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Natalie Harris of ‘The Edible Editor’ chooses her five secret London spots

Posted at 10:15 am, October 28, 2012 in Secret London
Wimbledon Windmill

Many things are edible: chocolate, cake, even undies, but here at Time Out Towers, we like to keep an eye out for the unique, one of a kind, out-right loud proud different and so we’ve found the only Edible Editor. Serial blogger and editor Natalie Harris likes nothing more than wandering around London and taking part in the Olympics Opening Ceremony. So to help her celebrate one of her loves, we asked her to share her five favourite spots in London.

Bar Kick
‘You’d be forgiven for mistaking Bar Kick for just another pretentious Shoreditch café. Garlanded with world flags and carnival colours, Bar Kick is a football lover’s haven and surprisingly ill-suited to trendsters. Upstairs you’ll find heaps of footie fare: gingham tablecloths, chalkboards, world beers and Brazilian balls. But it’s downstairs in the vaults where the action kicks off: projectors showing vintage tournament games; school chairs pushed so closed you can practically smell the stench of your neighbour’s support; Bonzini foosball table Babyfoot league tournaments; and monthly Victoriana-cum-football themed speed dating experiment ‘A Game of 2 Halves’. Forget sports bars, downstairs at Bar Kick is London’s most civilised secret match-watching spot.’

Middle Temple
‘Since the 14th century, trainee lawyers have been scratching their quills in this calm and ancient Inn of Court. Not much has changed; you can still stare through square panes to observe some of the UK’s best law students in hushed study. Straddling Middle and Inner Temple stands Temple Church, where you can take your lunch on one of the many dusty stone benches. Wander under arches bearing Latin inscriptions, through ivy-clad cloisters, and you’ll meet grand gardens that surround Temple Hall, birthplace of the first ever performance of ‘Twelfth Night’. The weird thing about Middle Temple? It’s never busy. Not even with lawyers. Everyone’s cooped up inside, presumably too lost in the law to appreciate the grounds. Just don’t be surprised if, when you do encounter someone, you’re posed a raised eyebrow for wearing jeans.’

Wimbledon Windmill
‘There’s something about Wimbledon and Putney Commons that’s just so wild and brambly. It’s the kind of place where you find unknown insects, log piles and joggers ankle-deep in mud. It’s also just the kind of place where Thomas Hardy would’ve killed off one of his characters with an adder bite. The heath houses Wimbledon Windmill, a Grade II listed building, museum and tearoom. I really love the tearoom in the winter, when you can’t see the floor from the mud and dark outside. The windmill is also a little bit of Amsterdam in SW19 – reminds me of mice and clogs and the like. And if there were ever a more natural home for mice, I can’t think of it.’

‘You ought to feel ever so slightly apprehensive about entering this Southwark eatery. A thick wooden door and a seemingly thicker curtain hang heavy in the entrance. But draw that aside and you’ll find yourself in old-world Poland. Vodka everywhere, jars of things pickling, and sharp-sided enclaves comprise the bar, while the restaurant below is bright and sparse, supported by spotlighted lofty beams. I once ate beetroot soup at Malbork Castle, Poland. Baltic’s rendition is the nearest to that I’ll ever taste: earthy, sweet and iron-like. Featuring schnitzels, pickled herring, foie gras, strudels and vodka ice cream (naturally), the cuisine is just exotic enough to sharpen your senses and just familiar enough to comfort your belly. Brave the iron curtain; you won’t regret it.’

Kentish Town Tube
‘Graffiti artists work quickly, don’t they? No sooner is there a spare piece of London ‘real estate’ than they’re there, notions of Banksy, but talent of tree-carver. No place is truer of this than Kentish Town tube station, home to the Kentish Town eye gouger. The next time your Northern line train stops there, please observe eyeless posters defaced by some strange scrawler. Where eyes should be are black chasms, weighed down by tears. It’s weird, but intriguing. Especially since every single average actor or band member that’s plastered down there seems to receive the same treatment. Play a game: help me unravel the secret behind the Kentish Town eye gouger. Much like Banksy, his/her identity remains a mystery.’

To read more from Natalie, visit theedibleeditor.com or follow @NatalieRHarris on Twitter.

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