So I’ve totally been having a think about stuff every Londoner should do – y’know, because I live in London and like, do stuff. Here’s my take on things…obviously none of this is compulsory but if you do fancy ticking a few off the list it will absolutely make you a better Londoner or dare I say, person (!).
Of course if you think I’m talking absolute codswallop (ha-ha, codswallop) then let me know! You can do it in the comments at the bottom of this post…or you can berate me over on twitter @killofox or you can rant to your hearts content on haveyouheardthelatest’s snazzy new facebook page…or if you’re lucky enough to know me, say it to my face! But you better come at me with some much cooler alternatives…#justsaying.
Walk as far home as you can…even if it’s just once.
Obviously if you live in zone six (coughnotlondoncough) then it’s not really possible to go the whole way BUT walk as far as you can in the direction of home and you’ll be amazed at what you discover.
During the height of summer I’d do my usual walk to Tottenham Court Road station straight after work BUT instead of heading down the stairs to get sweaty on the central line, well, I just kept walking and walking and walking. I strolled down streets I’d normally never see and on the way I realised there were really cool restaurants and independent shops and bars that I’d normally only read about in TimeOut.
It also meant I got to know London
probably better just as well as my cabbie boyfriend and we all know there’s NOTHING cooler or more rewarding than actually being able to give tourists the RIGHT directions, rather than just pretending and sending them off on a wildgoose chase. So yeah, it was a total eye opener to walk home and on top of everything else, I was also doing a sneaky bit of exercise without really being aware of it – power walk it bitch.
So after I walked home I started walking other places, like when my friend wanted to meet in Camden after work…I walked there and again saw places that I’d normally miss being 6ft underground on the tube.
Admittedly not ALL the places I saw were amazing and I won’t really be doing this when its December and snowing but it’s cool getting to know London and your way around and in the summer it’s definitely a better option than the tube…so come on guys…put on your walking shoes!
Oh and get one of those apps on your that high fives you when you do over 10,000 steps…nothing like a bit of validation for your hard work.
Go to Lahore
I wouldn’t normally encourage anyone to travel to Whitechapel but Lahore’s tandoori lamb chops are well worth the journey to the East-Side.
Lahore doesn’t look much from the outside, like really, not much at all. It’s totally uninviting and forgettable but venture in and you’ll not be disappointed. Three floors of MASSIVE canteen style tables bursting with East-end locals, city boy traders, groups of friends, birthday parties and families all munching their way through delicious dish after dish of authentic home-cooked Pakistani cuisine.
It’s noisy atmosphere is a far cry from your usual quiet meal at the local Indian but it’s cheap and very, very, very good. I’d also champion it over the better known Tayybs. And as with most Indian restaurants it’s also BYOB with a handy offy next door. I wholly recommend any of the Lamb curries!
So…WHEN are we going?
Roll in from a night out as the sun is coming up.
London has one of the best clubbing scenes in the world. Were inundated with HUGE line ups every Thursday to Sunday (and serious FOMO as a result).
But you know the best time to check these lineups out?
When you totally don’t plan to. It’s a well-known fact the best nights out are unplanned so go to those post work drinks, profess to have just one and then be that person in a suit at Fabric come 5am. That person who just ‘got a bit carried away’. Hell do it ON a school night too. (Maybe just the once though yeah, I mean we are all getting a bit old for school night shenanigans).
It’s so good to feel your wild side every now and then and nothing feels wilder than partying til the sun comes up. Plus London in the early morning is so cool and easy to get around, before the commuters and the tourists and the school kids and the yummy mummies running errands and the Hare Krishna chanting up and down Oxford Street. It’s the best time to see the city because it feels like it’s been left just for you to explore.
Cancel your gym membership.
Errrrr hello! Boris Bikes! Parks! Canal Pathways! A Marathon Route! Who needs to join a gym when London is just begging to help make you a fitty.
