From Amsterdam to London by train in just 4 hours!

A few days ago the new Eurostar train arrived at Amsterdam Central station, where it continued its way to London in just 4 hours.

The train was filled with VIP’s for now, as the train made its first ever direct trip to London and back. You need to wait just a little while (until the end of April to be exact) until you can board the new Eurostar. Are you ready for shopping in London, check our 3-day London Guide!

The train speeds up to 300kmh and will eventually take around 4 hours to get from Amsterdam to London. Previously there was an extra stop in Brussels where you needed to get your passports checked, and this takes around 1 hour extra. Eurostar was planning to change these international agreements a while ago, but apparently this took a little longer than expected.


The comfort of train travel

Reasons to travel to London by train

  • It’s better for the environment
  • You arrive in London’s city centre
  • It’s comfortable and easy (no long waiting lines, easy check in, comfortable seats)

Tickets are already made available to buy, and are as cheap as €40,- for a single fare. Book early if you want to catch this cheap fare though. Sure, taking the plane is faster, but not so great for the environment, and if you have a fear of flying (like I do!), this is such a great option!

See you in London baby!

Love,

Elke

Looking for Off the Beaten Track destinations?

3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday

Are you also looking forward to the upcoming holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

If you want something different this year, we can recommend the following cities as the perfect get-away during the Christmas period.

1. Paris

The city of love; even more with all the Christmas decorations. Paris is the perfect city if you’re looking for a romantic weekend. Highlights are of course the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum (free admission for people under 25), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Centre Pompidou, Panthéon and Sainte-Chapelle. The most romantic part of town is the Montmartre district, with its cozy, little, cobbled streets with lots of art studios and its beautiful Sacré-Coeur. If you have enough time to go outside the city center, the Palace of Versailles is definitely worth a visit. You can spend all day wandering around the palace of Louis XIV, the house of Marie-Antoinette and the amazing gardens. And, if you want to get back to your childhood, you should go visit Disneyland! A Paris Visite Travel Card for 1 day is € 12,85 for the city center or € 26,95 to include destinations like Versailles and Disneyland.

montmartre-in-christmas-ambiance
Montmartre in Christmas ambience

2. London

Looking for a good place to do all your Christmas shopping? London (check our 3-day city guide) is the place to be! By plane you can get there in 1 hour, but there are also a lot of bus companies that offer a 1-day trip. For an easy tour around town, you can catch a hop-on hop-off bus and see all the highlights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. If you want to explore the city by yourself, you can best take the Tube (Metro). You can buy a Day Travelcard (£12,10 for travelling in the city center) or a so-called Oyster card; this card costs £3 and you can put as much credit on it as you want/need. Don’t forget to pass by Harrods which is amazing during the Christmas period.

harrods London
Harrods London (source)

3. Berlin

Berlin is a city with a lot of history and is therefore a city you should definitely see. Basically, you can go there all-year-round, but in the winter it has an even more special vibe because of all the Christmas markets. You can find most of them around Alexanderplatz. Definitely go for a Glühwein or Currywurst here. If you’re interested in the history of this city, there are some places to visit next to the well-known highlights like The Wall and CheckPoint Charlie. Quite interesting are for example the museum The Story of Berlin, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, and the ‘Berliner Unterwelten. Needless to say, that the best way to travel around town is by S-bahn and U-bahn (a one-day ticket for the city center costs €7,-).

brandenburger-tor-in-christmas-ambiance
Brandenburger Tor during Christmas 

There you have it, 3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday. Where will you go this year?

Love,

Dionne

SEE LONDON IN THREE DAYS

London is a city that’s ever changing when it comes to restaurants, clubs and other hotspots. Time for an updated city guide!

Because most people visit London for a long weekend, we’ve created a guide that you can use if you only have three days to see London. Don’t worry, the options are endless!

How to get there

Thankfully, you can now easily travel to London by train. As we would have normally flown over, we decided to give the train a go, which is better for the environment and more comfortable. From Amsterdam it only takes 4,5 hours. The best thing is that you arrive in the middle of the city centre! Tip: Buy yourself an Oyster Card at the train station, this way your can easily check in and out, plus you travel with a discount.

