London blogger Sasha Wilkins, also known as Liberty London Girl, shares her top five hidden gems in London, including the tastiest food stalls in Camden, one of her favourite museums and where to spot a new piece of public art in the capital:
I’ve been cycling along the towpath from Camden in each direction for years, and it never ceases to surprise me that in the middle of one the busiest cities in the world one can feel in the middle of the country. I’ve spotted herons, along with the more normal coots and moorhens, and I think that the lovely towpath pubs are one of London’s best kept secrets.
Pollock’s Toy Museum
My mother used to take me and my sister to Pollock’s Toy Museum when we were little, and it still claims a piece of my heart as one of the most enchanting of London museums. It takes its name from Benjamin Pollock, the last of the Victorian Toy Theatre printers, and was set up by Marguerite Fawdry who bought up the stock of Benjamin Pollock Ltd., after trying to buy one small item for her son’s toy theatre.
Nearly every kind of toy imaginable turns up here from all over the world and from all different time periods. It’s a fascinating exhibition of toy theatres, teddy bears, wax and china dolls, board games, optical toys, folk toys, nursery furniture, mechanical toys and doll’s houses.
The Honest Sausage Cafe, Regent’s Park.
This always seems to me to be one of the most quintessentially English places to grab a snack. You can only reach it by foot or on bike, and the menu is basically free range sausage and bacon rolls, home made cake or ice cream. (AND they serve Clipper Teas!) Really, what’s not to like?
Global Food Kitchen, Camden Lock Market
Many people think Camden is all about the shopping, but the West Yard of Camden Lock Market, is the home of the Global Food Kitchen — many, many glorious food stalls, plus Café Chula, which does good Mexican, and a series of fairly new and excellent food outlets, including the latest branch of Honest Burger, the truly delicious French & Grace, Chin Chin Labs (purveyors of nitrogen ice cream) and Mighty Fine Fudge & Chocolate (check out their Shrek green Mojito fudge).
Mark Wallinger’s White Horse Sculpture
If you are in Trafalgar Square, walk through Admiralty Arch and look right: Mark Wallinger’s White Horse sculpture was installed earlier this year, and it is a wonderful example of how modern sculpture can look so very right in a classical setting.
If, like Sasha, you’re a fan of Regent’s Canal and Clipper Teas, make sure you don’t miss her afternoon tea party on a covered barge on Regent’s Canal on 6 November. Tickets are £25 with all proceeds going to charity Contact the Elderly. Keep up to date with Sasha via @LibertyLndnGirl on Twitter.