Payal the Explorer

Wonderguide by

Udyat Gutgutia

Lup, London and Love

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Cocktails [not made with Gurgaon alc]

London’s cocktail bars can be characterised in 3 main styles: cocktail expertise, unique conceptualisation, and pure fun. NightJar and Oriole, with their world-famous unique take on cocktails fit the first of these styles. In the second category, Cahoots sits proudly modelled on a London tube, accompanied by Draughts (board game themed), Vaulty Towers (treehouse booths), and Discount Suit Company (clandestine bare-brick interiors). Special mention to Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town where you can only enter through a refrigerator door (and with the correct passcode). For pure fun, BeAtOne has a special place in my heart. Best for when you can’t decide whether you want to dance or chill.

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Dream Menu

Now, this list has been curated keeping specific tastes in mind. Starting with desserts, if you're looking for the best Tiramisu in London, Harry's Bar seems to be the place to go. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for some Reynold-type magic, then Basement Sate is probably your best bet. In a dim sum mood? Baozilnn looks incredible. And if the craving for a 20inch pizza ever hits, Homeslice and its half and half pizzas are a must. Mexican? Taco Queen! Burgers? Honest Burgers. The latter is known for its freshness and overall health inclination. And if London really changes you and you find yourself wanting sushi, Sushi Atelier looks good. Last, but not the least, Nando's. Don't really need to say much about that one.


The one-stop solution for when India seems a little too far away. Whether you're looking for incredible Indian food on a budget (Dishoom) or some Sri-Lankan Dosas (Hoppers), this list should have you sorted. For specific cravings of India-style noodles, chilli chicken or butter chicken, I would recommend Dalchini, Hakkaland and Golia Butter Chicken respectively. And when you're in the mood to cook for yourself, make sure to visit Asian Dukan or Patel Brothers to get your Indian spices, and ingredients. Works well to satisfy the odd Indian snack craving also. Finally, Trishaz and MaasBest should be good for sending you daily tiffins (even if we have to call their CEO and make it happen).

Image - Dishoom
Image - Goila Butter Chicken
Goila Butter Chicken
Image - Hoppers Soho
Hoppers Soho
Image - Asian Dukan
Asian Dukan
Image - Hakkaland
Image - Dalchini

Non-Mental Intellectual Stimulation

Come here when you're bored of the drinking and partying and want some intellectual stimulations (because obviously the menial job of solving global mental health issues will not be enough). Daunt Books is unique for segmenting its books purely based on the countries they're associated with. For more spicy sections, go to Liberia bookshop where you'll find categories like 'Mothers, Madonnas, and Whores'. Word on the Water floats on a canal, and is a very cosy find, while Walden Books specialises in rare literature. If you're not in the mood to read, explore some mainstream London museums like The British Museum, Natural History Museum and the British Library, or some off-beat ones like the Vagina museum. Missing the comforts of Harry Potter? Listed are two of the more famous HP attractions in London.

Non-Mental Non-Literate Stimulation

For when books and museums are not enough to scratch that stimulation itch, this is the list for you. In the mood for some friendly competition? Try out HintHunt (an escape room), or Moriarty’s Game (a treasure hunt that takes you around the city). Leake Street, meanwhile, is known for the years of graffiti it has accumulated. For great views from above - SkyGarden, and for great views underground - Mail Rail. And if you’re in the search of bottomless margaritas and a festive atmosphere, Ziggy Green is famous for its Ziggy Nights. The best for the last: Dans Le Noir and Junkyard Golf Club. The former is an incredible restaurant where you enjoy food blindfolded in an attempt to heighten other senses, while the latter is a super-quirky modern mini-golf course with incredible cocktails. Something for every mood.

Total Fitness

London is interesting in that you don't need to rely purely on traditional gyms for getting your move ring in. Not only do you have many options to learn ice skating (Lee Valley), you can do yoga in front of a giant screen (FLY) , or box (Urban Warriors) if the coursework is really getting to your nerves. Zumba (Hype Fitness) and Badminton (Finsbury Leisure Center) are some comfortable options. For something truly unique, head over to Flight Club to engage in some Ted Lasso darts, with a wide range of cocktails.

<10 AQI

One of the things you must enjoy in London is the incredible air quality. As you get used to seeing AQIs of single digits, you might find yourself wanting to spend some time outdoors. When this happens, start with Primrose Hill. Gorgeous views. Best enjoyed on a lazy summer afternoon, or an existential midnight with a bottle of wine. If you find friends who insist that you swim, try Hampstead Heath. London also has some of the best outdoor markets each with their unique offering. Borough market - over a 1000 years old, specialising in food. Camden market - grungy, quirky atmosphere. Maltby market - new, and a little bit more curated and indie. Brixton market - jewellery and vintage clothing. Something for every mood.

Vast Vauxhall

I know that you have been concerned about Vauxhall’s location and your perceived lack of things to do near your accommodation. Within a 5-10 min walk, you have a climbing centre, a park, and a facility that literally makes a sport out of throwing axes. For quick bites, Mumbai Delight seems to be highly rated, Vine Bar will fulfil all your pizza + wine desires, and Tia Maria will enable a little Brazilian food experimentation. The Fentiman Arms looks like a super cute non-masculine-toxic pub, and the gym group is a nice affordable option for your daily gym requirements. Consider this a very small preview of the vibrancy you can expect nearby.

Wonderguide map

  1. Cahoots London
  2. Oriole Bar
  3. Nightjar
  4. Draughts - Waterloo
  5. Be At One - Russell Street
  6. Vaulty Towers
  7. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
  8. Discount Suit Company
  9. BaoziInn - Soho
  10. Taco Queen
  11. Homeslice Marylebone
  12. Honest Burgers Covent Garden
  13. Sushi Atelier
  14. Basement Sate
  15. Harry's Bar
  16. Nando's
  17. Dishoom
  18. Goila Butter Chicken
  19. Hoppers Soho
  20. Trishaz Treat Limited
  21. Maas Best Indian Food Tiffin Service
  22. Asian Dukan
  23. Patel Brothers
  24. Hakkaland
  25. Dalchini
  26. Libreria Bookshop
  27. Daunt Books
  28. Word On The Water
  29. Walden Books
  30. The British Museum
  31. Natural History Museum
  32. The British Library
  33. Vagina Museum
  34. Wizard Exploratorium
  35. Harry Potter Studio Tour
  36. Sky Garden
  37. Dans le Noir ? London Restaurant
  38. Leake Street
  39. Moriarty's Game: The Professor's Invitation by HiddenCity
  40. Ziggy Green
  41. HintHunt London
  42. Junkyard Golf Club | Crazy Golf Shoreditch
  43. Mail Rail at The Postal Museum
  44. Lee Valley Ice Centre
  45. Flight Club Bloomsbury
  46. FLY LDN
  47. HYPE Fitness
  48. Finsbury Leisure Centre
  49. Urban Warriors Academy
  50. Primrose Hill
  51. Hampstead Heath
  52. Brixton Market
  53. Camden Market
  54. Borough Market
  55. Maltby Street Market
  56. The Gym Group London Vauxhall
  57. Mumbai Delight
  58. The Fentiman Arms
  59. Vine Bar London
  60. Whistle Punks Urban Axe Throwing
  61. Vauxhall Park
  62. Tia Maria - Brazilian Bar & Restaurant London
  63. VauxWall West Climbing Centre

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