London Tube


Where To Stay

ibis Styles Southwark London

During our most recent stay in London we stayed at ibis Styles Southwark. ibis Styles is actually the hip and creative sister hotel of the well known ibus hotels and rooms are available to book for as little as £199,-. Yes, it’s London people, you’re not going to get anything for a better price at a top location like this one. The reception setup is spacious and welcoming with lounge chairs and a bar. 

Reception ibis styles

The whole hotel has a broadway theme which makes it fun and colourful! It was the first time we stayed in Southwark and we can highly recommend it! Around the corner you’ll find many nice eateries and bars like the Iron Flat Square, a hub of food stalls and bars that is open every day of the week. Next to that you have the London Borough Market around the corner which is a must visit! From the hotel, you can also easily walk to the Thames River and see the Tower Bridge. Book your stay here. Curious about our ibis Styles stay in Paris? You can read it in our Paris Guide!

Collage ibis Styles Southwark
Our spacious bedroom, the breakfast room and Flat Iron Square around the corner


Where to Eat in London

Honestly, where do we start! London is full of hotspots, but there are only a few I will mention. We all know Sketch by now, so you won’t find that one on this list. These are our favourites!

» Circolo Popolare
They’ve been open for a few months and it’s almost impossible to make a reservation. Luckily, we managed to get a spot but make sure you reserve on time. Once inside you won’t believe your eyes, what a place! It looks like something out of an Italian fairytale with flowers hanging from the ceiling and the walls covered in drinks. We would have expected hyped places to lack in taste and service but Circolo Popolare completely swept us of our feet. The service for one was amazing and the food..don’t even get us started. We ordered a salad which was big enough for two and a freshly oven baked pizza. Tip: Definitely order one of their inventive cocktails and the tiramisu was the best we have ever tasted.

Circolo Popolare London

» Seabird
Like ibis Styles, Seabird is also located in Southwark. This wonderful rooftop restaurant has an amazing outside terrace overlooking the city of London. They serve a wonderful selection of seafoods with Spanish and Portuguese influences, including 15 different oysters! The inside looks like a decor created in Tulum, which includes a bar where they create amazing cocktails served in tropical animal glasses. seabirdlondon.com

Seabird terrace London
The amazing terrace of Seabird

» GBR London
If you wanna go posh, plus British, you need to visit GBR. Situated in The Dukes hotel, it’s British food at it’s best. The interior is classical British with a James Bond vibe. Furthermore, the staff is lovely and are happy to accommodate you with special requirements. They also offer all day dining and a killer high tea, so if you’re up for some great British flavours, you should check it out. www.gbrrestaurantslondon.com

» Ping Pong
It was there 10 years ago, and it’s still good. Ping Pong is an Asian Fusion restaurant with incredible dimsum dishes. It’s great for lunch and even better for dinner. Don’t forget to order the Jasmine flower tea, because it’s an actual flower opening up in the clear tea glass. 

» Saint Aymes
This place is good for pink latté’s and your instagram account. The outside is such a treat with the pretty (fake) flowers. 

» Elancafe
Again, a wonderful place for your insta feed. The walls are covered in roses and the interior features marble tables where you can perfectly pose against the rose wall. Oh, this place is also famous for it’s cakes and great looking coffees. (almost forgot about that part!) 

» Camden Lock
I used to work in Camden Town and this area is a food Walhalla. There are many international food stands with delicious, homemade foods and vegans can go crazy here. Rumer has it, that you can find the best vegan burgers here.. www.camdenmarket.com

Camden lock, London City Guide
Vegan food at Camden Lock

» Pachamama Bar & Kitchen
They serve a killer Peruvian lunch, brunch, dinner and create wonderful cocktails. 

» Farm Girl Café
They are a holistic Australian farm café with delicious (and healthy!) foods. They are based in Chelsea, Soho and Nothing Hill. Make a reservation to avoid a fully booked café. 

» Boxpark Shoreditch
It’s been around for a few years now, but if you like to try quality streetfood, you should eat at Boxpark. There are options enough to fill your tummy and you can go shopping after that (then again, maybe before is better, otherwise you might not fit those new pants) Check here for the latest food stands.

