Six Reasons to Visit Bankside, London

The Shard, London

Lying on the south side of the river is many a tourist trap. The Southbank draws in the crowds for the London Eye, but it’s the hidden second-hand book stalls and graffiti covered skate parks that keep locals coming back. Similarly, London Bridge has the Shard and Borough Market, but walk 10 minutes down towards Southwark and there’s a new area undergoing renovation. Here’s the things you should check out down at Bankside now, before the crowds sniff it out!

Drinks and gigs at Omeara

Omeara bar London

Omeara bar London

Omeara bar London

We’re a lucky bunch, us Londoners. Living in a city where live music can be found every night of the week, and new venues popping up here, there and everywhere. The latest is Omeara, conveniently found on O’Meara St and run by one of the guys from Mumford & Sons. It’s beautiful aesthetic is Twin Peaks meets Dumbledore’s office and promises an impressively stocked bar to hit up before busting some moves in the next room.

Carb loading at Burnt Lemon Bakery

Burnt Lemon Bakery, Flat Iron Square

Cinnamon rolls at Burnt Lemon Bakery, Flat Iron Square

Vase of flowers at Burnt Lemon Bakery

With a focus on sourdough in particular, you can smell Burnt Lemon Bakery before you see it. Fresh bread, cakes and pies are made every day at their pitch in Flat Iron Square – the food centre of Bankside. I haven’t found such a good looking cinnamon roll since I ate my weight in them in Bergen, Norway – and that’s saying something.

Boutique shopping from the best independent retailers

Tinct bags pop-up in Flat Iron Square

Tinct leather bags pop-up, Flat Iron Square

Within Flat Iron Square is a pop-up space that will play host to a number of retailers, each switching and changing to offer something new each time you head down. On my latest visit was the beautiful leather goods brand, TINCT. Not only were they selling their gorgeous bags and wallets but they were hosting workshops from wreath making to taxidermy!

Pizzas made in an unconventional way

Neon pizza sign at Baz and Fred, Flat Iron Square

Goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza from Baz and Fred

Chadwick Ovens being used at Baz and Fred

Baz & Fred don’t go in for the big old clay oven that we’re all fully used to seeing in the middle of a restaurant by now. They’re all about food on the go, as pizza rightly should be, and instead make their delicious wares in a Chadwick Oven – a portable oven that makes perfect pizza in about 3 minutes. Voodoo? Witchcraft? Possibly. But give me that goats cheese and caramelised onion topping and I don’t care how you’ve conjured it up.

Walking the Low Line

Clink bollards in Southwark

Street art in London

Book swap cart in Southwark

Focusing on the railway arches around the Southwark area, the Low Line project has the aim to create an almost car-free zone for pedestrians to wander through the area and discover new small businesses, such as those in Flat Iron Square. Around the area is signs of the area’s history dating back to dingy Victorian times and then bringing us right back to present day with artwork and shiny skyscraper views.  

Wondering why you’d never eaten at Edu London before

Pigs head nuggets

Octopus and aubergine tapernade on toast

Right. Seriously. You lot. I’m all about the tapas, OK, but in London it often means something pretty damn expensive. A tiny plate of food for £8? No thanks. But Edu are based in Flat Iron Square meaning you’re not sat down with waiter service, but ordering at the counter and taking it away on paper plates. Yet the food IS fancy. We had divine smoked pigs head nuggets with apple sauce and tempura padron peppers which brought me to a new level of happiness. But the best thing I ate? Octopus on smoked aubergine tapernade with chilli on toast. Sophisticated, complex but so simple, and SO good.

I was invited as a guest to explore Bankside and Flat Iron Square but all recommendations and opinions are my own