Around the city with Laura Page
UK-based illustrator, Laura Page explores her top neighbourhoods around London. With custom illustrations, Page created for Here & There Magazine, she highlights specific characteristics about each area that stand out and make them unique and special to her.
Covent Garden is renowned as being one of the beauty spots of London, and it’s true! The buildings–the European themed restaurants, shops, craft stalls and street performers–all make the experience incredibly worthwhile. During the winter holidays, the markets light up the streets with mulled wine and food getting you in the festive spirit like no other place in London. The Royal Opera House with its incredible ballet shows and London Transport Museum housing vintage vehicles can also be found here. A personal favourite of mine is sitting under the umbrellas in the streets of Covent Garden in the outdoor restaurants dotted around the main courtyard and eating at ‘Pizza Pilgrims’. This is a perfect spot to start your day in London, with buzzing Leicester square and theatre shows dotted all around, as well as gorgeous traditional English pubs!
Albert and Victoria Museum
This museum is one of the most beautifully curated and displayed museums in London. It holds a range of content from ancient exhibitions to pop-up shows, based on themes such as ‘60s London’, and artists like Frida Kahlo and David Bowie. The museum is a piece of art in itself and if you have a day free in London, there’s nothing better than just strolling around (for free may I add) and taking in all the beautiful architecture. The cafe is an additional highlight, with amazing food and dining halls, as well as the large courtyard area which has incredible events over the summer months! Some particular highlights for me are the Japanese exhibition. As a lover of Japanese prints and paintings, to see such historic creations is such a treat. If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, a walk around this museum will fill you with so many ideas, especially looking around the prolific museum shop and glancing at the art books for sale!
Brick Lane proves to be one of the most exciting, artistic places in London all year round! With its exhibitions, independent restaurants and cafes, and vintage stores, you could spend the day walking around all streets in the area. Spitalfields market is a stone's throw away so that is also worth a look while you’re in the area. In the summer, outdoor bars and courtyards are set up for music and food events. The streets are spilling with exciting market stalls, selling the most exotic food from around the world. The market gets incredibly busy– be prepared to be part of the throng of people in all the market lanes– but you won’t regret it after tasting the wealth of incredible food and drinks available. A day in Brick Lane in the summer and you’ll be bursting with culture! The Indian restaurants are a personal highlight of mine, as they’re some of the best in London.
Sky Garden London
Feel like you’re going to a garden centre in the middle of a high-end London restaurant! The Sky Garden is actually London’s highest public garden, with 360-degree views of the city’s iconic skyline providing a spectacular viewpoint. For plant lovers, this is the perfect city destination, with landscaped gardens, observation decks, and an open-air terrace. Access to the Sky Garden is free of charge, spaces can be limited so just book in advance! The buzz of the restaurants combined with the beautiful nature means you could be escaping anywhere in the world, especially with all the exotic plants on display and beautiful nighttime scenery of London!
This is one of the most magical, colourful, and hidden areas in London. Near Covent Garden, a few streets away, you'll find this beautiful courtyard with restaurants, wineries and independent cafes. Some of the best vegan eateries can be found here - the ‘Wild Food Cafe’ being one of the most exciting of these! The food at the cafe is incredibly diverse and quirky, I definitely recommend the chocolate milkshakes there, and no need to feel guilty because it’s all fresh, organic, plant-based food! The perfect way to escape the grey city buildings and find a little hippy escape!
By Laura Page