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Your guide to... Bermondsey

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Located past Tower Bridge, far enough down the Thames that you’ll probably turn back towards London Bridge before you get there… we’d forgive you for not noticing Bermondsey.

But how mistaken you are. Filled with converted warehouses, stylish riverside flats and a village-like stretch of pubs, bars and restaurants, Bermondsey is a true gem in a prime location – London Bridge station is within a 15 min walk. No wonder we’ve usually got 700+ rooms on offer at a time in SE1…

Forget the views of Tower Bridge, the Thames and the Shard (if you’re lucky) – what else makes Bermondsey so great? We’ve got a few ideas.

How do I get there?

Bermondsey tube itself sits on the Jubilee line, spitting distance from the Thames. But it’s an easy area to reach from plenty of major central London stations too – London Bridge (National Rail, Jubilee and Northern Line) and Borough (Northern Line) are both a short walk away.

The area’s close proximity to the river makes it easy to walk to lots of key areas – stroll across nearby Tower Bridge and you’re in easy reach of city worker hotspots like Aldgate, Liverpool Street and Bank. Or if your feet don't fancy it, there are plenty of east, central and south London bus links within your grasp.

What is there to do?

Bermondsey is much heralded as a foodie’s paradise, but it’s got plenty of cultural highlights too. Fashionistas and art-lovers –– make for the Fashion and Textile museum. You’ll find exhibitions, talks and lates covering all themes from T-shirt culture, to fashion through the ages and exhibitions from industry trailblazers.

Next door to this is the London Glassblowing Gallery, i.e. London’s best place to view amazing contemporary glass art, and if you’re lucky even watch some hot glassblowing in action. It’s surprisingly therapeutic…

If you’re around on a Friday, you can’t miss Bermondsey Antiques Market – home to collectible antiques and treasures, as well as a host of other weird and wonderful objects. The last stop on your Bermondsey art tour? White Cube for innovative contemporary art in 58,000sq ft of gallery space.

Once you’ve had your fill of culture, let off some steam at The Arch – a local climbing wall set under a glass roof, with lots of exciting angled walls for climbers to get to grips with. No membership required either.

And if you’re a little tired after ALL that, where better to unwind than in Bermondsey’s very own independent cinema, Kino, which shows both new films and old classics, alongside indie flicks too.

Where do I eat?

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Start your culinary voyage at Maltby Street Market. Tucked away behind the railway arches, this teeny backstreet is easy to miss but when you do find it… prepare for your mind to be blown. Some of London’s most exciting street food traders line the market – we love the gourmet bakes from Bad Brownie, flavoursome dumplings at Gyoza Guys, the creamiest PB from Pic’s Peanut Butter, and London’s BEST gooey scotch eggs from Finest Fayre (pictured).

Brunches don’t get better than at Bermondsey Yard Café, a converted car park (serious) that serves up twisted classics like avo toast with teriyaki salmon, in an uber-cool relaxed setting.

Tapas fan? Get a proper authentic fix at Jose Pizarro – the menu does change daily, but you’re guaranteed to find all your favourites from gambas to padron peppers. Or if you’re after something heartier, Constancia is a local Argentine steak house that offers outstanding prime meats, a laid-back vibe and delectable Malbec wines. We’re in.

Relaxed dining may be Bermondsey’s forté, but you can still go all out if the mood takes you. And when you do, make sure you do it at Casse Croute, a teeny French brasserie with a daily changing menu that promises modern tweaks on the country’s classics. Some pricier than others, all trés bon.

And the drinks?

First important thing to know: Bermondsey has its own BEER MILE. Yep, we’re not joking. Head this way for a guide to the 2018 stops for you to get your craft beer fix.

But if beer bingeing isn't your thing, fear not. The Woolpack is a much-loved local pub that’s a gem in the summer – thanks to it’s huge, bustling pub garden. Word to the wise: come early, or you’ll never get a seat.

Village East down the road offers a slightly more refined pub experience, complete with a mouthwatering cocktail list with juicy botanicals aplenty. Mine’s a Saffron Spritz, please.

But for the real cocktail connoisseur, it doesn’t get better than Nine Lives. A hidden gem that’s tucked into a basement close to London Bridge station, this late night venue promises some of London’s best cocktails in a chic, tropical setting with a pretty decent soundtrack to accompany. Oh, and there’s a shuffleboard table too…

Are you a fan of SE1? Let us know your favourite hangouts.

Image credit: Tom Bastin, Mike Knell, Paul Simpson, Ewan-M

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