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.
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.
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).
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.
St John's Lodge Gardens
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.