The Kings Arms
If you choose to stay south of the river after the film, this is the pick of the Waterloo pubs. Perfectly located on one of the best preserved streets of railway cottages in the city, as you walk down it you feel like you are going back in time. The battered old Citroens parked long it only add to the effect. No wonder it’s firmly on the map as a film set location! The Kings Arms, once inside, is a double saloon bar with plenty of wood set around the central bar area. Out the back is an added space mainly for eating but less atmospheric. MB
Good for: finding Waterloo’s pretty little-known backstreets
Bad for: grabbing a seat
Isabella Street, SE1
Tucked away from view behind The Cut, the proprietors of the railway arches along this street have transformed it into a traffic free oasis. There are plants and flowers galore and each place has plenty of outdoor seating. On a nice evening having an alfresco drink you really feel like you are on holiday. For great value eats, EV does solid Turkish food with plenty of covers so you rarely have to book. Further along are a few bars if you want to make a night of it. There’s is an overwhelming ex-pat atmosphere here on a balmy night. MB
EV 97-99 Isabella Street SE1 8LF
020 7620 6191
Good for: alfresco
Bad for: fine dining
I actually can’t stand the whole vintage mania. Not that I can’t do second hand – that’s what it is – second hand! The whole V word is just an excuse to triple mark up. This is truly the only V shop that I dig and it’s stood the test of time. I loved coming here when I first moved to Waterloo when I was 18. It’s gorgeous and feels all warm and Tikki inside. In fact….I might just go today. I love Lower Marsh for it’s naughty mix of shops: Radio Days is bang slap next to Honour, a slap n tickle rubber wear shop.
87 Lower Marsh, SE1 7AB
020 7928 0800
Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm, Friday 10am – 7pm
Ok ok. This is a vintage café if ever there was one! I can’t call it second hand can I? Cracking little joint. Gingham in abundance, trinkets everywhere.
32 Lower Marsh, Lambeth, SE1 7AE
020 7620 1421
Good for: something altogether different.
Bad for: slick Gucci style glamour
The Cut Bar & Cafe, Young Vic
Hey while you’re on a culture binge why not cram in a visit to the Young Vic too? They’re on fire at the moment, hit after hit. The café is always busy n buzzy. Good food.
66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ
020 7928 4400
Maison don Felipe
Way too bright, way too busy but if you do catch it at the right time you can prop up the bar and tuck into tapas and pretend you’re very far from the commuter frenzy outside. Except that this place is full of ‘em. Very amenable little place. feels authentic and has really stood the test of time having opened way back in 1987 – that’s positively ancient in restaurant years. You even catch a spot of live Spanish warbling if you’re lucky.
53 The Cut, SE1 8LF
020 7928 3237
Good for: Teleporting you straight to the backstreets of Jerez
Bad for: getting through the door for people
You now when you wake up and could kill for some pickled herring and beetroot soup? Well, this is the place. No seriously, the food is great, its on that Swedish/polish axis. I love the drama of entering into the space which opens up at the back into a very bright and contemporary barn with beautiful amber chandeliers cascading down. Unsurprisingly they take their vodka cocktails very seriously which go down very well with some of the gigs they host. Check the site for the lowdown.
74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA
020 7928 1111
Good for: a unique and contemporary dining environment
Bad for: intimate dining
Not outstanding but if you want fresh fast food with bite this will do just fine. Thalis hit the mark. From the owners of the painted Heron which is a fancy Indian restaurant in Chelsea.
103-105 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UL
020 7021 0866
11am until midnight daily (last orders 11.30).
Good for: budget dining in a contemporary environment
Bad for: slow food experience
Anchor and Hope
This meaty stalwart is the perennially popular hot spot on this gastro strip. Robust British fare right across food and drink.
36 The Cut, SE1 8LP
020 7928 9898
Good for: Brit meat, Brit beers
Bad for: large groups who want to be sure of a booking