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Emily Gibson of 'Curious London' chooses her five secret London spots

Emily Gibson

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

1. Heliot Steakhouse, Leicester Square

An unlikely contender, the Heliot Steakhouse is a hidden jewel in Leicester Square. You’ll find it on the upper deck of the Hippodrome Casino serving bona fide USDA grade steak at very reasonable prices, 24 hours a day. I’d especially recommend the millionaire’s mac & cheese because it’s so bonkers it must be tasted to be believed. Technically a side dish, it’s a vat of creamy, cheesy goo topped with a poached duck egg and shavings of black truffle.  

2. Brick Lane Beigel Bake, Shoreditch

Forget the manky kebab that usually marks the end of a truly banging night out; a salt beef bagel from Beigel Bake is the late night snackette of choice on Brick Lane. The queue will be massive but I find it always moves quickly, and if you’re anything like me you’ll spend the whole time engaged in some boozy chat with the people in line with you. Pro tip: be a clever sausage and grab some fresh bagels for breakfast the next day when you’re too hungover to put on clothes or leave the house.

3. Pizza Union, Spitalfields and King’s Cross

The first time I got the bill at Pizza Union, I did a double take. Many, many trips later, the prices still leave me tingling all over with the glow of someone who’s just bagged themselves a bargain. You can get a 12-inch pizza for £3.95, wood-fired and ready to rock in just three minutes. Their warm pizza dough desserts are equally purse-pleasing; a ‘Classico’ with Nutella and mascarpone will set you back just £2.95.

4. 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington

This tiny bar near Angel station is one of the best in London. Reservations are a good idea, but in my experience they’ll always do their best to squeeze you in, though you may be perched at a grand piano with your (excellent) cocktails. Keep an eye out for their deconstructed bloody marys, served in a porcelain oyster shell.  

5. Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel

When did the movies get so expensive? My local Cineworld is currently charging nearly £15 for a ticket, which is patently outrageous. The Genesis Cinema is a fantastic old picturehouse at half the price – book seats in its luxurious Studio 5 for armchairs and table service from just £8.   

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