London Recommends Flora Explorer
Planning a holiday in London but feeling slightly intimidated by all the attractions on offer? We asked Flora Baker, who blogs as Flora the Explorer, if she could make some expert recommendations to help you organise your break.
There’s a range of advice on offer, from the best snacks and restaurants to must-see landmarks and top tours. So, sit back and take five minutes to learn the best-kept secrets of London!
Hi Flora - what local snack would you recommend to a friend?
Definitely not a street vendor hot dog! There isn’t really a street food snack culture in London except for the occasional festival, but Brick Lane in East London is well known for its salt beef, mustard and pickle bagels, which can be found around the clock at two neighbouring bakeries.
Which city sight-seeing tour would you recommend?
I’d recommend the City Sightseeing London tour.
Which café would you recommend to a friend and why?
The Pavilion Café in Victoria Park is set against a lake and is housed within a beautiful little ornamental pavilion. There’s delicious hot food, cakes and coffees on offer.
- Address: Corner Old Ford Road, Victoria Park, London, E9 7DE
Which museum would you recommend to visit and why?
The Natural History Museum is a childhood favourite of mine - it’s filled to the brim with thousands of animal and plant specimens, plus huge skeletons of some of the world’s biggest mammals and even the occasional animatronic dinosaur.
- Address: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD
Which landmark would you recommend to visit and why?
Walking around central London via any one of the bridges is a lesson in London history. Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and the River Thames – all within a mile radius of each other!
Which local pub or bar would you recommend to a friend and why?
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of London’s oldest pubs, rebuilt soon after the Great Fire of 1666 and open ever since. The entire establishment is comprised of narrow corridors and twisting staircases - it completely feels like you’ve gone back in time.
- Address: 145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU
Which nightclub would you recommend to visit and why?
Cargo is a nightclub under the railway arches in Shoreditch. It hosts a variety of different live music events as well as DJ sets, and is a firm favourite for the East London crowd.
- Address: 83 Rivington St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY
What souvenirs would you recommend to buy?
A hamper of tea from Harrods, or a selection of decadent biscuits from Fortnum and Masons.
What local delicacy would you recommend to try?
A plate of fish and chips in a local pub, accompanied by a pint of locally brewed lager. Can't go wrong!
What is your personal recommendation of something to see or do? A best-kept secret known to locals?
Walking along the canals in East London, or exploring one of London's many big parks. People often think of London as a very expensive city, but there are hundreds of completely free activities, many of which are based around walking and the outdoors. As long as the weather's good, that is!
For an alternative take on the best London attractions, read our expert recommendations from Hidden London writer, Russ Willey.
Ready to start planning your city break itinerary? It’s easy – just combine these insider tips with even more activities and attractions in London