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London’s best bits: our street-by-street guide to the city

Discover great things to eat, drink, do and see on the best streets in London

Piers Allardyce / Time Out

London is a bit different to other cities. The majority of its neighbourhoods were once outlying villages, and though they may have been smooshed together by urban expansion, most of them still have a distinct character and feel that’s often focused on a single thoroughfare. Here’s our street-by-street guide to London’s best spots: local history, the best places to eat, drink and shop, and great things to do on streets all over London. For more local goodness, see our London area guides.

Central London’s best bits

14 reasons to go to Whitecross Street, EC1
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14 reasons to go to Whitecross Street, EC1

Sandwiched between busy Old Street and the culture-vulture crowds at the Barbican, Whitecross Street doesn’t often get a look-in. But it’s a bit of a shame that such a charming area is so under-the-radar, because it’s got everything a Londoner could want: dutty greasy spoons, old man pubs, chaotic charity shops, quality restaurants, a boss street food market and plenty of lovely, bomb-dodging Victorian architecture. If you’ve just arrived from its brutalist big brother down the road, Whitecross Street makes for an excellent scenic stroll. The Whitecross Street Estate, with its handsome façades and sash windows, is a lovely reminder of the area’s pre-Blitz landscape. Weekday afternoons see lunching office workers descend on one of the best food markets anywhere in London and, what’s more, there’s a proper pub that lets you enjoy your eats inside with a pint. (If it’s sunny, you can also sit in the nearby Bunhill Fields and pay your respects at the graves of three literary big dogs: William Blake, Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan.) Whitecross Street has that rare balance of craft ale gentility and lovable, down-to-earth grunginess, with its pie and mash and pale ale, fried bread and flat whites, trendy galleries and boisterous local boozers. It’s a glorious, scaled-down London in miniature, with everything in its right place. Eat this   A photo posted by @allyoucaneatpress on Aug 16, 2016 at 5:09am PDT A venison and red wine pie from Kennedy’s, a proper chippy with

15 reasons to go to Monmouth Street, WC2
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15 reasons to go to Monmouth Street, WC2

‘Monmouth Street has still remained the burial-place of the fashions,’ Charles Dickens proclaimed in ‘Sketches by Boz’, ‘and such, to judge from all present appearances, it will remain until there are no more fashions to bury.’ That was in 1836, but if Chuck D could see it today, he’d have to eat his words. Monmouth Street is now about 70 percent fashion and beauty boutiques – most of them independent, all of them great. The rest of this axis of Seven Dials is mostly for the foodies, with non-chain restaurants, cafés and shops selling all kinds of edible treats plus the street’s namesake caffeine mecca Monmouth Coffee. The first sundial pillar at Seven Dials, right in the middle of Monmouth Street, had to be demolished in June 1773 because London mobs used it as a meeting place. At the time it was one of the most dangerous streets in London, with a reputation for petty crime and murder. The area provided inspiration for William Hogarth’s famous engraving ‘Gin Lane’, a depraved street scene full of gin-fuelled Londoners causing mayhem.  Today, cobbled streets and listed buildings remain, and, with the mobs long gone, the sundial was rebuilt in 1989. The vibe is now indie haven in the West End. Oh, and we could totally imagine Dickens picking out a chic greyscale wardrobe in French-inspired boutique LOFT Design By. Drink this   A photo posted by . (@luffypiece) on Oct 9, 2016 at 1:19pm PDT An expertly roasted cup of the brown stuff from Monmouth Coffee: the ori

14 reasons to go to Leather Lane, EC1
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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,

18 reasons to go to Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1
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18 reasons to go to Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1

