Visit London Blog » camden market Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London for Under 18s: Teenagers’ Day Out Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:00:06 +0000 Visitors at Trafalgar Square. London on View/VisitBritain

Going on a day out in London can be tricky when you’re a teenager. You want something interesting and cool but not too expensive – and where you don’t need ID or parental accompaniment (if you’re going with just friends).

So we’ve come up with an itinerary for how your day could look. There’s enough to fill a whole weekend, let alone one day, so pick and choose according to how much time and money you have to spare.

Camden Market

Morning: Shopping at Old Spitalfields Market or Camden Market

Markets are a great place to pick up a bargain or unique gift. Old Spitalfields Market is a cobbled, indoor market with stalls selling everything from vinyl records (on the first and third Friday of the month) to vintage (on Saturdays). If your style is more alternative, head for Camden Market where you’ll find goth fashion, handmade accessories and much more.

The Boiler House Food Hall

Lunch at Boiler House Food Hall or Honest Burgers

If you went for the Spitalfields option, pop into nearby Boiler House Food Hall for lunch. This indoor food market – located inside The Old Truman Brewery (look out for the giant chimney) – is packed with traders selling dishes from around the world: India, Japan, Poland, Morocco… it’s all there. Opted for Camden? Pick up some street food at the market or take a seat at Honest Burgers for a British beef burger (served with chips, from £8).


Get involved at the British Music Experience or the Roundhouse

Hop on the Tube to North Greenwich and explore the British Music Experience (£6 for under 17s when booked in advance). See John Lennon’s specs and other music memorabilia, show off some moves in the ‘Dance the Decades’ booth, record a song in the Interactive Studio and much, much more. Alternatively, see what’s happening at Camden’s Roundhouse. This top music venue has a programme called Creative Projects, with drop-in sessions for 11-25 year olds in music, creative media and performing arts (from £2).

Namco Funscape

Go Gaming at Namco Funscape or Get Creative at Tate Modern

Take the Tube to Waterloo and then walk to Namco Funscape (next to the London Eye) – an amusement venue full of interactive games, plus a laser maze, bowling alley, bumper cars and karaoke rooms. Watching the pennies? Walk up river for a wander around free contemporary art gallery Tate Modern. Don’t miss the digital drawing bar on Level 3, where you can create a piece of digital art and see it displayed instantly on a giant screen. Then you can say you’ve exhibited at the Tate!

Dinner at Wahaca or the Gourmet Pizza Company

Refuel for the evening at the South Bank branch of Wahaca, where street food tapas starts at £3.70 for a black beans & cheese quesadilla. Or go Italian at the Gourmet Pizza Company (along the river near the OXO Tower), where you’ll find delicious pizzas and pastas starting at £7.75.

National Theatre

Take in a show at the National Theatre or Barbican Centre

Many London theatres offer cheap tickets to under 26s. The National Theatre has a free membership scheme, Entry Pass, offering a limited number of £5 tickets to 16-25 years for each of its performances (UK residents only). The Barbican offers free (yes, free!) tickets for film, music, art, dance and theatre shows to 16-25 year olds through its freeB membership scheme. Younger teens should check out Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge, which groups shows by age (i.e. 17-12, 13+, adult) to make it easier to choose the ideal show for your age group.

Party with Under The Radar or McCluskys

Given UK licensing laws, London’s clubs and bars are strictly reserved for over 18s – as Justin Bieber discovered on his birthday. However, a number of underage, alcohol-free nights do exist in the capital. Upcoming events include Winter Special at the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall, organised by youth music scene promoters Under The Radar. Also on the calendar for December is a live showcase by MOBO award Winners Krept & Konan at McClusky’s in Kingston.

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Five Hidden Gems of London by Sasha Wilkins (LibertyLondonGirl) Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:45:21 +0000 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:

Regent’s Canal
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.

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Peru in London: Food, Art and Culture Sun, 26 Dec 2010 11:00:29 +0000

We spoke to Peruvian Igor Siveroni to find out more about Peruvian experiences in London. Igor has organised several events in London to promote Peruvian culture including a Peruvian fair (Brightest Peru) and a photography exhibition. He has recently started Southern Exposure, an organisation promoting Peruvian culture in London.

Moving To London

I moved to London in October 2000. I had been interested in English culture since I was young. In particular, the Victorian era, eccentric London, English beer and British music. It seemed so far way from Peru but, after living seven years in the US, I was ready to move to London.

I like the mix of old and new [in London], how Victorian architecture sits next to modern buildings and how the old layout of the city is populated by buildings of different periods.

The cultural supply in London is endless: museums, theatre, fashion, film, exhibitions, concerts, etc. I find that London has the perfect mix of history and modern trends. Unlike other European cities that have become museums, London is alive.

