london - a world in a city
Multicultural London continues to grow and brings with it a colourful mix of events, culinary delights and religious customs. From the first Japanese visitors in the 16th and 17th centuries, to the Caribbean Windrush arrivals in 1948, London has been home to a diverse range of inhabitants and today it has communities from more than 90 countries all over the world, speaking over 300 different languages.
You can get a true flavour of the rest of the world in London from large ethnic areas to small pockets of the City filled with the sound and smells of far away places. Dalston and Hackney are two of the most multicultural areas of London, with sizeable African communities. The famous Hackney Empire offers a range of comedy and theatre reflecting the areas diversity.
London's Asian community is scattered between Brick Lane in E1 (the heart of "Banglatown" and the capital's curry house centre), Tooting, Wembley, Kingsbury, Kenton, Harrow, Southall and the bustling Green Street in E13 where you can find everything from glittery fabrics to 24-carat gold jewellery. The attracts over 100,000 people with live music, dance, fashion, funfairandstalls.
Many European communities are spread around all corners of the city. For a Portuguese flavour, head south to Stockwell Road and South Lambeth Road, where bars and restaurants have a great atmosphere and crowds spill out onto the pavements.
In Soho, Italian delis and coffee bars sit side by
side with French patisseries, and South Kensington is home to the French Institut and Ciné Lumière. For Spanish spice, Portobello Road is a firm feature of London's continental culinary scene.
One of London's most popular tourist areas is Chinatown. The original Chinatown was located in Limehouse around the East End's docks and catered to Chinese seamen. It became established in its present location, Soho, in the late 1960s and is now an integral part of London with its many restaurants, supermarkets and cultural events in streets bedecked with traditional lanterns, stone lions,Chinese pagoda and arch.
London also has a sizeable Latin American population,
notably Brazilians from Notting Hill to Putney, Colombians and Ecuadorians in Elephant & Castle and Colombians in Finsbury Park. Seven Sisters market is said to be Britain's largest Latin American market in Britain, with Saturdays good to experience Latin culture and food.
For further information visit www.visitlondon.com/maps/multicultural_london/
Restaurants & Pubs
Gay Hussar 2 Greek Street, Soho W1
Tube: Tottenham Court Road (Central and
Serving the finest Hungarian specialities and wines for over
Tel: 020 7437 0973 www.gayhussar.co.uk
The Auld Shillelagh 105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16
Rail: Stoke Newington
Probably the best Guinness in North London with free Irish stew and bacon and cabbage on St Patrick’s Day. Live music on
Tel: 020 7249 5951 www.theauldshillelagh.com
R Garcia and Sons 248-250 Portobello Road, W11
Tube: Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City Line)
Established in 1958, this Spanish grocer and delicatessen sells every conceivable Spanish favourite, including Morcilla (a type of
Spanish black pudding) and hard-to-find tinned goodies. Open
all week 10am-6pm.
Tel: 020 7221 6119 www.cafegarcia.co.uk
Turkish Food Centre 89 Ridley Road, E8
Rail: Dalston Kingsland
Open 24 hours a day, selling imported fruit and vegetables,
including voluptuous black figs, dandelion leaves, and fresh green almonds. Groceries are also available, ranging from short-grained baldo rice, to sour cherry juice.
Tel: 020 7254 6754
Places to worship
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha 2-8 Park Avenue, Southall,
Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha is a recently-built Sikh temple and the largest outside India.The stunning landmark has a gilded dome and granite exterior.
Tel: 020 8574 8901 www.sgsss.org
Bevis Marks Synagogue 4 Heneagle Lane, Bevis Marks
Tube:Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitan lines)
Bevis Marks is a hauntinglybeautiful synagogue built in 1701 inside a courtyard, at a time when synagogues were not permitted on public streets. It is still in use and open for visits.
Tel: 020 7626 1274 www.bevismarks.org.uk
Things to do
La Escuela de Baile Haverstock School, 24 Haverstock Hill, Camden NW3
Tube: Chalk Farm (Northern Line)
Learn to dance and improve your fitness levels at London’s biggest flamenco school.They offer classes in different flamenco disciplines (including guitar lessons) for all ages and abilities.
Tel: 020 8905 4554 www.la-escuela-de-baile.co.uk
Himalaya Palace 14 South Road, Southall UB1
Three large screens showing not only the latest Hindi movies, but also ones in other languages such as Urdu, Gujarati,Tamil and Telugu. Special prices Monday-Thursday £4 any show.
Tel: 020 8813 8844 www.himalayapalacecinema.co.uk
All prices and details were correct when published, please check before visiting London’s diverse ethnic communities.