Things to do in London

inside the Mayor's 
building Film

Alas, there is no substitute for the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv... but some London cinemas come somewhat close
  • Riverside Studios Cinema (great films that change every day and are played as double bills (for only 5.50!) and a spectacular view of the Thames; the food is also good though a bit pricey, but hey, they need to live off something!)
  • Prince Charles Cinema (another place for non-Hollywood films that change daily, at the unbeatable price of 3.50)
  • The Electric (go for the cinema, not the movie)
  • The NFT (if you like old, very artsy movies)
  • (Free!) Outdoor screenings in the summer (find out about them in TimeOut)


London has lots of bad food that costs a fortune, but also lots of good and affordable restaurants (well, not much good sushi), if you know where to go. Here are some suggestions by food type (** mark my all-time favorites). The TimeOut restaurant guide is a good source of others.
  • Japanese - Aki (All sushi in London is not really good, but this is at least authentic! And they have nice non-sushi Japanese food as well) [On Gray's Inn Rd between Guilford and Theobald's road]
  • Vietnamese - **Cai Tre (Great food, very cheap! Try the La Vong Grilled Fish, the Sirloin Clay Pot, the summer rolls, the Vietnamese pancakes, and more... all the starters are awesome) [On Old street, between Pitfield and Hoxton]
  • Italian - La Porchetta (its actually a small chain)
  • Indian - Rasa (there are several, but the best is the vegetarian one in Stoke Newington, the one on the south side of the street)
  • DimSum - **Shanghai Blues - dimsum like you never thought they can make it. Go at lunch, but take your time, its not a fast food place
  • Fancy modern - Maze (for a Gordom Ramsey tasting menu which will not make you go broke)
  • Tasting menu - Rosemary Lane
  • Chain - Giraffe (if you really must go to a chain restaurant)
  • Winebar + good food - Cork and Bottle (a hidden gem in the all too touristy and terrible Leicester Square
  • Gastropub (in general, something to not miss when you are in London.. they are great for dinner and drinks, and probably doubly so now that smoking was banned!)
  • Tapas modern style - **Salt Yard
  • French and funky - Les Trois Garcons
  • Coffee - Cafe Nero chain (but note, I am not a coffee connoisseur)
  • Cheap and Israeli - Maoz Falafel (definitely the cheapest and healthiest fast food in London)
  • Fish&Chips (you HAVE to try this in London, but not in one of the places that gave this dish its bad name..) - The North Sea
  • Market - **Borough market (Fri-Sat; great gourmet food and a good place for lunch! Also has the best fish&chips in town at the ''Fish!'' restaurant counter)

inside city hall
inside city hall
Where to go

Buy TimeOut and see what's happening when you are there.. Summer is definitely the time to be in London as everything is happening everywhere!
  • The South Bank (of the Thames, that is; anywhere there.. especially in the summer)
  • The south bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge
  • City hall (aka "the Mayor's building"; view from the top; walk-on aerial map in ground floor; restaurants nearby are good)
  • Noontime free concerts at St. Martin in the Fields (at Trafalgar Square)
  • Covent Garden - its touristy but I love the atmosphere there nevertheless
  • Tate Modern (the best art piece there is the building itself, oh, and the changing large installations in the Turbine Hall; its free so go see one floor at a time; also superbly located on the south bank across the Millenium Bridge from St. Paul's)
  • The British Museum (go for the foyer, if, like me, you object to stolen culture)
  • Take a boat on the Thames (there are boats to the Thames barrier as well)
    the Thames barrier
    the Thames barrier
  • Royal Festival Hall - to see how a concert hall does not have to be stuffy at all!
  • The transportation museum (always interesting..)
  • The Design Museum (for interesting temporary exhibits)
  • Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington (on a nice day, for a really interesting walk)
  • Outside London - Richmond, Cambridge (both by overland train; but really, you have everything you want in London..)

How to go (by order of preference)

  1. Cycle
  2. Walk
  3. Bus
  4. Tube (only if you really have to..)

Shopping (for those who hate it like I do)

  • Stanfords (on Long Acre) for ANYTHING maps
  • MUJI (there are several - use google maps to find them) for great Japanese everything-ware
  • Borders (for books, theres a big one at Picadilly Circus)
  • China town grocery stores (for Asian food ingredients)
  • Covent Garden markets/stores (for presents)
  • The transportation museum store (for London gifts and souvenirs)
  • Borough Market - for food, fun and anything

view of de Beauvoir Rd from my bedroom window
view of de 
Beauvoir Rd from my window
Places I lived in (just for your general knowledge)

  • Allen Rd, Stoke Newington (4 weeks as a tenant, with one woman, two children, two cats, two rabbits and two fish)
  • (two weeks with Sophie and Boris who were kind enough to let me use their spare half-room)
  • Walford Rd (~2 months, with Jess, Jule and Esme at different times, and in each of their rooms at different weeks when they happened to be away)
  • John St (for 3 weeks, in Antonia and Tom's empty flat in which they kindly left me a bed, a set of plates, silverware and some cooking utensils, and a TV)
  • 354 Wandsworth Rd, Clapham (6 months, with Jess and Sarah)
  • 153 de Beauvoir Rd, Hackney (or as we prefer to call the neighborhood, ''De Beauvoir Town''; ~1.5 years with Jule, Basti and Jess, and later with Jule, Jess and Jonathan)
  • Anchor Brewhouse, 50 Shad Thames (4 months, with Nathaniel)

Last modified: Yael Niv - 13.2.2008