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Fashion blogger Fiona O’Grady moved to London from her native Cork in Ireland just over two years ago and lives with her needy cat Jandl in Whitechapel because it’s within walking distance of nearly everywhere she likes. Fiona’s guilty pleasures are buying too many pairs of shoes and eating lots of cake, so we thought she’d have some great shopping tips for Places readers.
What’s your favourite thing about London, Fiona?
It’s a city full of free galleries, cheap food and interesting people – if you’re lucky enough to find them.
And what’s your secret skill?
I’m an excellent hula-hooper. Also, not many people know that I can play violin at Grade 8 level!
What’s your favourite thing about reviewing on Places?
It’s a nice way to complement and support small, local businesses – and also an effective way of telling places that they have bad service!
What would be your insider tip for any London tourist?
Don’t be afraid to walk around – take the bus everywhere so you can see things you’d otherwise miss.
Speaking of exploring London, care to share your local favourites with us?
The Barbican – The Observatory here is my favourite secret spot. It’s a hothouse of really nice-smelling plants that’s only open on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Indo – A great local pub with a decent selection of ales. They also do a not-too-bad pint of Guinness.
The Gallery Cafe – This Old Ford Road spot does great veggie food. I’m particularly fond of the nachos and the cooked breakfast, which has veggie sausages, eggs, tomatoes and hash browns.
Dirty Blonde – Stoke Newington’s best vintage store has a great selection without high price tags. Also, the staff are nice without being overbearing.
Genesis Cinema – I love this place, mostly because it’s dirt cheap, right by my house, and it feels like you’re watching films in your living room.
Posted by Sarah Drinkwater, London community manager