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Katy Bell of Lost Property of London chooses her five secret London spots

Posted at 5:45 pm, June 19, 2012 in Secret London, Shopping & Style, Top 5
Katy Bell of Lost Property of London

You know you’ve lived in London long enough when you’ve lost so much stuff on public transport that the TFL lost property office have contacted you to say they have some of it. The chances of this happening are about 5% of slim-to-none, so when it happens that means that you’ve lost at least 95% more stuff than you’ll never be able to trek to Baker Street to collect. And you can bet that what they’ve got waiting for you is your Sports Direct umbrella, not your vintage leather gloves. Katy Bell doesn’t have anything to do with actual lost property, but she is a designer for Lost Property of London, so you can see where we we’re going with this. Here are her five secret London spots. Ashleigh Arnott

Transport for London’s Lost Property Office, Baker Street
‘A treasure trove of forgotten belongings, shelves upon shelves of bags, brollies and even false teeth lie lost in this carefully ordered but seemingly chaotic archive. Anything you ever overlooked when leaving the tube, train or a cab is laid to rest in this vast room in Baker Street waiting, most probably in vain, to be claimed. As a part of my initial inspiration for Lost Property of London, I love revisiting this place. An essential afternoon excursion for any Londoner fascinated with the secrets of our city.’

Towpath Café, Hackney
‘A surprising little spot, the tiny Towpath Café is located behind silver shutters on the Hackney stretch of Regents Canal, an easy walk from Kingsland Road, Broadway Market and Islington. Just a few chairs and tables sit alongside the canal, with a selection of sumptuous dishes and fresh Italian coffee served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I found it after a wander around Broadway Market one lazy Saturday. Egg and soldiers were on the menu so I tucked in while enjoying the waterside setting.’

Sunbury Market, Twickenham
‘Established for over 20 years and with 700 stalls, this is by far my favourite London Antiques Fair. Slightly outside of the city, Sunbury makes a wonderful day trip and is one of the few antiques fairs with free admission and free parking (which you’ll need, to get all the goodies you buy home safely). Not just antiques, but furniture, jewellery, ceramics, vintage fashion paintings, clocks and cameras, the market is a never-ending myriad of treasures and trinkets. Goodness knows I have furnished half of my flat there.’

Reilly Rocket, Dalston
‘Any place that can fuse motorbikes and amazing coffee works for me. The last thing you expect to find at the back of a motor den is a barista working away on a big old coffee machine, but perhaps that’s how they do it in Italy? It’s run by guys who love dirt bikes and were motivated to create a space to hangout surrounded by bikes and drink great coffee. The piles of motorbike, skater, BMX and surf mags also make for a great afternoon read and it’s a great place to take your man friends!’

Books for Cooks, Notting Hill
‘They sell cook books but also cook from the books in their test kitchen. I think all cooking book shops should do that! You can buy tickets to their courses too where they’ll teach you the basics and tricks of various cuisines. It’s a really homely atmosphere, the shelves are full of very carefully selected books and you genuinely feel like you are discovering the cooking secrets of old. My boyfriend has definitely benefited from the culinary repertoire that I have acquired thanks to Books for Cooks.

Read more from Katy on the Lost Property London blog, or follow @LostPropertyLDN on Twitter.

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