We’re launching a new Blog Network that involves getting a bunch of cool bloggers to write for us, such as Danielle De Wolfe from One Stop Record Shop. Here are Danielle's favourite secret places in London.
Word On The Water is perfect for the literary lover in search of something a little different. I first stumbled across the 'book barge' on the steps of Granary Square, King's Cross while visiting a grad show at Central Saint Martins. A number of hours later – my pockets considerably lighter – I walked away with an armful of great reads. Think children’s TV show 'Rosie and Jim' meets 'Black Books', with a little 'Later… With Jools Holland' thrown in for good measure. Hosting everything from live jazz to poetry slams in the summer months, pop by and keep an eye out for the barge's co-owner Paddy Screech – he's one of a kind.
The 1850s may have played host to glees and circus performers, but today you’re more likely to see James Morrison and Gabrielle Aplin gracing the historic stage at Wilton’s. As the world’s oldest surviving music hall, it’s a venue unlike any other, with its elaborate gold leaf columns and faded plaster. I still remember my first visit – partly because I, erm, accidentally found myself locked in the pitch-black building during its multi-million pound restoration.
3. P. Franco
Hidden behind the original Great Wall signage on Lower Clapton Road lies this little wine shop slash wine bar slash hub of happiness. It's the little brother to Noble Fine Liquor on Broadway Market and if you're a wine lover like myself, you need to pop in for a glass (or three). Not only do they offer up a selection of breads, cheeses and cured meats to go with your choice of vino, but wine by the glass is always £5 and based on whatever bottle they choose to crack open that day.
I'd just moved to London and discovered a new running route along the River Wandle when, a couple of wrong turns later, I found myself watching a live band in the square at Merton Abbey Mills. It's a small artisan oasis, perfect for those wishing to escape the madness of the big city. The buildings once housed the silk-printing works for Regent Street store Liberty, a space that now plays host to everything from eateries and vintage tea rooms, to a working waterwheel that powers a pottery workshop (£20 will even buy you a lesson!). A visit to the weekend market was my Saturday morning tradition and the quaint riverside pub is perfect for those long summer evenings.
I'd like to thank Guy Beringer for inventing the greatest meal of the day – brunch. Personally, I enjoy mine served with a soundtrack, and if you're a kindred spirit then Bistroteque is the dining destination for you. Situated a stone's throw from Regents Canal, this industrial looking building offers European-style dining in an East End loft apartment. Serving up classics like eggs benedict alongside dishes with a contemporary twist – try the pancakes with banana, honeycomb and cherries – Bistrotheque has both sweet and savoury covered. Oh, and did I mention entertainment comes in the form of a pianist who delivers contemporary pop classics from behind a grand piano? Yeah, there's that too.
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