We don’t want our service to stop with left luggage. That’s why CityStasher has conjured up some handy guides for time-poor tourists who want to make the most out of their trip. Where to stash, what to see, do, eat and drink — we’ve got you covered in our 12 hours series.
12 hours in…London Bridge
Neighbouring the City of London and situated right on the Thames, you really feel like you’re at the bustling heart of the capital at London Bridge. When you’ve seen the Bridge itself, it might be tempting to stroll down into the heart of town or explore the cultural offerings of nearby Bankside. But with such a great range of pubs, restaurants, and the magnificent Shard on your doorstep, there’s a lot to see and do in this bustling district that could make you think twice about wandering further afield. Let’s take a look.
First things first. Walk out of the Station and head towards the river to find two of our StashPoints a few minutes away. Head to London Bridge Walk to drop your stuff at Mail Box Etc, or Duke Street Hill for Saad Souveniers. If you’re visiting at the weekend, then Saad Souveniers is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 9pm. If you’re wanting to start your trip in Borough, then our StashPoint at Denise’s Flowers is your best bet, a four minute walk down Borough High Street.
What to do
The minute you step out of the Station, the Shard looms large, and what trip to London would be complete without visiting its tallest skyscraper. If you’re impressed by how the building looks on the outside, then the unbeatable views you can enjoy from the interior will set the bar even higher. The platform at The View from the Shard is almost double the height of the London Eye, and on a clear day you can scan the horizons for a distance of almost forty miles. If you really want to feel on top of the world (and don’t mind opening the purse strings), you can accompany the stunning views with a glass or two of champagne.
Close by is Borough Market, London’s oldest and busiest, dating back to the 1200s. It’s also probably the most favoured food market in the capital, with a short walk through the stalls on a Saturday guaranteed to leave you drooling. Bridget Jones fans may also want to take a peek at The Globe Tavern — the flat occupying the upper levels served as the location for the abode of everyone’s favourite hapless diarist.
London Bridge City Pier is a stone’s throw away, and from here you can hop on a boat and cruise the Thames in style, taking in the unrivaled views of the capital’s landmarks along the way.
Where to eat
Borough Market has a well-established reputation as a foodie mecca, and is definitely worth a look-in for food on the go. But we’ve picked out some restaurants for you if you’re wanting something a bit more unhurried.
First off — Padella. Pasta may not be the most exciting choice in the world, but believe us when we say Padella manages to do something with everyone’s favourite comfort dish that we never thought possible. Home-made pasta dishes are accompanied with rich and rustic sauces, producing the sort of flavours that have made the restaurant the darling of food critics everywhere (and at prices that don’t require a bank loan). The olive oil is sweet and peppery, and is accompanied by gorgeous, crusty bread that tastes so good you’d think you were in the old country. Our personal favourite dish is the surprisingly simple pici cacio e pepe — thick, fat noodles of pasta drenched in a sumptuous sauce of Parmesan and black pepper. Be warned — Padella tends to be rammed from open til close. But we figure this is all the more reason to bite the bullet, wait, and see what the fuss is about.
Situated in one of the iconic Victorian arches that inhabit South London, the trendy Arabica serves up magnificent and inventive meze that is guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds. It may be more expensive than your Borough Market food stall fare, but with so much choice spanning the cuisine of several countries, this is a great option for those looking to try something a bit different.
Where to drink
There’s a truly excellent selection of riverside pubs near London Bridge. As soon as the sun comes out, you can guarantee Londoners will flock to them in droves, and for good reason. For riverside views, both The Founders Arms and The Old Thameside Inn offer stunning locales for a drink, although expect to pay a premium for the atmosphere.
The Boot and Flogger is often described as a true hidden gem. One of London’s first wine bars, this establishment has a huge range of rare vintages to satisfy even the most discerning aficionados, all of which can be accompanied with some gorgeous cured meats. The interior will delight traditionalists, and it’s discrete location, tucked away down the sidestreet of Redcross Way, all add to its charm and character.
Borough Market is gourmet goods at their best, and for Matt, nowhere is this better reflected than in Borough Cheese Company, whose handpicked delicacies and giant wheels will leave you lingering for more than a few minutes. Anthony particularly recommends the Comté!