London's Best Hideaways

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 21 months ago
London's Best Hideaways
St John's Lodge Gardens. Photo: Rolf F.

Looking for solitude, but keep getting distracted by the buzz of London? We've picked some of our favourite London hideaways -- peaceful places you can truly be alone.

Bradley's Spanish Bar

It's easy to walk straight past the bright flash of red slotted into Hanway Street, but if you do, you've missed out on a snug pocket of Spanish hospitality. Not only does Bradley's Spanish Bar boast one of London's last remaining vinyl jukeboxes, it has an excellent selection of Spanish lagers on draught, and London-brewed ales too. Be prepared to make new amigos in this West End hidey-hole.

42-44 Hanway Street, W1T

Bradley's Spanish Bar London's best hideaways
Source whatsoninlondon
Bradley's Spanish Bar London's best hideaways
Source tripadvisor

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Tower Hamlets is unlike its other 'Magnificent Seven' brethren. It never attracted the glitz and glam that the other cemeteries offered. Instead it mainly functioned as a resting place for London's working class in the heart of the East End. It ceased functioning as a cemetery in 1966, becoming a cemetery park where Londoners can take a peaceful -- if a little eerie -- evening stroll.

Southern Grove, E3

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park London's best hideaways
Source fothcp
Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park London's best hideaways
Source TH Cemetery Park

40 Winks

If you're willing to spend a fair bit extra for your privacy, head to the tiny hotel 40 Winks. At this miniature establishment on Mile End Road — described by German Vogue as "The most beautiful small hotel in the world" — there are only two guest rooms. One of those is just a single, which means that only three people can stay at the hotel at once. Book yourself in for one of its Bedtime Story Nights, where you can prepare for bed with tales for adults, cocktails and canapes (beats Horlicks and biscuits any day).

109 Mile End Road, E1

40 Winks London's best hideaways
Source 40winks
40 Winks London's best hideaways
Source 40winks

St David Coffee House

If you ever find yourself in Forest Hill, check out St David Coffee House. This quaint café filled with wooden chairs, formica-topped tables, vintage finds and local artwork, serves the best coffee around, with beans from Square Mile Coffee and rotating guest filter on the V60 and aeropress. The food is good too and will see you through from breakfast to afternoon cake, with everything in between. Think corn fritters with avocado and house kasundi, toast with ricotta and figs and stunning homemade quiches. The downstairs space is light and airy, a calm working space for freelancers during the week.

5 David's Road, SE23

St David Coffee House London's best hideaways
Source london-se
St David Coffee House London's best hideaways
Source londonist

St John's Lodge Gardens

We found this one once, completely by accident, then struggled to find it again for years — most Regent's Park visitors head for Queen Mary's Rose Gardens instead. But when you do, persist and find St John's Lodges Gardens.

The house (more of a posh villa, really) was built in 1818. The gardens were designed as a series of compartments ornamented with sculpture and stonework, designed to be 'fit for meditation' by Robert Weir Shultz in 1889. Hopefully you'll find peace here.

Inner Cir, NW1

St John's Lodge Gardens London's best hideaways
Source gardenista
St John's Lodge Gardens London's best hideaways
Source yelp

John Sandoe Books

John Sandoe is tucked down a side street off King's Road, in a fabulous Georgian cottage that still has sash windows on the first floor. Clamber up and down the stairs, past books on each step, to discover an incredible world of 25,000 individual titles (literally) piled high. So build yourself a book fort and disappear from the world in your own palace of knowledge.

10 Blacklands Ter, SW3

John Sandoe Books London's best hideaways
Source whatsoninlondon
John Sandoe Books London's best hideaways
Source John Sandoe (Books)

The Faraday Effect

Located in a shed in one of London's oddest dockland pockets (Trinity Buoy Wharf) is The Faraday Effect, a mini-museum dedicated to the work of scientist Michael Faraday.

Created by artists Ana Ospina and Fourth Wall Creations, The Faraday Effect is an immersive installation, a 'recreation' of Faraday's workshop decorated with antiques, found objects, and fishing ephemera, as well as sound recordings, explanatory notes and historic documents.

Trinity Buoy Wharf, E14 0JW

64 Orchard Place, E14

The Faraday Effect London's best hideaways
Source trinitybuoywharf
The Faraday Effect London's best hideaways
Source trinitybuoywharf

Last Updated 01 February 2017