London’s landmarks from another angle
Thriving industries and a roaring tourist trade make London a great place to work and explore. You may recognise the landmarks, but do you know what locals do outside the office?
Totaljobs asked London bloggers to share their insider tips and favourite things about five of the city’s most iconic areas.
The Shard, SE1
Opened in 2012, the tallest building in Europe is located in South London. Nearly 1/3 of a kilometre high, it’s impossible to miss Southwark’s recent entry to the London skyline.
We talked to Dan, the writer behind Day Out in London and Paula, blogger at The LDN Diaries, about this notable landmark.
“The first time I went to the top of The Shard it was night, and I remember fearing that I wouldn’t be able to see much and that it would all be a bit disappointing,” Dan said.
“That feeling disappeared very quickly when I walked out of the lift, 800 metres above ground, and saw what can only be described as a 40 mile-wide light show featuring all the famous buildings I’d grown up with. I gazed out of that window for about an hour before I could pull myself away – I truly felt on top of the world.”
But there’s more to the area than just a skyscraper – London Bridge and Southwark are loaded with great places to explore.
Paula shared her top places to chow down nearby: “Borough Market is one of my favourites near The Shard. It’s full of glorious food, from fresh fish to mouth-watering doughnuts from Bread Ahead bakery. My favourite is Roast’s pop-up. Stop off for a delicious roast dinner in a baguette and then a fresh juice from one of the other stalls.”
Tower Bridge, E1
On the edge of City, Tower Bridge is one of London’s most photographed landmarks – and for good reason. It’s also surrounded by great restaurants and weekly market stalls, so you’ll always find a mix of tourists and locals visiting.
Paula at The LDN Diaries shared another of her favourite spots: “I love going to Butler’s Wharf Chop House for lunch on the weekends. It is positioned right on the riverbank, so it overlooks Tower Bridge and it definitely boasts a fabulous view, especially on a sunny day.”
Old Street Roundabout, EC1
The Silicon Roundabout, also known as Tech City, is not just a hotspot for post-work pints and messy burgers. This tech hub has become the centre of web development in Europe, and more than 15,000 new businesses were launched in EC1 in 2014 alone.
Emily Spaven, Editor at Tech City News, talked to us about this boom: “Silicon Roundabout is a great place for startups to base themselves. There are loads of really lively co-working spaces, which are great for networking as well as providing flexible and relatively cheap places to work. Transport links are fantastic and there are plenty of lovely restaurants and cafés in the area, which make for ideal informal meeting places.”
But let’s not forget about West London, home to one of the world’s most famous department stores. The current building in Knightsbridge, completed in 1905, is synonymous with luxury, and Harrods is ranked as one of the UK’s top companies to work for.
Angie, the blogger behind Silver Spoon London shared with us why she’s so keen on Harrods.
“The beauty of Harrods is that it contains everything you could possibly need within a gorgeous upscale environment. I love browsing the extensive ladies’ fashion department and the huge hall of shoes but the furniture floor is also a gorgeous place to visit and plan your dream flat. If you’re looking for the perfect place for lunch, there is everything from elegant eateries and seafood counters to pizza and ice cream parlours.”
“After a hard day of shopping, the Urban Retreat Spa on the fifth floor is a great place to relax and be pampered with a massage or a facial. Though if you’re about to hit the town again you can get a manicure or a blow dry, so that you’re ready to try some of the top-notch cocktail bars in Knightsbridge.”
If you want to work in this gorgeous environment apply for a prestigious job at Harrods.
Olympic Stadium, E20
While the Olympic parks of many former hosts’ cities sit empty, London has chosen a different route. The Olympic Stadium will be home to West Ham United, a Premiere League team with a storied past. Stratford, the Olympic Stadium’s home, has seen a rejuvenation that has made it a great place to live and work.
James, Founder and Editor of West Ham World shares why he’s excited about his favourite club’s move to Stratford.
“West Ham moving to the Olympic Stadium gives the club a chance to enter an exciting new era both on and off the pitch. The stadium itself is an incredible arena with such an inspirational story behind it, and I think a club like West Ham, with all its pride and history, is best placed to continue and build upon the legacy the Olympic Stadium truly deserves. The area of Stratford has already seen an impressive facelift since 2012 and will only get better once West Ham moves in.”