London, United Kingdom
Marlene, 34
Founder of HipAbroad & Non-frugal Traveler
see her London city guide

ask Marlene about

music venues cocktail bars food markets yoga breakfast and brunch hidden bars rooftop bar

What do you do and why do you do it?

I work in Financial Services, that is my real job and I do it because it helps funding my passion which is traveling... I have also created a travel website called HipAbroad, mostly active on Instagram.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Goodbye my lover (James Blunt); Anything Lana del Rey related, Writer in the Dark (Lorde); With or Without You (U2); I'm on fire (B. Springsteen, lol) - Jokes aside, I mostly only listen to electronic music

What are the best TV shows of all time?

The OA; Queer as Folk (US version), The L word, Ali Mc Beal, Girls, The Vampire Diaries, Friends (always funny)

Name some spots in London that are good for a Tinder date.

Bar Termini, Zetter Town House, 68 and Boston, Evans and Peel, 69 Colebrooke Row, Oldroyd, Mayfair mews, Bohemian bar, Hoxton Hotel, Oriole

Who’s your hero and where in London would you take them out for a serious hang?

Anthony Bourdain and we would hang out at The Ned... (addendum - RIP my hero, we would now hang out in food paradise "sigh")

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Funnily enough, once a year, in New York, haha. Or little store next to my office when I need a quick replacement, I actually rather spend money on food, drink and travels

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Oxford Street

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Driving my convertible!

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in London and where did you get it?

I ate in a dark restaurant, that says enough, it is called 'Dans Le Noir'

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in London that you particularly like?

The Discount Suit Company is my top favourite

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in London? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Nobu in Shoreditch, it was like £200 a head and wasn't even worth the hype, ordered sushi and black cod and cocktails and wine

What restaurant in London looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Tayyabs in Whitechapel is always a winner, I am glad it has reopened!

Where can you get the best cocktail in London? Which one do you like?

Hard one! But I have a special relationship with 69 Colebrooke row, so I will recommend it, I like a Negroni. Although, I have now moved to the East End and my new favourite spot is the Culpeper, a gastro pub, always lively with fun staff and great cocktails, ask for the Martinez with a Caribbean Gin called Swimming Pigs (just done my task as a brand ambassador here)

Where would you take your partner in London if you wanted to really pamper them?

It would be a place with a view, City Social in Tower 42 is a good one. If anyone wishes to continue in higher elevation, finish up with cocktails at the Shangri-La at the Shard where the hotel rooms got a great view too ;)

What’s the one place you think is overrated in London?

Harrods

What’s the one place you think is underrated in London?

Pub food

What are the London spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

A walk along the South Bank with all the lights, views and bridges. The top floor bar at 1 New Change is always a winner, they opened it to the general public now to hang out on the roof but there is also the famous Madison's bar for a nice cocktail with a killer sunset and view of the St Paul's Cathedral - this spot is pretty spectacular actually

Tomorrow’s your last day in London. How do you spend it?

At Dishoom

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Hands down Los Angeles, there is just something about it that I can't explain...The food, the sun, the fact that it is California, Chateau Marmont, the Cocktails scene, and again The Food!!! I also have a special relationship with Mexico City, this is probably one of the best cities in the world, to discover if you haven't, go now!

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Louis Ashworth