Lamb’s Conduit Street: what a weird name. This partly pedestrianised stretch of Bloomsbury has nothing to do with actual lambs – in fact, it’s named after a wealthy Tudor dude called William Lambe. He built a conduit, or pipe, here to supply the City with spring water, which was rebuilt by Christopher Wren after being damaged in the Great Fire of London. The street became fashionable in the nineteenth century, when Charles Dickens was a local. So it’s one of London’s more historic bits, evidenced most clearly by two Victorian pubs: The Lamb and The Perseverance, both pulling pints to this day. The Lamb still has ‘snob screens’: frosted glass partitions at eye-height so prudish middle-class drinkers could get a bit of privacy. One of the main things that sets Lamb’s Conduit Street apart is its dearth of chains. There was once a Starbucks here, but local businesses fought tooth-and-nail to keep the street independent, and that spirit has allowed an innovative food co-operative and a whole strip of luxury clothes shops to take root. The result: a perfect place to retire after a trip to the British Museum, and an excellent alternative to the West End for after‑work drinks. Come for the snob screens, stay for the old London atmosphere. Drink this   A photo posted by Sherrill (@the1764shepherdess) on Aug 27, 2016 at 5:29am PDT Wine by the glass or bottle from a studiously selected list at Noble Rot. London gin behind the snob screens at The Lamb, a treasure of a pu

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North London’s best bits

15 reasons to go to Kentish Town Road, NW1 & NW5
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15 reasons to go to Kentish Town Road, NW1 & NW5

Karl Marx and Tom Hiddleston liked it so much they chose to call it home; Mary Shelley described it as an ‘odious swamp’. Yes, Kentish Town splits opinion. But its high street – relatively unchanged despite an influx of young professionals, as well as hordes of French families who’ve come for the local francophone schools – is well worth a visit. Posh and down-to-earth versions of shops cohabit nicely: the Mediterranean food hall is still thriving, despite a health food supermarket moving in a couple of doors down, and though a couple of familiar chain cafés and restaurants have arrived, Londoners from far and wide still love the local BYOB spots. Stretching down from Kentish Town to Camden Road tube, the street crosses a whole range of classic London streetscapes: pretty mews, a canal, some grimy railway tracks and a pocket park. It’s lined with Victorian redbrick gems and the odd ghost sign to reward those looking upwards. It even has a disused tube station – South Kentish Town, immortalised in a John Betjeman story about a man trapped inside – and a late Victorian church that’s now a Grade II-listed Greek Orthodox cathedral. The charity shops here are full of high-end treasures, too. It may look like a typical, run-down London high street, but that’s not the half of it. Eat this   A post shared by Anastasia Ivanova 🇬🇧🇷🇺 (@anastasiaova) on Feb 9, 2016 at 3:29pm PST A nightly changing three-course meal at intimate BYOB Anima e Cuore. It doesn’t look like m

16 reasons to go to Regent’s Park Road, NW1
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16 reasons to go to Regent’s Park Road, NW1

You can’t afford to live here, that’s the first thing to know. There won’t be much change out of £5m for a house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t strut around like you own the place. Regent’s Park Road, which stretches across the bottom of Primrose Hill and finishes as Chalk Farm becomes Camden, is a bit famous for its celeb residents – everyone from Sylvia Plath to Gwen Stefani has shacked up round here. It also has a brilliant villagey strip of restaurants and shops to fall in love with. There’s an optician, chemist, Post Office, hairdresser, florist, pet shop and no less than three wine merchants (Bottle Apostle, Nicolas, Bibendum). Pop by for dinner, then walk to the top of Primrose Hill and marvel at the stunning view of the whole city. London doesn’t get much more romantic. The village vibe even comes with a charming local legend. For decades, a pink-painted house at number 60 had a rocking horse in the downstairs window and urban myth held that it was a condition of sale to keep it on display. Owners in the ’90s sold the gaff to Stanley (dad of Boris) Johnson but took the beloved wooden landmark with them. Johnson had another made but did the same when he sold up. The current owners don’t have a horse in the window, but they still get Valentine’s and Christmas cards addressed to the nag. Aww. Eat this   A post shared by Odettes Restaurant (@odettesrestaurant) on Jul 23, 2016 at 3:25am PDT The crisp chicken wing and curried cauli at Odette’s. Finish off

15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington Church Street, N16
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15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington Church Street, N16

