I first met Andrea when we worked together on an architecture newspaper, and she was one of the coolest journalists you could hope to meet. We bonded over Acne sales on the Outnet.com and funny animal gifs.
Now she’s moved on to the world of PR where she helps represent architecture practices and London Boroughs. She also runs the Love London Council Housing blog, packed with information on some of London’s overlooked treasures for hardcore architecture fans. With her job keeping her up to date on all things new in London’s architectural scene and her love of modern buildings, Andrea’s an invaluable source for tips on things to see that are a bit off the beaten path.
She’s also lucky enough to live just by the famous Columbia Road flower market and is passionate about her patch of east London. And she can help you find the best place for Karaoke on a Friday night.
My favourite place for a quick dinner: The Ginger Pig on Hoxton Street does the best burgers in the world. It’s never too busy, they have a great selection of local beers and ales and the staff are super friendly. I went here after I ran my first half marathon in Greenwich (on the other side of town), that’s how awesome it is
The best place to cycle: Cycling in London can seem scary, but it’s by far the best way to get around. My favourite bike ride is along the Thames Path. Greenwich is a good place to start, just head east from there and you come across all sorts of interesting that are beautiful in a bleak, industrial kind of way. Past the O2 Arena there’s the Thames Barrier – one of the city’s greatest bits of engineering – and if you have it in your legs I’d recommend going as far as Thamesmead to explore one of the UK’s first purpose-built post-war towns. Right at the end there’s Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s grade I listed Crossness Sewage Works, a powerhouse of Victorian engineering.
The best place to try new makeup: This is kind of an obvious one, but Liberty has the best selection of make-up to buy in London. There’s all the obvious main stream brands, and lots of smaller ones too. My advice would be to get there early in the morning before the crowds descend.
My favourite pub: This is a difficult one. I have lots of favourite pubs for different reasons. But if I had to choose just one to go to it would probably be the Royal Oak on Columbia Road. It’s cosy without being too squished, it has a nice beer garden and the food is tasty and not ridiculously expensive.