under the spotlight, together with the Brixton lad's stage costumes and instruments, in the V&A's major show for spring 2013. Exploring Bowie's career as musical innovator and mercurial cultural icon, the exhibition looks at his influence on music, fashion and art through the decades through some 300 objects. Bowie as photographed by the likes of Brian Duffy and Terry O'Neill will provide a focus, along with more than 60 stage cosutmes including 'Ziggy Stardust'-era bodysuits, set designs for the 'Diamond Dogs' tour, sketches, scores and diary entries. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum Imagine someone discovering a settlement in the UK 1,000 years from now. Not a huge, bustling city like London; more Milton Keynes, or Derby. Somewhere that offers a very everyday view of urban life in that place and time. That’s what this exhibition does, and it does it very well, through an overarching domestic theme highlighted by its design as a typical home of the time, complete with kitchen, toilet, and even a garden. In these spaces, 250 exhibits quietly and memorably evoke the ordin

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Free exhibitions in London

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Free museums in London

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Late night openings at London museums and galleries

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More museums and exhibitions

Shops and markets

Shopping

Shopping centres

All the convenience of the high street with none of the buses, tourists or chuggers; London's shopping centres and malls are where retail therapy gets serious. Whether you're shopping for gifts or something a little more selfish, here are ten we'd wholly recommend. Watch our video tour of Boxpark Boxpark Refitted shipping containers plonked artfully underneath the elevated Shoreditch High Street Overground station make up this contemporary shopping and eating mall. Installed in late 2011, Boxpark is founded by Boxfresh entrepreneur Roger Wade who, with developers Hammerson and Ballymore, has filled the mall with labels like Dockers, Evisu and Nike, book publishers Phaidon and Scandinavian interiors brand Marimekko, and food and drink outfits Chop'd and Crussh – although the inclusion of Bukowski grill and café Foxcroft & Ginger promise a wider breadth of indie brands to come. Taking up a small corner of The Goodsyard, a 4.7 hectare site running alongside Bethnal Green Road, it seems Boxpark is the first of a series of developments on the former wasteland that could see up to 2000 new homes, office and retail space and leisure facilities. Brent Cross Shopping Centre When Brent Cross opened in 1976, people didn't believe the concept of the shopping mall would work but nearly 40 years on and Britain's first enclosed shopping centre is still thriving with plans underway for a massive redevelopment. With a mix of trusty department stores (Fenwick, J

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Garden centres

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London's 100 best shops

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Coolest shops

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See our full guide to shopping in London

London theatre

Theatre

London theatre calendar

Book ahead for the best new theatre shows and musicals coming to London

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Cheap theatre tickets and offers

Get to the shows keeping the West End buzzing without breaking the bank

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Critics' choice

The very best theatre London has to offer, all in one handy guide

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Shakespeare plays

See the Bard's classics in all sorts of imaginative settings and productions

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See our full guide to theatre in London

Art in London

The ten best art exhibitions in London right now

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Unmissable photography exhibitions

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Photography galleries in London

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Secret galleries in London

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See our full guide to art in London

The best comedy in London

The top ten comedy shows this month

Our critics' pick of the month's must-see comedy shows in London

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The best comedy shows tonight

Our critic's pick of the month's must-see comedy shows in London

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The top ten comedy clubs

We round up the best comedy clubs and nights in the capital

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The best free comedy shows

Ride out the recession with free laughs at these comedy clubs

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More comedy guides, interviews and listings

Comments

2 comments
AndrewThomas
AndrewThomas

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