Apart from having what’s probably the second longest street name in London, the best thing about Stoke Newington Church Street is its lack of tube and rail stations. That has helped it dodge the breakneck development seen down in Dalston, Shoreditch and elsewhere in the Hackney borough. Yes, it’s hip – but in the sense of people opening up decent local shops, bars and restaurants, cycling everywhere and keeping one eye fixed firmly on sustainability. That doesn’t just mean locally baked bread: there’s a cautiousness about the place, as if everyone is nervously awaiting the announcement of a fifty-storey glass box called Stoke Newington One or Delta Point N16. You get the impression that if anything too wanky opened up, the locals would be out on the street, pitchforks in hand. There’s a reason that people (actual people, not estate agents) call this place a ‘village’. That dialled-down, community-minded cool is nowhere more snugly embedded than in Church Street. There’s a handful of unpretentious yet sophisticated watering holes and cafés, a melting pot of non-chainy global cuisines, and the kind of parade your nan would love: baker, butcher, bookshop, pub. With glass balconies encroaching from all sides, Church Street may end up as the last bastion of independent Hackney. Get down there before the developers do. Eat this   A photo posted by Mol Vaughan (@mol.vaughan) on Jan 7, 2017 at 3:30pm PST Alaska maki or incredible fried aubergine from Fuji, a cosy litt

15 reasons to go to Caledonian Road, N1 and N7
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15 reasons to go to Caledonian Road, N1 and N7

Michel Foucault, the great theorist of nineteenth-century power, would have had a field day with the Cally. To Victorian Londoners, there was something about this mile-or-so-long stretch between King’s Cross and Islington that screamed, ‘Erect disciplinary facilities here!’ Formerly Chalk Road, in 1861 the street was renamed Caledonian Road after the Royal Caledonian Asylum, which had moved to nearby Copenhagen Fields. The Great Northern Hospital was here until 1884, Pentonville Prison was built just south of the asylum in 1842 and the recently closed HMP Holloway is a few minutes away from the top end. It’s a forbidding legacy, but today’s Cally Road, throbbing with the down-to-earth character and multiculturalism you’d expect from a working-class slice of London, is practically unique in leafy Islington. With cheap global cuisine, happy-hour bars and pubs, cool galleries and even a prog-politics bookshop catering to Cally Road’s sizeable student population, the area is an antidote to the artisan delis of Clerkenwell and moneyed crowds in Angel. The skint students, as well as Bangladeshi, Ethiopian and other immigrant communities make the Cally one of the most authentically ‘London’ parts of the borough. Even though the Victorian hospital and asylum have disappeared, Cally Road will always be an institution. Eat this   A photo posted by halalmapper (@halalmapper) on Aug 21, 2016 at 2:58am PDT A ‘pimp steak’ dog from New York-inspired Big Apple Hot Dogs. There 

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South London’s best bits

16 reasons to go to Streatham High Road, SW16
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16 reasons to go to Streatham High Road, SW16

Okay, a confession: Streatham High Road was once voted Britain’s worst and most polluted high street. Granted, that vote was the result of a Radio 4 poll, and whilst I’ve got big love for the 4 (shout out to my man Melvyn Bragg), its broader demographic probably isn’t that keen on south London high streets dotted with chicken shops and Asian supermarkets. But also that was way back in 2002, and London changes so fast that vast chunks of it are unrecognisable after five years, never mind 15. There are still a fair few chicken shops, but now they’ve been joined by a clutch of new bars and vibey restaurants, serving the sprinkling of new residents priced out of nearby Tooting, Balham and Clapham. Where else can you find Moorish, West African and Indian restaurants – three in a row – with Chinese, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Japanese, Spanish and good old cor-blimey-would-ya-buleeve-it British grub just a bit further down? Or a sourdough-only bakehouse wedged between Chicken Cottage and a plumbers’ merchant? Streatham is in that glorious middle stage of poshing up: the sprouts are there, but it’s still very much down-to-earth and ‘real’, whatever that means. So ignore the pollsters and the haters and visit a slice of south London on the up. Eat this A post shared by Gemma Baker (@gemlaa88) on Mar 19, 2017 at 6:11am PDT The King of Breakfasts – free range scrambled eggs with chorizo and smoked salmon – from cute Spanish place Café Barcelona. Crisp-skinned ha

