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Cool alternatives to London’s tourist attractions

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All eyes are on London now that hundreds of beauty queens from around the world have embarked on the British capital.

Bermuda's own Lillian Lightbourn is among those who will take the stage at the Miss World pageant on Sunday.

In anticipation of that event, The Royal Gazette asked Bermudians who have lived or are currently living in the city to share some of their favourite underground places in London.

If you're looking to venture away from the typical tourist attractions — The London Eye, Oxford Street and Buckingham Palace — here are some less talked about, but equally as exciting, options.

Madison Restaurant and Bar: James Lister lives and works London and said this is one of his favourite spots in the city. Located at One New Change Mall, a minute's walk from the St Paul's Underground Station, the rooftop terrace and bar offers a view of the entire city. It's equal to what you'd get if you went up the Shard or the London Eye, but it's free. Mr Lister said, “I came across this location on a night out with some work colleagues who suggested we hit the bar for one more drink.” www.onenewchange.com

Borough Market: Mr Lister said he's a regular at this food-centred market near London Bridge and he always takes his visitors here. “It's the perfect place to go around lunch time to enjoy food from around the world along with fresh produce and baked goods. As this is down the road from my flat I often end up here at least once a month.” www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

Princi Bakery: Rohan Shastri, a former London resident, said that one of the places he misses most in the city is Princi on Wardour Street. “It's a really cool and popular Italian bakery. They do really nice coffee and amazing cakes and are open really late. It's special because the kitchen is open and you can see the bakers working and smell how good everything is before you taste it.” www.princi.com/

The Blue Post Pub: If you are looking for a great traditional British pub, try The Blue Post on Berwick Street. Mr Shastri, a photographer, said this place was always packed on a Friday afternoon and had a really nice atmosphere whenever he would stop by.

When you are in the area, he also recommends popping by the little french restaurant next door called Bar Du Marche. “It's really authentic and the food is amazing,” he added.

Ealing Broadway: If you're looking for an escape from the regular shopping districts in London, Michelle Smith recommends her old neighbourhood — Ealing Broadway. She said: “The area has excellent shopping, quaint hotels for friends and family who are visiting, as well as beautiful parks, where I loved taking my dog for walks. It really was a piece of paradise in the big city.” www.ealingbroadwayshopping.co.uk

Abbey Bar: Located between The City and Aldgate, Tiffany Butterfield-Douglas considers this to be a great bar “to let your hair down after a long day”.

“Happy hour is a real bargain, with most drinks half off or under a fiver. When you come try their Dark ‘n' Stormys, made with proper Gosling's Black rum, to see if it's a good as home. Plus the DJ plays awesome tunes — a mix of oldies and new school hits.” www.abbey-bar.co.uk

Science Museum Lates: Every last Wednesday of every month the Science Museum in South Kensington offers adults a chance to explore the museum for free at night. Ms Butterfield Douglas said it's almost like being a kid again without having to fight the tour groups and school field trips.

“You get to roam the museum at night — with cocktails — and explore the exhibitions, participate in a pub quiz and even test a simulator or two,” she added. The lates have a different theme each month, so one visit might focus on sex, while another might talk about alcohol or climate change. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Wembley Stadium's Eateries: Cratonia Smith was a university student in England for four years. During that time she visited London often and stumbled upon two restaurants near Wembley Stadium during an outing with her family.

“One was an Indian restaurant, and the other Chinese — and the food was phenomenal,” she said.

“It isn't often we find a restaurant that the entire family loves and we came across two side by side! What was especially special was that both restaurants had extensive vegetarian menus, which was a treat for my dad, who's a vegetarian. Those were actually the two best dining experiences I had in London.”

Local photographer Rohan Shastri shared about some of his favourite London spots, including a bakery, traditional pub and authentic French restaurant.
Michelle Smith plays dress up while in one of London's bustling markets - Camden Town. She said there are lots of exciting shopping areas, including her old neighbourhood - Ealing Broadway.
Tiffany Butterfield-Douglas pictured in front of eclectic city area -South Bank in London. She has explored the city during her time living and working in the UK and shares about her favourite bar and free late-night activity.

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Published December 10, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 10, 2014 at 12:47 am)

Cool alternatives to London’s tourist attractions

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