You plan to hit up all of the iconic spots of London including the Tower of London, the London Bridge, and Borough Market. Now what? The Borough Market is in Southwark, on the other side of the River Thames and you've run out of internet searches of what to do in this area. Well, here's a practical guide to go about Southwark and some places you must check out off the beaten path.
So you just got off at the London Bridge Station and you're making your rounds in the Borough Market right across the street. It can seem a bit overwhelming, so I suggest you check out my previous post for a Guide Around the Borough Market. It's large and divided up into sections based on what you're looking for from bakery stalls to cooked food stalls to storefront restaurants.
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Once you finish up with a meal or snack, take a walk westbound along A3200. You'll soon find Flat Iron Square on your left. I definitely walked passed it a couple of times when I was trying to find a shop inside. It's easy to miss and Google maps isn't too clear, so here's a picture for you to look out for.
At first glance, it looks like some odd, slightly open fencing that may lead to a loading zone, but send your doubts away. The place opens up to a large outdoor drinking area, reminding me of biergartens back in New York City. Perfect for a drink outdoors during the warmer months of the year. Walk in further and you'll find several restaurants of varying cuisine and even a food truck for bahn mi (vietnamese hoagie).
I tried out the Where The Pancakes Are shop, which is obviously a pancake establishment. Pancakes are surprisingly not a popular dish in England. It's considered very American and hasn't boomed in popularity here. I find crepes and waffles more. There are a handful of places to go to for pancakes, but they aren't always good.
Where The Pancakes Are was surprisingly very much a traditional American pancake in flavor, texture, and toppings. I was also very happy that they gave us British-sized portions not the gigantic American-size portions that are actually worth three servings Once again, London surprises me with their vegan options on this menu, so you can take friends with dietary restrictions like myself.
Directly behind the Flat Iron Square, you'll find the Omeara. It's a live music venue that has a show nearly every night of the week. You can end your day here and check out the newly emerging artists of varying genres. You may want to see them before they make it big one day. The venue holds a bit over 300 people, so it's not too overwhelming, but still has that concert feel.
After grabbing a drink or a meal from Flat Iron Square, you're nearly at the Tate Modern. The Tate Modern is a must-see free art gallery. I describe it more in my Must See Tate Modern post. It has beautiful and famous art work that's free to admire. Truly amazing exhibitions come through every few weeks here, which you usually have to pay a fee for, but it's worth it.
After your inspirational tour at the Tate Modern, walk over to the water to the Shakespeare Globe. The Shakespeare Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, which is for where Shakespeare wrote his plays. Guided tours are provided and there are performances as well. I suggest you check the Shakespeare Globe before you take the trip for more information on tickets and show times.
I hope you enjoyed your day around Southwark using this guide. I've honestly come to this area a handful of times, but mainly to go to the popular and easy-to-web-search places such as the Borough Market and didn't think there was much more to it. I only stumbled upon everything else when I took a stroll off the beaten path while going from one iconic place to another.
The beaten path is great, but sometimes stepping off of it can be just as an amazing experience. It becomes a unique experience because it's more personal and something maybe only locals know about. Try it out with this mini guide today. Let me know how it goes. Feel free to comment below or contact me if you have suggestions as well.
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