14 reasons to go to Tooting High Street, SW17
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14 reasons to go to Tooting High Street, SW17

Sadiq’s old stomping ground runs right through the middle of Tooting: a multicultural slice of the city pulsing with south London energy. Among the artisan brunch spots and new cocktail bars still stand the myriad of stalls on every other side street, selling everything from bejeweled saris to exotic fruit and veg. But what’s really put Tooting on the map of modern London, apart from our mayor’s unwavering loyalty to his manor, is its food. Thanks to its Asian heritage, Tooting has long enjoyed a solid reputation on London’s culinary scene for its authentic, inexpensive curry houses. New arrivals have expanded SW17’s food culture further, with independent eateries and gourmet chains taking up residence. And Tooting’s got culture too: it was home to both spy/novelist Daniel Defoe and Britain’s first ever purpose-built cinema (the King’s Hall Picture Palace, opened in 1909), it hosted Frank Sinatra in concert and, to top it all off, birthed Matt from Busted. Despite the inevitable wave of redevelopment, the High Street remains loyal to its roots. Tooting and Broadway Markets have operated for over 80 years and long-serving local businesses continue to thrive. There’s never been a better time to explore. Just two words of advice: arrive hungry. Eat this   A post shared by The Handbook (@thehandbooknews) on Jan 10, 2017 at 3:18am PST Confit pork belly and gourmet cauliflower cheese from a kitchen-side counter stool at Plot Kitchen. Lamb chop masala at Lahore Kara

14 reasons to go to Brockley Road, SE4
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14 reasons to go to Brockley Road, SE4

Home to the city’s fast-rising grime stars, a new proliferation of upmarket flats and a rapidly increasing number of young families, Brockley is an area in flux. Nowhere is that more embodied than on the central stretch of this south-east London jewel: Brockley Road. A stone’s throw from New Cross and a ten-minute train ride to London Bridge (depending on what kind of mood the trains are in), it’s a street that’s noticeably going through some kind of phase. But for every symbol of gentrification you spot here, there’s a much-loved, long-running local favourite too. Another thing: if you think about it hard and swap the palm trees for night buses, Brockley Road is south-east London’s answer to LA’s Sunset Boulevard. Famous faces past and present have called this place home: Kate Bush used to live round the corner; a skint Chris Tarrant slept in his car between shifts teaching at a local school; and soul singer Gabrielle’s (property) dreams came true when she invested here. The jaw-dropping Rivoli Ballroom is a magnet for Hollywood film shoots: Scarlett Johansson was recently spotted there, filming a scene for the next instalment of the ‘Avengers’ franchise. Yep, Brockley isn’t just the subject of steaming hot vegetable puns. But like all healthy greens, this fun and culturally thriving patch south of the river is undoubtedly good for you. Eat this   A photo posted by Annabel (@annadorabel) on Jan 14, 2017 at 1:06pm PST The signature pulled pork bap at London Be

12 reasons to go to Hildreth Street, SW12
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12 reasons to go to Hildreth Street, SW12

Stroll up Balham High Road from the tube station and you’ll find Hildreth Street, a secret south London gem. This short pedestrianised street is blossoming into a foodie’s paradise after a facelift a couple of years ago created more space for alfresco dining. A cluster of market stalls selling flowers, clothes and veg greets you at one end, while unusual shops and intriguing eateries line either side. It’s the kind of street you wish you had in your manor. You’re bound to find posh mums and dads with pushchairs sipping lattes in the cafés – this is Balham, after all – but Hildreth Street also attracts young creative types with laptops. Perhaps because it lacks a traditional pub or cocktail bar it’s still more of a daytime location, but that’s slowly beginning to change as several businesses stretch out their opening times.  Hildreth Street shines brightest at weekends, when there are queues out the door at the popular brunch spots . ‘If you don’t want to wait, do try to get here at 9am on a Saturday or Sunday,’ one owner told us. And don’t be surprised to spend a little longer discovering the cafés and shops than you expect. Hildreth Street is a compact kind of place, but it packs in a lot more than you might realise. Drink this   A photo posted by Krissy (@kmp.1) on Nov 17, 2016 at 2:27pm PST A glass of something classier than you normally have at The Wine Tasting Shop. As well as selling bottles to-go, this friendly independent store has its own licensed bar

