Time flies and London2ofakind is already 1 year old! No better idea to celebrate our baby blog than digging into our first year of discoveries. Restaurants, galleries, bar, pop up, musical, exhibition, walks in the borough, we love London, its diversity and its permanent renewal. It’s a hard choice to select our favorite addresses but also a good exercice and definitely an emotional moment to remember everything we shared the two of us. We hope you will like our – utterly partial – list and we can’t wait to discover which is you preferred place.
Best district: Stoke Newington
Let’s be frank, we almost love all the boroughs. At every corner of a street, in front of a loft, a Georgian house, a mansion or a Victorian building, Charlotte usually says ‘I want to live here’… Nevertheless, this charming village of Stoke Newington gathers everything we like: green spaces – among them: a Victorian cemetery -, trendy addresses, the excellent pizzeria l’antica da Michele, some famous pieces of street art and a chilling atmosphere.
See the full review of our afternoon there
Best place for a week day lunch: Aster in Victoria
This French-finnish restaurant combines a deli, a bar, private living rooms, a casual restaurant and a more classy restaurant upstairs. The food is excellent (incredible home made smoked salmon) but it’s above all the interior design made by the studio Russel Sage (Dishoom, the bounce) that seduced us.
Best gallery: The Photographers gallery
Located in Soho, this dynamic gallery renews very often its exhibitions, enhancing both young and senior talents all over the world. Even if there are some artist’s tributes, the gallery focus more on transversal exhibitions dealing with societal topics.
Best place for a fancy Sunday: Tom Dixon, shop and restaurant, Portobello dock
I am a grand admirer of this designer (since his partnership with Marcolini, the belgian chocolate maker) and I love this place! Overlooking the docks – yes you also have a terrace -, the lunch area offers a fine mediterranean food and a grill menu. The design is obviously perfect. Downstairs, do not miss the shop and the workshop, the sales people are really nice and it’s worth to discuss with them. A nice walk along the canal will perfectly conclude your Sunday.
Best park: Holland Park (free) / Kew gardens (paying entrance)
How could we resist to the Japanese garden located in Holland Park? And to the pleasure to spend an hour or 2 in the new Design museum? This west park is a must-see, accessible to everyone. Even if you have 30 minutes, it’s worth to have a walk.
Nevertheless, the most impressive park was definitely Kew gardens. It’s farther, you need more time (3 hours minimum) and you have to pay…but it’s a beautiful ‘out of London’ break. A castle, a botanical garden, an Orangery, a treetop walk, a forest path…I liked everything and I am sure it’s even more impressive during Christmas time.
Best Live music bar: Oriole
I am perhaps not totally objective as the bar is close to my home…but If I could I would spend all my evenings there. Wether with your parents, trendy friends or your colleagues (I tried all the options), this jazzy bar decorated in a Prohibition style will please everyone. The overnight programming is excellent – with no charge from Sunday to Tuesday – and the cocktails are the most surprising than I have ever tried. Plan some time to decipher the cocktails list.
Best musical: Phantom of the Opera
I am working on a article ‘top 5 of the musicals in London’ and believe me I’ve worked hard on the topic! One year was not enough to cover all the musicals that London has to offer. Nevertheless, until now the one which made me emotional and which really fascinated me it’s still the Phantom of the opera… These delicate lyric voices, this incredible decor, the ‘actors’, everything is an absolute beauty.
Best exhibition: David Hockney at the Tate Britain
We were totally seduced by this english artist and the direction of the exhibition at the Tate Britain. They have successfully mixed paintings, photographs and videos to trace the english and american career of the artist. It was full of joy and colors, and for us it was the exhibition of the year.
Best fun walk in London : Street art in Shoreditch
Ok it’s obvious to like Shoreditch and its atmosphere and above all, its street art but as it is a changing and evoluting canvas, it’s always a good idea to go for a walk there to discover the latest street art. And if you need some tips on the good adresses in the area, check this.
To sum up, this year of blogging was full of discoveries, tasting, walking, chatting, laughing and wonderful feelings! It has been an incredible experience of sharing: sharing together (Marine and Charlotte) and sharing with you. London is such an inspiring city so, we’re sure this adventure is just the beginning! Let’s celebrate our first birthday, and cheers to another year!
Marine & Charlotte