» Duddell’s London
Located in the historic St. Thomas Church in the heart of London Bridge, minutes from Borough Market, Duddell’s London is offering an authentic and delicious Cantonese cuisine. Just look at the interior, wow! The dim-sum here is hand-crafted and the cocktails are Asian-inspired. 


Duddell’s London


Where to Shop
Shopping in London is something that you can’t get around. Depending what your taste is or how much you want to spend, there are options for everything. We’ve highlighted our personal favourite shopping districts and added a few that you just have to see for yourself.


Shopping in London’s high street

» Oxford Street
It’s the largest and longest shopping street in London. You will find all the commercial brands here like ZARA, Mango, Nike, H&M etc. Also check out the shopping mall Selfridges. It’s amazing!

» Knightsbridge
This is for the Chanel lovers among us. Big brands show off their impressive shopping windows and you can find Harrods here, the topnotch shopping warehouse that is worth checking out, especially the food hall and the toy kingdom.

» Camden Town
One of my favorite shopping area’s in London! It used to be a horse stable market so you will find many alleys and secret corners here. It’s great for bargain shopping and you can find local goods, weird stuff, plus there is even a crazy techno/house store which you need to check out, it’s like walking into a club!

» Carnaby Street
This street is full of amazing shops! Some are boutique, others are more mainstream like Adidas or Superga. Sneaker lovers should check Carnaby Street!

» Boxpark Shoreditch
There we have the boxpark again! Yep, this place is well worth checking out for speciality clothes and unique items. I bought some glitter socks there, I mean, what a catch! Read our full Shorditch Guide!


What To See & Do

Like New York, London is a city where you can’t get bored. There is lot’s to see and do, but to narrow it down, these are my personal tips.

» Visit Some of London’s Parks
London is greener than you might think. There are several parks to choose from besides the famous Hyde Park. Primrose Hill, Regents Park and lesser known Hampstead Heath are my favourites. They are more local and offer stunning views and nature. If you are in Primrose Hill, make sure you walk into the neighbourhood and check out the coloured houses.

Primrose Hill London

» Sky Garden
I didn’t manage to go because I forgot to make a reservation but if you do have the time, visit the Sky Garden. Stunning views over the city with an indoor tropical garden. Entrance is free but you need to book a time slot. They do accept walk-ins after 6pm during the week. skygarden.london

Bonus » If you like gardens, check out Kew Gardens. It’s about 30 minutes travel from Central London and their Victorian glasshouse just opened. See over 10,000 plants in the world’s biggest glasshouse. www.kew.org

» Coal Drops Yard
Currently, it is the place to be. Hip and happening with restaurants, cafés and business all tucked into one. Find out what’s it like.

Coal Drops Yard

» Covent Garden
What’s not to love about this area. Street theater, live opera singers, musicians, local goods, shops, restaurants and a market. Covent Garden is the place I never skip when I’m in London.

» Museum in London are free!
Oh yes, they should do this anywhere in the world don’t you think? We love the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and The Victoria & Albert museum.

Neill's Yard London
Neill’s Yard, near Covent Garden

Whale skeleton Natural History Museum

We hope you are able enjoy London in three days! After all, it was Elke’s “home town” for many years. Let me know if you’ve used our tips, we’d love to hear it!

Love,

Wander-Lust

PECKHAM | South London’s hippest hangout

In the last 3 years, Peckham has made a serious name for itself as one of the hippest postcodes in London. From its many destination rooftop bars to vast array of go-to restaurants, Peckham is a vital weekend hangout.

It’s seen a huge level of gentrification which paves way to a rough-and-ready meets not-to-be-missed appeal, aided by narrowly missing out on the top ten coolest neighbourhoods on the planet as voted by Time Out. There’s been a lot of investment, in fact, Peckham library won British architecture’s highest accolade the Stirling Prize. Many of its old buildings and car parks have been turned into trendy spots, which brings the community together through creativity and urban realness.

Peckham London

For anyone not familiar, Peckham is for the strong-willed.

