A Londoner’s guide to London

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If you’re coming to brand day, after dark and Sunday, then I’d say your weekend is pretty much covered. We’ve got loads planned to keep you entertained!

For meals and those of you that want to forgo your weekend lie-in and explore, we thought we’d make some suggestions to get you started.

Travel.

If you’re using London Transport at all, your best bet is to get an ‘oyster card’, a reusable ticket that looks like a credit card.  The idea is you put down a £5 refundable deposit then ‘top up’ the card with money (at stations and some newsagents) and ‘tap in’as you get on a bus or enter and exit a tube.  It’s easy when you know how and gives you travel at half the cash price. Keep it for your next trip or get your deposit and left over cash back before you leave town.

Eating:

Our venue is in the heart of Hoxton.  Two minutes from the venue is Stoke Newington high street, from there you can go left to Shoreditch and the infamous Brick Lane, or right to Dalston and Stoke Newington.

  • Hoxton aka ‘Little Vietnam’ has a great selection of restaurants on our doorstep.  We like ‘Viet Grill’ for their great selection, bargain prices and killer table sauces.  http://vietnamesekitchen.co.uk/
  • Anyone wanting to treat themselves could head to Beagles, next to Hoxton Station.  They do fantastic quality Modern British. http://www.beaglelondon.co.uk/
  • Maida in Shoreditch offers a selection of Indo-Chinese food from a Halal menu a 10 minute walk away http://maida-bethnalgreen.co.uk/
  • Dalston has a great selection of Turkish restaurants, and Michelle who used to live there never found a bad one!  Choose a street style café for cheap eats or try the kitsch Stone Cave http://www.stonecave.net/ Dalston also has a Nando’s. KFC, Chinese and more.

Shopping.

Here’s our top spots:

  • Camden is an alternative shoppers paradise, great for window shopping, people watching and food too.
  • Brick lane and Shoreditch at the weekend offers uber cool fashion and accessories.  It might not be great for plus size fashion but soak up an atmosphere for inspiration. They have a ton of vintage shops and small designers selling their wares on the market.
  • Between Oxford street and Marble arch tubes is high street heaven.  Just be prepared to fight for space.  Here you’ll find Evans and Primark flagship stores, a big monsoon, a big Anne Harvey, House of Frasier, Debenhams, Marks and Sparks, and all the straight size biggies.  Check out ‘Beige’ who stock designer plus size brands like Anna Scholz. http://www.beigeplus.com/shops/
  • Stratford has Westfield, a massive shopping center with Forever 21, Evans H&M and new look.
  • Covent Garden is great for shoes, boutiques and has ‘Base’ http://www.base-fashions.co.uk/

Nights out.

If you know what you like, find your thing in Time Out London.  It carries listings for most tastes.  Personally, I recommend staying away from the west end… it’s overpriced and very commercial.  If you’re staying east, there’s something for everyone in the trendy area of Dalston, Stoke Newington and Shoreditch.  We’d recommend ‘Carwash’ for party cheese (with a Jacuzzi), ‘93 feet east’ and ‘Vibe Bar’ on Brick Lane are my favourite Bar/club hangouts, and often have live performers.  ‘Cargo’ or 333 Mother Bar’ are good for serious clubbing.  Dalston Superstore’ is a young, cool, queer hangout or you could head into central London for more traditional gay and Lesbian bars and clubs.

When it comes to the end of the night, please, please call a registered minicab!  There are so many people who are uninsured and uncool trying to take you home.  Use your smartphones and find one, and book it advance if you don’t want to be left waiting in the cold.  Night buses are frequent and cheap, just use your oyster card.  London is a safe and friendly city but keep your wits about you and look after your friends.