About Brice L
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Apr 2013
35-49 year old male
I'm a French man living in London for the past 8 years. I love the art scene of London, underground (street art) and mainstream (galleries). Into gigs and record shops. I love to explore the never ending growing London.
Flea/ Street Markets
In the old days it was claimed this place was more famous than St Paul's Cathedral - among visiting sailors anyway! So maybe visit the Cathedral first then head over to this gem of a bar for a visit. Built in 1723, Wilton's is based in East London, just five minutes walk from Tower Hill Station. Every time I go and see a show at the music hall I have a great time, and they have so much cool stuff on. Check out what's happening while you're in town. The outside building also has real character - it is a grade II* listed building and for any film buffs you might recognise it from the movie Sherlock Holmes 2. Inside, there is a real feeling that you are going back in time. The atmosphere is relaxed and arty, the staff is always busy but friendly and the crowd is never the same, depending on what is showing at the theatre.
Maltby Street Market is definitely a place I'd recommend for a Saturday morning and especially if the weather is nice. It is THE food market to visit at the moment and if you are done with Borough Market, Maltby is for you: it's as bustling but far from being invaded by tourists. On top of that, if you want to combine a delicious brunch and antiques (why not, right?) I recommend you visit the fabulous Lassco. The doors of Lassco are not very easy to spot, but when you find them it looks like you could be going into another world when you push them - so go ahead! Once inside it's an avalanche of weird objects, flooring, rugs, lampshades, clothes, furnitures and more. The place is actually quite big and I like to wander around until I get hungry. At that point I tuck into Lassco's delicious menu. We often have a full English Breakfast including farmers' produce from the market. The antique prices here may be for collectors and connoisseurs only, but it's worth having a look because you never know what you might stumble across.
Bermondsey Street becomes trendier every year. There are enough bars, pubs and restaurants to spend a few great nights around here. One place I'd recommend is the pub The Woolpack. They have a lovely back yard for drinks in the sunshine, making it popular with the locals. They also serve good food and I like the breakfasts here. Another thing to discover at the Woolpack is the first floor: the ceiling of the room is quite incredible, as are the paintings on the wall, all a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel!
Bermondsey street is often known as the area for party-goers. You'll also find here the White Cube, a well-respected art gallery with three other/previous venues in London (the one in Hoxton closed at the end of 2012). The one in Bermondsey Street is the most recent and the most impressive because of its wide open space. Entry is free and it has a book shop where you can spend some time browsing catalogues of previous exhibition. The gallery is famous for being owned by Jay Joplin, a famous art collector who showed interest in Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst at the early stages of their career. The gallery often hosts Gilbert and George's artwork - in fact I bumped into them one day when I was visiting their exhibition!
Borough Market is definitely a spot not to miss in London. One of the oldest markets in London (its first mention was in 1014!), it has recently been through a lot of refurbishment. (Local insight: the refurbishment has divided locals - some love it, others hate it!) Most of the stalls and shops remain and actually new ones have since appeared. You need time and patience to experience the Market on its busiest days - normally Saturday. Friday is definitely better, and when it does all get too much I'd recommend stopping for a beer at the Rake. Specialising in beers, The Rake opened in 2006 and is now a very busy little bar, just behind the market. I always ask the staff what they recommend as they have more than 130 beers in the fridges and the draught range is always changing.
The Roxy is a bar based on Borough High street, two minutes away from Borough station. My friends and I love their little cinema and events programme, with a wide range of quirky events from live music gigs to DJ nights and most often screenings of films, documentary or TV. Eurovision night is always a good one! They do basic local food and the place is quite pretty, with red velvet curtains. You can order drinks and food to be brought to you during a screening, which often feels like quite a treat.
This gallery, situated within the old Menier Chocolate Factory, is a simple little gallery that I like to drop into on my way to the Tate Modern or South Bank. It's free and the space always amazes me. The gallery is managed by Paintings in Hospitals (PiH), a registered charity that lends contemporary works of art to hospitals. I'm often surprised when I stumble on excellent, tiny exhibitions: I saw some very nice illustrations by Quentin Blake recently, for example.
I've visited the Mayflower a few times and they say it's one of the oldest pub by the Thames. Either way it's very pretty from the outside and not disappointing once inside, with an intimate and cozy atmosphere. It's rare to find a place that is pleasant whatever the weather is like, but this is one of them. On a sunny day I order their great Fish and Chips to enjoy on the deck looking over the Thames, with the sound of the Thames lapping underneath. Then on a rainy day I bundle up indoors and enjoy a nice pint in the cozy old world atmosphere.