One of the best ways to get acquainted with London life is through the eyes and minds of the people who eat, breathe, play and work there. And one of the best ways to do that is to visit the many amazing and varied blogs that exist. As there are too many to even begin to catalogue, we have selected ten of the best for you to start off with.
When Big Smoker and the Gothamist network joined forces in 2004, the Londonist was born. If you have time to visit one blog before exploring the capital, make this the one. The Londonist is written by a diverse team of ‘London obsessives’ and, according to the site is simply “about London and everything that goes on in it.”
That includes news, things to do, politics and recipes and there are competitions and even branded merchandise to buy. The Independent named the Londonist as one of their top 50 travel blogs and there are testimonials from celebrities such as comedian Frank Skinner.
Kang Leong’s highly regarded foodie blog is indispensable to locals and visitors alike looking for somewhere to enjoy a meal. Neatly organised into world areas of cuisine, London Eater casts a detailed and unbiased eye over the London food scene. And if you’re not much of a reader, the photographs alone will draw you in.
The London Review of Breakfasts
Don’t be put off by the lack of photographs. The London Review of Breakfasts is possibly the most well-written blog in London, and a read of some of the posts will have you salivating about the thought of crispy sausages and sizzling beans. If you don’t ‘get’ London’s love of the ‘Full English’ after a heavy night, this blog is the best chance you’ll have to understand it.
The blog is worth visiting just for the contributors’ names, which include Malcolm Eggs, Tina Beans and Hashley Brown.
London Shop Fronts
There is nothing that needs to be said about this blog that isn’t clear in the title. If you are a visual person and you find the variety of shop fronts in London fascinating then you will love scrolling through this grid-based blog and imagining the characters who work in and frequent them.
When she’s not writing about money matters for the Financial Times’ Money Management Mag, Bethany Rutter is blogging about plus size fashion. Arched eyebrow is subtitled ‘a fatshion blog, and Bethany cites Miss Piggy and Gwen Stefani as among her influences.
Bethany intersperses modelling the likes of Primark and Converse with intelligent commentary about her take on fat and fashion, not so much promoting fat as beautiful but more as irrelevant when it comes to fashion.
Arched Eyebrow came runners-up in the student blog category of Cosmopolitan’s 2011 Blog Awards.
Eat Like a Girl
Eat Like a Girl is, as you might expect, a foodie blog from a girl’s perspective. Alongside insightful reviews, mouthwatering photography and original recipes, you will find the editor’s writing about blogging in general. The editor is Irish ex-pat Niamh and the Times included her in their British top 500 influential people list. Niamh has also written for the Guardian, Ocado and The Stylist magazine.
Fitness on Toast
If you need proof of the health benefits of yoga and green tea, then Faya Nilsson’s blog is worth a visit. There is so much going on in this blog that it is difficult to imagine how the Swede has time for it all. Fitness on Toast manages to bring in everything from fashion and travel to interviews with celebrities like Elle MacPherson and Victoria Pendleton. The photography is gorgeous too.
As illustrated in one of the blog’s graphs, driving at 9 mph is becoming tedious and expensive for London citizens. And where the car has declined, Londoners are rediscovering a love for the bicycle (the Olympics and Tour de France success probably helped a bit too). There has been a similar proliferation of bike blogs, and i b i k e l o n d o n (to put the blog in its correct monospaced format) is one of the best. You’ll find superb photography, articles that span the whole range of cycling styles and a long list of other cycling blogs.
Run Riot started a decade ago as an e-bulletin and has now metamorphosed into a mixture of London listings site and blog. It is an ideal first port of call for those who want to get up to speed on London culture and interests quickly while getting the lowdown on what’s happening in the near future.
Susanna Lau only took up an interest in fashion as a rebellion against her family and peers, but now the former editor of Dazed Digital (Dazed & Confused’s online platform) is an ever-present voice in the London fashion scene. Her blog, Style Bubble (Bubble is Lau’s nickname), is one of the most famous blogs in London and is packed with photos, reviews and cutting edge fashion insight.
…and one for luck – Tired of London, Tired of Life
No, it’s not the title of a Smiths song. But it was inspired by editor Tom’s struggles with finding new things to do in the capital. His blog presents daily suggestions on everything from book shops and air shows to festivals and art museums. Tom also extends a hand to any newcomers who might benefit from an insider’s knowledge.
So you see, London is a friendly place!