London - Under the radar

Thursday, April 25, 2013

London has some of the most iconic attractions in the world. From Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace, they’re certainly incredible, but they might give you a feeling of ‘been there, done that’.
We’ve delved under the skin of the big smoke to find some of the finest under the radar and alternative attractions on offer.

Eltham Palace

How under the radar can a palace be? Very, if Eltham Palace is anything to go by; residents in the area didn’t even know it existed until it opened its doors to the public 13 years ago. What has to be one of the world’s few art Deco palaces is a visual treat and likely something you’ll never forget. Once owned by a wealthy textile heir, it’s a treasure trove of unique artwork. And just when you think you couldn’t unearth more secrets it turns out its amongst the ruins of a medieval palace, complete with moat and drawbridge. La Bodega Negra You’ll have to trust us here, but to have one of the most memorable meals you’ve had you’re going to have to go through the front door of a sex shop. Or what looks like a sex shop anyway; it’s so grittily convincing you might have to steel your nerves to enter. But what you’ve actually entered is La Bodega Negra, one of the most unusual restaurants London has to offer. As you descend into this subterranean, candlelight chamber you’ll be greeted by an eatery that’s the height of battered fashion. Harsh concrete walls and an upturned piano are the unique surroundings for food that’s getting great reviews. The Comedy Store ‘Expect the unexpected’ is the tagline to this London institution and fittingly enough it was the focal point of the Alternative Comedy explosion of the 1980s and has seen some of the best comedians in the world play there, from Mike Myers to Simon Pegg. Whether you’re watching a stand up solo gig, an improving performance, or one of the comedy troupes like The Comedy Store Players or The Cutting Edge, this is the place to be for guaranteed laughter. As a late night venue situated close to so many London Hotels it’s a great place to end your day in style. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret If you’re after something really unusual then this is the place for you. Housed in the roof of an English Baroque church this operating theatre dates back to the early 1800s and is beautifully preserved. The informative and evocative displays mean you can practically hear the bones crack and see the gore that filled this place in its working days; all under no anesthetic. It’s not all blood and guts however, with the fascinating Herb Garret attached giving an in depth look at the life of an old apothecary in beautiful surroundings. A city like London has an exhaustive list of attractions, alternative or not, and listing them all would be nigh on impossible. The above list is our pick of the bunch and is designed to propel you into finding all the interesting and unusual nooks and crannies that the English capital has to offer.

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Quote to Live By

"Not all those who wander are lost."
- J. R. R. Tolkien

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