We’re letting the cat out the bag as StyleNest roundup the capital’s more secret and splendid unknown London hotspots.
Bored of your usual London haunts or planning a trip to the capital but want to dodge the dreaded chain restaurants and contrived drinking dens? Well we’ve done the hard work for you, seeking out London’s coolest and most covert hotspots, from family friendly pizzerias to stealthy speakeasies.
Here’s how to do London in style.
The House at Clissold Park
Clissold Park, Hackney
Clissold Park in achingly trendy N16 doesn’t get nearly as much praise as it should. With a deer park, huge paddling pool, tennis courts and adventure playground it’s Saturday afternoon’s answer to keeping the whole family happy. But it’s Clissold House that’s the park’s pride and joy – a renovated Grade II listed mansion house that has been stylishly transformed into café. Eat seasonal salads, warm soups and homemade cakes all at extremely reasonable prices.
The House at Clissold Park, Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 5HJ
Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria
Please hungry other-halves and little fusspots alike at this cheerful family friendly restaurant. Everyone loves pizza and Portobello do it rather well from the failsafe Margherita to more adventurous Vesuvio Clazones. Their brilliant kids set menu makes ordering all the easier too. One trip here and we promise it’ll become a favoured family haunt you’ll return to time and time again. Perfect for midweek meals or little one’s birthday dinners with the family.
Portobello Ristorante Pizzeria, 7 Ladbroke Road, London W11 3 PA
020 7221 1373
Soho’s Secret Tea Room
Above one of the West End’s most famous watering holes, The Coach & Horses resides this secret tea spot. Sip a cup of char and nibble on some homemade cake to the sound of 40s gramophone jazz. The perfect spot for a laidback hen party, baby shower or girly catch-up, Soho’s Secret Tea Room is a quiet haven amongst the hustle and bustle of Central London.
Soho’s Secret Tea Room, Upstairs at The Coach & Horses, 29 Greek Street, London W1D 5DH
020 7437 5920
Just a stone’s throw from one of East London’s biggest eyesores – the Old Street roundabout, you’ll find a discreet wooden door sandwiched between a greasy spoon and a kebab shop. It’s not sounding very glamorous is it? Well inside you’ll be led down a darkened staircase to find a speakeasy style bar and jazz venue. This debonair drinking den serves up decadent cocktails in humble teacups and silver tankards whilst live music plays into the wee hours. A word of warning: the mixologists aren’t frugal with their liquor, so go easy on the cocktail menu.
The Nightjar, 129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB
020 7253 4101
The Mall Tavern Chef’s Table
Notting Hill Gate
Chef’s Tables are usually restricted to Michelin Starred restaurants so when we found out one of our favourite West London pubs were offering the service we could not be more excited. The Mall Tavern’s chef will dream up a surprise menu for you and your guests as you sit right in the thick of it in the kitchen. Perfect for unique birthday celebrations the table sits up to 10 guests. Let’s just hope there’s no Ramsay-style effing and blinding. Be warned, once you try the Cow Pie you’ll be hooked.
The Mall Tavern, 71-73 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill Gate, London W8 4RU
020 7229 3374
The Island Queen
Islingtonites have been keeping this unique pub quiet for years but we thought it necessary to spread the word. Inside you’ll find hanging birdcages, ornate statues, worn leather sofas and tropical plants making it feel more like a twenties gin palace than your average local. It’s also the only pub in the British Isles to bare the name The Island Queen – proving it really is one of a kind.
The Island Queen, 87 Noel Road, London N1 8HD
020 7354 8741
Experience a little corner of France in North West London’s idyllic Primrose Hill. Serving up the Gaelic classics from French Onion Soup to Duck Confit, as well as deli food in their quaint café and a good strong coffee; L’Absinthe is one of our favourite places to waste away a Saturday afternoon.
L’Absinthe Restaurant, 40 Chalcot Road, London NW1 8LS
020 7483 4848
06 St Chad’s Place Bar & Restaurant
Amongst the chain pubs and restaurants of tourist nightmare Kings Cross, lies this little gem of a pub-come-restaurant. Hidden away down a cobbled alley off Gray’s Inn Road, you’ll find 06 St Chad’s Place. Once a derelict mechanic’s workshop, this stylish space was saved from ruin by architects Squire & Partners and now serves up delicious food and drink form 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday. In the summer, sit outside with a plate of tapas and a pint of cold local ale.
06 St Chad’s Place, London WC1X 9HH
020 7278 3355
Click here for more Days Out ideas in London.