Discover – Elephant and Castle
Haven’t you heard? Elephant and Castle is now one of the coolest places in London. OK, so maybe that statement is a few years too early, but it is without doubt one of the most up-and-coming areas. After living here for a while, it’s easy to see why. Just a short walk from Waterloo and the South Bank, Elephant and Castle has always been perfectly placed in the city, but it’s been more residential than an area to visit in its own right. Now all that’s changed, with great cafés and restaurants, creative spaces, food markets and a few truly alternative things to do.
Louie Louie is a great place that serves food around the clock, and it often hosts live music in the evening. Its brunch gets a special shout-out as it’s served until 3pm on weekends; but instead of a full 10-piece fry-up, it’s light and doesn’t leave you feeling like a lump. My favourite dish is avocado with labneh and pumpkin seeds on sourdough toast – it’s the perfect way to start a little tour of the area. There is also the Latin American tapas fusion restaurant Paladar, which brings the best flavours of the region under one roof.
The thing I love about Burgess Park is it’s more than just a place to go for a stroll. There’s a play area with climbing equipment for children, a BMX track, tennis courts and a fishing lake. It’s also home to the free-to-enter 5k Burgess parkrun each Saturday. I’ve done the run a couple of times and it’s a great way to start the weekend (even if it’s a 9am start on a Saturday!). It’s full of like-minded people, so it’s the perfect place to meet locals and make friends, too.
The Cinema Museum
The Cinema Museum is one of the quirkiest museums in London and is devoted to keeping the spirit of cinema alive. There is a collection of kitsch memorabilia and it screens golden oldies. The museum gives an insight into how movies have changed over the years. If you love anything to do with film, this is for you.
Imperial War Museum
This is a big shout, but I think the Imperial War Museum on Lambeth Road is one of the most beautiful buildings in London. There, I said it. Just a 10-minute walk from Elephant & Castle Underground station, this free museum is set in gorgeous grounds. Every time I visit, I’m touched by the personal stories – it’s an amazing place to learn about World Wars I and II, as well as global conflicts.
This covered food hall has become one of the spots to visit in south London. Here you can choose from a range of dishes, from traditional Italian pizza and pasta, to Mexican tacos and burritos, Turkish kebabs and meze, and everything in-between. There’s also the Backyard Cinema showing blockbuster films, a German craft beer brewery, a shop and even a greenhouse in a double-decker bus.
When it comes to underground nightclubs, Corsica Studios takes the number one spot. Based in the arches of the railway line, it’s the type of old-school club you used to find all over London. Corsica Studios is new to my life and it has become my favourite haunt.