"When a man is tired of London he is tired of life", imparted Samuel Johnson - well before you could sit on a big wheel or stand in some pointy skyscraper looking a bit like the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings.
There's a lot to do in the capital all right, but with more cool destinations than ever it's imperative you ditch the tourist trappings and seek out more leftfield fun. Which is why, with a few picks from Ben Smith, co-Founder of London On The Inside [Londontheinside.com], we've picked the coolest-cum-quirkiest events around.
From underground mini golf to doughnut ice cream sandwiches and boutique darts clubs, you're about to be the coolest person in your friendship group.
Birdies Crazy Golf
Deep down in the depths of Waterloo Vaults there is, believe it or not, a 9-hole crazy golf course. Yes, actual crazy golf, and you don’t need to hear to some grim outpost of Butlin’s to play it; the sixth hole even has a 5ft drop. Alongside this sits street food, golf inspired, booze and a cinema. Want more reaosn to book? They are now doing brunch sessions on the weekends, with a new menu including waffles and Bloody Mary cocktails.
The Vaults, Lambeth, London SE1 7AD
The first rule of Flight Club: you talk about Flight Club. Sat on the corner of the City and Shoreditch, this refined, almost members club-esque spot is taking the classic game of darts to a whole new level thanks to slick interactive boards and the sorts of drinks and nibbles you'll be waxing lyrical about for days.
Alphabeta Building, 2A Worship Street, London EC2A 2AH
The no-pretention New Year's Eve Party
New Year's Eve is always terrible right? Overpriced, overhyped and a big disappointment. Well, forget being cool and pretentious and just embrace a big fun party night instead and you might actually enjoy it. London's two most-loved niche club nights - the shameless, blameless pop fun of Guilty Pleasures and the power ballad kings Ultimate Power - are teaming up again for a giant seven hour blast at The Forum (ably assisted by live massaoke experts Friday I'm In Love) so let your hair down and your inhibitions go and see in 2016 in style.
The O2 Kentish Town Forum, 9-17 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1JY
A motorcycle club-cum-trendy café hangout? No, we haven’t been watching too much Sons of Anarchy, we’re simply referencing Bike Shed on Old Street, a classic motorcycle shop, bar and barbers. We're sewing the patches on as we speak.
384 Old St, London EC1V 9LT
House of Peroni
The immersive and multisensory residence that is House of Peroni brings a touch of ‘life lived inside’ with Vita all’Interno (not as pretentious as it sounds). There’s Michelin-starred food, Peroni Nastro Azzurro cocktails - yes there’s such a thing as beer cocktails and Negroni’s. Show some respect and get yourself down.
152 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU
Bao Burger - Pho & Bun
Imagine a world in which a burger bao hybrid existed. Well stop it, you fool, that's this world: a 28 day dry aged beef patty, special smoky mayonnaise sauce, herbs and salad, all crammed into a hirata bun now exists at Pho & Bun; and suddenly that Vietnamese burger dilemma doesn’t.
76 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6ND
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland’s cooler cousin, this need-to-know event has crazy golf, a circus, ice skating, a night garden, food market, stand-up comedy and DJs playing late into the evening. You can’t miss it this season. Runs 26 November to 23 December.
Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, London E3 5TB
Mulled Wine FestivalIf you didn’t know already, it’s beginning to look a lot like… mulled wine season. Hence this festival, a three day affair of everything mulled from cider and cheese to candy. Yes the world has gone bonkers, please join them.35 Cranbourn St, London WC2H 7AD
Mint Vintage Clearance Sale
Mint has been in the vintage wares game for over 20 years, but rather than rotting clothes stinking up a bargain bin, these guys source pieces from the likes of Ralph Lauren and Levi’s. This two day sale will feature 8,000 decent items all priced either four, six or eight quid. Bargain.
Dalston Pier, 2a John Campbell Road, DALSTON, N16 8JZ
We think we’re turning Japanese, we think we’re turning Japanese – oh you know the rest.
And throughout November and December, so is much of Shoreditch, as Tokyo Nights arrives at Night Tales, ushering us down the back streets of Japan with the likes of Patty & Bun knock out food with a Tokyo twist. Along with eight private Ryokans (Japanese houses), there's a sushi supper club, sake bar and a hidden whisky bar round off proceedings.
288-299 Old St, London EC2A
Budvar tank and Burgers at MEATliquor’s newest outpost
Wander into this recently opened two-tiered Islington warehouse and kitchen – in which MEATliquor continues its attempts for citywide burger supremacy – and you won’t fail to notice the tanks of Budweiser Budvar sitting high in the rafters. They're huge.
So much more than Instagram-fodder, however, the beer packed inside these cannisters is brewed for 102 days before going straight from tank to glass - meaning, unless you've a jaunt to Eastern Europe planned, it’s the freshest those golden suds will ever taste.
133B Upper Street Islington London N1 1QP