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Top 5 Places To Go In London To Feel Like You’re On Holiday
Image Credit: Kensington Roof Gardens

Top 5 Places To Go In London To Feel Like You’re On Holiday

21 July 2016 Ros Fraser

Not to boast, but in London, we’ve got it all. In this international city, where over 100 languages are spoken in virtually every borough, you can find whatever global fix you need whether it’s ramen, ravioli, flamenco performances or Miami themed beaches. We say swap easyjet for TFL (just think of the money you’ll save!) and get a holiday feeling* from exploring right on your doorstep. Here are our top 5 spots.*holiday sunshine not guaranteed.

1. CopaCabana Beach
 
Didn’t manage to get tickets to the Olympics in Rio? Nope, us neither. But tudo biem (it’s all good). A little bit of Rio comes to London in the shape of the CopaCabana Brazilian beach on the South Bank. Live it up by the Thames with their special Brazilian menu of Caipirinha cocktails and spicy pork and papaya skewers.
 
Another beach spot this summer is the Brixton Beach Boulevard where South London is going all Miami South Beach on us... 80’s style. There’s a disco motel, sexy lifeguards - though strangely no pool - and regular film screenings across the summer, including 80’s classics of course. Party (and sunbathe) like it’s 1989.
 

CopaCabana Beach, Photo Belina Lawley

2. Kyoto Gardens
 
In Holland Park you can find a tiny pocket of Japan hidden away in the form of the tranquil Kyoto Gardens. Originally opened in 1991 as a gift from Kyoto to mark the friendship between Japan and UK, the garden has typical Japanese features including running waterfalls (said to be good for wellbeing. We can vouch that it’s very relaxing!) as well as lanterns and plenty of fish. Watch out for the occasional squawks from peacocks who spend their time wandering around the park.

3. Kensington Roof Gardens
 
One hundred feet above Kensington High Street you’ll find tropical flowers, brightly coloured verandas and REAL flamingos (I kid you not). The Spanish themed garden is part of Kensington Roof Garden and is based on the beautiful Alhambra in Granada. While you’re up there, you can treat yourself to cocktails and food. It’s a little on the pricey side but anyone can pay a visit to the garden for free. Just be careful to book beforehand so you don’t accidentally crash a wedding (they have lots of them up there!)
 

The 'real' flamingos at Kensington Roof Gardens
 
4. Polish Social and Cultural Association
 
The Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in Hammersmith is your one stop shop for Polish arts, Jazz, cinema screenings and a whole load of good food. Check out their Restaurant Łowiczanka for hearty helpings of bigos, peirogi and gołąbki (stewed cabbage, dumplings and meaty cabbage rolls). There’s also a bar and cafe so you can finish your meal off with traditional Polish cakes or plenty of vodka, depending on your inclination.
 
5. Bar Italia in Soho
 
Nowadays every boring old coffee chain tries to mimic Italian coffee culture. But Bar Italia in Soho is the real thing. Set against a backdrop of Continental restaurants and jazz bars, Bar Italia is the place to sip an espresso as Italian locals and Soho residents jostle side by side.
The cafe’s owners set the place up in 1949, just after the war, when good coffee was hard to come by in post war London. Now it’s open 24 hours a day so great for people watching at all hours of the night. Only catch is no ordering lattes or cappuccinos after morning time, in Italy that’s sacrilege - when in Rome…

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