The majority of bars here are outdoors so layers are needed; there’s a lot (a lot, a lot) of food markets on the high street meaning that the smell of fresh fish can linger; and plenty of graffiti – this is South London, after all, mate. But don’t let this put you off – there’s plenty to see and do…

Libary Peckham, London

Peckham Levels

For the ultimate Peckham experience, visit Franks Cafe. Sadly it’s a seasonal destination only – open between May and September. Located on the top floor of Peckham Levels, it’s an open-air bar at the top of the converted car park. The pilgrimage up the six flights of stairs (all painted in shocking pink and glowing blues) gears up visitors for an enchanting experience. With views of all of London which means you’re best to wile your afternoons away there in anticipation of one of the best sunsets in town. On the contrary, in winter months the rest of the floors in Peckham Levels (the six stories underneath Franks Cafe) are well worth a visit.

   

From Near and Far, a tropical themed drinking den guarantees a great time on a Saturday night. If you’re hungry between cocktails you can grab a bit to eat at one of the indoor street food stalls. There’s live music, ping pong tables a yoga studio, hair salon, art installations and night club with Modern Love Stories.

Bussey Building & Copeland Park

Further down the road is the Bussey Building. Complete with a rooftop cinema, the Bussey Building is a multi-use former cricket bat factory converted into a venue. As well as the cinema, there is also a rooftop bar. This one is a fun and quirky place to enjoy a well-rounded menu of drinks. The rest of the building allows you to pass by for a ceramic class in Kiln rooms. There are co-working spaces, a basement club in a record store in. You can visit artists and their galleries to marvel at locally produced art.

Peckham London

Copeland Park is home to K-ink the tattoo studio, Forza Win – a delightful Italian restaurant and a cross fit gym. Quite the mix of activities to keep you occupied. Copeland Social is probably the most popular bar here. It has something of a cult following amongst the local hipsters. With this in mind, bag yourself a picnic bench outside if you’ve brought enough layers and soak up the vibes. You’re also likely to find a pop up vintage shop or travel fair in the area as well in the industrial warehouse adjacent to the Social.

Peckham Rye Train Station

The main way in and out of Peckham is through it’s Victorian-era train station (though there are plenty of bus routes as well). The surrounding area to the station building is home to many of the neighbourhoods most frequented spots. Cole Rooms is located within the former station ticket office, and so is part of the Grand II listed building and is an outstanding dining experience. Refined yet relaxed, their menu is imaginative with dishes cooked in a charcoal grill and oven. Around the corner is Levan – with a spot-on menu of seasonal and inventive food in a relaxed setting. Bag yourself a seat at the window to watch the world go by. with a natural wine (their wine list is also spot on).

Coal Rooms Peckham | London

The outstanding Forza Win has opened a second location atop of the new Workplace on Peckham High Street. Named Forza Wine – it’s a wine bar built for stunning views from its 5th floor location on top of Market. Likewise, a new cowering space with studios and hot-hot-dusking families as well as a ramen bar and basement music venue – it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Peckham Rye Station.

Still in need of inspiration?

  • Bar Story 

Happy hour cocktails and beer as well as sought-after thin crust pizza. What’s not to love about this place located within a railway arch. The industrial vibe is only added to with the sound of overground trains above you every 5-7 minutes.

  • Peckham Springs Bar 

A covered outdoor bar just behind the railway lines. Notably, this multifaceted space is for the cool: a winter garden for anyone that loves an al-fresco drink over cool weekend nights with a well-priced cocktail bar. Additionally, performance spaces and an art gallery keeps regulars and visitors coming back for more.

  • Peckhamplex

The most successful independent cinema in London, every movie is £5 so is quite the hit with the local population.

  • Pedler

Haring places, gin cocktails, seats at the bar: quite a riot of fun.

  • John the Unicorn

Whimsical and inviting, this is a craft beer haven for those walking along the high street. With a late night licence on weekends, it’s a hip-hipster hangout.

Good to know: Peckham Rye station has great links to Clapham Junction, London Bridge and Shoreditch High Street on the Overground.

See you in Peckham soon?

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries. Follow her on Instagram

Read more of London’s hotspots here!

