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7 Quirky Cinemas to Try in London

Forget the massive multiplexes, for a real taste of London life as the locals live it, check out these unique little gems.

Popular with both locals and those visiting London, these wonderful venues offer a diverse range of movies in friendly, comfortable and eccentric surroundings.

1. Phoenix Cinema East Finchley

This much-loved single-screen cinema has been in operation since 1912, making it one of the longest operating cinemas in the UK.
The elegant Art Deco auditorium shows an eclectic mix of arthouse films, plus the occasional classic. Make time to visit the lively little cafe before the show starts. The food is homemade and utterly scrumptious.

2. Electric Cinema Portobello

With plush armchairs, waiter-service and a 100-year history, this 50-seater venue is a real treasure. Located in the heart of Notting Hill, it’s still going strong after two wars and numerous closures.
The auditorium is wonderfully cosy and luxurious, with many original features to enjoy; a fine way to view the mainstream and indie films on offer. There’s also a stylish diner on site.

3. Regent Street Cinema

Don’t miss this historic and unique movie house in the heart of the West End. Regarded as the birthplace of British cinema, it opened in 1848 and featured the first motion picture to be seen in the UK.
The lovingly restored Art Deco theatre is a wonderful place to enjoy old classics, new releases, world cinema and double bills.

4. The Lexi Cinema

You’ll find this quaint little cinema in a residential area of North London. With only 70 seats and a comfy bar, it’s a cheerful and friendly spot. The Lexi offers an eclectic mix of mainstream, world and arthouse cinema.
The theatre lives in a renovated Edwardian building and is run by volunteers. All profit goes to a sustainable living project in South Africa.

5. Prince Charles Cinema

This is most definitely a quirky venue. The only independent cinema in the West End, it offers a huge range of classic and arthouse films, the latest blockbusters and double bills.
If audience participation is your thing, look no further. The Sound of Music, Grease and Rocky Horror sing-a-longs have given this place cult status. There are even all-night movie marathons. Bring your pyjamas!

6. Greenwich Picturehouse

This stylish venue lives in the historic, maritime borough of Greenwich. Five screens offer a diverse mix of arthouse and mainstream movies, plus documentaries and Shakespeare nights.
The Picturehouse is a popular spot for locals to meet, and a great place for visitors to soak up the atmosphere. The two restaurants and one bar are good places to start.

7. The Rio Cinema Dalston

Popular since 1937, this is a stunning Art Deco building. The two screens feature a wide range of independent and foreign films, plus plenty of classics and Saturday Morning Picture Club for the kids.
The Cafe Bar has some seriously tasty nibbles and there’s always a Treat of the Week. No wonder the locals love it!

As London experts, Premium Tours knows where to find lots of interesting and quirky bits of London, such as the best place to get an unusual afternoon tea or where the funkiest restaurants are. To find out more about our London tours, visit our website or contact us today.

wine glasses

9 Great Places to Go Wine Tasting in London

Tasting your way through the wines of the world doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get on a plane; in fact, you can learn to fine-tune your palate right here in London.

There are several venues in the capital that hold enjoyable and social wine tasting events, giving you the chance to taste an interesting variety of local and international wines while learning a thing or two along the way.

Here are nine great places to go wine tasting in London.

1. Winemakers Club

Atmospheric and intriguing, the Winemakers Club is located within the exposed brickwork vaults of a Victorian wine cellar beneath Holborn Viaduct. Specialising in organic, biodynamic wines from small, traditional wineries around the world, the venue holds regular wine tasting events.

Guests are invited to try six to eight wines focusing on a specific theme. Tastings take place around a large communal table, and emphasis is on informal fun rather than education.

2. Cork & Bottle

Tucked away in a basement in the heart of the theatre district, the Cork & Bottle wine bar offers a fantastic menu of sharing platters and a range of fine cheeses to complement their selection of wines.

Every month they hold one or two bespoke dinner and wine tasting events hosted by winemakers and industry experts. Themes include American wines, cava and champagne tastings.

wine tasting

3. Cavas de Gaucho

As well as a host of events and special dinners, this delightful wine bar in Piccadilly holds wine tasting masterclasses focusing on their fantastic collection of wines from Argentina. The masterclasses are conducted by the head sommelier, who guides you through the carefully curated selection.

4. Vivat Bacchus

South African wine specialist, Vivat Bacchus, has two venues at Farringdon and London Bridge where they regularly host a range of enjoyable and informal wine tastings events, such as ‘winter steak reds’, wine and cheese evenings, and even a wine knowledge quiz.

5. Copa de Cava

This gorgeous, atmospheric brick-vaulted wine cellar hidden in the alleyways off St Paul’s is London’s first dedicated cava bar.  Tastings and classes feature a range of cava and other Spanish wines accompanied by delicious, authentic tapas.

wine sampling

6. Bedales of Borough

This intimate wine bar situated in the heart of Borough Market specialises in rare and unique wines.  They hold a variety of wine tasting classes including a blindfolded tasting to get all your senses working!

7. The Wine Tasting Shop

The ‘try before you buy’ motto of this wine shop and wine bar specialist in Balham extends to weekly wine tasting events and classes including blind tastings. Tastings are accompanied by canapés and cheeses to complement the wines.

8. Cheese at Leadenhall

Another wine tasting experience in a famous London market can be found at Cheese at Leadenhall. Their cheese and wine tasting experiences focus on pairing fine cheeses with wines, ports and sherries.

wine and cheese

9. London Cru

Finally, you can even visit a winery right here in London! London Cru in SW6 holds winery tours including tastings that are educational and fun. You can even book a ‘winemaker for the day’ course.

Our London experts can advise you on the best places for wine tasting in the capital. Contact Premium Tours today for more information on all our London tours.