A Tale of Two Cities: Local's Guide to London & Barcelona
London is one of the most multi-cultural city in the world. Londoners don’t just come from the terraced houses of Hackney, Peckham, and Brixton, but come from all over the world. Here, you’ll find communities within communities, with different boroughs serving as melting pots for an array of different cultures. It is only in this city that you hear different languages on your way to work, and the only city where a friend, neighbour, or colleague will most likely come from a city you’ve never even visited. London is open, it is colourful, beautiful, and endlessly rich; and this is why most Londoners are local to more than just one city. We know that a trusted recommendation trumps a review any day of the week, especially if that recommendation comes from a local.
Margarita Alzamora, 29, Account Manager at Coniq, a tech company based in Barbican, London
London and Barcelona are both cities that never sleep. They are both full of creativity, and there is always something to do. I originally came from Mallorca, but spent a lot of time in Barcelona during my youth, and those were the most exciting years of my life so far. I learned a lot about music, art, and how to appreciate different cultures - which Barcelona is famous for.
The people are what brings a city to life and fill it with character. Personally, I find Barcelona more local, because the neighbourhood culture and lifestyle runs so deep. You can easily find a grocery store that’s been run by the same married couple for over 60 years; and they ask you about your mom even though you don’t know them.
I’m a person that’s driven by first impressions (which isn’t always a good idea) but this is what motivates me to discover one place and not another one. Most places I find, I discover through the recommendations of my closest friends, because you will believe them when they tell you that a place has character. I try to keep it old school and not get overwhelmed by trends.
There are a few hotels in London that I think are really special. I like the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch for intimacy.
The Margot Hotel is a boutique hotel which takes its name from Margot Tenenbaum, my favourite character of all Wes Anderson movies
Uchi is a lovely Japanese in Clapton. It’s small but cozy and has exceptional food. You will fall in love with the soft shell crab sushi, and don't leave without tying their homemade cheesecake.
Mordisco is a covered garden restaurant in Calle Mallorca. the Mushroom carpaccio is a must-try!
After Uchi, get a drink at Matilda's Sake Bar around the corner. It has a lovely eccentric atmosphere and have the best chili cocktails in town.
This beautiful little bar pays tribute to the legendary José Pérez Ocaña. It has the perfect atmosphere to get a cocktail and dance all night.