Insider guide to London: Laura Jean Marsh

Laura Jean Marsh - picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
Laura Jean Marsh – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

Musician, dj and artichoke lover, Laura is the woman to ask if you’re after a great vegetarian meal in north London or a sweaty, dance filled night out. She’s also a big softie when it comes to cats and an animal rights campaigner.

Laura Jean Marsh - picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
Laura Jean Marsh – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

I first met Laura when she was part of dj-duo The Dolly Rockers in an indie club at a venue that no longer exists on Tottenham Court Road and thought she was way too cool to ever talk to me! She was the girl who knew all the bands – and still does.
Laura has appeared in a number of UK ad campaigns and in movies including Rush and X Men. She even walked through Brixton Market naked once for MTV. You can listen to her music at laurajeanmusic.com
Laura in a Muswell Hill charity shop - picture by Jessy Boon Cowler
Laura in a Muswell Hill charity shop – picture by Jessy Boon Cowler

My favourite place to find bargains is in Muswell Hill, where I live. There are about eight charity shops, filled to the brim. If you have the patience to rummage you can find some beautiful vintage bits, and often designer pieces too. I don’t think they are nearly as popular as the charity shops in other parts of London where second hand clothes are considered trendy. I’ve also picked up some fun jewellery and random furniture in some of them.

Brixton Academy
Brixton Academy – picture by C Ford

My favourite place to hear live music is Brixton Academy. The first time I travelled from my hometown of Bath to London was when I was 15 and was to see Placebo play there. I have such fond memories of pushing to the front and moshing like a banshee for the duration, shaking my green and pink hair and the chains hanging from my baggy dungarees…. I’ve been to countless inspiring gigs there since and find that the sound is brilliantly loud and you have a great view of the stage from anywhere in the venue.
I hope I get a chance to perform there myself one day.

Inspiral Cafe Camden
Inspiral Cafe Camden – picture via Mindbodyconsciousness

My recent discovery is a restaurant/cafe called Inspiral in Camden. Apparently it’s been there for years but I hadn’t a clue until my friends Aaron and Tommy met me there recently. It serves really inspired vegan, vegetarian and raw food and deserts. It looks out onto the market and canal too which is lovely. I may invest in a membership card too like a proper geek. Their juices are lush too.

Jai Krishna restaurant in Finsbury Park
Jai Krishna restaurant in Finsbury Park – picture via Fluidlondon.co.uk

My favourite place for dinner is a vegetarian Indian restaurant called Jai Krishna in Finsbury Park. It’s incredibly modest, with a very simple interior but the food is actually out of this world. Equally as delicious as some of the curry I’ve had in Goa. The best thing to do is order lots of small dishes for a group to share and have a bit of everything. There is a lot of love in their food. It’s always busy but they will always find space for you.

Tate Modern Turbine Hall
Tate Modern Turbine Hall – picture by Hans Peter Schaefer

My favourite place for culture is the Tate Modern. I can wander around for hours and hours and not even notice the time. It’s very inspiring and therapeutic to soak in all that expression and emotion. It’s hard not to get caught up in the stresses of living and working in London and it always seems to help me feel chilled and centred to float around from room to room.

(Editor’s tip – want to know the best time to visit Tate Modern? The gallery is open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays and is often empty after 7 on a Saturday.)

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