Areas with cool pubs and record shops in London wanted.
June 19, 2011 12:57 PM   Subscribe

What are the best areas in London to recommend to a French couple in their mid-thirties who are visiting London in summer. They want cool pubs and record shops? Areas to visit and stay.

I live in London but am not very interested in cool places or record shops and usually stick to my own area in North West London.

As far as I know, Shoreditch was the last coolest place, (way too fashionable for me personally) and Camden might be still be cool but I really don't know.

I feel so old!

Any hotel recommendations would be useful (at the cheaper end of the spectrum please).

Any help gratefully received - I'm clueless!
posted by mairuzu to Travel & Transportation around London, England (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
i always used to go to Camden to drink and buy records.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:07 PM on June 19, 2011

I just finished living in Camden for a few months and I can confirm that it's very popular with European tourists. It does have a few record shops and some good places to see shows if they're into that, but I'm not sure it fits everyone's definition of cool; it's supposed to have gotten kind of overly touristy and lame in the last few years.
posted by MadamM at 1:12 PM on June 19, 2011

Oh, I missed that they're in their mid-thirties. Camden tends toward younger, more obnoxious (imo) British "indie" kids and the aforementioned Euro tourists. There are some nice bits closer to Regent's Park that are a little classier and some pretty nice pubs and little restaurants.
posted by MadamM at 1:14 PM on June 19, 2011

I didn't get a record player until I was out of London, so I have no suggestions for record shops. I still like Rough Trade, even though it's probably a cliche stop by now. However, I really like Camden for pubs. The Enterprise, Dublin Castle (actually there were quite a few on that road, which is not as busy as the high street), etc. I went to some cool gigs in Shoreditch, but it was uncomfortably trendy for me. East London generally is pretty indie & vintage-oriented. I'm not sure, but I think Spitalfields holds a record fair occasionally.

*Disclaimer: I guess I kind of am one of MadamM's aforementioned "indie" kids.
posted by bibliophibianj at 1:21 PM on June 19, 2011

The vinyl mecca is really the cluster of shops on or near Berwick St in Soho. That wouldn't be a bad base for getting around town.
posted by roofus at 2:22 PM on June 19, 2011

What kind of music are they into, and are we talking old record hunting, or just music shops in general?
posted by MattWPBS at 4:10 PM on June 19, 2011

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