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East London’s best bits

18 reasons to go to Kingsland Road, E2 & E8
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18 reasons to go to Kingsland Road, E2 & E8

Between the hip hubs of Shoreditch and Dalston runs the ever-changing Kingsland Road: a 20-minute-walk’s worth of standout bars, shops and restaurants which far too many Londoners overlook as an arid schlep. Originally the thoroughfare connected London to the village of Kingsland. Then the village was engulfed by Dalston, with only the road’s name left as a reminder. And just as the area around it has changed, so had the road itself. The old manor houses were replaced by industrial buildings which have since been converted into apartments. Immigration from the late 1940s brought new cultural influences: you’ll first walk up the ‘Pho Mile’ of Vietnamese restaurants before hitting the Turkish kebab shops and Afro-Caribbean food stores. The result is a patchwork of culture and class that’s quintessential London. At some point in the last decade, the general smartening up of east London made Kingsland Road a destination rather than just a corridor. You’ll still wander past fried chicken shops, dodgy looking electronics stores and car-part outlets but you’ll also find a new bar, café or boutique store opening every few weeks. It’s far from being the prettiest road in London but it’s certainly one of the most exciting. Skip the bus and take a stroll: you might just be surprised. Drink this   A post shared by Hannah Tomlinson-Roe (@hannahtomlinsonroe) on Mar 13, 2017 at 11:49am PDT Cocktails like you’ve never drunk them before at Untitled Bar. It’s booze as a fine ar

16 reasons to go to Bethnal Green Road, E2
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16 reasons to go to Bethnal Green Road, E2

Running east from the centre of Shoreditch, Bethnal Green Road is the place to go if you fancy a goggle at east London’s transformation from no-go neighbourhood to hip heartland. You’ll spot plenty of the tensions that often accompany rapid change in a formerly working-class area, like coffee shops and cocktail pubs next door to branches of Iceland and budget homeware stores. But what’s important is that Bethnal Green Road and its environs also show London at its best. Its many watering holes run the full gamut from ultra-trendy to old-man-friendly. While Rich Mix arts centre showcases the best of local Asian and African culture, just yards away Boxpark is at the forefront of new-London cool. If there’s one place that captures the essence of the area (and London itself, to be honest) it’s E Pellicci, a genuine institution in a city that loves to overuse the term. This Grade-II listed caff not only serves up the finest breakfasts anywhere in London – I’ll personally fight anyone who disagrees – but you’re almost invariably forced to squeeze on the end of a table and chat to strangers. It’s awkward at first, but by the end of it E Pellicci manages what no edgy bar could: it makes you enjoy meeting strangers. It’s a riot of energy, a melting pot of people and the food is damn tasty: London in a glorious, greasy nutshell. Drink this   A post shared by The Star Of Bethnal Green (@starbethgreen) on Nov 3, 2016 at 11:43am PDT After-work pints at the Star of Bethnal Gr

15 reasons to go to Green Street, E7
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15 reasons to go to Green Street, E7

