You may think you know the London ‘foodie’ scene like the back of your hand if you live in the city. And as a tourist, there are literally hundreds of guides telling you where you can eat some decent grub whilst enjoying a good coffee. However, there is a whole other world of eateries just waiting to be discovered…if only you would look beyond the neon lights…
#1 Soho’s Secret Tea Rooms
Wander through the open doors of the Coach & Horses pub on Greek Street, cut through the bar…seriously, through the actual bar…tiptoe up a windy staircase and you will find Soho’s Secret Tea Rooms.
Hidden out of sight above the famous pub, this secret tea room will tickle your fancy, and your taste buds! With over 16 specially selected leaf teas on offer, and a range of cakes and finger foods, you would be hard pressed not to enjoy an afternoon here. The staff are friendly and welcoming; dressing with vintage flair, busying themselves around the tea room accompanied by 40’s gramophone records!
#2 Back In Five Minutes
Nestled behind a clothes shop on Brick Lane, ‘Back in 5 Minutes’ is an intimate venue owned by the Disappearing Dining Club, who have a number of spaces in London, Manchester and the South West. Venture through the clothes shop and disappear behind a curtain to enter the restaurant…
European food is on the menu, with a Swedish twist as a nod to Head Chef, Fredrik Bolin. Each Wednesday plays host to a dinner club, where 30 seats are arranged around three large tables. One menu does the rounds, creating a warm environment where getting to know your neighbour is the focus.
#3 The Doodle Bar
Off the beaten track, in Battersea, you will find ‘The Doodle Bar’. Housed in an ex-dairy warehouse, the bar is a fantastically creative venue. You will probably be hard pushed to find it…after walking through an alley, and across a car park, you may just miss the sign above the warehouse entrance. But persevere, as it is a wonderful space!
Let your creativity run wild; ‘doodle’ on the chalk walls whilst enjoying a dish from one of the street food vendors on rotation.
#4 The Attendant
They say it is good to recycle…and that is exactly what the owners of ‘The Attendant’ have done. What was once a Victorian toilet, built around 1890, this amazing little coffee shop in Fitzrovia is an equally amazing find!
After years of planning and restoration, the space is now a coffee shop come diner, with an inspired use of the old urinal fittings. And not long after its opening, ‘The Attendant’ won runner-up ‘Best Coffee Shop in London 2013’, and has been widely publicised at home and around the globe! Not bad for a loo!
#5 The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Like in the famed book, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, it is probably most persons dream to enter another world through a disguised doorway. And that’s exactly what you get upon entering ‘The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’.
Accessible via a well-disguised doorway (covered by a SMEG refrigerator front) amongst the restaurant area of the famed ‘Breakfast Club’, ‘The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town’ is probably the worst kept secret on this list of secret eateries!
As with ‘The Breakfast Club’, the staff are ultra cool, really friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is the perfect place to share a couple of after work drinks with friends…what more do you want? Well, a great list of cocktails and some yummy grub of course…try the pulled pork sliders!