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Rachel Khoo

The Khoo Times

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Khoo Times

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On My Bookshelf – London Style Guide

Benjamin Disraeli once said that "London is a roost for every bird", and I couldn't agree more. I really think that there’s something for everyone in London (keep reading to find out about my latest book giveaway).

Now that I’m spending more time here in London, I’ve found I need some guidance to plan my London days – otherwise I can start to feel a little overwhelmed at the seemingly endless sea of bars, restaurants, parks, markets and food stalls to check out. So I turn to my various London bibles for help. One of my more recent finds (I picked up my copy at

Papercut in Stockholm

) is

Saska Graville’s ‘London Style Guide’

.

As soon as you start reading, you can tell that this is a true Londoner’s guide to London. You’ll be whisked away to little hole-the-wall cafes, charming boutique hotels, and truly British pubs (whilst there is a plethora of watering holes in London, it can sometimes be tricky to find an independently run pub). And each chapter includes a sweet Q&A with a local Londoner (‘Meet the Londoner’), which adds a nice personal touch.

The Zetter Townhouse Hotel

I'm a vintage lover, and could spend hours browsing for secondhand finds. I know my way around Paris' secondhand shops, but need to get back in touch with the London scene. This guide includes some of London's gems, such as Annie's in cute Camden Passage.

I love picking up a new book that I don’t necessarily need to read cover-to-cover. You can approach ‘London Style Guide’ in whatever manner takes your fancy. Bursting with beautiful photographs, the book is pleasure to flip through. It's divided into different areas of London (and includes some off-the-map spots), so you can easily focus your research on parts of the city that you want to get to know better. And throughout the book, Saska kindly takes the pressure down, by reminding us that London is a huge city, and that it’s impossible to cover everything in one go.

When I’m exploring a new city (and London feels like a new city every week, things change here at such a rapid pace), I like to visit neighbourhoods by planning trips to local markets. Saska includes some of my favourite such as the Columbia Road Flower Market, Brixton Market, Broadway Market, and lesser-known spots like the Queens Park Farmer’s Market in northwest London.

Queens Park Farmer’s Market

Some of the places like Towpath Café are featured in my new show 'Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook: London', which is currently airing. It was fun rediscovering loads of creative (and delicious) spots all over the city when we were filming. From hidden pockets of Dalston to fab breakfast spots like Caravan and crafty spots like Drink, Shop & Do, you’re bound to find something (or most likely, several things!) that take your fancy in this book.

In the meantime (if you don’t have a copy yet), here are ten of Saska’s favourite London haunts.

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to Murdoch Books, I’ve got one copy of Saska Graville’s 'London Style Guide' to give away.

For your chance to win, leave a comment here on my blog (and spread the word via your own blog, Twitter or Facebook for bonus points!) and share with me somewhere that you’d love to discover in London. I’ll be drawing a winner on Thursday February 27, so you have until Wednesday February 26 to enter. Bonne chance!

The fine print: This giveaway is open to residents of the UK. Any queries, send me an email :)

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