9 of Londons Hidden Gems
Following the success of last year’s Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, our beloved capital city is a more popular tourist attraction than ever before. However, if you’ve visited London a few times and are looking for something a little more obscure or less well-known to visit, then here are some of our top hidden gems to go and explore.
1. Chelsea Physic Garden
Stylish Chelsea has a lot to offer visitors in terms of gorgeous cafes and boutique shopping, but did you know about its Physic Garden? This enchanting walled garden was founded in the 17th century by the Apothecaries’ Society.
2. Kew Gardens – Chinese Pagoda
Although Kew Gardens itself is well-known, the 163-foot tall ten-storey Chinese Pagoda within its grounds is less so. William Chambers designed the pagoda in 1762, which is unusual because it has an even number of floors, whereas Chinese Pagodas normally have an odd number.
3. The Icecreamists
This trendy ice cream parlour describes itself as a mix between a boutique and an ice cream parlour and offers a whole host of quirky ice cream flavours, with cryogenic cocktails also available. Claiming that they are “liberating the world, one lick at a time”, you’ll find The Icecreamists in Covent Garden.
4. Champagne Brunch
A Champagne Sunday Brunch at the Landmark London, one of the top luxury hotels in London, is something that really shouldn’t be missed. Our unique brunch gives you unlimited champagne and a high quality buffet from 12.30 until 3pm.
5. The Albion Pub
As the oldest operating pub in London, you’ll find the Albion in Islington. Great for a sunny day because of its large beer garden, if you’re around on Sunday, also be sure to try its award-winning Sunday roast. You’ll probably need to book a table before you come, however.
6. Sunday Upmarket
While London has many markets of different kinds to offer, this one, at the Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane, is where you can find some really unique pieces, including vintage clothing, one-off jewellery pieces and handmade hats. There’s also the chance to try some different cuisine, with vendors offering Spanish, Ethiopian and Caribbean flavours, among others.
7. VV Rouleaux
Keeping with the shopping theme, this shop on Marylebone High Street sells all kinds of crafty goodies to allow you to make your own handmade items. From ribbons and tassels to fashion accessories, this is a Pandora’s Box of delights.
8. Renoir Cinema
Situated not too far away from the British Library, this cinema specialises in French art house films plus other films from the new world. With just two screens, there is only room for 500 people, but if you can’t get a seat, don’t worry – the bar is worth a visit on its own.
9. Brixton Windmill
London was once a cluster of several pastoral villages, and this fabulously restored windmill is a great reminder of that. Open in the afternoons several days a month from April to October (usually at weekends), you can go on a free tour, which is best booked in advance.