It’s got a bit of a rep, Green Street. Running right through the centre of Newham, this was West Ham United territory for more than a century until the team moved out of its Boleyn Ground stadium last year. It’s also been the site of football-related violence, especially against the Hammers’ traditional rivals Millwall: a 2005 film named after the street starred Elijah Wood as a wayward student who falls in with a group of notorious football hooligans. Don’t let any of this put you off from visiting: there’s a hell of a lot more to Green Street than footie and fighting. Over the past few years this has become the UK’s standout destination for South Asian shopping, beauty parlours and authentic restaurants due to its large local Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani populations. The area is home to emerging and established designers who showcase their wares in more than 400 independent shops, making it a refreshing change from your average chain-filled London high street. Green Street has a rep for something else, too: the ‘One Pound Fish Man’, a Queen’s Market fish trader named Shahid Nazir who thought up a catchy tune to entice shoppers. His song went viral and an up-tempo remix (complete with a glitzy video) hit the Top 40. Sadly he’s since been deported due to visa issues, but he’s still missed on Green Street. Eat this   A photo posted by @beccaduck on Oct 4, 2016 at 8:30am PDT Veggie South Indian fare at Vijay’s Chawalla. The family-run business has been draw

17 reasons to go to Commercial Street, E1
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17 reasons to go to Commercial Street, E1

There are three things you need to know about Commercial Street. First: it’s not the same thing as Commercial Road. The two thoroughfares almost touch by Aldgate East tube, but whereas the Road is a four-lane monster roaring out towards Essex, the Street takes a civilised swerve through some of the best eating, drinking and shopping spots to be found anywhere in London. Second: apart from a tiny bit at the top, it’s not really in Shoreditch (anyone who says it is must be selling something). With the historic market on one side and the spectacular church on the other, Commercial Street should probably have been called Spitalfields High Street when it was carved out of slums in the mid-nineteenth century. It was soon made notorious by Jack the Ripper and until very recently was best known for streetwalkers. Nowadays stockbrokers outnumber sex workers, but Commercial Street’s pitch – exactly halfway between Brick Lane scuzz and City money – makes it still as much of a place of trade as you’d expect from its name. The third thing you need to know about Commercial Street is that later this year it’ll become home to London’s first Time Out Market: a new way to discover the best of the city under one roof. Until then, here are some of the other places that make Commercial Street great. Drink this   A photo posted by Caravan Coffee Roasters (@caravanroastery) on Apr 2, 2016 at 6:40am PDT A cuppa at Café from Crisis, which helps homeless people and ex-offenders back in

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West London’s best bits

16 reasons to go to Turnham Green Terrace, W4
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16 reasons to go to Turnham Green Terrace, W4

Head west from Hammersmith, jump off the District Line at Turnham Green and you’ll step straight out on to the Terrace: a small street which links busy Chiswick High Road at one end to Chiswick Common at the other. This green and leafy road looks at first like the picture-perfect west London of a Richard Curtis movie – in fact Colin Firth’s house in ‘Love Actually’ is nearby. (Okay, and Colin Firth’s actual house.) But there’s a lot more to TGT than celebrity sightings. It’s a mish-mash of styles, both swanky and simple: the neat Victorian terraces and slightly grim office blocks face a run of small, single-storey shops. As well as being home to Chiswick’s pram-pushers, yoga mat-carriers and media types, Turnham Green Terrace has nurtured a healthy brood of independent businesses. There are cosy, candlelit wine bars, fancy gift stores and restaurants, a tiny pub theatre and a coffee shop with a basement full of pinball machines – as well as some traditional butchers, bistros and delis. You’ll also find a smattering of the obligatory high street chains: it wouldn’t be west London without a local Sweaty Betty, after all. But in this busy street the Oliver Bonases of the world are outnumbered by independents, and it’s a rare and lovely sight. Drink this   A photo posted by Chief Coffee (@chief_coffee) on Dec 15, 2016 at 2:28am PST An ace flat white from Chief Coffee, before heading downstairs to the basement pinball lounge. A large glass of pinot noir at Hack &

14 reasons to go to Kilburn High Road, NW6
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14 reasons to go to Kilburn High Road, NW6

