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Bethnal Green

The City


Canary Wharf

The City

London’s traditional financial district, also known as The Square Mile in reference to its tiny size and almost insular atmosphere, is awash with anonymous besuited figures rushing between meetings and Prêt-a-Manger – a far cry from its illustrious beginnings as the original core of London town.


Situated in the Borough of Islington, Clerkenwell and Farringdon have become popular hipster hangouts, thanks to traditional inns and gastropubs, including The Eagle and The Jerusalem Tavern and the fantastic Smithfield Market near to super-club Fabric.


So trendy it hurts, this is where you’re as likely to bump into a well-known designer or two having a fag (either kind) outside of their studio, as you are a skinny-jeans clad wannabe with ridiculous asymmetric hair. With all this creativity and pretension floating about, there are also a good slew of boutiques and bars for the underfunded and underfed.


Thoroughly working class and home to a huge number of immigrants, be it Bangladeshis in Whitechapel or Turkish-Cypriots in Hackney, the areas may not be the most glamorous, but there are rising attempts to decrease crime and increase the number of green spaces and cultural interests, including the crowning (and perhaps only) glory – the Whitechapel Gallery, which thanks to a recent refurb, is one of London’s premier art spaces.


Arguably the hottest hood in town at the moment, if you’re into the grubby-chic hipster thing. Home to the hot-to-trot Dalston Superstore bar, and a number of other hotspots of the alternative fashion scene, there’s a steady stream of übertrendies pilgrimaging to their newfound mecca.

Bethnal Green – Mile End

Both part of The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Bethnal Green and Mile End are East End – but not quite. The quieter neighbours, they nonetheless have some decent pub and bar options, including the always-happening Bistrotheque, the ritzy Town Hall Hotel, and the notorious Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

Canary Wharf-Docklands

Lots of suits here. The Wharf, situated on the site of the West India Docks, is home to London’s major financial services, with more banks than you can wave a middle finger at located in this modern rival to the traditional business centre, The City. Busy, busy, busy during the day, then laying dead until the next day’s rush hour.


Home to the Greenwich Meridien and Mean Time, Greenwich is known for its rich maritime history and is the site of the docked Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory, and The 02 arena. For a while it may have been the only World Heritage site with not just one, but two gay bars. Things, however, are now back to normal with the demise of the Powder Monkey, leaving Ye Olde Rose and Crown to hold the fort.