“When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.” Yes, Londoners have a tendency to complain after feeling like they’ve “completed it,” having visited every corner of the UK capital, but in this latest issue of Culted 101 we prove there’s more beneath the surface of the Big Smoke.
London is famous for lots of things (no, not just the rain). From banging clothes to baked bean breakfasts, with a hearty dose of culture’s golden nectar to wash it down with, we’ve chosen a few of our favourite spots you should check out.
Dunno Curated is a vintage gem located on Soho’s Berwick Street. Co-owners Jamie and Dylan provide the vibes on any given day, with good tunes and good craic. Vintage designer pieces share the shelves with rugged workwear and hard-to-come sneakers at Dunno, and the parties are pretty sick, too. This is not one to miss.
For the very best in men’s and womenswear, look no further than MACHINE-A, a Soho institution located on the iconic sex-shop-centric Brewer Street. Founded more than a decade ago by Stavros Karelis, MACHINE-A is a melting pot of designers new and old, and always exciting. Think Rick Owens, Raf Simons (when it was about), Martine Rose and Maison Margiela, interspersed with Aaron Esh, Andersson Bell, Olly Shinder, A-COLD-WALL*, and more.
Nestled away on Shoreditch’s Brick Lane, 194 Local is London’s very own Levi’s Silvertab sanctuary. It’s the ideal mix of clobber, offering an assortment of vintage skate gear and ‘00s girly bits. Not only known for its killer curation, with brands ranging from Prada to Jean Paul Gautier, these guys’ service to the steez has been rewarded with Reebok and Levi’s collabs, which coincided with the launch of their LA venture. 194 is the Bella Hadid and Aminé-approved spot you can’t afford to miss.
Bankrupt is one of London’s best-kept streetwear spots, housing a expertly-curated selection of skate apparel, with its foundations rooted in skateboarding, graffiti, graphics and photography. These guys get the balance right when it comes to pushing big guns from across the pond alongside up-and-coming labels from London. Highlights from the store include Punk & Yo, Yardsale, and Always Do What You Should Do. If you’re on Brick Lane, you’d be silly to skip this one.
htown is heaving with heat, stocking fashion favourites Y/Project, Our Legacy, Diesel, Saul Nash, JW Anderson and Mowalola, to name a few. Whether looking for a statement piece or re-upping your wardrobe with timeless menswear pieces, give htown a visit, located at 100 Hundred Shoreditch High Street.
As you continue your East London expansion into Hackney, keep your eyes peeled for West Archive, a curated collection of rare designer pieces from the ‘90s and early 2000s. These guys held a killer pop-up event with Prada Archive, so you know they’re on top of what’s good. The showroom is located on 122-150 Hackney Road, Thameside Studios, with the collection available to shop and rent by appointment only.
MORE COOL STUFF
Head to Wallace Collection for Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney to get your culture-meets canine serotonin boost. This is showing until 15 October. Check this out if you’re in the Big Smoke this month. Located in Manchester Square, The Wallace collection always has something cool going on and is worth visiting.
London is a melting pot for creatives, and there’s loads of culture for you to sink your teeth into. The Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road is another one of London’s art galleries to check out, hosting contemporary art exhibitions and the work of emerging artists since 1985.
Over on the other side of the city, the Whitechapel Gallery is another spot worth checking out, playing host to some of the sickest visionary artists from around the world. SCRT on Redchurch Street is not only a super cool British brand, with a solid line of everyday essentials, but it also brings the vibes to its store with a selection of public film screenings and gallery shows, so keep an eye on their Instagram for your next film night.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you’re in need of a good breakfast, head to the Breakfast Club. These guys have everything from heavy to healthy, perfect for starting your day on the right foot (or relieving the hellish hangover from the night before). Warm hospitality awaits you here, so whether you’re ginger-shotting or getting on it, a good breakfast is always a solid start.
For a solid sandwich, we recommend checking out Dom’s Subs on Hackney Road, where its raunchy names are enough to get you there alone. We recommend the Spicy D, but with such solid reviews, we don’t think there’s anything on the menu we wouldn’t eat.
For a creative take on classic Indian cuisine, head to Kricket in Soho at 12 Denman Street. Kricket’s pull lies in its use of fresh British ingredients and its fusion with traditional Indian cooking methods. With seating overlooking the kitchen, you can watch your meal being prepared. With a third of the menu being vegetarian, there’s loads of choice for any diet, from samphire pakoras to butternut squash. The cocktails aren’t bad either, sitting alongside a drinks roster of craft beers and wines.
With various locations across the Capital, BAO are masters of their craft. Its Buns are both delicate and delicious, deceivingly filling yet moorish. Dreamy wooden interiors make for an aesthetic dining experience, and the great selection of Sake and cocktails on offer ensures you’re bound to leave in a good mood.
If there’s one thing London is known for, it’s pubs.
Whether you’re in North, South, East or West, there’s a watering hole for you in this city. From Berwick Street’s Blue Posts, where the beer (and god-knows-what else) stained carpets beautifully contrast with the fashionable fits of its trendy regulars, to The Cow over in West London (a wholesome hug in a pub on Westbourne Park Road), you’re bound to get some good beer and good company.
Down South, Skylarking Peckham (located under the railway arches at Blenheim Grove) is a surefire spot for a good time, bringing the vibes with live record spinning and fresh booze. Over in Hackney Downs, The Star is solid boozer for a swift half or a solid session, with a great view over the park.
Of course, the beauty of the capital is that no matter where you are, you’re never far from a pub, so get lost and get pissed on one of the city’s mile-long crawls.
When it comes to nightlife, we’re spoiled for choice. Head to All My Friends in Hackney Wick if you’re after good music and good food till the early hours. Of course, as London mourns the loss of Printworks (RIP), Drumsheds will soon open in Tottenham Hale, a 15,000-capacity venue ready to keep the city’s dancers two-stepping. Releasing some solid line-ups means these tickets will sell like hotcakes, so be quick.
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