How To Experience London Like A Local
Want to know how to experience London like a local? Look no further. From authentic London pubs, to venues with the best views, the city’s most popular restaurants or the local’s favourite bars, here’s your guide to experiencing London like a true Londoner during the summer months.
Where to go
- Hyde Park – With it beautiful parks, lakes and meadows, it’s no wonder that Hyde Park is such a hit with the locals during summer. Whether you’re going for a run, walking the dog, tucking into a picnic or enjoying a bike ride or simply tucking into an ice cream, Hyde Park is the perfect spot for a peaceful summer afternoon during the summer months.
- Portobello Market – If you want to shop like a real Londoner, head to Portobello Market. Swap the chain stores and retail giants of Oxford Street in favour of vintage clothes and retro boutiques. From second hand vintage buys to one of a kind pieces by new and up and coming designers, Portobello Market is a real London treasure, and is a great way to spend a sunny morning looking for vintage treats.
- Borough Market – Famous for its vast selection of food, offering everything from fresh fruit to exotic meats, Borough market has something for everyone. As London’s oldest, busiest and most popular market locals flock to the market to purchase fresh produce and mouth-watering snacks from across the globe. As the weather gets hotter during the summer months Borough Market becomes increasingly popular with the locals, who all head down to explore the market in the sunshine.
- St Katherine's Dock - As London's only Marina, St Katherine's Dock is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. With a selection of shops, bars and restaurants, the Marina is a hidden gem amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy city, and is often frequented with locals coming to enjoy a peaceful lunch in the sun, or to simply admire the yachts that are docked on the Marina. As a slightly less well known area of London away from the usual tourist attractions, the Marina is a particularly popularly retreat for locals during the summer.
Where to eat
- Meat Liquor – With no reservations and large queues, it’s evident that Meat Liquor is incredibly popular. With great burgers, better cocktails and loud music, Meat Liquor is a cross between a restaurant and a club, and for that reason attracts large crowds of locals every Friday and Saturday.
- Flat Iron – If you’re a fan of steak, then Flat Iron is the place for you. Leave fancy and pretentious expectations at the door, and step into a restaurant that offers incredible juicy steak for just £10. As you might expect Flat Iron is incredibly popular, so make sure you get there early to avoid two hour queues.
- Inamo – Aside from its excellent selection of Sushi and Asian cuisine, Inamo’s selling point is definitely its interactive ordering process. With interactive menus on your table, diners can use their hands to order their food and drinks, and even check on the status of their food with the interactive chef camera. Combining both great food and fun dining, Inamo is a regular haunt of local Londoners.
- Red Dog Saloon – Located in London’s quirky Hoxton, Red Dog Saloon is popular with locals seeking a hearty, barbeque feast. With a relaxed and casual vibe, the restaurant offers a great selection of American style barbequed ribs, wings, fried chicken and burgers, alongside malt milkshakes and cocktails. Not for the faint hearted, the restaurant even offers food eating challenges, which requires participants to sign a disclosure before taking part..
- The Breakfast Club – A real London gem with a twist, the Breakfast Club is a must visit for anyone visiting or living in London. With breakfast being served until 5, this is the perfect restaurant for those that want good, reasonably priced food, served against the backdrop of classic 80’s memorabilia. With a secret bar downstairs accessible with a secret password, turn lunch into a night out..
Where to drink
- The Lamb & Flag – At 300 years old this pub wins the accolade as being the oldest pub in Convent Garden, and as a result, is largely popular with locals and tourists alike.
- B.Y.OC – Standing for Bring Your Own Cocktail, that’s exactly what you do here. Simply pay £25 per person and bring a bottle of your favourite spirit, and sit and enjoy while a barman will make you personalised cocktails for two hours. From fresh syrups to homemade juices, the cocktail options are limitless.
- The Ship – Located alongside the Thames, The Ship is without a doubt one of London’s most popular pubs. With an outdoor barbeque kitchen and live music, the Ship attracts a young and lively crowd and is busy all weekend long from Thursday night to Sunday during the summer. Particularly during the summer months visitors have decided it's the perfect place to read a book on a sunny afternoon on the outdoor terrace.
Where to experience the best views
- Madison’s Rooftop Terrace – Located directly opposite St Pauls Cathedral, Madison’s rooftop terrace is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch during the summer. Offering a great selection of cocktails, bar food, and most importantly views of the London sky-line, Madison’s is never short of locals soaking up the sun on the outdoor terrace.
- Sushi Samba – Although it’s not the cheapest of the venues listed above, for those that love Japanese food and are looking for somewhere to soak in the views of London, Sushi Samba is one of the best places to visit during the summer. Situated on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower, the bar and restaurant has an outdoor terrace that offers 360 degree views of the city, and a great spot for catching some rays.
- Radio Rooftop Bar – Resting on the 10th floor of the quirky ME Hotel in the Strand, the Radio Rooftop Bar is very popular amongst the younger generation. Featuring live dj sets on Friday and Saturday nights, many flock to the Radio Rooftop Bar to enjoy the music and incredible views of Tower Bridge, The Shard, Houses of Parliament, and Somerset House on summer evenings.
From the local's favourite restaurants to the best sunbathing spots, try and tick off as many of these hot spots as possibly to make sure you truly experience London like a local.