Having spent many years studying there, I have a soft spot for Central Saint Martins, which finally closed in September 2011 when the college relocated to Kings Cross. Despite being such a dive, the old building had such history and character and I grew very fond of its tatty charms. As plans for its take over by Foyles bookshop go ahead, I look forward to having a coffee in the new building's cafe when it re-opens.
It's really close to my house and one of my favourite pubs in London! (I even went before it was close to where I lived!) It is London's first cooperatively owned pubs and has lovely events and workshops, exercise classes and great parties, and good beer! It's lovely in the beer garden in the hot summer and equally great in the winter, next to a real fire.
Inspired by Dave Eggers’ projects in the USA such as the Pirate Store in San Francisco and Superhero store in Brooklyn, The Monster Supplies Store in Hoxton is home to the Ministry of Stories: A volunteer run organization, founded by Nick Hornby, to help young people with creative writing of all kinds through workshops and free mentoring sessions. The store is the “Purveyor of quality goods for monsters of every kind” with fascinating bottles and tins containing everything from eyeballs to Zadie Smith’s short story Mortal Terror.
I grew up in Brighton which is full of cheesy bars like this. If you can handle being surrounded by multiple screens playing Kylie at full volume, its pretty much the cheapest bar in central london. The cliental is so varied its great for people watching and completely un pretentious.