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Trip To London: How To Enjoy London Like A Londoner

Updated on September 12, 2013

How To Enjoy Eating And Drinking In The City Like A Local.

You’ve got a trip planned to London but don’t want to spend all your time like a tourist. Maybe you’re only on a short stay and don’t want to get caught in the tourist trap spots but would rather experience some of your time in London like a Londoner. Maybe you don’t enjoy the usual touristy breaks and would rather immerse yourself into a place, getting a glimpse and a feel of how life is in the city for the people who live there.

It’s always fun to check out the main attractions of a place being visited, and its great seeing and living the sights that has before now only been the stuff you’ve seen in magazines or on TV. But it can get very tiring after a while, and it is then that being able to spend time in a place without feeling like a tourist can be enjoyed. So what do locals do when they want to eat and drink out in London?

London pub
London pub | Source

Lunch in the parks. When the sun is shining many workers will make the most of their precious lunch hour by grabbing a few rays in one of London’s many parks, squares and open spaces. London is a surprisingly green city, with about 3000 parks and open spaces; it is one of the greenest cities in the world. Locals and people working in the centre of London will make the most of these parks and open spaces, enjoying a piece of nature in the middle of the city while they enjoy their lunchtime sandwich. Grab a sandwich or other picnic essentials and enjoy doing the same.

If you want to avoid the typically touristy areas, such as Leicester Square and Covent Garden for restaurants, head for the nearby areas of Soho and Fitzrovia. Wandering down many of the smaller side streets will bring you to an amazing selection of restaurants. You can taste the world, with restaurants serving national dishes from all over the world. Everything from Thai to Hungarian, Japanese to Scandinavian can be enjoyed, without the inflated tourist prices or crowds.

It’s time to stop and enjoy a coffee or cup of tea. But where do you go? London is not short of coffee shops, and it’s not hard to find one of the many chain coffee shops such as Starbucks and Café Nero. But what if you want to try something a bit more individual? There are some wonderful, independent coffee shops, located within easy distance or the main tourist hot spots. Here are a few of them:

Flat White, 17 Berwick St , Soho . Located in Berwick St with its bustling market, this is a great place to sample its signature coffee, and then pick up a fit bits and pieces from the market outside.

Kaffeine, 66 Titchfield St , Fitzrovia. An attractive coffee shop, run by Aussies.

Lantana, 13 Charlotte Place , Fitzrovia. Another Aussie run coffee shop, also serving great food.

If you want something a bit stronger, then maybe it’s time to grab a pint. Wander down the side streets and find the pubs that Londoners frequent, away from the tourist crowds. If you are in Leicester Square or Oxford Street- head into Soho, or just north of Oxford Street into the area known as Fitzrovia. Also, Sunday is traditionally the day to enjoy a roast dinner with all the trimmings and though originally a family meal enjoyed at home, for many, this is now enjoyed in the pub. There are variations to this meal, but in the main it's meat with roast potatoes and assorted vegetables. The majority of traditional pubs will have a Sunday roast on the menu.

London is a great place for sight-seeing and experiencing all the attractions it has to offer. However, during your trip to London there are times when you may want to take off your tourist hat and experience this great city more as a local. Being a tourist can be tiring, and doing the typical touristiy things doesn't always give you a real flavour of this magnificant place. To do that, you need to get off the tourist trail and spend time as a Londoner, and with a little bit of knowledge, you can!

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