I spent the day with Culture Trip a couple of weeks ago, exploring London in a local way.  Culture Trip have just launched their brand new app, which allows you to explore more than 300+ destination like never before. Culture Trip has grown so much in the past years and is now the go to place online, should you want personalised recommendations for your destination. They showcase little known destination gems and I am going to take you on a day journey, giving you a glimpse of what you can be doing if you download the app, and be in the know-how.

10 am – Start with brunch at Coppa

Coppa

Have you ever been to Coppa? If not, you really need to sort this out asap. Our first App driven, Culture Trip spot was this absolutely beautiful restaurant/lounge bar.

Coppa

Coppa

Coppa

Overlooking Tower Bridge and the Shard, while sitting under heaps of wisteria – I do not think it gets much better. Wait, it does – the food was also to die for. I had avocado on toast with poached egg, however my lovely @mformorena had the best waffles ever (both yummy and photogenic 10/10).  You can take your time when going to this place, every corner is just pure bliss.

Coppa

Coppa

1 pm – A tour of East London with Alternative London (and Gary)

Alternative London tours

Alternative London tours

We went for a short walk up North East and started our walk together with Gary from Alternative London. Now, if you follow my adventures, you will know, that I am a strictly a West London kinda gal. You can imagine, I was very sceptical about the whole ‘East side appeal’.

I must say though, Gary managed to change my mind (to a certain extent). I think I have a brand new appreciation of art, and how attractive East London is to creativity. Street artists from all over the world come to London to showcase beauty in different shapes and forms. Some are beautiful, some are frowned upon, some are encouraged. Irrespective of the stand point, art is subjective, and London is so pretty because it allows for that diversity.

Alternative London tours
This is probably one of my favourite shots from the day

We went on an East London trail from Aldgate East to Hoxton square. On the way, we saw some epic pieces, and different art techniques. Did you know that some artists contact the owners of the buildings and they get permission to paint the whole wall (usually if it is a massive piece, spreading on a 3-5 meter wall it is authorised by the owner).

Alternative London tours
This one is commissioned work

Alternative London tours

I have taken so many pictures of the doors and cars around Bricklane, little did I know their history though.

Alternative London tours
This beautiful street and all those doors <3

Gary, explained why the doors ‘Eleven’ and ‘Eleven and a half’ are called that. All the houses around the Bricklane area were big properties, so when the family at N 11 ran out of money back in the day, they literally drew a line across half the house and sold it, hence 11 1/2.

Alternative London tours
Those Insta famous doors

A lot of the buildings are restored, except for this one. Why? Where else would they shoot old looking movies you think? Authenticity 100%. Also, where would I shoot my stride by’s 🙂

Hello East London
An oldie but it is one of my favourite photos of this wall (obviously not taken a couple of weeks ago but in winter 🙂 )

Bagels. Yes, NYC is all about the bagel but London is putting up a decent competition. The 2 Bagel shops on Bricklane are actually owned by 2 siblings. They are open 24/7 and serve bagels starting at about 40p and also the queen of bagels – the Rainbow bagel.

Alternative London tours
Rainbow bagels anyone?

Henry, a local legend and now also a street art star. His hands have been painted on the wall right next to the first Bagel shop. Check it out next time you pass by. Give Henry some cash if you can spare and maybe listen to one of his stories. A local cockney, he has seen Bricklane through the years and has many stories to tell.

Alternative London tours
Hey Henry
Alternative London tours
Authentic chocolate – when you pass by this store you would think they sell wood, but no! They sell chocolate
Alternative London tours
Leila’s shop

Just before we finished, we passed by a little coffee stall – Sud’s. You will never pay attention to it. This is where Alternative London can give you so much value. This is the first, original coffee stall in London, operated by Sud after he came back from the war. He uses electricity from the lamp post next to the stall and is the only establishment in all of UK, to be allowed to use public electricity. Technically using free electricity – what a legend.

Alternative London tours
Sud’s coffee stall – notice the lamp post on the right and the thick cable running between the 2?

3 pm – Make your own pizza (and eat it) at Radio Alice

Radio Alice

After our walking tour, we headed off to Radio Alice to make our own pizza. This is the time where I expose myself and tell you all that I absolutely suck at cooking. I will show you too 🙂 Radio Alice is in Hoxton square and makes authentic Italian pizza, that tastes delicious.

They make their own yeast in cute jars. They teach you how to feed the yeast, so it lives long and strong, to make your dough all fluffy. We first had a talk from the chefs about pizza and dough – yeast is a bacteria and bacteria likes heat and food in order to blossom. They give you a little manual how to maintain it all happy and healthy, should you want to replicate the dough at home.

Radio Alice
Italian chefs, all ready for pizza action
Radio Alice
Intro to pizza making and dough (and bacteria 🙂 ) it is serious business
Radio Alice
Let’s pour that yeast and get baking
Radio Alice
Et voila, pizza is ready

Then we got baking in pairs. I got paired with an absolute foodie pro – Anja. Check out her page for some delicious inspiration. I will let you judge for yourself.

Radio Alice
Me and Anja, all ready for action
Radio Alice
I have already managed to do something wrong, chef is still smiling – good
Radio Alice
I think he had with me now, he is confused, I am confused, Anja is just laughing at us 😀
Radio Alice
Anja, what are you doing? Let me see.. oh s**t I forgot the tomato base
Radio Alice
Anyway it all ended well and my pizza was even edible – success

OK, cheers to that. let’s eat, chat and smell the jasmine.

If you want to explore London the cool way, download the Culture Trip app, which can guide you to all these fun activities.

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