WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Located under a railway arch next to Borough’s buzzing Flat Iron Square, Bar Douro offers authentic Portuguese food, matched with exquisite Portuguese wines as part of its 30-cover marble counter-top dining space. Its blue-tiled, bright interior will evoke long weekends in Lisbon or the sun-soaked beaches of Praia da Luz, with the menu offering a modern takes on traditional dishes, including garlic punched potatoes, octopus with sweet potato and a salt cod hash - a must-order.
35B, Arch, 85B Southwark Bridge Rd, SE1 0NQ
In the centre of Borough Market, you’ll find Bedales wine bar, complete with dark, cosy interiors and an excellent wine list. With branches in Spitalfields Market and Leadenhall Market too, the London Bridge outpost comes complete with an accompanying wine shop and market terrace for warmer months. Open until 11pm Saturday-Wednesday and midnight on Thursday and Friday, it’s the ideal place to see out the night in style.
5 Bedale St, SE1 9AL
A classic spot for Spanish tapas, the Borough Market outpost of Brindisa doesn’t disappoint. Here since the mid-90s, Brindisa opened its first warehouse and shop in the Floral Hall before opening its neighbouring tapas bar in 2004. Staying true to the tapas tradition of no reservations, the owners recommend prospective diners download the WalkIn app to join a virtual queue to avoid the wait.
18-20, Borough Market, Southwark St, SE1 1TJ
Fans of chef Angela Hartnett should head to her new site in Bermondsey, an opening that was two years in the making. If you’ve visited sister spots in St James’s and Covent Garden, you’re bound to find the usual Murano favourites on the menu here, too, such as salt cod fritters with parmesan and lemon, pumpkin tortellini with sage butter and burrata with Jerusalem artichoke and hazelnuts.
184 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3TQ
Those looking for a touch of Paris in London should head to all-day bistro Casse-Croûte, which comes with red-checked tablecloths and a menu full of French fare. Described by the Guardian restaurant critic as an “instant smash”, expect to see owner Hervé Durochat out front promoting the menu du jour. With dishes changing daily, this isn’t glammed-up Balthazar or Brasserie Zédel – it’s traditional neighbourhood dining at its best.
109 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3XB
Wellness editor Tor Cardona’s now-fiancé got down on one knee at this Borough Market hideaway, where the seasonal, wood-fired cooking uses only the best produce from independent suppliers. The daily-changing menu offers dishes including mussels in Café de Paris butter; winter greens, gorgonzola and mushroom lasagne; and partridge with prune and pickled cabbage, all of which can be accompanied by roasted pumpkin, butterhead lettuce and fried Maris piper potatoes.
12 Stoney St, SE1 9AD
Critically acclaimed Spanish chef José Pizarro now has two sites to choose from in the Borough area – the traditional tapas bar José and the more refined Pizarro restaurant. For a casual Saturday drop-in, we prefer the former which offers a daily-changing menu along with more than 50 Spanish wines and sherries. Promising customers an authentic Spanish experience, the now nearly decade-old José still has crowds outside the doors most nights.
104 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3UB
The original site on the edge of Borough Market has proved so popular, it spurned a second opening in Shoreditch earlier this month. Opening its doors at midday, queues are still commonplace at Padella’s Borough branch from 5pm onwards, but believe us when we say the pasta dishes are well worth the wait. As the weather warms up, take advantage of the outside seating. The downstairs booths make for a cosier option come winter.
6 Southwark St, SE1 1TQ
The 26 Grains team are behind this latest opening, and the goal remains the same: good everyday food and drinks, where high quality ingredients are matched with seasonality and simple cooking. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, we love the sound of the warm London raclette salad; followed by bavette steak; and rhubarb, marmalade and almond tart for dessert.
2 Stoney St, SE1 9AA
WHAT TO SEE & DO
With only two boutiques in the capital, jewellery designer Alex Monroe's London Bridge site is a must-visit. Located below Alex’s design studio, the Snowsfields location holds the entire range, and is ideal for engraving requests and those looking for a more personal shopping experience. Just be aware the shop is closed on Sundays and bank holidays.
37 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, SE1 3SU
It’s no secret one of Borough’s biggest draws is its famous food market. With a history stretching back to the 11th century, the modern-day market has hundreds of stalls all selling fresh produce, including vegetables, meat and cheese, with plenty serving up tasty dishes to sample as you browse. The market also plays host to a number of events throughout the year, including its regular cookbook club and a series of talks tackling the biggest problems facing the food industry.
8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL
Ex-National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner opened the doors to the Bridge Theatre in 2017, with the venue helping to breathe new life into a previously neglected corner of London, close to Tower Bridge and City Hall. Past productions have included Alan Bennett’s Allelujah! and a recent staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones). Theatre-goers are able to pick up something to eat and drink at the venue’s in-house bar and café, too.
3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG
On the bank of the River Thames and opposite London Bridge station, you’ll find Hays Galleria – a shopping centre with a difference. Originally built in the 1850s and refurbished in the 1980s, the Grade II-listed building is modelled on Milan’s famous Galleria on the Piazza del Duomo, offering visitors the chance to pop into over 20 shops and restaurants. In December, the plaza gives over space to a one-off Christmas market, complete with independent stalls and carol singers.
1 Battle Bridge Ln, SE1 2HD
Visit Hay’s Galleria.com
For one-of-a kind shoes and bags, head down to Kat Maconie. Having launched her brand just over a decade ago, the London-based designer’s Bermondsey boutique also offers on-the-go beauty treatments, including express facials, manicures and even waxing. Open seven days a week, visitors should know it’s possible to book treatments in advance, too.
92 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3UB
Founded by London-raised sisters Christie and Rosanna Wollenberg in 2016, customers can now visit jewellery brand Otiumberg's London Bridge studio by appointment. During the slot, you'll receive styling tips, gift ideas and a complete run-through of all the collections, as well as trying on as many pieces as you wish. Appointments can be booked 24 hours in advance by emailing email@example.com.
Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0HS
For an instant culture hit, it doesn’t get more impressive than Tate Modern. Part of the Tate group – which includes the more traditional Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives – this gallery houses the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day, as well as other international modern and contemporary pieces. Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, Tate Modern will soon launch a blockbuster exhibition showcasing the work of pop artist Andy Warhol (12th March-6th September).
Bankside, SE1 9TG
If mind-blowing cityscapes are your thing, the view from the top of The Shard won't disappoint. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the UK’s tallest building offers unrivalled vistas across the capital from its viewing deck, 68 floors up. There’s also the chance to take in a virtual reality experience and book into one of the bars and restaurants which occupy the other floors.
32 London Bridge St, SE1 9SG
One of London’s most famous bridges, this well-known landmark is well worth a visit. Be sure to time your visit to catch one of the famous bridge lifts (a timetable is available here), or even take part in a yoga class with a difference, before wandering across to check out the Tower of London, where Anne Boleyn and Guy Fawkes were once imprisoned.
Tower Bridge Rd, SE1 2UP
Beat the crowds at Tate Modern by heading down to the more avant-garde White Cube, home to some of Britain’s most exciting and provocative artists. Owned by art collector and curator Jay Jopling, the space regularly exhibits works by Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley. A current show from Welsh conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans has been described by critics as ‘captivating’.
144-152, Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, SE1 3TQ
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