£20... IN LONDON
London, United Kingdom
“Nothing is certain in London but expense”
London ain’t cheap. Transport, drinks and glittery West End shows will land you deep in overdraft town. The city’s set up with traps to snare wide-eyed tourists - put the Will & Kate snow globe down.
Do as the locals do to keep the fifties in your pocket. This is £20 in London…
Free ShizIt’s day 1. With a childlike grin and a stuffed wallet you’re ready to take on the big smoke when suddenly a rogue pigeon distracts you by shitting on your head while his mate runs off with your cash. Classic pigeon scam. Luckily there’s still a bunch of stuff you can do for zilch.
Two words: parks and markets. No matter where you end up you’ll be close to a park. See deer in Richmond Park, squirrels in Hyde Park or wrestle with swans from the old row boats in Victoria Park. Hampstead Heath is best for an ice-cold swim in the ponds, and for a beautiful (creepy) walk head south to Nunhead Cemetery.
The great thing about London’s markets are the little trays of testers they leave out for the cheap arses. Fill up on cheese and crumbly
fudge at Broadway Saturday market or taste the hot apple cider at Herne Hill Sunday market. Columbia Road Flower Market is like stepping into an Instagram filter.
All that outdoor fun is fine when it’s not pissing rain. On the most likely chance that it is hit up the museums. The permanent works at the British Museum, the V&A and the Tate Modern are all free. They also happen to have some of the very best art and exhibitions in the whole world 💅
Under a FiverA meal in London for under a fiver? Yessir. Get your chops around a hot salt beef bagel on Brick Lane. Served with pickles and slathered with mustard the two bagel shops are open late into the night, ideal for a post-pint feed.
Speaking of pints, head to a real London pub and order an ale to keep it under the £5 mark. The Prince George in Hackney does cheap quiz nights and has a stack of board games to keep you happy. If that’s all a bit cosy, get your circulation flowing in one of London’s many lidos. It’s under a fiver for a swim and some of them are heated in winter.
Under a TennerA tenner in London will get you a surprisingly good feed. Head south to Peckham to find Persepolis - a Persian shop-slash-restaurant for mezze feasts, hot pots and Turkish Delight sundaes. It’s also byob so you’re laughing.
The Silk Road in Camberwell is better than any Chinese you’ll find in Soho and half the price. Or head to the Hoxton end of Kingsland road for a stretch of byob Vietnamese restaurants with authentic Pho dishes. Gordon's Wine Bar in Embankment is more spenny for food but a glass of wine in this romantic cave is dreamy AF.
When your belly is full, it’s on to the bars. Canavans is a pool club that gets loose on the weekends. It does everything from a cheap pint to lairy karaoke nights. Oliver's Jazz Bar is your classic hole in the wall music venue. It’s got one beer tap and often hosts jamming sessions for up and coming musicians.
Or try The Yard Theatre for grassroots shows in Hackney Wick. This place also loses the run of itself at the weekend when it turns into a disco/techno club night.
Splashing OutIf you’re going to treat yourself to one thing (and you don’t might a bit of a trek on the Overground) go to Kew Gardens. The jungley greenhouses and ever-changing exhibitions are incredible any time of the year.
Or if you’d rather spend your cash on a big night out, The Pickle Factory will sort you out, international DJs play here every weekend. The Jazz Cafe in Camden’s yer one if you’re feeling bougie. Get dinner upstairs and watch a show over the balcony, they also do cheaper tickets if you don’t mind standing with the plebs on the ground floor.