On my most recent trip to London, I wanted to venture out and focus on East London and the area South of the Thames which includes Brixton and Bermondsey. From new architecture like the Shard, to great museums, galleries and restaurants, the area South of the Thames should be high on your list of places to visit.
Borough Market: Under the shadow of the new Shard tower by famed architect Renzo Piano is the Borough Market. I enjoyed my first visit walking through the market, seeing the many bars and restaurants and having a great lunch at Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House. It had a great atmosphere and design plus my fish entrée was really excellent.
Tate Modern: Loved walking through the Tate Modern again after being there after it first opened. The new Tanks have just opened which is dedicated to live, video and performance art. Check out the website for the current exhibition calendar.
The Design Museum of London: Located at 28 Shad Thames on the south side of the Thames just east of the Tower Bridge is the Design Museum. There is no permanent collection but check out the exhibition schedule. I saw an interesting exhibition on Design to Win about how design has impacted sport which is up during the London Summer Olympics 2012. There is a nice café and there are many cafes toward the Tower Bridge along the water.
Fashion and Textile Museum: Located at 83 Bermondsey Street not too far from London Bridge Tube station, this is a Museum offering exhibitions, courses and workshops. The building was designed by well-known Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta. I loved an exhibition on British pop culture of the 1960’s including designs by Mary Quant and other Carnaby Street shops. There is also a nice café adjacent to the museum.
I really like the feel of the neighborhood as there are some great cafes, restaurants and shops along Bermondsey Street south of the Museum. There is also a branch of the well-known White Cube Gallery a block or two south.
Brixton: Thanks to the NY Times, I learned of the great restaurants in Brixton. I had a good meal in Brixton Village, a short walk from the Tube station, at Cornercopia. The restaurant strictly focuses on English food with a menu that favors locally grown produce and local meats, produce and fish plus beers, wines and ciders. The beet salad and the duck entrée were fresh and well-prepared.
I even stayed South and highly recommend the Kennington Bed and Breakfast. Located at 103 Kennington Park Road, this was a great choice for me to stay which I found on Trip Advisor. It is quarter block from the Tube Station on the Northern Line. I had a great room overlooking the garden in the back, at a very good value for London, with flat screen TV, WiFi and a great bath. The owners were great and very helpful with restaurant suggestions and directions. In the morning, there was a really good selection for breakfast with choices of yogurts, fresh fruit, juices, cereals, waffles, pancakes, croissants and bread for toast, teas and coffee. It was like I was staying in a private home. There were a number of families with children as it is kid-friendly also. Thanks Sian for a great stay!