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London is one of the most exciting cities in the world, and when it comes to drinking and dining you’re definitely not short of options. Whether you’re looking for a boozy brunch, a fancy three-course meal or even dinner and drinks in a ball pit, London has the answer. In fact, the sheer amount of quirky bars, traditional pubs and award-winning restaurants means you’re spoilt for choice and it can feel almost overwhelming trying to decide where to go.
The answer? I’ve pulled together a list of seven of my favourite places to eat, drink and catch up with friends in London. Depending on the length of your visit you might not have time to enjoy them all (and it would probably be quite a journey if you did – London’s a big place after all) but to help you narrow it down here’s the list of some of the top spots in the city.
The Four Thieves
Let’s start this list off right with The Four Thieves. This gem has so much going on, it is a bar, restaurant and arcade, and has won a number of awards because of it. They offer great pub grub, as well as delicious gins and cocktails. You can also enjoy bottomless brunches, quiz nights, VR games rooms and comedy nights – this is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a truly memorable night with your pals.
But wait, if gimmicky game rooms aren’t your thing, that’s OK too, you can still love the Four Thieves. They also have an alfresco dining space called the Gin Yard, which offers a much more cosy and relaxing atmosphere. You can enjoy the outdoors as you take in the smell of the fresh lavender they grow there, which is then used for their gin. Better still, the yard is covered all winter so you can eat, drink and be merry all year round.
Location: Lavender Gardens, Clapham, London
Website: The Four Thieves
The Rum Kitchen
If you’re looking for a fun but casual restaurant, then look no further than Soho’s Rum Kitchen. The vibrant atmosphere is fuelled by the flowing liquor, and with over 100 different types of rum to choose from that’s not surprising. And all this rum is perfectly complemented by the Caribbean cuisine on offer. And with meals starting from as little as £8 it’s wallet-friendly too! This is the perfect place for a fun and relaxed catch up with friends.
Location: Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London
Website: The Rum Kitchen
The Loving Hut’s slogan is ‘be vegan, make peace’ so this goes some way to helping you understand what this restaurant is all about. This is an international chain spreading love around the world and its Asian-inspired cuisine offers a range of plant-based dishes that you’ll love too. They use organic vegetables and non-GMO products, as well as some delicious meat substitutes like veggie ribs. Oh and if you go, don’t forget to order the vegan cheesecake for dessert!
Location: Holloway Road, Archway, London
Website: Loving Hut
If you’re looking for delicious Indian food with plenty of veggie and vegan options, then Bombay Bustle is the answer. You’ll be hooked as soon as you walk through the door and get your first whiff of the spicy and smokey aromas. The atmosphere is lively and very friendly, and this is probably due to the fact that they offer delicious food for a very reasonable price by Mayfair standards.
Location: Maddox Street, Mayfair, London
Website: Bombay Bustle
If you’re looking for something fun, but simple, then the laid back decor and electric atmosphere of Room 43 is for you. Here you can enjoy good beer, cocktails, delicious Persian food and an exciting entertainment schedule that changes every week. Some firm favourites include live jazz and comedy nights, and the simple open space means they can accommodate groups of all sizes. So why catch up with just one friend, when you can invite them all!
Location: Lavender Hill, Clapham, London
Website: Room 43
The sustainable ethos and great choice of food has made Bill’s Restaurant a firm favourite across the UK. With multiple locations in London, you can have your pick of the bunch, but all their restaurants offer a laid-back space to enjoy any time of day. Whether you want a bottomless brunch or a wholesome breakfast, they have created diverse menus that include plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. This is the perfect destination for you and your friends to enjoy a catch up over good food, no matter what your dietary requirements.
Location: Different locations across London
Website: Bill’s Restaurant
This South African inspired bar has become very popular amongst Londoners looking for a casual catch up or to unwind with some after-work drinks, The menu of 110 wines and over 60 cocktails can feel a little intimidating at first, but this quiet little spot is perfect if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Location: Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London