London Calling

A guide to the British capital on a budget

WHERE — London
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty & Jessie Bush

Where to eat, shop and explore in London on a budget.

Although I’m no Londoner (that Kiwi accent is always a dead giveaway) it is a city I always feel at home in. I know it well enough to feel familiar, but not so much that it could ever feel the least bit boring. If anything, the problem is that there’s too much going on. Whenever we visit London I have an unrealistically long list of new cafes, restaurants, stores, pop ups and exhibitions I want to see. And it only takes 24 hours in London to realise your debit card can take quite the hit without even really trying.

So whilst I was in town working on a project with Indola and getting my hair done by the amazing Andy Smith, I sought out some of my favourite spots in the city (both new and not so new) that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.


London has so many incredible hotels, but the reality is, if you’re on a budget Airbnb is the way to go. I’m not going to lie though, it does take serious dedication trawling through the listings to find somewhere central, homely and with good reviews.


London is home to some of the best museums in the world – and almost all of them only request a donation on entry. It seems wrong to pick only a couple, but my all-time favourites are the Victoria & Albert Museum and The National Portrait Gallery. I’ll always try to swing by both (even just for half an hour) every time I’m in town.


London’s public transport is world famous for good reason – get yourself an Oyster Card at the airport, take the tube into the city and you’re off to a good start. Make use of the buses and overground too – particularly if you’re heading out of central London.


Hanging out at the park is a quintessential part of British life, so make like the locals do and head to the park as soon as a slither of sunshine appears. Victoria Park is London’s oldest public park and is the perfect spot to just wander around, bike through and meet up with friends for a picnic. And in West London, Holland Park is super beautiful – keep an eye out for the roaming peacocks and don’t forget to admire the perfectly manicured Japanese gardens.


For the ultimate window shopping experience, there’s nothing more British than Harrods.

If you’re in search of one-off vintage treasures and throwback bargains head to The Market Cartel in Hackney.
The Market Cartel, 12a Downs Court Parade,, Amhurst Rd, London E8 2AQ

Portobello Market is also another great place for potential vintage scores – which I know is surprising given that it’s hardly a secret spot – but it’s definitely worth rummaging through the racks. And if you don’t happen to find anything you fancy you can always check out (aka Instagram) the pastel-lined streets nearby.

For a cool mix of emerging and established designers, killer interiors and a cute cafe, Paper Mache Tiger‘s store in Islington is the place. Even if you’re not in the market for new threads, it’s worth swinging by for a browse and a good coffee.
Paper Mache Tiger, 26 Cross St, London N1 2BG


New (and incredible) restaurants open in London every week – so I’ve narrowed down a few of the spots I currently can’t get enough of.

Yeotown Kitchen for super healthy dishes which you can either dine-in or take-out. Mostly vege, sugar-free (without being pretentious) and the staff are super friendly is always nice.
Yeotown Kitchen, 40-42 Chiltern St, London

Head to Druid Street Market in Bermondsey on Saturdays for extremely delicious dishes by local cafes and restaurants, plus good coffee and all round fun vibes. The ice cream sandwiches are worth the trip alone.
Druid Street Market, 126 Druid St, Bermondsey, London SE1 2HH

Nowhere (except Vietnam, obv) does Vietnamese like Kingsland Road in East London. Everyone has their own personal fav, but I love BunBunBun for fresh and authentic Vietnamese. I could happily eat their bo bun for every meal.
BunBunBun, 134B Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DY

I recently had breakfast at Friends of Ours for the first time and instantly judged myself for not going there months ago. Aussie style breakfasts with a genuinely original approach. I had the vegan sweat potato corn fritters which I’m going to go out on a limb and call the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. You wouldn’t even know it was vegan.
Friends of Ours, 61 Pitfield St, Hoxton, London N1 6BU

If you want highly Insta-worthy food that tastes as good as it looks head to The Good Egg. They also serve a killer Bloody Mary.
The Good Egg, 93 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, N16 0AS

For a five-star dining experience without the price tag, The Wigmore in central London is a gastro-pub gone luxe. The interiors are super plush and the menu is hearty in the exact kind of way you want a British pub to be.
The Wigmore, 15 Langham Place, Regent Street, London W1B 3DE

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