Flogging Molly once sang that they were the ‘Kings of the Kilburn High’, but if they visited now they might have to rename themselves the Kings of Pizza (and Pubs). Kilburn High Road mercifully isn’t the bloody battleground the Celtic punks depicted, but a smorgasbord of boozers and eateries. Unlike the nearby Edgware Road there’s not a shisha bar in sight, but there are plenty of places to stuff your face. KHR doesn’t have the leafy smugness of its southerly neighbour Maida Vale. Instead it’s the geographical equivalent of a weatherbeaten Londoner with plenty of tales to tell. It’s even got some celeb stories:  Zadie Smith is a fan of its everyman charms, Charles Dickens reportedly drank in one of the boozers and Ella Fitzgerald sang in the Grade II*-listed Gaumont State Theatre, an imposing art deco creation that’s since been converted into a bingo hall, then a church. Ian Dury formed his first band here, inventively naming them Kilburn And The High Roads. Until recently we’d have recommended you visit the Carlton Tavern, a pub that survived the Blitz – but sadly it didn’t fare so well when dodgy developers came and knocked it down last year, despite not having planning permission. They’ve since been ordered to rebuild it brick-by-brick, so if you’ve got time, pop by and see how they’re getting on. Drink this   A photo posted by Ricardo Pipa (@rpipa) on Aug 20, 2016 at 2:31pm PDT A craft beer at The Old Bell, which prides itself on offering 70 different ales

14 reasons to go to King Street, W6
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14 reasons to go to King Street, W6

First things first, there’s no regal connection here – it’s named after John King, a seventeenth-century Bishop of London. But King Street reigns supreme in the realm of (more humble) west London shopping streets. Tattier than Chiswick High Road but buzzier than Shepherd’s Bush Road, what this mile-long stretch lacks in cool it makes up for with retail credentials. There’s not a single third-wave coffee shop or concept store in sight. Instead, it’s packed with bargainous high-street staples and seriously sparky independents. Then there are the restaurants. Oh, the restaurants… Dotted between the chain joints are some real neighbourhood gems. Anyone living within walking distance is quite right to be smug about their situation. However, with not one but three tube lines pulling into Hammersmith, it’s easy enough to reroute your night and grab a seat at one of King Street’s global dining establishments. A special shout-out (mainly for its name) has to go to Credit Munch, a low-key sandwich bar that’s essentially King Street’s spirit animal. A new development of homes, offices and a Curzon cinema could soon take the area from unassuming to in-yer-face, but here’s hoping my beloved strip retains its gritty charm. If you like shopping at a snip, ogling brutalist concrete and eating and drinking like a king – well, you’ve found your domain. Drink this   A photo posted by The Salutation (@the_salutation_hammersmith) on Jul 1, 2014 at 6:23am PDT A good ale at Grade II

12 reasons to go to Kensington Church Street, W8

12 reasons to go to Kensington Church Street, W8

This is the forgotten street of not-so-wild west London. The street that you walk up when you get lost looking for Notting Hill Gate, or walk down to find High Street Kensington. It’s the geo-glue in the middle, holding the two together, where proper old-money types mix with organic, biodynamic, wheat-and-dairy-free fashionistas. Kensington Church Street is an old part of town from a simpler time, way before Richard Curtis managed to convince the world that Hugh Grant was just an innocent spluttering boy being seduced by a girl in a flat which would cost bazillions in reality. It’s eccentrically posh, like Withnail’s Uncle Monty but without the harassment – camp, fun and welcoming to the odd young lush. Even Madonna once set up home here, and for good reason. Not only are there 13 antique shops within about a mile radius, there are also beautiful pubs and flowers everywhere – and (unlike Madge) KCS doesn’t take itself too seriously. A few years ago you could find a shop here flogging real suits of armour for your ‘Scooby-Doo’ castle; now the street has done whatever the opposite of gentrifying is and the top brekkies are served by a Welsh Scouser. It all adds up to somewhere that you can use to impress visiting parents, American friends and mates with a fear of going west. Eat this   heavenly brunch 🍳☕️😌 A photo posted by ᴀʟᴇxᴀɴᴅʀᴀ ʟᴀɪʙʟ 🌿 (@alaibl) on Apr 15, 2016 at 4:15am PDT   Blueberry pancakes with bacon at Ffiona’s. Run by Ffiona herself, it ha

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