Coal Drops Yard | London’s newest place to be

Kings Cross has a few claims to fame – it’s known for platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) and for being the gateway to the continent as the home of the Eurostar Tunnel. Having recently had a £100 million investment, the area has been reimagined. Particularly the Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square area.

Set amongst Victorian-era buildings (two long former coal sheds and one granary building), the area is steeped in history. With humble beginnings set firmly during the industrial revolution the area originally served as a coal dispensary. Fast forward a century, the Coal Drops Yard has been used for film sets and hosted some of the biggest rave parties in London before it was repurposed into a multi-experience destination. 

Coal Drops Yard

Complete your culinary journey with a cocktail on the terrace bar at Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard

Your every day spot

Billed as a modern-day public gathering spot, dining options are a plenty! Whether you’re after a grab-and-go coffee, a mid-afternoon aperitif or a casual dinner with friends. Barrafina is worth a look in especially if you’re on the lookout for a perfect lunchtime tapas menu. Daily specials serve up fresh produce but it’s the pureed beetroot gazpacho with quail’s eggs that are one of the highlights. Another hot spot is Coal Office – a food and design playground offered up by chef Assaf Granit and British Designer Tom Dixon. You best book ahead at Parrillan as this is one of the most popular hotspots which won’t disappoint due to its stunning views of Regent’s Canal.

Parrillan London
Source: Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard | Wander-Lust

Combining shopping, culture and culinary options that now stands triumphantly in North London.

Artisanal, independent and luxury shops aim to appeal to all consumers who come by. Brands such as APC, Aesop and Bonds. But it’s concept store Wolf and Badger which takes the gold medal with carefully selected home-wear, need-it-now fashion and accessories. The store also boasts a florist, cafe and raw juice press. The top floor also offers up Michelin starred Hicce – a meat-lovers paradise with food cooked over holm oak charcoal. Sit inside for an atmospheric meal or outside if you’d like to watch the world pass by.

Florist Coal Drops Yard

Nearby Coal Drops Yard

In addition, stumble out of Coal Drops Yard and you’ll meet the impressive Granary Square which has also undergone somewhat of a makeover in recent years. Home to Central St Martins art college, the area is frequented by the well-dressed youth of London. During warm weather, the paved area becomes a play area with jets of water rising from the ground keeping everyone cool. Nearby, you can grab an ice-cream and sit on the steps for some people watching. And if the weather permits a morning yoga class is also sometimes on offer here too. Furthermore, if you’ve room to eat, Caravan serves up an impressive dining menu as does Granary Square Brewery. But it’s The Ligherman which offers up a perfect al fresco experiencing with panoramic views from all three floors.

Coal Drops Yard London

Coming soon..

But also, Kings Cross is set for even more change in the coming years, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Modern, luxury housing programs are popping up offering state-of-the-art living solutions. Not to mention, the Standard Hotel is opening up its first European outpost in the area too later in July. Google HQ will open here next year, and Universal Music recently moved in too making it fast-fast-becoming one of the most creative areas in London. Find out more about Coal Drops Yard here!

Love from London,

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries. Follow her on Instagram

The Shoreditch Guide | London

Quite possibly home to one of the coolest streets in London, Shoreditch is that rare gem of a neighbourhood that fuses ye-old London Town with a ‘right here, right now’ sensibility. Shoreditch High Street is where the main hustle and bustle is taking place. Spending a day here guarantees top quality breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktail options. The adjoining side streets will delight and distract you with temptations coming from an eclectic range of boutique shops, hotels and other look-in spots.

Shoreditch Guide

If you’re an early riser then look no further than Albion – a trendy all-day British cafe, bar and grocery shop which sits as part of the Boundary Project Hotel. Famed for its simple yet delicious food the menu delivers seasonal produce and artisan ingredients. The grilled sweet potato plate with English feta, avocado and spinach will keep you well stocked for the day ahead and is quite the pairing with a Mimosa. Take a seat outside and watch the world go by – the locals here have a distinctive dress sense which will surely inspire.

Shoreditch London

Shopping

Looking to lighten your wallet and hit the shops? You have plenty to choose from here. Firstly, the quirky interiors emporium House of Hackney hits the spot for anyone looking for bold prints and exotic patterns. Secondly, Pam Pam is a womenswear clothing and lifestyle store and is a must visit for any millennial looking for a new sneaker. Finally, A.P.C. and Aesop also have outposts here that invite you in to wish up your Christmas list.

