An insider's guide to how to be a local, wherever you are in the world. A journal of the best spaces, adventures, secret spots and shops to discover by bicycle, on foot or however you prefer to journey. Stories shared by real life locals - so you can be one too.
August means summer's finally here in London. Put away that raincoat, it's time to pack a picnic into those panniers and discover secret summer happenings. We might be biased, but London Fields is definitely one of the best places to spend balmy Indian summer days that stretch into even hotter nights. From Islington, Broadway Markets and London Fields are a short cycle away along Regent's Canal. The Saturday markets are famous London-wide, but there's plenty of other things to do on offer below the railway arches and down the East London passageways. Here are the lesser-known secrets behind the Victorian doors of Broadway Markets and beyond - we hope this becomes your favourite corner of East London too.
LONDON FIELDS LIDO
Where: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU
Here's a secret - this is one of the only 50m regulation Olympic sized outdoor pools in London. In summer there's always a queue so get there early. Get your exercise out of the way, then hang out on the decking for the rest of the day topping up your tan. The cafe does great vegan/vegetarian wraps, and there's plenty of bike parking.
Super secret tip: training for a triathlon? Clip in and conquer interval sets on one of the spin bikes open for use (and free) along one wall.
NOBLE FINE LIQUOR
Where: 27 Broadway Market, London E8 4PH
Need a better bottle of wine than the off-license offerings? These fellow Antipodeans at Noble Fine Liquor know a thing or two about nice wine that's still offy-affordable. Grab a bottle (or two) and sit in the secret picnic patch in the middle of the wildflowers in London Fields.
Super secret tip: they do weeknight wine nights in-store and are an ultra-friendly bunch anyway, so if you're wondering whether a soave beats a sauvignon don't be afraid to ask, they're usually happy to provide tastings.
PAVILION BAKERY & WORM LONDON FLOWERS + BOOKS
Where: Sundays at 18 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
The bakery is open every day, and along with scrumptious sourdough does amazing Sri Lankan-inspired, vegan and vegetarian-friendly lunches on weekdays.
Super secret tip: on Sundays, escape the Columbia Road crowds and find beautiful wildflower-inspired floral creations for a tenner by the lovely ladies of Worm London.
KANSAS SMITTY JAZZ BAR
Where: The Basement, Off Broadway Cocktail Bar, 63-65 Broadway Market, E8 4PH
Hidden down a set of narrow back stairs at the back of Off Broadway in Broadway Markets is a low-ceilinged tiny back room cocktail bar where a fiver gets you an intimate mid-week evening with a rotating list of songwriters, singers and musicians playing unplugged sets to a tiny audience. Incredible cocktails, blissful sounds. Best way to spend a night with your special ones.
The room is tiny, and everything sells out. Book tickets here.
EAST END PRINTS
Where: Fount London, Arch 359 Westgate Street, E8 3RN
Our lovely neighbours are a print store stocking beautiful bespoke prints by independent artists, illustrators and printmakers at affordable prices. They make perfect presents, or treats for your home - discover anything and everything from flamingoes, typography, cheese plants and more (including lots of bicycle-related ones!) Pedal by (our not-so-secret spot) on the way to discovering all the other secret places.
And here's a super secret tip: our courtyard is sun-drenched till late and there's plenty of room for safe bicycle parking.
THE LONDON FIELDS LOOK
Love the cover image? Buy it here: East End Prints
Artist credit: Jane Smith