Explore the City's Best Local Neighbourhoods
by Zena Alkayat
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Pub Date 03 May 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jun 2022
Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion, Frances Lincoln
Offering an intimate view of the city, this unique guidebook allows you to explore the capital city's best local neighbourhoods, highlighting the small, locally-known enclaves of independent shops, cafés and public spaces that give the capital its inimitable character.
From Columbia Road to Clarendon Cross, there are dozens of tucked away ‘villages’ in London and this compendium of thirty of the most unique and vibrant is your key to exploring the city in a new way.
Whether you want to enjoy a few glasses of pinot gris at a local bistro before catching an independent art-house film in Bermondsey street, or if you would prefer to indulge in a beauty spa before browsing the cheeses, meats and wines of MacFarlane's deli in Abbeville village, this guide will have something to suit all tastes and preferences.
With atmospheric photographs, an illustrated map for each village, and a short text that sums up its spirit, history and location, this charming guide is a great starting point to seeing this great city in an entirely new light!
Also available in the London Guides series is Quiet London, a guide to some of the capital's most peaceful and secluded spots to visit, for those who want to see a different side of the bustling city.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 23 members
This is a great insight to lesser known villages within London. I thought I need a few of these and visited all they had to offer. I was wrong. This fall I will revisit and perhaps a few new villages as well. I found this book to be very insightful and plan on buying a copy for my library.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to preview this book.
As I am writing from the U.S., I feel no shame in admitting I had no idea London was full of so many diverse and distinct villages. Here we might call them neighborhoods, boroughs, parishes, etc.
The book is one that I would read before a trip or to share with friends when talking about a trip I had. There is an overview of the village, a cute little drawn map, and several highlighted locations that really capture the vibe of the people and places of the area.
This is not a Lonely Planet guide, so please do not think you are going to carry this book and find information on all of the hotels or restaurants located on a particular street.
What it does is points you toward locations only locals may know about and that will help make your trip more magical.
Plus the photos are so beautiful, it made me want the author to just do some photo books of secret london spots.
This title is organized by areas; there are Central London and then North, South, East and West. Some of the places included are Shepherd Market, East Bloomsbury, Crouch End, Highgate Village, Chelsea Green, Shoreditch Village, Queen’s Park, Little Venice and many more with thirty in all.
Each destination has a simple map, introductory text and lots of photos of places to see and visit. I began by looking at Marylebone and found favorites, like Daunt Books, listed. This is a great guide for planning one’s wanderings in London. I wish that I was there!
Many thanks to Quarto-White Lion and NetGalley for this title. All opinions are my own.
This was a fun read, especially on the heels of Siobhan Wall's Quiet London: updated edition!
I'd be curious to hear about why Alkayat chose these neighborhoods over others; Wall's book is so niche (and I'm such an introvert/appreciator of quiet spots), that was a no-brainer for me to pick up. _London Villages_ seems a little bit...high level for my taste, and I'd love to pick Alkayat's brain on motives. I know why certain spots stood out to me in the book--particularly good coffee, she says (Coffee Hill)! "Impeccable cupcakes" at Primrose Bakery (will they live up to NYC's Magnolia Bakery's? I must investigate)! Shepherd Foods, geared toward "those with a refined palate"; how does it compare to Harrods, or Fortnum and Mason? (Do they sell kippers, or Tobermoray trout? :D)--but why do they stand out to Alkayat? What is _her_ thread running through these selections? :D Inquiring minds!
Still, an excellent resource, with charming hand-drawn maps and nice overviews of each neighborhood that nicely kick-start the visitor's planning endeavors. I particularly appreciate its off-the-beaten-path approach; it nods to the inevitable celebrity references and invites the reader to dive deeper, much like Rick Steves touts "traveling like a local" in his Europe Through the Back Door TV series and guidebooks.
I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
London Villages by Zena Alkayat I suppose this is a guide book for a newby who has just moved to London or Anglophiles who come to London frequently when Covid permits. It is not about the sites that would be on a bucket list for first time visitors to London. Instead, this book attempts to introduce areas that may not be familiar to those who live but spend too much time working or frequent visitors to London. I like the format in that instead of high-lighting random neat shops throughout the city, the book describes areas worth visiting. Imagine all the Tube Stations you pass by underground and never know what is above. Some of the areas I know well but some were new to me and all can be reached by the underground. So I see this a great book to discover one or two new areas for locals on a weekend or for visitors who have been to Harrods or The Eye enough and now want to venture to other areas of this vast and interesting city of connected villages. This is a great book to expand you knowledge and time in one of the great cities of the world.
Thank you, Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion, for the advance review copy.
The book gives short descriptions of the villages with amazing pictures mostly of shops and cafes. It's comforting and gives a fair idea on what to do when we reach these places.
Love the pictures and the presentation. It's cozy and aesthetic.
I received an ARC of, London Villages, by Zena Alkayat. I really enjoyed this book. The pictures are great, makes me want to be in London and its Villages.
Though there are 30 villages listed, like most cities, the names represent self-named areas and don't show up on any municipal map. Mostly they are areas that may have been incorporated into Greater London years ago and they became part of some previously standardized town or county. It's probably the best way to tour a city/town because it's the way that the 'locals' view themselves.
Each area may have one or more of the following sections (most with pictures): bars pubs and gastropubs. cafe & restaurants. museums and galleries. public spaces & venues. Shops: beauty, book stores (bookshops),fashion, food and drink, homeware & gifts, services and specialties. Markets.
It's like a 'Lonely' guide for the 'hip', so take it that way.
The perfect book for a committed Anglophile! Love the whimsical maps of the villages as well as the brief introductions to the different areas not often included in guided tours. So eager to get back to London to seek out these treasures.
Black book on discreet, off the beaten path, spots far from the maddening crowds of London. Lovely images and cute maps. A great guide to little quite little spots with adequate detail.
This was a perfect guide for me.Loved visiting these small towns I knew nothing about fascinating hand drawn maps.that introduced us to each town,.Getting to visit these unique towns the special spots that make each town unique.#netgalley #quatrobooks
I love villages! I enjoyed looking through this book and I saved some of these places to visit next time I go to London. There are lots of photos and some cool stuff to see there. I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
London Villages by Zena Alkayat is a fun overview of many of London's villages.
This is an ideal travel guide for those wanting to do more than the usual tourist sites (though I would certainly suggest first time visitors hit most of the main places as well). I fully intend to take this book and another London Guide titles Quiet London with me next time I visit.
Between this book and the internet, a visitor, and even some Londoners I think, can spend a bit of time virtually visiting the villages then plan a nice walkabout or two for the physical visit. The websites are included for the places highlighted so you can learn more about both the place and what might be around it.
Depending on the type of visit you might be planning (quiet with walking tours or more mainstream with bigger crowds) this book can serve as your main guide or as your "get away from the crowds" guide. Either way, you won't be disappointed.
Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Very interesting book. This one sure will come in handy in the future so I will be buying a copy .
I do recommend this one
This is another great guide of London and made me discover new places I want to visit in the future.
Lovely illustrations, a lot of information
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Lovely guide book format and painting type drawings....Huge step up from lonely planet.. Makes me want to explore London on foot. i thought I would
super enjoy the quiet London companion book? in actuality I liked this much better..
Armchair travel at its very best! Packed with tantalising photographs and just enough description to transport you to these quirky and inviting destinations. Enticing selection of shops, cafes and other places within each little haven . Perfect to indulge the senses as well as tempting you to seek out these charming ‘villages’.
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