Peruvian Culture in London

There’s only one Peruvian restaurant in London, Tito’s (the other restaurant, El Aguajal, closed in 2009). However, there’s a Peruvian food stall in Camden Market and two more at Regent’s Place Market on Triton square, plus the Partridge’s Food Market near the Saatchi Gallery – the last two are run by Peruvian caterers Panka.

The British Museum collection has a few Peruvian pieces from Inca and pre-Inca eras (unlike Mexico, Peru does not have a dedicated space). You can find them in the “Living and Dying” and “Enlightment” rooms on the ground floor. A few more pieces are on display in the “The Changing Museum” room (Inca Gold Llama, Paracas textile, Moche warrior pot).

Several young Peruvian artists live in London. Their work is often exhibited by The Peruvian Embassy‘s Portable Gallery and Civic Room. Currently  the installation “The Followers” by Peruvian artist Ximena Garrido-Lecca  is on show at the Saatchi Gallery.

Several bands that play Peruvian music or that are made up of Peruvian musicians are based in London. The Lokandes Project fuses afro and Andean music while Kausary plays Latin-Andean fusion.

The Peruvian Community in London

Compared to other Latin American countries, the Peruvian community is relatively small (perhaps 6000 people?) The Anglo-Peruvian Society organises talks at the Peruvian Embassy, Canning House and the Instituto Cervantes.The cultural branch of the Peruvian Embassy organises exhibitions and cultural events at the Embassy.

Southern Exposure organises monthly events – Pisco Night (serving Pisco-based drinks in different locations) and PeruPopUp (a night of Peruvian film, food and drinks).

Southern Exposure‘s new website will soon be live at but until then you can find out about upcoming events on the Facebook page. Where else can you experience Peruvian culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Venezuela in London: Mi Cocina Es Tuya – Café Latino, Crystal Palace Fri, 10 Dec 2010 11:00:48 +0000

Between the pubs and print shops of Westow Street in Crystal Palace is a fantastic little restaurant serving authentic Venezuelan cuisine. Mi cocina es tuya (My kitchen is yours) bills itself as London’s only Venezuelan restaurant – perfect for our World in London series.. If you know better, let us know in the comments below!

I went to meet husband-and-wife team Alexis and Mary yesterday to sample their coffee, and find out about their unique eatery. What started as an events catering business with a stall in Camden Market now has a more stable base in this Crystal Palace restaurant. During the past three years, Alexis and Mary have served their traditional Venezuelan cuisine all over London, from the Carnaval del Pueblo to the Venezuelan Embassy. For the last seven months, they’ve been concentrating on developing Mi cocina es tuya.

The menu offers delicious-sounding empanadas (patties), asado criollo (grilled beef and rice) and arepas (corn bread with beef, chicken or cheese). The most popular dish, Alexis tells me, is the Pabellón de carne: beef, black beans, rice and fried plantains.

“At first, finding the right ingredients was difficult. For example, this hallaca is a traditional Christmas dish, but it’s wrapped in banana leaves.” He shows me an intricately bound parcel of dark green leaves. “But, you can’t just buy banana leaves in Asda! Now, we’ve found out about the right vendors in Brixton, at the market, and we can make hallaca. Similarly, you can’t get the chilli beef for Pabellon de carne in a normal supermarket. Now, we go to a Columbian butcher in Brixton. It tastes just as good as the meat in Venezuela.”

As well as the traditional food, Mary and Alexis are proud to show me their Venezuelan drinks. Mi cocina es tuya is one of the few places in London you can enjoy typical Latin drinks like Malta, Sugarcane with lemon, and Cocada, which, I’m told, is like coconut milkshake, but much nicer.

“People are often surprised that our food is like food from Trinidad and Tobago, or Caribbean food. But really, we’re from the same part of the world. Chilean, Peruvian, Columbian, all Latin American people that come here will see and recognise the products we sell.”

Indeed, as well as being a lovely place for a traditional Venezuelan breakfast of Perico (scrambled eggs with chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander, black beans, cheese and arepa, or corn bread – much healthier, I’m assured than the Traditional English they also serve), Mi cocina es tuya is also something of a Latin American deli. You can by the white or yellow “PAN” cornflour, as well as Malta drinks and other typical delicacies.

With guitars and maracas hanging from the walls, as well as plenty of gorgeous pictures of Venezuela itself, I think Mi cocina es tuya is a fantastic representation of Venezuelan London. And the wonderful hospitality of Alexis and Mary means I’ll be back for more. That, and the promise of trying some Dulce de tres leche next time!

Visit Mi cocina es tuya – Café Latino at 61 Westow Street Crystal Palace, London, SE19 3RW. If you know any other examples of Venezuelan culture in London, let us know in the comments below.

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Photo of the Week: Camden Lock Sat, 29 May 2010 08:00:38 +0000

This week’s London photo is by Earthsea Ged who snapped canal boat The Jenny Wren passing through Camden Lock.

If you’re out and about enjoying yourself in London this bank holiday weekend, don’t forget to share your pictures with the Visit London Flickr pool!

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