|The Shard (Bermondsey) glimpsed from Leonard Street (Shoreditch)|
This easy stroll between two of London's food and fashion hotspots, Hoxton and Shoreditch to South London's Bermondsey Street takes about an hour, though the distractions at each end of the walk will add hours and ... uh quite a few calories... to the day.
Old Street tube station is a good starting point. Beware: it would be easy to spend the whole day browsing and eating one's way through Shoreditch alone, leaving the rest for another day.
Arrive early early, as Hoxton and Shoreditch are crammed with popular brunch opportunities: The Diner, The Breakfast Club, The Boundary (Albion) Cafe and The Book Club to name but a few.
|The Breakfast Club|
|The Book Club|
Brunch over, mosey around Spitalfields market or have your tresses tended at Taylor, Taylor where they serve cocktails in the stylish of interiors. Now head back to the City Road and turn south, heading on to Moorgate, Prince's Street, Lombard Street and King William Street: in effect it is a straight line to London Bridge.
On the way, there are plenty of diversions. Shortly after the City Road / Leonard Street junction is Bunhill Fields, an ancient Anglo-Saxon cemetery ("bun-" is probably a corruption of the Saxon word for "bone") now most famous as the last resting place of William Blake, John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe (his Journal of the Plague Year makes good reading for those who choose to relax in this well-tended, green space). On the opposite side of City Road are John Wesley's Chapel and house; this is still a working place of worship and there is also a museum attached. Further on, on Monument Street which runs left from King William Street, you can have a look at (and climb the 311 steps?) the London Monument, memorial to the Great Fire of 1666 (symbolised by the golden flame on top), or stroll along to the aptly named Pudding Lane where it all began, in Thomas Farriner's bakery.
|London Bridge going south|
|Jose Pizarro's newer place|
|Jose - great tapas, day or night|
Bermondsey Street's recently opened White Cube Gallery, which you will pass as you move from Jose to Pizzaro, is now a major attraction staging cutting edge exhibitions.
|Entry to the White Cube|
|Anselm Keifer at the White Cube|