“Stage Jazz Palace 2017 -_IMG6494” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Fabrice Plas
There’s a reason so many people dream of moving to London, and it’s not always for work. London adventures always lead to new discoveries. There are places with so much history and character that make you want to know everything about the city. There are events and venues nowhere else in the country could replicate. Plus, it’s so big and colourful, there’s something new to do every day. For tourists who want to see the true London, and for residents who long to see more: here are some ideas for you.
Pizza Express jazz
Imagine the famous dough balls and Romana pizza that make this UK pizza chain so recognisable, and combine that with live jazz. Nowhere but London does Pizza Express host jazz. Downstairs in the basement of their Soho restaurant, tables and chairs surround a stage which different performers grace every night. It’s not the most well-known venue in London’s gig scene, but this well-kept secret is one pizza and jazz lovers alike won’t want to miss.
Stepping Stones of Greenwich
Spirituality is a concept increasing numbers of people are keen to get a grasp on these days. In this modern world, you can link up with mediums, clairvoyants, Tarot readers and astrologers anytime and anywhere, using sites online like TheCircle, where there’s a wealth of information to be found as you seek a connection with a suitable reader. But if you’re really curious about these kinds of things, there’s nowhere like Greenwich in London for exploring them in person. On the main street, there’s a small shop called Stepping Stones, full of Buddhas, dangling chimes, incense, meditation CDs and more goodies. They also host workshops, sports massage, reiki and psychic readings. It’s a little hub for all things spiritual and we thoroughly recommend it.
London is huge, no one would ever want to walk it, right? Well as much as you might not want to walk Greater London from end to end, there is a good way to walk around and sightsee – the Monopoly walk. You can go between all the different London destinations of the classic Monopoly board, typically starting from Old Kent Road and ending at Fleet Street. On the route, you can tick off destinations like the Tower of London as the prison (although you might struggle to find free parking). It’s a 15-mile walk in total, so it’s a full and active day out, but you’ll see a whole range of London stops and it will be a confusing insight into what the maker of Monopoly was thinking when they chose stops like ‘Vine Street’ for their world-famous board.
“The Tower Of London_London_Apr13” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Ian Halsey
An old car park converted into creative workshops and a new cultural destination aiming to bring communities together, this space is used by small businesses to help them grow, and by artists and creative people to work. One business is The Kiln Rooms, which helps aspirational potters hone their skills. From a visiting point of view, Peckham Levels provides shops and eateries for everyone to enjoy, while in turn helping the community get their new products and businesses off the ground. Have you seen anywhere like this in any other city?
Everyone knows London is a hub for arts and culture, events and activities, but equally, it’s easy to get stuck in a bubble and not explore new areas. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of the cool city you’re part of and try something new.