You’ll never be short on places to visit in London. The capital has it all…a vast history, a wealth of tourist attractions and some of the world’s most amazing eateries, shopping venues and west-end shows. However, it can all become quite banal.
If you live in London, or visit frequently, it may be time to start thinking outside of the box…
Forget Buckingham Palace. Forget the Southbank. You can even forget Oxford Street. Put the well-trodden cobbles to the back of your mind and lose yourself in some of London’s best-kept secrets…
A clandestine dining adventure not to be missed, Gingerline operates in secret locations along the East London Overground line. Founded by Suz Mountfort and Kerry Adamson, Gingerline was created to fuse together their love of performing arts and food. Themes from past events have been pretty madcap, from space to initiation ceremonies and gothic recreations.
Check out the website (www.gingerline.co.uk) and subscribe to their mailing list to find out about the next secret dining experience in autumn. You won’t know where you’re going until 6pm on the night of the event, which is pretty exciting don’t you think…
Secret Cinema is an ‘immersive’ film-experience company, focusing on creating ‘experiences’ based around popular films; often bringing to life parts of the sets and the characters prior to the screening of the film itself.
As with Gingerlines, you don’t actually know anything about the Secret Cinema until you turn up at the location. You won’t know which film you will be watching.
An empty school in Hackney became a prison for a screening of The Shawshank Redemption, inmates and wardens included. And The Troxy in Stepney housed a showing of Ghostbusters…but whether ghosts were truly there is a mystery!
In North West London, there is a warehouse. And this warehouse houses over 2 million costume items from the entertainment industry, from 1840 to the present day.
Angels Costumiers have been providing the entertainment industry with costumes for over 170 years, and have subsequently accrued thousands upon thousands of costume items, winning 34 Oscars for costume design in the process!
It is recommended to book one of their popular guided tours, where you will see the process of costume design, from initial measurements to final alterations. You may even spy a costume from your favourite film or TV show!
You may not believe that you can visit 22 miles of cave network in London…but you most certainly can. Although slightly out of town, in the South Eastern suburb of Chislehurst, the caves are well worth the journey…
The caves have been around since at least 1250, and are believed to have been worked as chalk and flint mines up until the 1930s. During the early 1900s, the mines became popular as a tourist attraction, although during the world wars, the caves have been used to house ammunitions depots and as air raid shelters.
Following the war, in the 1960’s, the caves were actually used as music venues for the likes of Pink Floyd, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones.
18 Folgate Street
Back in 1979, Dennis Severs bought 18 Folgate Street; an unmodernised 18th Century House. Rather than revitalise the house in the modern vein, Severs decided to bring the house to life…as a period time capsule.
He centred the recreation on the Jervis family; an imaginary silk weaving family, and embarked on a programme of refurbishment of ten of the rooms in 18th and 19th Century styles. The rooms are arranged, and even smell like they are still in use…denoting an atmosphere that the occupants have just left.
Severs bequeathed the house to the Spitalfields Trust upon his death, and the building is now open to the public. Tours are intimate, and it is advised to book.