London at night

There’s this scene in Friends. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, the sentiment still rings true for most of us.

The main characters are lounging in their favourite New York coffee shop, where they spend seemingly most of their time. At some point, someone mentions some of the more cultural things going on every day outside in the real world and the comment is made “man, we really don’t make use of living in the city”. Sound familiar? We all get stuck in our groove sometimes. But if you live in London – or if you’re planning a visit – there’s some offbeat capital culture that you can find ONLY in London. Don’t miss out.

Markets Markets Markets

Forget your old fruit and veg stall. Forget someone selling watches out of a suitcase. London lays claim to in excess of 10 world class marketplaces, including vintage stores, boutiques, flower markets, and food markets. Spitalfields Market offers something for everyone. Showcasing traders and artists under one roof, this high energy seven-days-per-week nerve centre has its finger on the pulse of fashion, food and drink, arts and crafts, and events. Looking for a great place to spend a first date? Looking for a last-minute gift? Looking to get out and meet interesting like-minded creative people? Come on down.

Visit the Sky Garden

You probably know it as the Walkie Talkie. Located at 20 Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden sits 35 stories above London at the top of this iconic (albeit walkie-talkie looking) London skyscraper. There’s a lift to the top, of course, and refreshments on sale among the trees and foliage gathered from around the world. The best part? It’s absolutely free. See London as you’ve never seen it before, with exotic plant life and delicious food and drink on hand. That’s the life.

Time for Tea

What could be more quintessentially British than a cup of afternoon tea? Well. I’ll go one better. The original Twinings tea shop is still standing and open for business – complete with the original 300-year-old façade. Step back in time and sample the delights of fine tea drinking at the shop’s state of the art Loose Tea Bar. There are even a pick and mix section that’s ideal for treating the tea lover in your life to something special. Still, want more? Why not sign up for a masterclass in crafting and brewing your very own signature blend.