London Likes…!

In this week’s post, ACCENT London’s Programs Coordinator Harry Isitt discusses his favorite place to enjoy a quick bite and its unique place in film history.


They say that once you have a favorite local spot, be it a pub, a café, or a restaurant, that nothing can top it. In my case, my favorite local London joint is Santa Maria Pizzeria in South Ealing. This Neapolitan-owned pizzeria has been serving West Londoners like me the best pizza outside of Naples over the last 7 years and has built a devoted following in the process.Picture1 Continue reading

London Likes…!

Today’s post comes from Programs Coordinator Steph Bell, who tells us why the Wallace Collection is one of her favorite places to visit in London.

In my free time, you’ll often find me at the Wallace Collection, one of the lesser-known museums in the heart of London—just a 10-minute walk from Oxford Street. Housed in a large townhouse on Manchester Square, the original owners of the museum bequeathed their Collection to the Nation in 1900 under the condition that none of its items were to ever be sold. Continue reading

London Likes…!

In this week’s post, ACCENT London’s Programs Coordinator Kadri Paju and Assistant Director Matt Maslin talk about their favorite local spots for quick snacks and delicious meals, both conveniently located near the ACCENT London Study Center!


Kadri Paju likes…

Caffe Paradiso, 28 Store Street

Whenever I’m in Bloomsbury early in the morning, I treat myself to an almond croissant and a cappuccino at Caffe Paradiso on Store Street.

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London Likes…!

This week’s Live Like a Local post comes to us from our ACCENT London Study Center, where Programs Coordinator Tim Marsh tells us his favorite spot for weekend shopping, quick eats, and “an authentic taste of twenty-first century London.”

TMIn my free time, I like to explore the markets beyond the classic ones like Borough Market Covent Garden. My new favourite market is one local to me, Chatsworth Road Market. It’s great for finding local produce, street food, and second-hand clothing. Alongside the market, there are a few great independent shops and cafes to explore, such as L’épicerie, Creperie du Monde, and Cooper and Wolf, a Scandinavian breakfast café.

The reason I love this market is because it’s a true “local” market full of colorful characters. It’s a wonderful melting pot which contrasts the more-food-stalls“old” and “new” London: Jamaicans selling jerk chicken, cantankerous older gentlemen with their unique antiques (I’ve seen them carrying creepy old dolls in glass decanters), French artisans selling baguettes and crêpes, cockney fellows with their fruit and vegetable stalls, and “hip” artisans and sellers. Walking through the market, you’ll get an authentic taste of twenty-first century London. Clapton, where Chatsworth Road is located, has a great community and I find that people are quite friendly and open to making conversation with strangers. One seller once described to me how this market has brought renewed life into the neighborhood, reinvigorating an area that hasn’t always had the great reputation that it now boasts.

~Tim Marsh, ACCENT London

Did this post inspire you to study abroad? Use the ACCENT Program Finder to discover your next great adventure:

London Likes…!

SDennisWhat would Senior Programs Coordinator Sara Dennis do with a free hour in London? Find out in this week’s “Live Like A Local” post!

As a local with an extra free hour in London, there are quite a few places I could while away some time…


My first choice would be to go to the department store, Liberty (Gt. Marlborough Street, off Regent Street). It’s just a beautiful shop that is a delight to wander through, whether you are looking to buy something, or no. If you are planning to shop, it’s a very good place to find souvenirs and presents for your friends and family. The shop was established in 1875, but the main mock-Tudor building was built in 1924 and remains an icon among London stores. It was built using timber from two ships, in the half-timbered style of the Elizabethan age. I imagine many overseas visitors think it is a much older building.

National GalleryMy second choice would be to go to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. What can I say? It has possibly the world’s finest collection of (mainly old) masters, and it’s free! You can walk in and spend an hour in front of one painting, or 100.

Foundling-MuseumMy final choice would be the Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square. This is on the site of Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital, set up in 1740 as a home for London’s unwanted babies and children. It became one of the first charities, supported by Handel and Hogarth, among many others. It was an extremely fashionable venue, visited by the great and the wealthy. Now, as a museum, the exhibits there range from many fine paintings by English masters such as Gainsborough and Reynolds, to the pitiful “treasures” that were left by the children’s mothers as mementos of their families.

~Sara Dennis, ACCENT London

London Likes…!

Did you catch London’s last list of restaurant recommendations? Well, here’s more “Live Like A Local” food favorites from our ACCENT London team!

