Everyone already knows that London is the greatest city in the world (okay, fine, New York too shabby either) but what exactly makes it so great? Is it the tourists gathering at Picadilly Circus? Or Big Ben? Oh, but wait…it's not even called Big Ben anymore is it?
Although all these historical monuments are important, they're already in every travel guide. So, where do you go if you want to experience something different? And when it comes to food and drinks, you don't want to step into an Angus steak house outlet now, do you?!
Burger and Lobster is great but everyone and their mothers have had a meal (or ten) there. So, I've taken the liberty to do up a list of my five favourite London joints. And don't worry, you don't have to get out of your central London comfort zone. These places are near everything touristy - just hidden enough to be special.
- La Bodega Negra
Sheltered away in Soho and under guise of an adult venue (I used to get rude glares from the people buying bubble tea next door), this place serves some of the tastiest Mexican food. They have the best selection of Tequila and Mescal at the bar and awesome DJs to boot. On good nights, you may be dining next to Solange Knowles. Yes, I'm talking about Queen Bey's younger sister.
- Chiltern Firehouse
This is probably the sexiest place in London and somewhere I would bring a date. Hotelier Andre Balazs has worked his magic touch on the old firehouse and transformed it into a fabulous place. Nuno Mendes, one of my personal favourite chefs, helms the kitchen. There is nothing not to love about this place. Mendes' other restaurants, Viajante and Corner Room, are also noteworthy.
- The Oscar Wilde Bar at Cafe Royal
Live cabaret and jazz singers in a decadent Louis XVI surrounding with killer cocktails. And if that's not enough for you, this little gem on Regent Street is close enough for all touristy behaviour but, at the same time, a fantastic getaway for a quick cocktail away from the busy streets of Oxford and Piccadilly.