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12 Mar 2014

The Lost Londoner: Uncovering London's Alternative Side

The Big Red

Here at Check-in-London, we love a bit of the weird and wonderful and when we need our dose of unusual things to do in London, there's only one place that we look for inspiration: The Lost Londoner. Uncovering the city's quirkier restaurants, bars and attractions and writing about it as she goes along, Kate from The Lost Londoner is one of our favourite bloggers.


In fact, we've even written a guest post for her about Alternative Museums in London!

Before she heads off on a one year trip to South East Asia and Australia, we caught up with her for a chat about her inspirations and her love for London.



1. How long have you been living in London and what attracted you to the big city?

Kate (aka The Lost Londoner)

Pah, my answer is going to expose me as an imposter now! Indeed I am not a true Londoner, but I've lived in the big smoke for 7 years and consider it to be my home. During my early teens my buddy and I used to travel into the city every weekend from school. I would look forward to it and so started my love affair with London.

I love the beautiful old buildings, the lights and the constant buzz. I can never make it from A-B without stopping and staring at something spectacular going on in the streets. London is a different planet compared to the rest of the UK and I feel absolutely blessed to live here.


2. What led you to setting up The Lost Londoner and what is it about the more quirky and eccentric places in London that attracts you?


It's a long story but somebody personally inspired me to set up TLL. It's in preparation for my year long travel to document my adventures in the most humorous way possible, but in the meantime I decided to write about London's quirky side. An old friend introduced me to unusual cafes and bars in East London and that's all it took to spark an obsession with seeking out the rest of what London has to offer that nobody really knows about.


3. If you had to play tour guide to someone who had never visited London before, what would be your itinerary for the day?


Ha, I've actually done this for someone from Couch Surfing and some friends from overseas. I LOVE showing people around London that have never been, I'm so excited for them. For the day I would take them to the usual touristy spots. I have a route that covers every main attraction but I always recommend that people branch out and start to discover London's hidden gems if they have more time.


4. Do you have a favourite more 'touristy' attraction?


Friday Night Skate
I absolutely adore The Southbank. I find watching The Thames so therapeutic, I can stop and stare for the longest time at the boats passing by. I'm also a fan of London's newest tourist attraction The Shard. It's a view of the city I had never seen before that literally took my breath away.


5. You've joined in with mass skate sessions through London and dined on double decker buses but, if you had to pick one, what would be the quirky find you are most proud of discovering?


I haven't written a post about it but The Duck & Waffle has been featured on TLL Instagram and it remains as one of my most treasured finds. The restaurant and bar is open 24/7 and sits high above the skyline on the top floor of Heron Tower. I had brunch there one morning and the view was stunning. Their Duck & Waffle signature dish is surprisingly lush.


6. How have you found living in London different from elsewhere and did you find it easy to adjust?


London's always been my home, it just took me a while to get here. From the day I set up camp I've never looked back and can't even bare to go anywhere beyond zone 3. Pace of life moves at warp speed which is perfect for somebody like me who can't sit still for two seconds. There's never a dull moment and literally always something to do.


7. What are you most excited about this 2014? (new restaurants, London events, e.t.c)


This year I'm hoping to attend the Holi festival which I missed out on last year. It's a mass colour fight in the grounds of Battersea Power Station resembling the same festival in India. Tickets sell out so fast I didn't even get a look in last year.


8. If you had a list of secret sources to find out about quirky places and things to do in London, what would you suggest?


My favourites are DesignMyNight and the Coffee in Touch app.


9. You're gearing up for a solo trip to South East Asia and Australia later this year. What are you hoping to gain from the experience?


I sort of hope it'll give me some insight into what I actually want to do with the rest of my life. I know that's real deep right? I don't think I can even comprehend what a year of travelling will do for me.


10. And, finally... anything in London that you're going to miss?


Most likely my first world quality of life. I live a privileged existence in London compared to other less fortunate parts of the world, but I'm happy to leave it behind for a while. And soho, where I spent a majority of my time off of work.



Londoner Kate is the creator and editor of travel blog The Lost Londoner. Written from a personal and humorous point of view, reviewing anything from bizarre Restaurants and Cafes to unusual Events in the city and beyond. The Lost Londoner is the ultimate guide to alternative London. Follow her via Twitter or Instagram.