London’s stars share their favourite hidden gem, what’s yours?

05 February 2016

The Mayor is launching a new cultural tourism vision for London later this month and, in a bid to help visitors discover the capital’s lesser known charms, we’re working with the Evening Standard to find out what are Londoners favourite hidden gems across the city.

Share your favourite London hidden gem and you could win a Year of Extraordinary Culture

London is one of the world’s leading cultural destinations, visited by record numbers of people each year. 80 per cent of these people say ‘culture and heritage’ are key reasons in choosing to come here.

One of London’s greatest strengths is that it offers a continual journey of discovery. Visitors now want to explore parts of the city that are off the beaten track to find cultural activities that feel more local and "authentic".

Some of London’s cultural stars and top professionals have already shared their recommendations:

  • Joanna Lumley chose Myddelton Square, “with its ravishing houses showing old London at its finest".
  • Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has chosen 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington, which was the home of the Victorian cartoonist and Punch illustrator Linley Sambourne.
  • Artist Jeremy Deller’s is the Foundling Museum
  • Sir David Puttnum “strongly recommend the Horniman Museum, tucked away in Forest Hill, which is packed with unusual artifacts guaranteed to delight visitors of all ages.”
  • Grayson Perry has spent the last 30 years at Bert’s Tea Hut in Epping Forest
  • Actor Riz Ahmed loves the Bush Theatre
  • David Harewood loves “the beaches of the Thames, late afternoon”
  • Actor, cabaret performer and disability advocate Matt Fraser says the Young Vic is his “favourite London hidden gem. Its local to me and very importantly wheelchair accessible, which means I can invite any of my performer friends there."
  • Designer Henry Holland has “many fond memories of late late nights and fun fun times” at the Marathon Kebab shop
  • Musician Frank Turner said the Caipirinha Spiritual Bar in Camden is “a real find, populated by some of the best players in the city”
  • Writer and philosopher Alain De Botton said the Freud House in Hampstead is “a fascinating little museum, where you can see where Freud spent his last days – and get a feel for the psychoanalytic side of North London life”

And from London’s culture sector...

  • Iwona Blazwick, of the Whitechapel Gallery said her favourite London gem is Sutton House
  • Adrian Wootton of Film London says The Charles Dickens museum is “stuffed full of artefacts, manuscripts, letters and portraits that really brings his extraordinary life, work and enduring legacy to life”
  • Sharon Ament at the Museum of London loves the Peckham pie shop M. Manze’s
  • Tim Reeve at the Victoria and Albert Museum says the Puppet Theatre Barge in Little Venice is “a piece of theatrical perfection”

Now it’s your turn!

Enter now by sharing your favourite hidden London gem and you could win a year of extraordinary London culture with tickets and invites to some of the capital's top and lesser known cultural experiences.

You can also choose your favourite from the best-known cultural attractions including the national museums and galleries, the Tower of London and Madame Tussauds in a poll being run online by the Evening Standard.

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