Get us in your inbox


19 things to do in Clerkenwell before the world ends

Written by
Claire Tayler

When the world ends in fire and brimstone, not even the smart architects and design firms of Clerkenwell will be able to build you a way out. Good news: the design-laden region's piled high with some of the city's best food and drink spots, so it's a good place to be if you're still completing this list as the world ends. Ding ding.


1) Buy all the stationery at Present and Correct 


Clip party. #tbt

A photo posted by Present & Correct (@presentandcorrect) on

Take a break from tapping your keyboard and rekindle your love of stationery. Luckily the tiny and beautiful Present and Correct make this easy peasy. You'll find all the stationery you could ever need, and find yourself inventing excuses to take home everything else. The store also has an excellent Instagram feed.

2) Get a Brill-iant coffee


#fujifilm #xt1 #xf23mm | #brillcoffee in #exmouthmarket, #london | Does this guy pop in to buy a #cd?

A photo posted by James Glover ( on

Head to Brill for coffee, music and bagels. Part music shop, part coffee shop, grab a coffee and soak up some folk sounds.



3) Clerkenwell Kitchen


#delicious #breakfast from #clerkenwellkitchen

A photo posted by Anthony Trollope (@anthonytrollope) on

The super-eco, super-smug café for all your lunch needs.



4) Find the birdhouses


The bird hotel #birdhouse #stjamesclerkenwell #clerkenwell

A photo posted by Manuela Pinho de Magalhaes (@manuelapmagalhaes) on

No, we're not giving away the locations.



5) Sit in the sun at Workshop Coffee


Breakfast and a flat white (and no wifi, which is somewhat misleading) at London's @workshopcoffee.

A photo posted by Patrick Janelle (@aguynamedpatrick) on

Eschew sitting in their gorgeous interior. The Workshop benches outside are nearly as much for posing as for drinking coffee. Grab one of these instead and watch the world buzz past.



6) Try Belgian bangers and mash at The Dovetail 

The 100 Belgian beers help, but a visit to the The Dovetail is all about their banging sausage and mash.



7) Pick up local produce in the Q Shop


Looking fine @rebeccamc_ #shoplife #choplife #qualitychophouseshop

A photo posted by Robyn Nethercote (@robbyneth) on

Next door to the Quality Chop House is its shop counterpart. Pick up local London honey or a properly hearty scotch egg.



8) Dive into the J&A Café

Part café, part bar. This means that once you're in the J&A Café, hidden down a sneaky side alley, you don't ever really need to leave again.



9) Creep around Charles Dickens' house


#charlesdickenshouse #downingstreet #charlesdickens

A photo posted by Chandni Jain (@chandni02) on

Not much has changed in Charles Dickens' house since he lived here in 1839. Take the trip back in time for a glimpse of the writer's space. If you time it right, you can get in on a candlelit late-night tour, too.



10) Brunch at Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings


I ❤️ this place #brunch #bellinis #londonexploring #London #bourneandhollingsworthbuildings

A photo posted by Bron M (@bmiddy18) on

The new venture from Bourne and Hollingsworth is built for the perfect brunch. Airy, green-fingered interiors in one of Clerkenwell's relaxed side streets. Tick.



11) Shop for Scandinavian sprigs

It's hard not to love the Scandinavian flower shop at Flor Unikon. Go on, try.



12) Have a cocktail at Zetter Townhouse


#zettertownhouse #cocktails #london

A photo posted by Jose Luis Fernandinho (@thinkingfood247) on

Designed like your weird aunt's house. But tasteful.



13) Try Craft Beer's 37 beers


Feels like Friday again. #craftbeercompanylondon

A photo posted by Tristan (@tristanfisher23) on

There are 300-plus bottles in the fridges of Craft Beer Co. Good luck working out what to order.



14) Take home Borough Wine's finest craft brews


Well earned we think! (Photo credit: @Boroughwines)

A photo posted by Exmouth Market (@exmouth_mkt) on

The new shop on Exmouth Market has you covered for craft beer, ciders and wines. There are enough trendy graphics on the labels to keep you more than content.



15) Have a long lunch


Tasty mixed meze and kalamari, simple and delicious

A photo posted by Toby (@holytshirt) on

Visit Kolossi Grill, the most authentic Greek Cypriot restaurant in London (probably).


16) Go hard on dessert 

Banana fritters. Pistachio pavlova. Strawberries and rosewater cream. Need we say more? Granger and Co has dessert covered.



17) Cover your coffee table 

Have a naked coffee table? Shop for visual oddities and strange phenomena at Magma.



18) Have a drink at St John's 


#stjohnslondon bone marrow!

A photo posted by Andrew Skala (@andrewskala) on

With St John's brilliant beers and smart wines, you might find yourself wading into their menu with a sudden bold hankering to try their ox tongue.



19) Get buzzed 

No, we're not talking about Fabric. Clerkenwell's home to one of London's most regarded tattoo parlours, The Family Business. But remember, just because the end of the world's coming doesn't mean you need to get YOLO stamped down the side of your arm.


More things to do before the world ends, but in Victoria Park Village.

Popular on Time Out

    You may also like
    You may also like