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Coralie Grassin from 'Teatime in Wonderland' chooses her five secret London spots

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Coralie Grassin
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We're launching a new Blog Network that involves getting a bunch of cool bloggers to write for us, such as Coralie from Teatime in Wonderland. Here are Coralie's favourite secret places in London. 


1. The Artworks 

I once went on a quest to find a duck confit burger and found myself at this cool mini-Boxpark in Elephant & Castle, featuring ten restaurants. Served on a brioche bun, melted blue cheese and truffle honey, that burger proved insanely good and worth the trek. I also fell for the Mauritian street food nearby serving nouik man (great chayote dumplings!). On Friday evenings, a DJ spins tunes so I either half-dance, half-play table football at Six Yard Box, a craft beer bar, or settle down with a margarita served in a pineapple from Spark’s and raise my glass to the weekend. 

2. Druid Street Market

I cherish London's little villages, like Bermondsey. My steps usually take me to the area's Glass Blowing Centre (very modern pieces and live demos), the White Cube Gallery for contemporary art or on Saturdays, Druid Street Market. It's got a community vibe and I constantly zig-zag between the shops under the historic arches and the street food stalls, an iced cacao in hand. My favourite stall is the blowtorched oysters, with Cajun spices and cheese by Decantur, followed by a super-addictive salted caramel brownie by Fattie’s Bakery. 

3. King’s Cross Skip Garden

Next to the new King’s Cross pond is the Skip Garden, where Alice in Wonderland meets recycling. It's my kind of eclectic universe: skips are turned into veg patches and jute sacks are piled up to make an impressive wall. The Cathedral, a greenhouse made entirely of window frames, is a real highlight. You will find me at the little café with a scrumptious piece of cake – regaining energy after a swim.

4. Osprey's London

As a consequence of being a freelance writer, I often have business meetings in cafés. But it’s so difficult to find a quiet one! I take refuge at Osprey’s flagship store on Piccadilly. The building used to be a bank and is now a colourful array of mini lounges in what used to be the vaults. They serve perfect cappuccinos and salads for a light lunch and more importantly, they have a feel-at-home atmosphere. And on the deli shelves you’ll find the most elegant, fruity olive oil to take back home.

 

5. Milroy's 

Being French, I am expected to only tolerate wine yet I’m a whisky lover too. Peaty and smoky ones preferably, Japanese ones included. I buy mine from Milroy’s in Soho, London’s oldest whisky shop. You can indulge in a dram of your favourite nectar at the counter, but in the evening they have a surprise in store: simply push the bookshelves to reveal stairs going down to a secret bar. It’s not very big but it's cheerful and friendly. The menu is hidden between the pages of Ladybird Books, which may suddenly renew your interest in reading.

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