Having grown up in the suburbs of south London, Southbank was the area that I knew like the back of my hand. Easily accessible by speedy trains from most places below the river, jump off at London Bridge on your next free Saturday off and go for a wander along the river.
But first..coffee: London Grind
Being a total coffee addict, the day doesn’t really begin until I’ve had my caffeine hit. A two minute walk from London Bridge station, here you’ll find exposed brick, filament bulbs and premium coffees. Taking their inspo from Aussie-style cafés, they also do a great brunch and cocktail menu (the Espresso Martinis are a guaranteed winner).
Next stop: Borough Market
Found under the railway lines, this spot This is worth the roam even though there are quite a few tourists around the place. With vendors serving a vast range of food stalls, drink vendors and sweet treats to have a browse (making sure to try all the samples as you go).
Christmas stalls are in full swing, with mulled wine and hot spicy cider stalls all over the place. Make sure to make a beeline for Bread Ahead for some of these incredible doughnuts! If you fancy a delicious roast, head to (the aptly named) Roast.
Brunch stop: The Breakfast Club
Certainly not a hidden gem, but it serves brunch all day everyday and the delicious American buttermilk pancakes do live up to the hype (if you can cope with waiting it out in the queue). If you find yourself there in the evening, go up to a member of staff and say “I’m here to get lucky”. They will lead you downstairs through the secret door into this pretty great tequila bar.
Artsy stop: Tate Modern
The Tate Modern recently had a huge update, with the new wing opening. Wander the galleries, pondering over the fabulous art works. Make sure to whiz up to the tenth floor whilst you’re there and take in the panoramic views..they really are second to none!
Other touristy stops: The London Eye & Houses of Parliament
Keep wandering along the river and you’ll stumble across all the classic sights that, however touristy and cliché, are still beautiful. Navigate your way through the crowds, particularly if you have visitors that want to tick off the sights.