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Matchmaker Caroline Brealey chooses her five secret London spots

Caroline Brealey

We're launching a new Blog Network that involves getting a bunch of cool bloggers to write for us, such as Caroline Brealey who runs the London dating agency Mutual Attraction. Here are Caroline's favourite secret places in London.

1. Sager and Wilde

No pretence, just good quality wine. What more could you want? You’ll regularly find winemakers propping up the bar happy to chat about their vineyard and wine-making process. I readily admit to knowing nothing about wine, though I still swirl and sniff with the best of them. It's a wine-lovers dream on Hackney Road. If your date is partial to a good glass of red, you'll be onto a winner taking them here. Added bonus? It won’t break the bank. 

 2. Hope and Greenwood

Flying saucers, cherry bakewell bon bons and pineapple cubes: any Londoner with a sweet tooth will be in their element in this traditional looking sweetshop that sells all the classics. I love that this place is always full of nostalgic adults being taken back to a time when a penny sweet really cost a penny. They even have the candy fags you pretended to smoke as a kid, because you know, you looked cool. 

 3. Mudchute Farm Kitchen

This family run café in the free Mudchute farm does a cracking breakfast that sees me through most Sunday mornings. This can be from a full fry-up to a Canadian brunch of homemade banana bread with bacon and maple syrup – but be warned, you may feel guilty as you pass the pigs on your way out. This part of London is often overlooked in the 'fun things to do' department, but it has so much to offer. I heart the Docklands.

Geffrye Museum of the Home / photography Mandy Williams

 4. Museum Gardens at The Geffrye

If you’re one of the many Londoners who, like me, can only dream of a garden, head to The Geffrye where the humble back garden is celebrated. Each garden represents a different age, from the seventeenth century to the modern day (minus the barbecue, unfortunately). The award-winning herb garden is well worth a look with over 170 herbs and plants. Perfect for a relaxed low-key date on a spring or autumnal day and my ultimate chill-out spot when life gets busy.

 5. Museum of London Docklands

Canary Wharf may be all shiny skyscrapers now, but the Docklands used to be the main hub for trade in London. The museum tells the story of London’s history in slavery and sugar trades. It’s not all doom and gloom, though, as you can take yourself back in time and become a Victorian Londoner as you walk through ‘Sailortown’ to experience the hustle and bustle of Victorian Wapping. Turns out London used to smell pretty funky!

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