Background: This week’s interview is with Showaround local Lee, a native Londoner who works in childcare. According to him, the thing that he enjoys most about this job is the feeling of making a positive impact on children’s lives. The second passion of his is travelling and interacting with residents, which started off over five years ago when he first used Couchsurfing. Every time Lee got a chance to spend some time with locals, it left him with the appetite to learn more, an appreciation for cultural differences and a complete immersion of himself in a new place.
For that very same reason, he enjoys helping visitors experience the London that they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise - whether that experience involves secluded hipster cafés, spectacular but lesser-known views or a wander through the backstreets.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Lee: I decided to become a Showaround Local as I love to meet new people and to show them how amazing London is too! I never get tired of this city - the more I discover, the more I long to see. London is constantly reinventing itself and it is buzzing at any time of the day. The city has something for everyone: restaurants, theater, shopping, famous sights, and history.
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Lee: 1. The Wallace Collection is a hidden gem to visit, if you want to lose a few hours in a fantastic stately home in Marylebone.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Lee: My favourite restaurant would have to be Taro on Brewer Street in Soho. It has amazing fresh sushi, and a good selection of hot food and drinks away from the hustle of Oxford Street.
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Lee: The area of West End has a wide array of choices, depending what mood you fancy. I quite like hotel and rooftop bars for a more stylish and fun time. Aqua Spirit rooftop bar by Carnaby Street is a fantastic location year-round for a top-notch cocktail and vibrant atmosphere.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Lee: London's nightlife is unlike anywhere else in the world. You can find everything here from American-style craft beer pubs to fancy, vintage-themed cocktail bars. Personally, for a night out I’d normally head to Soho and Fitzrovia, both of them have amazing restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of London?
Lee: Londoners are friendly folk on the whole. We may keep to ourselves at first, but if you say a warm and friendly hello and get chatting, you'll be fine.
Showaround: Thank you Lee for your answers!