In a new series on things we love about London and the South East region, we have decided to bring you the best in London. This time we’re looking at where you can get your vintage London fix, mainly for experiences but some shopping too. Our top 10 Vintage London (and surrounding areas) tips.

1. Food: The 1920s in a pie and mash shop in Walthamstow Market.

You may have seen our entire date day in Walthamstow; it was epic. We finished our day at the most perfect Pie and Mash shop, L Manze’s. The recipe is unchanged since the shop opened in 1929, when it was there to fill the bellies of London’s dockworkers and market stall holders. Lumpy mash, and very little choice on pies made with a thick buttery pastry topped with a parsley liquor. This pie shop is the perfect place to practice your cockney rhyming slang. If you want your vintage London fix, this is a great place to start in the mahogony high-backed booths in Walthamstow Market.

2. Shopping: Brixton Arcade’s 1920s shopping district with a 1990s edge.

Reliance Arcade in Brixton is the perfect escape from new–age millenial hipster markets and a place to really feel like you’re in Vintage London. OK, so it is a modern market, maybe even 1990s retro with CDs, hair extensions and “designer” leather bags on sale alongside the smell from the amazing popcorn stand. Although it is in the same place as the Brixton Village covered market, it does feel like you’re in a different postcode. With not a ‘gluten-free’ or ‘craft beer’ sign in sight, you can see its Egyptian-style art deco façade recently added to Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register.

Brixton Market

3. Day out: Goodwood Revival

A magical day out, stepping back in time, Goodwood Revival is THE place for a fix of your vintage excitement, just outside London. With all vehicles from the 1948-1956 period, there are three days of celebrating the glamour of motor racing as it was. Dress up, take a picnic and chose your day – it’s something you don’t want to miss out on! This year it takes place in the middle of September and you can find out more and get your tickets here.

Goodwood revival vintage london

4. Shopping: Hammersmith Vintage Fashion Fair

Once a month Hammersmith Town Hall becomes a haven for vintage bargains. It’s the place to be for fashionistas looking for their vintage bargains in London. There are over 100 leading vintage fashion dealers and their wares cover clothes from the 1800s to the 1980s. Everything from handbags to hats gowns to gloves, necklaces to brooches, literally everything. You pay £5 to get in and then your items cost after that, but it’s definitely worth it just to see what gems you can find. You can find out about the next ones here. 

Vintage London Hammersmith fair

5. Dancing: Jive in Crofton Park Ballroom

If you want a Saturday night jive that’s less of a lesson and more of a step back into the 1950s, then Rivoli Ballroom is the one for you. In Brockley, right off the high road, something spectacular happens on Saturdays. Quiffs, polka dot dresses and dance moves straight off of the films you love take to the floor under the chandeliers and lanterns. The best and possibly most unique way to get your Vintage fix in London, but you need to make sure you dress to impress!

Jive vintage London Brockley

6. Immersive: Gatsby’s American Dream

Enter in to 1920s America, go to Jay Gatsby’s party, dance the Charleston with Daisy and meddle in the business of love, all set in a warehouse that has been brilliantly transformed into houses and spaces to tell the well-known tale. Every time you go your experience is different, so we can not recommend going enough. Cocktails are served there and happiness can be had in the prohibition era, we promise! You can book your tickets for your immersive Vintage London Gatsby experience here. 

Immersive Gatsby

7. Swing dancing with Swing Patrol

If dancing is your thing, there is no better way to embrace the Vintage in London through swing dancing. Accessible to all levels, Swing Patrol have over 1000 dancers and over 40 weekly classes. It’s a brilliant way to meet new people and learn new dances, with the friendliest bunch of people around. The lessons take place in over 35 venues across London, each as quirky as the one before, from dance halls, to pubs, speakeasies to town halls. You can see the Swing Patrol schedule here.

Swing patrol jiving vintage london

8. Food: Fatboy’s 40s diner

OK, so another place you can get your vintage London food is the incredible Fatboy’s Diner in Trinity Buoy Wharf. Converted from an old trailer, it is perfectly 40s. The decor, the counter-style dining, the bottomless filter coffee. All of it makes you wonder when John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are about to appear. It’s often used for parties and film shoots, but the breakfasts are amazing, and the peanut-butter milkshakes are to-die for. To find out more about fatboys visit their website here. 

Fatboys diner

9. Shopping: London’s best vintage shops

Vintage London comes alive with the mention of “vintage shops” and there really are loads of them. No matter what your taste or the era you love, there is something for you. You could head to Camden, Brick Lane, Carnaby Street or even Covent Garden. Our favourite for all things actually vintage (we’re talking 1920s-70s) is Blackout II. They’ve been open for 30 years and specialise in antique apparel as well as things you could wear more every day. It’s a rummagers paradise and perhaps not one that like everything neatly coded in colour and fabric but it’s an absolute dream. If you’re looking for something in particular, the staff are amazing and you’re bound to find it there! http://www.blackout2.com/

Blackout II

10. Drinking: London’s best speakeasies

Speakeasies hit the headlines a few years back when they became the height of popularity. From entering cocktail bars through fridges, to bars that move nightly, the speakeasy is still popular, and for good reason. Having unashamedly tried many, our favourites include the Evans and Peel Detective Agency, Oriole, Nightjar and the bar with no name. A great one to start has to be Reverend JW Simpson in Soho that you can find out about here.  Timeout have an amazing list of 1920s style speakeasies here.

Bonus: well, it’s been a while since we had a Jess special with an extra point so here it is!

JW Simpson speakeasy vintage London

11. Duxford Air Show

The world renowned Duxford Air Show is back! Located just outside of London, this year they are doing a Battle of Britain special, for your Vintage London hit. It’s taking you back to summer 1940 for a show of epic flying, historic aircraft and vintage fashion. The movie magic will culminate with a mass Spitfire formation taking to the sky. You can buy your tickets for the show for 2019 here.

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