Summer’s around the corner which means the sun might just come out. Some of these places will look even prettier then and Londoners seem to come alive by the good weather (as I have witnessed by the heatwave). Here are a list of some of my favourite aesthetic places to eat or drink, or places that I have yet to go to.
1. Southbank Underbelly Festival
Until September 30, the festival is one of the best places to grab street food and witness an array of shows, from cabaret, circus or children’s entertainment. For the adults, if even ‘features one of the largest outdoor bars in London’.
The aesthetic screams summer, with towering cartoon-esque flowers, lawn chairs and the London Eye illuminated in the background, it’s one of the best places to take pictures. Although, it’s popularity may make it a difficult for you to take a photo without people in the background, the amount of people and vibrancy of the place makes it impossible not to enjoy it’s liveliness.
More information here!
2. Camden Market
If you live in London and you haven’t been to Camden Market, what are you doing?
Usually seen as the more eccentric of boroughs, Camden is one of the places to go to eat, chill, shop and escape from the bustling centre. It’s line of vintage shops, bars and live music makes it incomparable other areas. The huge market, sitting alongside the river, is only illuminated in the summer. If you’re a food lover, you’ll find any and all types of food here. The prices are also reasonable, ranging from delicious Chinese takeaways for £5 to the famous ‘The Cheese Bar‘ restaurant.
Dress up or dress down, everyone is welcome in Camden.
3. Kingly Court
Great aesthetics? Definitely. Variety of food? It’s there. Grab an açai bowl or burgers, find this hidden gem in Carnaby.
4. Eat By Chloe
Located in Covent Garden, this chic restaurant is popular not only for its vegan food options, but its it’s modern and trendy decor only helps to get people flooding in. Don’t be fooled by its plant-based menu, some of the biggest meat lovers I know praise this restaurant. Some even go as far to say that their burgers, made using ingredients like sweet potato and lentil, taste better than meat. Try it for yourself, and take some sweet instagram photos while you’re at it.
You can find ‘Grind’ bars pretty much anywhere in central London, each aptly named to their location. London Grind, located next to London Bridge, is a suave restaurant/bar, ideal for catch-ups over brunch or drinks. Sister locations include Holborn Grind, Soho Grind and Shoreditch Grind.
Tip: Download the Drinki app for a free Espresso Martini and discounted drinks!
Another bar you could get a free drink at (using Drinki), the Foundation Bar turns into a fun ‘underground playground’ at night, serving . If you like secret spots and need a mellow, but sociable place for you and some friends, I suggest going before 9pm and grab a pizza with wine, or maybe one of their eccentric cocktails.
As for photos, they want you to take pictures – there’s even a bathtub (don’t ask me why but it’s great nonetheless) and screen to capture your selfies! If you find there’s a cue at the bathtub, don’t worry because there’s a little cave of mirror’s in the bathroom and the wall’s act as a vivid background.
7. Chinatown: Plum Valley and Bubblewrap Waffles
I know there’s like 459783245 restaurants in Chinatown, but Plum Valley’s matte black exterior makes the joint stand out in its gaudy neighbourhood, reflecting its sleek interior. If you’re looking for decent, affordable food, this dim sum joint may be the one.
What’s previously taken Facebook and Instagram by storm are the street desserts, ‘Bubblewrap waffles’. You might have seen these treats being held up with the blurred Chinatown arches in the background, but the snacks infusion of a crispy shell enclosing the nectar of ice cream makes the craze understandable.
8. Hay’s Galleria
This quirky, but historic area features cafés and shopping areas, but I love it for its palatial architecture (that’s why it’s my blog’s header). Instead of wanting to sit inside the cafés, you’ll want to be sitting outside, admiring the charming construction and you may even get a view of the river.
Want breakfast at 3pm? Breakfast Club (as in the name) offers an all-day breakfast menu, making it feel like a social club as you’re invited to sit alongside strangers. You don’t necessarily need to make conversation with them, but it’s friendly atmosphere makes it easy for you to socialise. Be warned, its very cozy and a tight space, but the postcards on the wall and the spirited chatter should make you feel right at home.
Choose from ‘salted caramel banoffee pancakes’ – if you’ve got an insane sweet tooth – or an All-American breakfast if you want to be stuffed, the Breakfast Club was one of the cutest places I’ve been to.
10. Borough Market
This area holds a special place in my heart, probably because my student accommodation is so close to it. But the bustle and cheerful spirit of the market makes it a London landmark. Although it is a bit pricey, the fresh smell of paella, curry, pasta and pastries wafting and transitioning as you pass each stall becomes instilled in your memories.
The market sells fresh, organic food ranging from goat’s milk ice cream (it was sublime and I am craving it as I write this) to Ethiopian Flavours, you have an endless choice of stalls and restaurants to choose from. The countryside setting in the morning takes you away from the rush of the metropolitan even with the shard glaring at you from above; as the light fades it transforms into an intimate gathering, with Londoners loosening their ties after work with laughter hanging in the air.