Tuesday, 21 January 2014

London Lifestyle Part 2: Borough Wonderland

Borough Market is one of my all time favourite haunts. Seated right by the river just two minutes from London Bridge, it is a gastronomic wonderland. Be prepared to come here with an empty stomach and a full wallet, only to leave with the two reversed. However, despite being a bit pricey, it is well worth exploring. The market itself is packed with an endless number of options from shrimps to champagne, and each time you go you will always find something new you just have to try.

On Stoney Street itself there a fair few restaurants including one of my faves, Black and Blue, a delicious steakhouse.

You can stand under my umbrella-ella at
Vineopolis in Borough Market
Right opposite it is Vinopolis, a large restaurant and bar that they have split into several smaller rooms. There's a wine bar, a gin bar and a pub with its own on-site micro brewery. There's also a great outdoor seating area, complete with cover from an unexpected downfall with the array of umbrellas suspended above your head.

Keep walking down towards the river past the beautiful Southwark Cathedral (a must see in the evening when lit up), and you will suddenly be confronted by a pirate ship.

If you don't fancy climbing aboard for a pirate complete with eye patch to show you round (seriously, he even puts on the oooh arrr accent and everything), then skip on past it and enjoy a drink right on the river thanks to the decking by the Thameside Inn, a pub that always somehow escapes the endless tourists and never seems too busy.

Round the corner is the Anchor, unfortunately it doesn't quite escape the crowds as much as the Thameside Inn as it's quite popular more often than not on any weekday or weekend evening. However it is well worth heading there for at least one or two drinks at some point, as it also has a huge terrace out the front on the river and the pub itself is gorgeous with lots of tiny little rooms that feel like private bars. 

From here you can explore the Southbank and it's numerous entertainments, as well as the Tate museum and the Globe theatre. It can be a great choice for a cheap or even free day out, with lots of live performers and plenty of free exhibitions at the Tate.

Along the Southbank itself is a fantastic selection of boutiques, offering an array of gift ideas and unique products, including artwork, jewellery, homeware, clothing, and books.

There is always something new on offer on what seems like a daily basis, and it couldn't be better for those on a budget as you'll be spoilt for choice between the market samples and the performers offering entertainment as you stroll along the river. So if you're looking for a day out that's easily accessible in central London, but want to avoid the west end-style crowds and extortionate prices, look no further than Borough and the Southbank.  

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