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What to eat, drink, and do in Bermondsey, London

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Cool neighbourhoods? London’s full of them, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one you didn’t like. But beyond Bristol, Shoreditch, and Chelsea, and Mayfair, there’s one that’s fast attracting the hip, artsy crowd too – Bermondsey.

Once a derelict slum before an industrial boom bolstered its status as as a hub for leather tannings and flour milling, the old waterside precinct – which fronts the River Thames near Tower Bridge in South London’s Southwark – continues to bring the relics of that era to the hundreds of thousands who wander through today. The former factories and warehouses that sit among Victorian architecture now house trendy studios and co-working spaces, while the riverside wharves – recognisable by their sturdy wooden beams and blackened bricks – have been transformed into chic loft apartments that boast coveted views of the famous river. 

Walk through and you’ll find more hipster-approved gastro-pubs, curbside cafes, antique markets, and independent boutiques. It is a gentrifying neighbourhood, after all, but unlike the ones that have lost its spark from this “revitalisation”, Bermondsey just seems to keep getting better. So promising is this part of town, that even the Londoners are moving there in droves, galvanising developers like Barratt London – which specialises in urban regeneration projects – to launch Bermondsey Heights, which will combine the city’s thriving buzz with heritage and modern living. 

If you’re ready to expand your horizons in London (and have a special love for craft beers), read on for our guide to Bermondsey, one of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods today.

How to get there

The best way to get to Bermondsey is by rail and its prime location makes this a breeze. There are several stations in the area, including Bermondsey Underground – which is on the Jubilee Line – and South Bermondsey railway station, which provides services to London Bridge station in just one stop. There is also the New Bermondsey Overground, which is being built and will sit on the East London Line to provide further connections around the area.

What to do

White Cube

Bermondsey Street has an abundance of restaurants, shops, galleries, and cafes that warrants a day trip there on its own. One of the coolest art galleries there – and in the whole city, for that matter – is White Cube Bermondsey, an international gallery that also calls Palm Beach, Paris, and even Hong Kong home. Its contemporary art exhibitions are a must-visit whether you’re an aficionado or just simply want to stew in Bermondsey’s artsy vibe.

Fashion and Textile Museum building (Image credit: BuildPix/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

Be sure to also head over to the Fashion & Textile Museum, the only museum in the UK that’s dedicated to showcasing contemporary fashion and textile design. The pink-and-orange creative hub houses a textile studio and printing workshop alongside exhibitions that are dedicated to visionaries like Andy Warhol and Kaffe Fassett.

For outdoor lovers, visit Bermondsey’s Southward Park, which covers a whopping 63-acres and features everything from boating on a lake to sports facilities. You can even enjoy a coffee at the Southwark Park Pavilion Cafe, which overlooks the water, before heading to the wildlife garden.

Borough Market

The trendy neighbourhood is also a short distance from many other exciting destinations in Southwark, including Tower Bridge, the Shard, and Borough Market, the latter being one of the best places in the city to grab a bite at.

Where to eat and drink

Which brings us to the best dining spots and watering holes here. Now one of the capital’s most promising areas for small-scale culinary businesses, you’ll find that the area is a Jack of all trades, and master of all of them. Here, Jensen’s Gin preserves Bermondsey’s legacy as ‘London’s Larder’ by converting a railway arch into a gin distillery, where you’ll be able to savour the spirit with trains still thundering overhead. 

Anspach & Hobday

Microbreweries have also taken advantage of these massive railway arch spaces to create top-notch craft beer here, giving the area the legendary Bermondsey Beer Mile monicker. Stop by the likes of Brew By Numbers, Partizan Brewing, and Anspach & Hobday, and hang out with some of London’s brightest beersmiths over a pint or two. 

The old-school arches might hint at centuries past, but the dining scene here is way ahead of its time. The Garrison serves elevated gastro-pub fare with quality seasonal produce within its charming vintage space, and is popular for its buzzy yet relaxed atmosphere.

José Tapas Bar knows a thing or two about cooking up a delicious Spanish feast, while Flour & Grape serves up elegant plates of fresh, hand made pasta – the perfect precursor to your cocktail adventures at its hidden gin bar, Two One Four, below. Nine Lives (not a cat themed bar) is quite literally a hidden gem. The subterranean cocktail bar is inspired by a tropical oasis, and serves up delicious cocktails and fantastic Southern Californian grub amidst jungle palms, hanging palms, and bamboo lanterns. 

Chasing that caffeine buzz? Head over to modern coffee purveyors WatchHouse., where you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet espresso, or take some beans to go.

(Hero and featured image credit: Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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The dwindling case for living in London

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The recent debate around ‘levelling up’ may be missing something. I would argue that there is another way to consider geographical inequality – and, by this alternative measure, a levelling has been under way for more than 20 years.

I’ve spent three decades working in advertising, so it’s unsurprising that I tend to view economic life through the lens of consumption. By contrast, mainstream economists tend to view disparities through the medium of earnings or wealth. To me, measures of wealth should include not only the quantity of money you have but the breadth of worthwhile options available in choosing how to spend it.

Let’s put it another way. If you live in a boring village, and suddenly a great pub or café opens on the high street, then by my measure you have become richer; by the economist’s measure you have not.

Things that would once have been available in London decades before the provinces now appear everywhereat once 

There was undoubtedly a time when you were richer in London in two ways. You had more money, but you also had a far more exciting range of ways to spend it. Now not so much.

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London is a great city but, in terms of consumption quality, it has not improved markedly in the past 20 years. Over the same period, many smaller cities and even towns have advanced rapidly, significantly narrowing the gap. The kind of things that would once have been available in the capital decades before making it to the provinces – like sushi – now appear everywhere at once. Consider Turkish barbers, who seem to have taken over the country in only five years. (I can remember a time when it was enough just to get a haircut without having burning methylated spirits flicked in my ears. Back then I just didn’t know any better.)

This levelling is especially true of anything in the digital world: Amazon gadgets, Netflix films, Asos fashions and PlayStation games hit Aberystwyth the same day they hit Islington. But it also applies to the physical environment, as anyone over 50 can attest. I went to Manchester and Sheffield for the first time in 1989. Compared with London, they were then, let’s be honest, utterly rubbish. Now, when I visit those same cities, I experience mild ‘northern envy’. There are interesting places open everywhere. Northerners have better cars, because they have more money left over after paying for housing. And they are much better-looking, because they can nip home to get changed before going out.

Relatively speaking, London has improved far less dramatically than these provincial cities have. (New York, many aficionados argue, has got worse.) OK, the Tube is better than it used to be. Uber is a handy addition. But some things are awful – the last pleasure of driving in London ended when they put speed cameras on the Westway. Accommodation costs for the young wipe out any salary gains.

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By my measure, high property prices won’t just hit Londoners once – they’ll hit them twice. Not only do high rents wipe out what you earn, they also put at risk London’s once unassailable advantage as a great place to spend what money you have left. Creative businesses of any kind require space at a price which allows them to take risks. For a time, London found this space by moving its heartland from west to east. But suppose the people supporting what Douglas McWilliams calls ‘the flat white economy’ flee altogether? In my own experience, Kent suddenly seems weirdly full of fascinating restaurants founded by London exiles. If more of these people leave, the case for staying weakens further.

Londoners always say things like ‘Yes but there’s the theatre’. Let’s face it though – even Shakespeare left London for Stratford in his mid-forties. As he no doubt found, the theatre is all very well, but it’s nothing like being able to park outside your house.

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Gentrification is not a sin

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Gentrification is not a sin – UnHerd

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