Shop Shoreditch, London

For something a bit different Barber & Parlour is a space to shop and relax in while also specialising in grooming for men and women. Owned by the famed Soho House Group (Shoreditch House occupies the building opposite). This casual-cool establishment offers everything from hairdressing to beard grooming, massages and mani/pedis all available on a walk-in basis. Their onsite cafe serves up an all-day breakfast and brunch menu and stellar cocktails. While the Electric Cinema in the basement gives audiences a unique cinema-going experience. Mainstream, independent and world cinema, you can find it here.

Street Art

Shoreditch also delights visitors and locals alike with its vibrant graffiti and street art scene. If you’re looking to discover more behind this once taboo art form, The Alternative Walking Tour of East London will help you discover the past and present of this cultural and creative hub through an illustrated and fascinating adventure.

Shoreditch, London

Kick start your night at Pizza East with rustic hand-made pizzas served in an atmospheric hall-like environment. This popular joint is situated in a former tea warehouse. With daily-changing specials and wood-wood-oven pizzas, this is a must visit. The veal meetball pizza on their a la carte menu ticks many a box.

Pizza East, Shoreditch
Pizza East

Other recommendations

To cram into a day out in Shoreditch include: Box Park – a pop-up mall for independent and global lifestyle store and street-food options with a difference. Each vendor is housed in a shipping container. Dishoom – is always worth a visit – is a beautifully decorated Indian brasserie with a bohemian feel and incredible menu. If you’re there for breakfast try the Bacon Naan Roll, you won’t be disappointed. The Ace Hotel has an outpost further up on Shoreditch High Street and delivers a premier hipster hotspot with working spaces, stylish rooms and the ever-popular Hot Polloi restaurant. East London also offers some very nice rooftops, so when the weather is nice, go up!

cafe in Shoreditch

In conclusion, Shoreditch embraces an ever-changing culture. Step in and experience life as if there wasn’t a care in the world. If you’ve got anywhere from an hour to a full day to spare in this city, head along as soon as possible.

Love from London,

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries and pretty corners whenever she has the chance. Follow her on Instagram

The 3-day London Guide is here!

3 days London City Guide

The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London

Outdoor drinking spots where you can actually catch some sunshine are rare in London. But when you know your way around you’ll find some hidden treasures all around the city. East London has a couple of the best outdoor vibes for the weekend, enjoy the sunshine, creative vibes and this list of the best terraces and rooftops in East London.

People’s park tavern
360 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7BT
In Victoria park lies my absolute favourite beer garden: the people’s park tavern. It’s so much more than just a garden, situated in the beautiful park. The tavern hosts mini golf for the kids, has an amazing BBQ going on, and on the weekends it’s the best place to enjoy some live music and chat with some locals. Oh. And did I mention it’s HUGE?

peoples-park-tavern, The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London
Isn’t it huge?

Pub on the Park
19 Martello St, London E8 3PE
London Fields just off Broadway market is one of the few parks where you can actually have a BBQ in London. You’ll find loads of twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings chilling with their mates on a sunny day here. The Pub on the Park with their big terrace overlooking the park is the perfect spot to enjoy the weekend and get a bit of colour.

pub-on-the-park, The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London

Boundary rooftop
2-4 Boundary St, London E2 7DD
In the centre of Shoreditch, east London, you’ll find my fave street; Redchurch street. This street has a great selection of shops, street art, cool cafe’s and the hidden rooftop bar at Boundary where you can enjoy the sun all the way until it goes down.

boundary-rooftop, The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London
Boundary Rooftop. Source

The Aviary
10th Floor Montcalm Royal London House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
This cool new hotspot just off Liverpool street station just opened it’s doors a couple of months ago. The decor has the ultimate Instagram factor, the view is stunning and the roof terrace brings you back to a beach bar vibe with a sophisticated style. There’s an outside bar and the sofa’s and chairs are so comfy that you never want to go home…

aviary, The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London
Stunning views at The Aviary

Netil 360
1 Westgate St, London E8 3RL
Cool workspace, cafe, restaurant, outside movie theater… Netil360 has the whole package of the East London creative scene. They spent months revamping the rooftop bar and on the 1st of April doors opened again, check it out because it was definitely worth waiting for and belongs to the one of the best terraces and rooftops in East London.

