Holborn starts at the western boundaries of the historic City of London, and its central location makes it a popular place to work. But that also makes it a great place to play. Holborn restaurants serve a range of international cuisine, from Korean to North American. The bars and pubs in Holborn comprise some of London’s most historic hostelries as well as cutting-edge drinking spots. The shops in Holborn tend to be independent places that specialise in unusual stock. Where else can you buy an umbrella with a hickory crook when it unexpectedly rains on your way to the office?
What are your favourite Holborn haunts? Let us know in the comments.
The best bits of Holborn
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,
Five historical things to look out for in... Holborn
Katie Wignall from Look Up London takes a look around Holborn. This often mispronounced area of London gets its name from 'Hol' (middle English for hollow) and 'Bourne' (a brook, probably referring to the now-subterranean River Fleet). Wedged awkwardly between the West End and The City, Holborn was a borough in its own right, but after 1965 it merged with St Pancras and Hampstead to form the borough of Camden. On High Holborn you can spot street signs from the past and present. You also might want to look out for these sights the next time you're in the area: Photo from Look Up London 1. St George's Church Steeple, Bloomsbury Way Built in 1730, St George's Bloomsbury probably has the most unusual steeple in London. A lion (representing England) and a unicorn (for Scotland) are locked in an eternal chase around a stepped pyramid, symbolising the contemporary political climate. There had been a Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 and the newly instated Hanoverians were feeling shaky, which is why England and Scotland are presented fighting for the crown. These symbols would've been well known at the time because of the popular nursery rhyme: 'The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown, the lion beat the unicorn all around the town'. The sculptures were removed in 1871 by Victorians scared that the unstable steeple would cause them to come crashing down. The originals are now lost but the current (10ft-high) ones were carved by Tim Crawley in 2006. Nice job, Tim. P
Restaurants in Holborn
Bars and pubs in Holborn
Hotels in Holborn and Bloomsbury
The Bloomsbury Hotel
If you’re looking to really immerse yourself in the refined Bloomsbury experience, then this upscale pad might be just the thing. The Edwin Lutyens-designed neo-Georgian building houses 153 rooms that blend luxurious textiles and classic British furniture with high-tech mod cons such as Nespresso coffee machines, iPod docking stations and heated floors in the Italian marble bathrooms. The Bloomsbury Club Bar celebrates the golden age of cocktails, in line with the 1920s/30s emphasis throughout, while the Dalloway Terrace is a relaxing spot for afternoon tea.
The perfect weekend in Holborn and Bloomsbury
Love London Awards: last year's winners
Like many of the venues around the Japanese Embassy, Ikeda is old school. No self-respecting businessman would have any qualms about bringing clients here, and a meal with the in-laws wouldn’t go amiss either – but a raucous party is probably out. The decor is inoffensive but just a little bland; the staff are affable, turning out the same mix of efficient but unintrusive service since 1978. The highlight is a ringside seat by the tiny open kitchen, where sparklingly fresh sashimi, light, crisp tempura and numerous other classic dishes are produced. A lunchtime set of well-shaped nigiri was served traditionally on a wooden block. Leaner-than-average slow-simmered pork belly with Japanese mustard and boiled, rolled spinach (buta kakuni) yielded easily at the prod of a chopstick. More unusual was a prawn tempura dish, where the shellfish was rolled with cha soba noodles in nori before getting a second dipping in the batter and oil. Like the ambience, the lofty prices also fit the Mayfair location. But consistency is the order of the day here, so come in the sure knowledge that you’ll get a decent meal.
Venue says: “Located in the heart of Mayfair, Ikeda is a traditional Japanese restaurant, serving up cuisine in an exclusive, fine-dining setting.”