ask Chris about
viewpoints • parks • performing arts • comedy clubs • mediterranean food • pub
Do’s and don’ts in London: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):
Get an Oyster card, it makes paying for all public transport so much easier. Never ever stand on the left on escalators in tube stations - you will find yourself hated by every single person in London!! Tipping is good but not compulsory. There have recently been a spate of 'moped muggings' (where people on bikes grab your phone out of your hand as they drive past) so do just be careful when you are walking along with your phone.
How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?
So it won't come as any surprise to you that London is expensive, and you can easily spend £50-60 on a night out without going anywhere particularly luxurious! To minimise costs, plan your night in advance. If you're going to a club, look it up - many clubs have discounted entry if you sign up beforehand or arrive before a certain time. Stick to beer for cheaper drinks, and the cheapest is real ale (traditional British-style beer - be warned that it is flat!!). If you want cocktails, find a happy hour and get them 2 for 1, otherwise you will easily pay more than £10 per cocktail.
Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?
London is huge, but is often described as a collection of small cities rather than one big city. Each neighbourhood has its own thing going on for it. This means that although there is loads of nightlife, it is VERY spread out across the city. The most obvious place to head for a wide range of options is the West End (the city centre), but Dalston also has great choices. Shoreditch is a very popular area for nightlife, but be warned, it is a tad pretentious.
What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
All of London has hidden gems to be discovered, so I wouldn't discount any part of town. However, in general, I and most of my friends agree that west London is the least interesting part of town. It just has less character. I'm sure some of the millions who live there would disagree with me, though!
What’s the one place in London you think is underrated?
Islington is often forgotten in between its cooler neighbours Camden (to the west) and Hackney (to the east). However, there are so many amazing restaurants, theatres, and communities in Islington, as well as one of the UK's biggest football clubs, Arsenal. It is true that the nightlife there isn't as exciting as in other areas, though.
Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?
Find a gorgeous, expensive French restaurant, but look for their prix fixe or pre-theatre menu. You can easily find a really top-quality three-course meal for £20-25 per person, as long as you are willing to go early enough.
Drunk and hungry - where do you go in London?
London doesn't really close down for the night! You'll find most of your favourite fast food restaurants are open very late. There will also be plenty of kebab takeaways and the like - although some of them are good, I would recommend having a look online first, as I have on more than one occasion had a very displeased stomach the morning after a doner!!
Your go-to brunch spots:
Check out Oslo in Hackney - it's a little out of the way but such good and Nordic-inspired food!!
Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:
There's a chain of fast food places called Tortilla which do honestly the best burritos I have ever eaten in the UK - a medium burrito is £5.60 and is easily enough for lunch or dinner!
You’re meeting the mayor of London - what constructive criticism would you give them?
Independent shops - when you go even to big cities in continental Europe, you find way less of a dominance of chain stores. Chains are super convenient, but it's nice to have variety as well!