The Best Terraces and Rooftops in East London

Colombia road on Sunday
Ezra St, Bethnal Green, London E2 7RH
Not necessary a terrace, but Colombia road should be on this list. There’s a sunny little square on Ezra street, just off the flower market. Pop into the royal oak for a cold one and just chill on the street listening to some live bossa nova by street musicians to complete your perfect Sunday.

royal-oak|
The real East London vibe at Colombia Road

Love,

Jantine

*Jantine is a hip hop & cheese enthusiast and a city girl with a love for everything local. After having explored everything there is in Amsterdam while living there, London became her new playground. Her best days are spent exploring the city off the grid, into neighbourhoods where you can eat, drink, dance and chat with locals and become one yourself. She will write for Wander-Lust on a monthly basis where she will tip you about the places to be in London!

Spiritland London | Where music and food comes togehter

Described on their website as “an early morning to late night celebration of food, drink and music”, there is little else to add that better describes Spiritland, a new venue in London’s Southbank district. Part owned by the team that brought London the popular contemporary British dining hall Canteen, Spiritland is not to be missed. It’s a unique experience that is intimate, inspiring and ideal for any time of the day.

spiritland sign

Food
A breakfast brunch menu, lunch menu and dinner menu all promise sumptuous tastes that are unapologetic twists on classic dishes and for full disclosure this review is based on brunch. If you’re after a spin on the British breakfast staple of porridge try the Brown Rice which is cooked with soy, banana, miso and yuzu caramel. It’s brilliant, achieving the perfect balance of sweet and savoury at the same time. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Kale Saag Aloo Hash with poached eggs also hits the spot quite nicely. Topped off with cappuccino or Kombucha respectively, it’s little wonder that with combinations like this brunch is the most important meal of the day. 

Menu at Spiritland London

Food at spiritland london

Be sure to come back for lunch, pre-theatre cocktails and a late-night dinner if the opportunities arise – DJs play until 2am.

Brunch at Spiritland
Brunchtime!

Spiritland food

Drink
Let’s leave it at: they have a 110 bottle of wine selection and quite the tempting cocktail menu which makes it rather difficult to leave this plush venue, regardless of the time of day.

Interiors and Experience
In case it hadn’t been obvious by now, music is as equally at the heart of this restaurant as the food. Their debut space in Kings Cross is renowned for their world-class sound system and, given that this new location in the Southbank – underneath the world famous Royal Festival Hall (the performing arts venue) – this is no exception, the speakers are bespoke from Living Voice. A DJ booth plays focal point within the 180-cover restaurant and each bathroom booth even boasts its own sound-system.

Spiritland

interior Spiritland

Spiritland is the kind of place that invites you to soak up the atmosphere, its casual dining at its finest.

Spiritland London

Part Wes Anderson inspired (think 1970s chic executed in a contemporary and inviting way) and designed to embody a recording studio as well as a restaurant (which further emphasises their fascination with music) it’s fitting to think of Spiritland as a homage to music fused with food. You can watch the chefs at work while you browse the menus which offer adventurous, modern tastes from chef Moondo. Maximizing guests acoustic experience, there are subtle nods to recording studios with ceiling pads and sound-proof décor too. And, to further flatter their Royal Festival Hall location, there’s additional nods captured within the interior such as the theatrical velvet curtains. Album playback sessions, artist talks, and guest DJs are all a part of the schedule of events and I’d recommend that you look them up in advanced as they’re not to be missed.

In the wildly-impossible possibility that you’re still hungry and fancy a breath of fresh air, a food market is on the door step, offering every-imagining of food and drink and dessert too.

Spiritland
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London
Underground Station: Waterloo, Northern Line 
Brunch can cost from £25 for one course and a coffee for two people.
Website / Instagram

The Avocado Show will open a pop-up restaurant in London this March

Grab your phone, set the date, and empty your photo gallery. You are in need of some space when the popular Avocado restaurant is going to wow London with their green and healthy creations.

