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London for Dr Who Anniversary

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We are visiting London for a quick Dr Who getaway from San Francisco. Haven't decided where to stay so... what would you recommend for a good neighborhood that has
-great coffeehouses (Monmouth, Flat White, others?)
-great casual food
-(bonus) hipster bars

We don't really care about sit-down upscale restaurants. We have 3 days away from the kids and want to maximize our exploring time! Thanks for any info you can give.

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  1. Shoreditch has all of those things in droves. It's not really 'central' London, but is a huge neighbourhood and is the epicentre of hipsterdom, coffee-hipsterdom, bicycle commuting on Brooks saddles, and other things people that like that sort of thing are into.

    Clerkenwell is nearby to the East End (i.e., Shoreditch and friends) and is slightly less hipster more 'media' (i.e., hipsters with money). Workshop coffee is easily one of the better coffee places in London.

    1. Wales. Go to Wales if you're into Doctor Who.
      (Sorry, that was dickish-- just listen to the Londoners.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lizard

        Well the "Experience" exhibition is in Cardiff but the 50th anniversary convention is at the ExCel centre in London.....and the food is better in London....!

      2. Yes, Cardiff was my immediate reaction too! However, adding to the London list, two more Shoreditch places - Albion in Boundary Road, and Timberyard in Old Street - both great coffee and pastries. Good breakfasts at Albion.

        1. All about Shoreditch if that's what you're looking for. The new Ace Hotel there looks great.

          Coffee shops
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914708

          Casual eating: St John Bread & Wine, Ten Bells, Boundary, Smiths of Smithfield (Spitalfields), Vietnamese on Kingsland Road, Mayfields, Lardo.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit

            Agree w/all though avoid vietnamese as you're coming form SF and your vietnamese is in a different league.

            1. re: brokentelephone

              Ah yes I didn't read properly my mistake.

              There is of course outstanding Punjabi food in the vicinity at Tayyabs and Needoo.

          2. Thank you to everyone for your input. Sounds like Shoreditch will be the place. You are right that normally Cardiff would be a Dr Who destination, but the 50th anniversary party and the best chance of catching the show in cinemas is in London. Plus, given our limited time, we wanted to limit travel time.

            I appreciate the hotel rec too.

            Allons-y!