There is an endless amount of local matters on which Londoners have vastly split opinions. However, we can almost certainly all agree on one thing: there is a lot to do in town, and I mean — A LOT. Options are aplenty. So much so, that sometimes even the most active Londoner has trouble keeping up. I would like to introduce a new platform that could be of help: The Careless Traveller.
Whether you are lacking the time to plan things right or you are just tired of doing the same things over and over again, The Careless Traveller helps you discover hot spots in the city, and gets you out of your comfort zone to try new interesting things. The experiences are tailored to your likes and budget.
“How does it work?” you may be wondering. It is pretty straightforward: simply tell The Careless Traveller what your budget is and the team will accommodate you with a bespoke non-touristy day out in London. Despite the non-touristy nature of the trip, tourists from all over the globe are actually more than welcome to join as well!
After a brief yet thorough assessment phase, an itinerary will come to your online inbox with detailed suggestions. You will also be given an interactive map — that also works without Internet — and a map to download for those who like it old school. No one is left behind!
On that note, let’s move on to watch The Careless Traveller in action, shall we? Recently a young couple from Spain booked one of TCT’s ‘pick-n-mixers’ experience. It entails not only enjoying London’s culture, but also indulging into some serious foodie treats while appreciating #fashionloverz activities, music, drinks… and many more.
The couple’s estimated budget was £75 a day per person so they were in for a treat! As the set date was a Sunday, the decision was to have a day out in the vibrant streets of East London. Who doesn’t like to be hip for a day?
Their adventure started by having coffee with a view at London Grind in London Bridge — part of the Grind with several locations around London. This all-day and late-night espresso bar works perfectly for a pit stop. Besides, coffee never fails to amaze the Spaniards, and you can have a great one here plus a snack for a fiver!
Once they had fuelled themselves it was time for a walk towards the East End. The first leg involved crossing the famous London Bridge (not to be confused with Tower Bridge), while admiring the stunning view of the city until they reached their next location: Wilton’s Music Hall.
Wilton’s is the world’s oldest and perhaps most dilapidated music hall. However, its charm has never faded. This place has retained all its classic features, and offers a beautiful and intimate setting for a diverse range of performances — including music, cinema, theatre and cabaret. That particular Sunday happened to be when they opened doors for their yearly heritage weekend! With a long history and multiple attempts to knock it down… Wilton’s is still here for you to enjoy lots of arts and crafts activities, live music and memory booths.
After the historical adventure, Aina and her boyfriend were headed towards the heart of a hipster Sunday: Brick Lane. They did so on foot — walking down Commercial Street and Fashion Street (yes, there’s a Fashion Street in London!) until they reached Brick Lane. There is something about this neighbourhood that fascinates every single one of us. It may be the cultural mix, the fact that there’s so much going on at the same time, or basically what we’ve heard from the careless travellers. The music, the fashion, the vintage fairs, the old-school stores, the street food halls, the street art… it’s like an explosion of cultures at once. And they loved it.
What was supposedly a 15-minute walk ended up taking about 2 hours to complete; there are so many things to experience around the area! They loved the street food market at the Sunday Up in Truman’s Brewery so they stayed there for a bite before heading to their next adventure: a street art workshop!
Hosted by Alternative London, the workshop not only talks to you about the biggest street artists but also lets you get hands-on with creating artwork.
Having discovered all the street arts around Shoreditch, the couple then got to play artists themselves. Inside a double-decker near Hoxton Square, they were given a piece of paper to make their own creation, which was later spray-painted on a wall. How kewl is that?
It was #treatyourself time after all the walking around so they headed to the Madison rooftop bar for a classy drink before dinner, which was at a clothes shop with a restaurant hidden inside it. I can’t tell you too much about it because that will ruin the surprise factor of the place. From what I’ve heard though, it was an absolute success for the pair! Simple, seasonal and non-fussy cooking to conclude a perfect day out in the city. ∎
(Photography: Laura Gabarro for Bubbobar)
(Edited by Kathy Li)