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Natalie from South London Blog chooses her five favourite London spots

Natalie D

We’ve launched a new Blog Network which involves getting a bunch of cool bloggers to write for us, such as Natalie from South London Blog. Here are Natalie's favourite places in London.

1. Rivoli Ballroom

In deepest darkest south-east London lies a real star of a venue. Opposite Crofton Park station sits the Rivoli Ballroom, which is a stunning Grade II-listed 1950s ballroom. Stepping inside for the first time was like stepping back in time, as the interior boasts plush red velvet and Austrian crystal chandeliers. Still operating as a dance venue today, regular events include the monthly jive party, which is a must. Don’t worry if you’ve never jived before - I hadn't - but there’s a lesson at the start of the evening to show you the ropes. And if you don’t get the hang of it I found that watching the vintage clad regulars was fun in itself.

2. Olympic Studios

In a leafy corner of south-west London is a cinema, bar and restaurant with cool credentials and comfort that will change the way you view your local Odeon forever. I discovered it recently and can't wait to go back. The two-screen cinema in Barnes has seats with plenty of leg room - so not having to stand up to let your fellow cinema goers get past you when you're seated is a game-changer. Once operating as a recording studio, hence its name, Olympic Studios hosted sessions for the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Queen back in the day and I love the thought of being somewhere with so much musical history.   

The Rookery Streatham Common

3. The Rookery 

The hustle and bustle of the city is great, but sometimes a little time away is needed, and I've found that surprisingly you don’t need to go far to find your peaceful haven. The Rookery, in Streatham Common, is the perfect place to relax whilst surrounded by nature. This beautifully landscaped garden comes complete with ornamental pond, woodland and a café. It rained the first time I visited, but this did little to dampen my spirits. Mindfulness here I come...

Gemma Day

 4. Brunswick House 

My initial reaction when I first visited Brunswick House was 'wow this place is made to be Instagrammed', so of course I obliged. The traffic-heavy Vauxhall roundabout may not seem like a winning location, but trust me, this hidden gem is well worth a visit. The Georgian Mansion houses not only a Lassco architectural salvage yard but also an excellent bar, restaurant and café. I think it’s fair to say you’ll struggle to find a venue more unique than Brunswick House with the regularly changing Lascco stock providing a quirky back drop whether you’re after a coffee, a cocktail or something from the highly-rated food menu.

London Beer Factory

5. London Beer Factory 

It would be impossible to stumble across this brewery by accident, located as it is within an industrial estate in Gipsy Hill. Thankfully you’ve got me to tell you about it, and just in time for the Rugby World Cup, of which they’ll be screening every game. I visited this place after receiving a heads up from a member of their staff, and being local thought I'd give it a go, and combined it with a walk to really earn that drink. With pints fresh from source for £3, it’s kind on the wallet, so go if like me your partial to no frills, laid back vibes. The brewery is open every Saturday 1-6pm, as is the adjoining bottle shop which stocks international beers.

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