What to expect
From March 11th till 24th, the infamous Dutch Avocado restaurant will touch down in London’s Bluebird Chelsea for two weeks only. They will be serving 5 of their famous dishes including the Instagrammable Avo Garden, The Bun Burger, and The Benny Boy.

Bluebird Chelsea
Bluebird Chelsea Source

The Avo Burger Bun

Sustainable?
The avocado show received a lot of questions regarding their Avocado’s and that it may be healthy, but not always sustainable. Because of this, co-founder Ron Simpson traveled to South America to see with their own eyes, if their avocados are produced in a sustainable way. They made a short documentary that you can watch here.

The Interior
Besides the green on your plate, you can also expect a lush green interior at the London Avocado Show pop-up. Bluebird Chelsea is known for it’s lavish dinner parties and stunning terrace, is the perfect spot for the Avocado Show pop-up. We told you that you had to make space on your phone didn’t we?

The Avocado Show

The Avocado Show Pop-Up
Bluebird Chelsea
350 King’s Road, Chelsea
London, England
Website

Happy Avocado eating this March!

Elke

Brickwood Coffee & Bread in London » Brunch at it’s best

As any brunch aficionado knows, there’s no place not worth going to if it doesn’t have at least a ten-minute queue outside. And one such place is Brickwood Coffee & Bread.

Weekend culture in London is accepting that you’ll need to queue for your brunch – but see it as a positive that you’re building up an appetite. But as you wait outside, the red tin-sheeting exterior is a bright beacon on a gloomy day for those in need of a pick me up. Situated on a bustling, pedestrianised street in the heart of Balham in south London, Brickwood’s popularity attracts a Saturday and Sunday morning crowd. Mostly made up of twenty-somethings including a mix of hipsters (although, not the devastatingly cool kind that resound in East London); yoga and gym bunnies and buffs (who are looking to stockpile on pre- or post- workout protein); and occasionally (if you’re lucky) there’ll be the local resident who brings their dog for you to ogle at, too.

Brickwood Coffee & Bread London

A Coffee Lovers Idyll
Brickwood was founded by Australians and prides itself of bringing a taste of Australia to its four locations in the capital (aside from Balham, there are also spots in Clapham, Tooting and Streatham) so you can expect Tim-Tams on the shelves but what keeps punters coming back is the coffee. While not exclusively from the land down under, their Brickwood Blend expresso fuses beans from Tanzania, Rwanda and Brazil for a sweet aftertaste.

Coffee

Famed as much for their brunch as their coffee, the menu offers a run-down of everything you’d want to kickstart your day with. My go-to is the Kamara: sourdough toast, topped with kale pesto, pumpkin seeds and diced sweet-potato – feta cheese and a poached egg come as standard on top too if you have dietary requirements. The Breakfast Burrito is also favourable with its pulled pork, scrambled eggs, potato hash, avocado, and sour cream tightly wrapped up in foil. Grilled sourdough toasties also sit on the counter as you walk in and hit the spot if you’re feeling fragile.

Banana Bread 2.0
If there’s room left, Brickwood’s instagrammable showstopper is their Banana Bread 2.0. Their original Freshly baked banana bread was a must-have in its own right: grilled and served with a creamy expresso butter, but some genius rethought the concept and added a fresh-berry compote as well as mascarpone to create the updated version.

Brickwood lunch
Source

The décor has a low-key charm made up of wooden clad walls and coffee sack ceilings which makes for a relaxed setting. Tables are either high-level with wooden tops and metal bar stools. If there’s a group of you, you may be able to bag yourself a booth in their extension which opened last year. And the end result? As fairly priced as you’d expect for zone three within the capital, a brunch for two will hover around the £25 mark.
The area boasts a handful of eateries serving similar menus including rival brunch mecca Milk, Brother Marcus and Gails.

Brickwood London interior

Brickwood Coffee & Bread
11 Hildrith Street, London
Website / Instagram

Love,

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries and pretty corners whenever she has the chance. Follow her on Instagram