Are you a hipster or a homebody? Do you prefer cosy evenings in as opposed to late nights out? Do you revel in quaint, quiet venues and love a good book club? Perhaps you’re an early riser and love a good cup of expertly roasted coffee? Or on the flipside, do you enjoy a good knees-up? Maybe you’re more of a brunch person, with a bloody Mary to curb your hangover – hey, no judgement here! You might be a musician or fan of live gigs, or you might love getting dressed up and hitting the clubs. Speaking of clubs, how about a good supper club or a spot of fine dining? Or do you prefer a dose of the authentic street food you’ve missed so much from your gap year in Southeast Asia?Well, regardless of your tastes and preferences, London is a huge place that has it all. You can find your tribe here, from fellow avocado toast munchers to Guinness drinkers. The more time you spend in the Big Smoke, the more you’ll realise that certain people tend to hang around in certain areas. This is often referred to as the ‘London Divide’. Let’s take a look at where you’re likely to fit in.
What Makes A North Londoner?
The North London populace are usually the upper middle class. You can see lots of yummy mummies toting designer handbags and shopping at Waitrose or Marks and Spencer. They spend afternoons and weekends in Hampstead Heath and all drive Mercs. However, quirky Camden is technically encompassed by North London, which is great for having a pint by the canal and watching live gigs. There are lots of Michelin star restaurants in North London, museums to traipse around, and art galleries to explore.
Basically, North London is for people who like fine dining, art, and culture. Where else would you find a boutique chip shop?
What Makes A South Londoner?
South Londoners are viewed as a bit more ‘rough and ready’. If cheap and cheerful comfort food and hanging out with mates down the local pub is more likely to make you happy than a pricey Michelin Star dinner, then you’re more likely to heed the call of South London. However, places such as Brixton that once had an appalling reputation –think back to the Brixton riots – are transforming into up-and-coming areas. South London also includes some of historic districts, such as Greenwich.
In a nutshell, if you’re down to earth and like going out drinking with your mates to either pubs or cool bars, then you’ll fit right in to South London.
What Makes An East Londoner?
People from East London still struggle to shake off that cockney stereotype, but the East End these days is a far sight from the tattered marketplaces that sold jellied eels. East London is a colourful place which is popular with hipsters thanks to its quirky shops in the likes of Shoreditch and Hackney, its trendy eateries in Soho – such as the popular Bao and Smoking Goat – and the typically hipster juice and coffee shops that are dotted around Kensington and Fitzrovia.
You’ll like East London if you enjoy funky hipster spots, trendy clothes, and expensive but Instagrammable lunches.
What Makes A West Londoner?
You’ll fit right into West London if you’re into acting, singing, dancing or all three, whether that be watching from the audience or being the star of the show. This is also the place to encounter celebrities and what the English commonly refer to as ‘toffs’ – that is, posh, preppy people with cash to burn and casual clothes that cost the equivalent of an average working person’s salary. Bearing in mind that West London includes Chelsea and Kensington, purchasing property in this area will cost you the same as a small tropical island. Welcome to a world where the G&T’s and cocktails are always flowing.
If you’re a budding thespian, lover of shows and all things theatrical and over the top, then West London is probably your jam.
What Makes A Central Londoner?
If lack of personal space doesn’t bother you and you want to be where the action is, perhaps you belong in the centre of it all. A large portion of the city’s most beloved landmarks and things to do are all located in Central London, the innermost section of the city. With coffee shops on every corner, a ferocious amount of fast food chains, lots of high street shopping and unparalleled traffic density, this is the destination for people who like living a busy lifestyle.
If you just like a little bit of everything and don’t mind being perpetually squashed like a sardine in a tin, then Central London is for you.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Why not try something different? It’s good for the soul to get out of your comfort zone once in a while, so try branching out a bit.
If you want to splurge, then try the Duck and Waffle at the top of the Shard, or Sketch in Mayfair for an elaborately decorated tearoom that transforms into a cocktail lounge by night. However, if you’re looking for inexpensive street style food, places such as the Artworks in Elephant and Castle or the food stalls at Portobello Market may pleasantly surprise you.
For Cocktail Crowds…
If you like unusual places to drink then you should try Doctor Kluger’s in Canary Wharf, or the Last Tuesday Society in Hackney for an array of absinthe-based cocktails. For more run of the mill stuff, there’s great pubs in Whitechapel, Hammersmith, and Walthamstow. For a swankier affair, the Bloomsbury Club, Purl, or the Sky Lounge at the Hilton may be more up your street.
For Party Animals…
If you’re looking for a fun spot for the weekend, then places such as the Piano Works, Sway, the Candlelight Club, Venn Street Records and the Box are all wonderful venues with ambience to enjoy dancing. If you’re looking for a nightclub, then Heaven, Boujis, DSTRKT, and the Ministry of Sound might pique your interest.
For Art Lovers…
If you enjoy art exhibitions, have a look at upcoming installations at the likes of the Courtauld Gallery, Sadie Coles HQ, the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho, and of course, the Tate. Timeout has a great list of wonderful shows and exhibitions coming up all around London over the next few months along with candid and honest reviews.
Have you lived in London? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!