Kristin Hall likes: Benito’s Hat, 56 Goodge Street

Benito’s Hat is dedicated to fresh and authentic food. They have a simple menu with tacos and burritos at its core, which now includes innovative favorites such as antojitos (Mexican tapas) and très leches cake. It’s not some fast food burrito joint – it’s a constantly evolving establishment with the best modern Mexican cuisine London has to offer. I’ve been going to Benito’s Hat since it opened, back when they only had the Goodge Street and Covent Garden branches, and let’s just say I’ve used up a whole lot of loyalty cards since then! After ten stamps, you get a free burrito, and the card itself is free, so who can resist? As an American, I really missed proper Mexican food when I first moved to London. When I discovered Benito’s Hat, my fears dissolved away like soft flour tortillas melting in your mouth. Total (and FILLING) heaven with a side of tortilla chips. My ideal meal is a pulled pork baby burrito with rice and black beans, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and a whopping splash of salsa verde! Although, their “naked burrito” (a burrito salad) has been running a close second as of late. What’s more, the Goodge Street branch is just around the corner from ACCENT!

Jess Brookes likes: Bodean’s BBQ, 10 Poland Street

Sometimes there is nothing more necessary than a giant bowl of chicken wings and a plate of ribs. On those days, I always go to Bodean’s. A London-based chain with five restaurants, Bodean’s serves the best Kansas BBQ in the city, following the current trend for fast but delicious food at reasonable prices. Their Soho branch is about 20 minutes away from ACCENT London Study Center, just off Oxford Street and on Game Days, they serve up ribs, wings, fries, coleslaw, and a drink for £15. Warning though: this is definitely no place for vegetarians! Bodean

PCostelloPaul Costello likes: Le Big Fernand, Percy Street

Parisians opening an American-style gourmet burger bar in the heart of London may sound like the least French culinary notion ever, but not so, if you judge by la langue du Français you’ll hear being spoken in the queue for Le Big Fernand.

I was curious to see how the atelier du hamburger chain would work on this side of La Manche. The answer is “successfully.” There was plenty of seating, service was fast and friendly, the atmosphere lively and, most importantly, my Lucien (a mushroom burger, which they cooked in front of me), was delicious!

While not a “bargain” (£12-£15 for a burger, side, and a drink), it’s no dearer than other central London gastro-pubs. The only note I’d add to le boîte à idées would be “change the background music” – Françoise Hardy while I eat, please, not the hardly-Gallic Fleetwood Mac!BifFernand

~ACCENT London

London Likes…!

This week’s post is the first in a series of posts coming your way on the ACCENT Blog: “London Likes…!”  Read on for tasty tidbits and top tips from our ACCENT London staff on their “favourite” places to eat near the ACCENT London Study Center.


TMTim Marsh likes: Bibimbap, 10 Charlotte Street

This fantastic little Korean restaurant just round the corner from the ACCENT London Study Center is perfect for a quick, healthy and, most importantly, tasty lunch. The name refers to traditional Korean comfort food, which the place specializes in. A “bibimbap” arrives raw in a heated-up stone bowl which you stir-fry yourself at the table. Prices start from £6.95 and it caters for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Photo from BiBimBap's site


SBSteph Bell likes: Loaf, 93 Tottenham Court Road

If you are looking for a quick meal that will warm you up on a chilly day then Loaf is where you should go.

Loaf essentially specializes in grilled sandwiches and baked potatoes, but don’t think that this means the choice is limited. The choice lies in the toppings, from a chicken toastie that actually consists of chicken, ricotta, vine tomatoes, pesto, and avocado to a pulled pork baked potato with red cabbage slaw, chances are you’ll have trouble choosing.

The walls are exposed brick and the furniture doesn’t quite all match; there is a bookshelf with books about gardening displayed alongside tea sets and empty glass bottles, and prices are handwritten on cards along the worktop. Along the counter there are British favorites displayed, such as Marmite, British jams (jellys), Colman’s Mustard, none of which I think are used in any of their recipes, but adds to the homely feeling.


SHSoryah Haggarty likes: Sagar, 17A Percy Street

The best, most traditionally British takeaway food will always be Indian food – next to fish and chips of course! Spicy, fragrant curries and dahls, and soft breads and crunchy popadoms; Sagar does an amazing takeaway lunchbox full of all this for just £3.50. Sagar is a small south-Indian vegetarian restaurant on Percy Street, a five minute walk from ACCENT London. With so many beautiful squares so close, my favorite way to spend a lunchtime is with one of their lunchboxes, sitting on the grass with friends.Photo from Sagar's site

~ACCENT London