Are you looking to see a new side of London? Whether you’ve already ticked off the main attractions in London and are looking for something new or you just prefer to stay off the beaten track, we’ve put together a list of the best hidden gems in London.
Hidden Gems: London Restaurants
London is packed full of fantastic food and drink options, however, the better known, the busier! If you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter, a little more unusual, or somewhere with more of a local vibe, here are our favourite hidden gem restaurants in London:
Private Cabin Dining at Caboose, Shoreditch
Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street
For dinner with a difference, check out private cabin dining at Caboose. This restored train carriage is available for private hire for between 8-12 people and is the perfect spot for a special occasion. The cabin is yours for three hours, and you can enjoy private dining along with your own private chef cooking up classic smokehouse options. Prices start at £35pp and it’s BYOB (for a small corkage fee). With Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to play your own music, the night really can be whatever you want it to be!
If you’re planning a more casual trip, Caboose street food offers delicious burgers, meats and coffee – you can grab a seat in the relaxed outdoor seating area, or take it to go.
The B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, Central London
Hidden in plain sight, The B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour offers a unique way to fit in your usual London sight-seeing. This traditional red Routemaster bus takes you around classic London landmarks while serving you a traditional afternoon tea of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, scones and tea. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, while the tour element is a great way to tick all the big sights off your list – leaving you with more time to explore London’s hidden gems!
Little Blue Door, Fulham
Nearest tube station: Parsons Green
If we’re talking hidden gems, this hot spot definitely ticks all the boxes. Identified from the street only by its brightly coloured door, this late-night themed cocktail bar and restaurant is set out like a flat, with different rooms and spaces depending on the vibe you’re going for. You can relax and hang with friends or indulge in cocktails and experience the ‘ultimate house party’. The food is unpretentious, and there are a range of specials on various days, including supper club, steak and oyster night, and a bottomless brunch.
Nearest station: Old Street / Shoreditch High Street
For a more casual way to experience Michelin star food, head over to Shoreditch for a meal at Leroy. You can identify Leroy from the neon sign outside, and the fun, relaxed atmosphere continues inside. This wine bar and restaurant is unpretentious – the focus is on simple yet well planned, flavourful dishes. Evening menu items include steak tartare, salt-baked celeriac and Cornish cod, and there is also a changing lunch menu offering 2 courses for £19pp. If you’re planning a stay in the Shoreditch area, our Thistle City Barbican hotel is perfectly placed within this vibrant neighbourhood.
Hidden Gems: London Attractions
If attractions are what you’re looking for, London is the place to be. The capital is full of historic sights, streets and fascinating places to explore, from Buckingham Palace through to the London Eye. However if you’ve already visited these popular spots, or just prefer something a little more unique, check out these hidden gem attractions and areas.
Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
Tucked away down an alley in Covent Garden you’ll find Neal’s Yard – home to the original Neal’s Yard cosmetics shop. Today, this small corner of London boasts small independent eateries, shops, and colourful painted buildings that are any amateur photographer’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a spot of shopping or just want to snap a quick shot, it’s well worth taking time out of your day for a quick visit to Neal’s Yard. If you’re looking to explore the wider Covent Garden area, our Thistle Holborn hotel is the perfect base.
Soho Seven Noses, Soho
Nearest tube station: Various
If you’re wondering what the Seven Noses of Soho are – they’re exactly what they sound like! In 1997, 35 model noses mysteriously appeared throughout London, attached to landmarks and in public spaces. It was confirmed in 2011 that artist Rick Buckley created the noses as a protest against CCTV cameras in London; he wanted to see if he could install the noses without being detected. Today, while most have been removed, seven famously remain confirmed around the Soho area, with Buckley claiming there are still ten noses present throughout the city in total. If you’re in the Soho area, it’s well worth keeping an eye out for these unique hidden gems.
St Dunstan in the East, St Dunstan’s Hill
Nearest tube station: Monument
St Dunstan in the East offers a totally unexpected sight in the centre of the bustling city. These Saxon church ruins act as a public garden and are the perfect space to explore, relax, settle down for a picnic or take pictures. Wander through historical archways framed by stunning greenery and take in the eye-catching gothic architecture of this unique London landmark.
Secret Tube Tunnels, Central London
Nearest tube station: Various
To go beneath the surface of London, you have to check out Hidden London – a selection of tours and events run by the London Transport Museum, allowing you to explore abandoned tube stations and disused sites. You can tour areas which have been closed to the general public for years, from the lost tube tunnels of Euston with their vintage 60s posters still intact on the walls, to the Clapham South deep-level shelter, created for Londoners during the Blitz. This truly is a part of London that isn’t usually seen, and offers a unique way to take in the history and intrigue of London.
If you’re wanting to see all the sights and need a central location on your next trip to the capital, our Thistle Piccadilly and Thistle Trafalgar Square hotels are located right in the middle of the action, so your exploring can begin the second you step out of the door!