24 hours in trendy Clerkenwell

Insiders share where to go for a perfect day spent in and around Clerkenwell

Historically Clerkenwell was the industrial heart of the city. Today it uniquely brings together lawyers, bankers, entrepreneurs and artists, and is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.

Breakfast: Caravan

Exmouth Market

11-13 Exmouth Market, Farringdon, London EC1R 4QD, UK

food & drink
Image: Caravan

The breakfast menu at Caravan is a treat.

Caravan is a relaxed an airy restaurant on a pedestrianised street in Clerkenwell known as Exmouth Market. The breakfast here is exceptional and the coffee cannot be faulted. There is also an inviting terrace - something of a rarity in this part of London.

What to order: If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try the jalapeno cornbread and fried eggs, served with tomatillo salsa and Mexican smoked cheese.

Recommended by Natasha, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and founder of Co&Co, a collaboration platform for students and graduates in the arts. Follow @tashgoldstein on Instagram

Shop: Magma


117-119 Clerkenwell Rd, Holborn, London EC1R 5BY, UK

Image: Unsplash

This bookshop is full of coffee table must-haves

This specialist bookshop is focused on art, photography and design. Both inspiring and useful, it is always a treat to browse. It’s also a great place to find a gift for someone.

Recommended by Rob, co-founder of Ginza

Lunch: KIN

88 Leather Ln, Holborn, London EC1N 7TT, UK

food & drink
street food
Image: KIN

KIN has a delicious selection of fast and fresh East Asian street food

This little cafe is a great spot for a quick, tasty and affordable meal. The menu spans Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malaysian street food dishes, like Nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice with shrimp and chicken) and chicken laap (Thai spicy chicken mince served in lettuce boats). Wash it all down with Singha beer or Thai iced tea.

Insider tip: The restaurant is often very busy at lunch time, so booking ahead is recommended though walk-ins are also taken.

Recommended by Sarah, co-founder of Ginza

Coffee: Attendant

75 Leather Ln, Holborn, London EC1N 7TJ, UK

food & drink
Image: Unsplash

Coffee time

With its welcoming atmosphere, this little cafe is a popular place for locals to catch up over a cup of coffee or get a bit of work done. Both Attendant Roastery coffee and single origin filter coffees from around the world are served.

Recommended by Sarah, a South African born graphic designer living n Wimbledon and working in Camden

Explore: Barbican Centre

Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS, UK

Image: Max Colson

Explore nature among the brutalist architecture in the Conservatory

One of London’s most iconic buildings and venues, the Barbican Centre houses exhibition spaces, a concert hall, a cinema, a library, a conservatory and three restaurants. It is the largest space of its kind in Europe. There is always something new to discover here, and it is worth a visit for its architecture alone.

Insider tip: Oyinda recommends a visit to the conservatory, which is a a tropical oasis - home to 2,000 species of plants and trees. The conservatory is open on selected Sundays each month.

Recommended by Oyinda

Dinner: Foxlow

69-73 St John St, Farringdon, London EC1M 4AN, UK

food & drink
Image: Foxlow

Cozy, mid-century style at Foxlow Clerkenwell

Foxlow is from the team behind the award-winning Hawksmoor steak houses. With an emphasis on grilled meats and a great cocktail list, it’s the perfect place for a fun evening of feasting with friends or colleagues.

What to order: The malt chocolate panacotta, gets its nostalgic flavour from a dash of Ovaltine. Guaranteed to transport you back to your nana’s kitchen. Could there be a more comforting dessert?

Recommended by Adam, investor

Drinks: Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

42 Northampton Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 0HU, UK

Image: Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

The bar is bright and airy, with an eclectic array of comfy seating

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings comprises five distinct spaces for sharing a drink, meal or celebration. The bar is beautifully bright and airy - making it a welcome contrast to the many mahogany-lined pubs and dimly-lit cocktail bars found in this part of London.

Insider tip: On Fridays and Satudays, a secret bar and club room known as Below & Hidden opens in the basement of the Buildings. DJ sets till 2am. Booking recommended.

Recommended by JJ, food tech entrepreneur and founder of iinu