London Off the Beaten Path

Either you’ve seen all the traditional landmarks in London or you’re simply the type of person who is more interested in seeking out the unfamiliar, unusual, maybe a bit of the bizarre. For you, we have some spots in London that are fabulous but too often fly under the radar.

The Old Bank of England

Contrary to what you may think based on the name, this is actually one of the grandest pubs in London, a reincarnation of 17th and 18th century pubs, The Cock and The Haunch of Venison, that were razed in 1888. Masterful paintings decorate the walls ‘neath the most magnificent ceiling with sparkling, smashing chandeliers. See if you can score a table on the Mezzanine, so you can have a bird’s eye view of the happenings below.

If your interests run to the more macabre, there is a legend that the bank lies between Sweeney Todd’s barber shop and Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop. Believe it or not, as you choose, but try not to think about that as you enjoy your pie and mash—the dish you absolutely must experience.

Pie and Mash

Londoners have been enjoying pie and mash since at least the 18th century. Originally, the pies were made with stewed eels. Fortunately (or not, depending on your tastes), eels became too expensive many years ago, and you can rest assured that the pies are filled with minced beef.

Wilton’s Music Hall

Stop by for a performance. Plays, opera, puppets, classical music, concert and magic shows are among the offerings. It’s also worth visiting for a drink at the sumptuous Mahogany Bar or for a tour of the fascinating building that originated as an alehouse then went through its lives as a Victorian Music Hall, Methodist Mission, deserted warehouse and its return as a thriving arts venue on London’s East End.

Camden Market

The Market began in the 1970s with a small group of craft stalls. Today there are more than a thousand shops with fine handmade clothes and jewelry, handcrafted artifacts, unique gifts, and authentic cuisine from faaway places.

Chin Chin Labs 

Now why would we recommend you stop by a laboratory? Because it’s actually an ice cream parlour! Nitrogen ice cream to be exact, and like none you’ve ever had before. Your soft scoop is frozen with nitrogen right before your eyes. Ordinary flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, are heavenly, but, really, go for the weird: Tiramisu Sundae, Wild Blueberry and Gin, or Sweet Cherry Pie Sun.

Chelsea Physic Garden

The garden was established in 1673 for training apothecary apprentices in medicinal plants. It is now a unique collection of more than 5,000 plants that are edible, medicinal or historic. It is also a serene environment for a leisurely stroll with perhaps a stop for afternoon tea at the Tangerine Dream Café.

Chelsea is a wonderful section of London to stay. It’s only 5 to 15 minutes away from any of the above (and even the more traditional) attractions, with easy access to the tube, buses and taxis.

Whether you’ll be staying for a while or taking a brief holiday, Home From Home can provide you with an amazing choice of accommodations. Their portfolio of more than 250 apartments and properties include the practical to the luxurious—something for every budget. The privately owned homes in some of the best neighborhoods allow you to live like a Londoner!