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City Guide /

Joy’s Conscious Travel Guide to London

April 4, 2022By joy asfar

London dweller Joy Asfar is The Forward Lab’s founder. Here, she lets you in on where to find everything from beautiful vintage glassware to a zero-waste grocer.

Best place to grab a cup of coffee

Bar Italia in Soho. I go there for real Italian espresso and they have these amazing pastries, which I love to have as a treat. It’s open until late and always has such a fun vibe – especially on a football night. It was established in 1949 (so to me, this place is the definition of sustainable!) and it still cares for both original design features and a sense of community.

Favourite vintage shops

One of my favourite places to discover great secondhand and pre-loved designer pieces is Sign Of The Times. I live close by and I try to check it out regularly as you never know what will come up!

A go-to place for vintage homeware or furniture

I love vintage glassware – call it one of my little quirks. There is a great shop at the corner of Westbourne Grove and Portobello. It’s a treasure trove and David, the owner, will guide you through.

Restaurant you always tell your friends to visit

This is a tough question as London has a great culinary scene. One I’ve discovered recently is Silo, a zero-waste restaurant in Hackney Wick. As I dined there, I loved watching the power of creativity at work as they plated up such innovative and thoughtful courses.

Your favourite plant-based eatery

Farmacy on Westbourne Grove. I love their artichoke pizzetta and they have great cocktails if you’re in the mood for one.

A great-zero/refill spots

Liberté Chérie in Notting Hill. It’s at the end of Portobello Road, just before Golborne Road. It’s the cutest place and the staff are great.