Sandwiched between Clerkenwell and the City, Farringdon is a popular after-work drinks destination. And to be fair the pubs are pretty decent around here. But don't limit yourself to the watering holes - this part of town is a world class food hub too, from the much lauded St John's (don't take your veggie first date here) to tiny tapas bar Morito and the atmospheric Quality Chop House. It's also the home of Smithfield Market - one of the largest meat markets in Europe and the little-known (and only occasionally open) Barts Pathology Museum. Plus for visitors to the city, it's a charming - and vibrant spot to stay. And a good alternative to well-trodden Soho or Covent Garden.
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Best bits of Farringdon
14 reasons to go to Leather Lane, EC1
Don’t be fooled by its sartorial-sounding name: leather is no longer readily available here. Instead this scenic street, nestled between the hustle and bustle of Gray’s Inn and Farringdon Roads, and running parallel to the jewellery trade hub of Hatton Garden, is a haven for food lovers. Leather Lane mixes the best of traditional London with the new. Its down-to-earth weekday market – which has been operating for a staggering 400 years – is one of the city’s best and is constantly evolving, these days feeding the suited lunchtime worker crowd. Meanwhile innovative, independent, and – dare I say it – kind of hipstery restaurants and coffee shops are springing up on the street all the time. Surprisingly for somewhere so central, Leather Lane is also majorly residential, which has fostered a greater sense of community than you’ll find in most parts of the City. The Friends of Leather Lane Market group and Leather Lane Stars project work hard to preserve this; it’s them you can thank for helping to retain the lane’s unique character and independent spirit. Okay, yes, there is a Pret, a Subway and a Greggs, so you’re sorted for sandwiches – but apart from that, you’d be hard pressed to find any major chains setting up shop here. Drink this A photo posted by Camylla Vitorio (@camytomylife) on Aug 5, 2016 at 8:16am PDT Microbrewed cask ales from the Sir Christopher Hatton, a cosy traditional pub with outdoor tables for those rare sunny days. Craft beer, obviously,
So you’ve never been to Barts Pathology Museum?
Here’s our guide to the most morbid museum in London, as it opens its doors for free this month. What’s the deal? Carla Valentine, technical curator at Barts Pathology Museum, is one of the pioneers of the ‘death positivity’ movement, which holds the idea that hiding death and dying behind closed doors does more harm than good. And, true to her ethos, she and her colleagues are inviting Londoners to explore this Victorian museum where the shelves are lined with human specimens in glass jars. Sounds terrifying. How do I get in? The museum’s archive is normally reserved for the nervous hands of medical students, who practise their slicing and dicing on cadavers. But London’s morbid secret is going to be accessible to the public for two rare open days this month. So what does this museum actually have on show? One vintage organ that calls Barts Pathology Museum home is a ‘tight lacer’s liver’ from 1907, deformed by the persistent tightening of corset strings. You can also see the photographs of Mia-Jane Harris, which capture the delicate minutiae of human eyes and other wet specimens suspended in preservative. Isn’t this all a bit too creepy? Barts isn’t about indulging in gallows humour. Valentine believes that seeing these remains can help ‘open up a dialogue about death, and what happens after we die’. So get ready for some cheery dinner-table chat. St Bartholomew’s Hospital. St Paul’s. Aug 8 and Aug 22, 1pm-4pm, reserve your place here. Free. Feeling adventurous? Try
Restaurants in Farringdon
Bars and pubs in Farringdon
Cafes in Farringdon
Hotels in Farringdon
Fox & Anchor
Check in at the handsome attached boozer and you’ll be pointed to the separate front entrance for the hotel, with its lovely floor mosaic, leading to a handful of well-appointed, atmospheric and surprisingly luxurious rooms. All are different, but the high-spec facilities (big flatscreen TV, roll-top bath and drench shower) and quirky attention to detail (bottles of ale in the minibar, the ‘Nursing hangover’ privacy signs) are common throughout. Expect some clanking noise in the early mornings as the traders roll in, but proximity to the historic Smithfield meat market also means you get a feisty fry-up in the morning in the pub.