Maria Brandani, marketing and social media co-ordinator at iconic wine bar Gordon’s picks her favourite nearby haunts.
‘One of my friends read this article about these supposedly Ancient Roman baths in one of the side streets off the Strand, where you can go and press a light switch to see them. I looked it up and found out where it was. It’s just on Strand Lane and you wouldn’t notice it unless you know about it. It’s not the most amazing thing but it feels really secret!’
5 Strand Lane, WC2R 1AP.
‘Cellar Door is a really tiny bar-venue on the corner of The Strand and Waterloo Bridge. It used to be an old public toilet. It has drag shows and singers, and it always feels very private. The cocktails are really good, and you get free popcorn with your drink. It’s really atmospheric.’
Wellington St, WC2R 0HS.
‘Mister Fogg’s invited us to a night for people who work in other bars. There were free canapes, and we got to try a few of the cocktails. It was great, because otherwise it’s really impossible to get in!’
1a Bedford St, WC2E 9HH.
‘Everyone at Gordon’s really likes this Italian place. It mainly does sandwiches with this special bread called rosetta. They’re different from other sandwiches because here they cut all the cheese and ham on the spot, so you can really taste the quality. They also do a tiramisu that’s to die for. It gets polished off quite quickly. In fact, we all fight for it if we don’t buy enough.’
38 William IV St, WC2N 4DD.
‘It hosts really interesting exhibitions. One of my favourites was during Fashion Week where you could also buy what they had on show. It’s also a really cool place to go and relax, browse the shop or sit in the café. I’ve always really liked the building itself and the architecture. There’s also a bar overlooking the river.’
Strand, WC2R 1LA.
‘Victoria Embankment Gardens is really nice. The flowers are always beautiful. Most people just walk through it but it’s a nice place to sit and relax, and the café there is also nice.’
Embankment Place, WC2N 6NS.
‘We discovered this Chinese place quite recently. It’s very quiet, which is generally what we like after the hustle and bustle of Gordon’s. It does amazing dumplings. We buy loads and bring them back to Gordon’s and share them, it’s a nice way to enjoy food.’
43 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS.