Although not somewhere you’d necessarily see at first glance, this European style bistro is about 5 minutes’ walk from London Bridge, nestled in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral.
Whether it’s a warm summers evening or a slightly more autumnal outing, Boro Bistro’s courtyard garden, with chairs of all shapes and sizes and blankets aplenty is the perfect spot for a quiet drink or something more.
The tapas menu is vast and varied and offers something for everyone. However if you’re looking for something more solid or sweet, there’s also a range of burgers and desserts to choose from.
The toilets here also deserve a special mention. As you descend the stairs, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were heading into Studio 54 than a basement toilet, with disco balls, mannequins and erotically charged wallpaper to keep you entertained wherever you look.
The Breakfast Club
The restaurant in itself offers great food and an atmosphere to match, but wouldn’t necessarily stand out from the 100’s (possibly 1000’s) of other diners around London, offering similar menu options.
When The Breakfast Club does stand out, is its ‘underground’ bars. Call Me Mr Lucky is an experience all of its own and could be one of the most exclusive bars in London Bridge, depending on how comfortable you are giving a random waitress the entry phrase (while all the time hoping that this isn’t just some kind of cruel joke your friends have created to embarrass you). You’ll then be guided through various passageways until you reach the holy grail, a dimly lit bar, with dance-able music and a wheel of fortune style board, offering you the chance to win free drinks or complete challenges for the entertainment of the bar.
Other locations: Angel, Battersea Rise, Brighton, Canary Wharf, Croydon, Hackney Wick, Hoxton, Soho, Spitalfields
If you’re a cheese fan, but never really step out of your comfort zone, then you’ll be begging to change your ways if you pay a visit to Vivat Bacchus.
Although they offer three set cheese boards (English, French and Vivat Bacchus favourites) in small, medium or large, but I think you’d be missing a trick if you didn’t go off piste and select your own. After all, how could you resist the urge to find out exactly what the “Cheese Room Experience” was all about?
Needless to say curiosity got the better of me and before i could say Fourme d’Ambert I was walking my way to the cheese room. With over 40 cheeses to choose from, it could have been a daunting experience, but with the Fromager on hand to guide us, it was an informative (and delicious) experience.
First of all, they asked us the types of cheeses we liked, then they gave us samples of various cheeses within that range (to try and broaden our palates). After sampling about 10 different cheeses, we were asked to decide which ones we wanted on our board and how much we wanted to spend. The Fromager then determined how much of each cheese to give us, so that we had a good amount of each. The cheeses were accompanied by complementary chutneys, fruit and nuts.
Of course cheese isn’t the only thing on the menu, so you don’t have to just limit yourself to that, but unashamedly, I did.
As you’d expect from somewhere with such a wide cheese variety, there’s an equally extensive wine list, so go forth and explore.
It would take far too long to name and describe the offering of each of the Borough Markets, so the safest way it to simply share with you the market map and let you explore for yourself
Being covered by the iconic glass conservatory-like ceiling, this is definitely a market for all weathers. Whether you’re cooking a feast for friends and are looking for the freshest ingredients, feel peckish and want to grab a snack or just love nothing more than spending a few hours aimlessly wandering, you won’t be disappointed.
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm
With a twist
London Bridge Experience & Tombs
Being of a jumpy disposition, I should probably have been put off by the review which read “I nearly had a cardiac arrest” or the fact that it’s labelled the “the UK’s scariest year round attraction”, but for some reason I decided to defy logic and challenge the glaringly obvious evidence.
After queuing for about 20 minutes, we were guided through some dark passageways into a room where we were told what we’d be seeing during the course of our visit. And after being talked through the process of how to successfully mount a traitors head on a stick, how to avoid Jack the Ripper and various other gruesome times in history, I was fairly confident that I would make it through the experience without a heart palpitation or a singular scream passing my lips. Then we got to the end of the London Bridge Experience.
We were told that we were about to venture in to the Tombs, where we were warned that those who were pregnant, suffered from asthma, claustrophobia or a nervous disposition should probably not leave, rather than going into the “passage of terror”. In fairness this should have been enough to dissuade me, but with my false sense of confidence, off i went.
I will say that I have never been so terrified in my whole life and that by the time I came out the other side, my throat was officially sore from screaming. For anyone wanting an adrenaline rush, looking to off an annoying relative or craving to know what it feels like to be in a version of Saw, look no further.
Opening times: Mon – Fri 10am-5pm, Sat – Sun 9.30am-6pm
If you’re into German beer in all its weird and wonderful flavours and like nothing more than following your stein with a schnitzel, bratwurst or fleischkase, then you’ll be impressed with Katzenjammers offering on any day (or night) of the week.
But my main reason for visiting is the ‘twist’ it offers, for which you’ll have to make sure you visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. The main attraction for me is the lederhosen wearing, thigh slapping, brass instrument playing Oom-Pah band.
I’ll admit that I’m no oom-pah band expert (having actually only seen these guys play), but anyone who can get you standing on your seats and dancing to Don’t Stop Me Now or performing an impromptu sing-a-long to Karma Chameleon all while wearing the shortest of shorts gets my vote!
Bierkeller & restaurant – Mon – Thur 12-11pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12-10.30pm
Bierhall – Thur 6-11pm, Fri & Sat 6pm-12am
Within a stone’s throw of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, The Scoop couldn’t have a more picturesque setting.
Admittedly this may be more of a summer recommendation, with music and theatre and London Bridge City Summer Festival featuring prominently on the events calendar during June, July and August, but I couldn’t let this post pass without a least a small nod to this one of a kind venue.
Something that may be slightly more topical, is Project Awesome. Every Wednesday from 6.30-7.30am you can join the gang and get fit for FREE. And with a motto like “We hug. We high five, we behave like overgrown children and get ‘accidentally’ badass fit in the process” who could resist?