The Barbican: London’s cultural quarter- part 2

Much of London is synonymous with culture of one sort or another. When it comes to the barbican it is treading the boards that one thinks of. But there’s much more to this historic part of the capital than meets the eye. Part 2 of Clarendon’s location review of Barbican explores what to see, do, eat, drink and visit.

London is one of the world’s culinary capitals. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that many visitors who come to explore the city’s culture do so through its food and drink. As a bustling corner of London, the Barbican has plenty to offer those looking for something a little different.

In the heart of The Barbican is Smithfield Market. Over 140 years old the market has long been a cornerstone of the capital’s food traders and producers. It opens at 4am and sells meat, poultry, pies and other delicatessen goods. Many wholesalers, like restaurateurs and caterers, come to buy the wares of the butchers and dairy producers. The public can visit as well, but come early to get the chance to buy the best products.

Those restaurateurs put that fresh produce to good use. The Barbican has plenty of places to eat and drink to satisfy even the most demanding of taste buds. Jamie’s Alban Gate restaurant serves mainly British food with a seasonal twist. Perfect for lunch or dinner one of the most popular treats on the menu is the Mediterranean platter. For those who prefer their food with a more unusual flavour try the Jugged Hare. A traditional pub with a focus on great ingredients cooked perfectly, the restaurant is a must visit for meat lovers. For spicy food lovers the Barbican Tandoori is a popular food spot. Its diverse range of Indian food includes the Chicken Tikka Thaba, Tandoori Chicken Korai and Balti Vegetable Masala. For those who prefer Italian cuisine Alba Restaurant offers speciality Italian food, wine and coffee for diners who want to immerse themselves in a Mediterranean dining experience.

London’s visitors often like to spend an evening sampling the capital’s bar and nightlife. The Barbican has a wide selection of venues to try, many ideally placed for those planning an evening at the theatre. Amber Bar is an on trend venue close to the Barbican. It is famous for its cocktail list. With four venues within one there’s enough to satisfy every taste; there’s the Opal Bar, Milk Bar and the 70s/80s themed Groovy Wonderland as well as its main bar. Café Kick has plenty of outdoor space making it a popular choice in a summer’s evening. Café Kick is the self-confessed destination to while away an afternoon over a cup of coffee. The Shakespeare is a traditional pub with a wide variety of beers and ales.

For those looking to explore The Barbican on foot there is a wide selection of walks designed to help you get to know the neighbourhood a little better. St Paul’s Cathedral and other tourist spots in The City are close by. Tate Modern is a 25 minute walk and the Museum of London is nearby. London’s Square Mile is also an easy distance. For those who are more adventurous and want to explore further afield two of London’s most beautiful parks can be reached on foot; St James’ Park is an hour’s walk while Hyde Park is an hour and 15 minutes.

For those staying at The Barbican who want to be able to travel it is in a central location providing easy access around the capital. The nearest station is Barbican which utilises the Circle, Hammersmith and City and the Metropolitan Lines. Farringdon Station is nearby which is also a First Capital Connect service with one stop to London St Pancras. From there international destinations are just a train ride away via the Eurostar along with domestic travel via East Midlands and South eastern Trains. From Barbican it is half an hour to London City Airport, ideal for those with family, friends or clients coming to stay in the capital.

Clarendon’s serviced apartments in Barbican are the ideal solution for any business traveller looking for a base while working in the capital. For those working in The City, the Barbican is the perfect pit stop between office life and culture. Clarendon Barbican Studios are designed with business travellers in mind, providing easy access to The City. Clarendon’s serviced apartments are a cost-effective alternative for business travellers; a hotel room in Barbican is on average £110 a night whereas Clarendon’s studio apartments are £95 + VAT. Not only that but the lifestyle options of a fully fitted kitchen, enabling you to cook your own meals as well as the extra space make it the ideal business traveller pad.

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