Most people work a minimum of 20minutes from their homes so how about you RUN that distance each evening instead getting tube, hell you’d sweat just as much! And forget that queue for the treadmill at Fitness for Less, even if it is only £14.99 a month…NO-ONE SHOULD BE QUEUING TO GO FOR A RUN.
Hire a bike for £2 for 24 hours and cycle round the park until your legs feel like lead. Or hang back 2 meters from that boot camp happening in Hyde park and copy exactly what they’re doing for free.
Like swimming? Brave the icy waters of Hampstead Heath ponds or don your armbands for a few lengths at one of the many London Lidos.
And when you’re all exercised out head to The Pudding Bar in Soho to reward yourself. You totally deserve it.
Enjoy a Rooftop Rollabout.
Anyone who knows me, knows I bloody love a rooftop bar and London has LOADS of them!
Make the most of this by spending the day visiting as many as you can, a classy pub crawl if you will.
It’s British cause it’s boozy, it’s London because it’s at least three floors up dahhhhling.
Here’s a few suggestions to get you started, Kensington Roof Gardens, Vista, Aqua, Radio bar, Madisons, Coq D’Argent, Angler Rooftop Terrace, Sushi Samba, Golden Bee, The Boundary, The Queen of Hoxton, The Red Lion, Dalston Rooftop Park, The Big Chill House, The Dolls House, Doubletree Rooftop – See what I mean, there’s bloody hundreds! So indulge in a bit of rooftop tomfoolery!
Move anywhere but Clapham.
Some of you make think Clapham is the best place evvvveeeerrrrss. I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong.
Crapham is an extended uni campus. It’s where new Graduates from place like Loughborough live. It’s where rugby loving, ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’, neknominate nobs live. It’s when the middle class luvies with a media degree and a job at ‘Leo Burnett’ live (if you are any of these people it is totally acceptable to live in Clapham).
And to top it all off it’s south of the river.
Almost everywhere else in London is cooler than Clapham, like, everywhere. I agree that Clapham common is an alright place to hang out on hot sunny days but so is my nan’s back garden and that doesn’t mean I want it on my doorstep. If it really does have to be South then Brixton, Peckham, Vauxhall, New Cross, Southwark…all better than Crapham.
This is a game was invented by my sister and I when we resided in Norwf Landan…specifically Woodside Park. Tube Olympics is really only one race but Olympics sounds better than just, Tube Race…don’t you agree?
It involves beating all your fellow commuters to be first through the barriers (or over up the stairs and over the bridge in the case of Woodside Park). The only difference to it being a normal race is that your fellow commuters don’t know they’re racing you.
The key to winning is aligning yourself in the right carriage at the start of your journey (which if you’re a real Londoner you do anyway) so you can exit swiftly…run up the escalator/stairs and swipe your oyster card first to win the GOLD MEDAL!!!!!
I’ve won quite regularly in my Tube Olympics career but am yet to fully celebrate it, in front of the rest of my bewildered commuters – I am psyching myself up to shout “AHAHAHAH LOOOOOOOOSERS!!!!” but this will take time, as I fear I may be carted off to the Asylum when I do.
Anyway…my favourite medal (after a well deserved gold) is the surprise medal. The surprise medal comes into play when you haven’t stood in the right place on the tube carriage to ensure you’re first off when you roll into your final station BUT as you exit the tube and make your way to the escalator you realise everyone in front of you is standing to the right! So you whizz up on the left hand side, reaching the top ahead of everyone else (sweating profusely). You nab that surprise bronze, silver or if you’re really lucky GOLD.
If you’d like a full breakdown of the rules for Tube Olympics tweet me @killofox. I’m also thinking of expanding the game to London Olympics where you just race people everywhere. First up the stairs, first to the lamppost, first to cross the road. What do you think? Have I taken this too far?
So yup…that’s my list of things every Londoner should do…I’d love to hear if you’ve already ticked some off the list…particularly if you’re already playing Tube Olympics, I mean imagine if we’ve both raced each other without realising! Just remember to keep it friendly guys!
Thanks for reading! 🙂