Graduate guide to working in London: Farringdon
As if starting a new graduate job or internship wasn't daunting enough in itself, more often than not it also means spending your weekdays in a whole new area of London you know little about. What lunch options are there? Where can one slake one's thirst at the end of a tough day? Fortunately, BrighterBox's guide to London has all the answers to these questions and more. This week, we tackle Farringdon.
On the outskirts of the City, flirting with Old Street, Holborn’s next-door neighbour. A small, workers district jam packed full of 9-5ers. To those not in the know, perhaps a bit of an underdog, second best, a bit of a ‘non’ area. The small piece of cheese in the St. Paul’s/Holborn sandwich some might say. Well, we like cheese and we’re going to show you exactly why Farringdon is the best new place to work, eat, drink, repeat. Plus, with the opening of Crossrail here just a few years away, what better time to get ahead of the game and get to know this little beauty?
Let’s start with a spot for lunch. Graduates straight out of university who aren’t looking to splash the cash can head over to the cheap and very cheerful Exmouth market, much loved by the local office brigade. Hosting a real variety of fresh goodness from hog roast rolls, spiced lamb koftas, healthy rice boxes or an authentic Ghanaian curry, most stalls will feed you for a fiver or less.
Similarly, Leather Lane market, a haven for food lovers and another go-to here at BrighterBox, hosts favourites including Falafel King, Pieminster or there’s always the good old-fashioned cheesy beany jacket to sate your appetite. The world(‘s cuisine) is your oyster.
If a market isn’t quite what you’re looking for head over to John Charlick’s on Gray’s Inn Road. A friendly, family-run business, John’s (as the regulars call it) is a legendary sandwich, soup and salad stop that never fails to impress.
And if these recommendations still don’t float your boat, fear not! Pubs are in abundance in Farringdon, including the Gunmakers for hearty, wholesome food, or a stone’s throw from Farringdon station is upmarket Foxlow (Hawksmoor’s little sister)…if the boss is paying.
Let your hair down
So, it’s Friday and after a long, hard-working week (and the obligatory Friday mid-afternoon booze run to Sainsbury’s on Farringdon Road), where do you go for that much needed pre-weekender tipple? Back on Exmouth Market, punters spill onto the pavement outside Café Kick with happy hour from 4-7pm and a few competitive games of table football to keep you entertained. If it’s dark and mysterious you’re after, secretive bar 5CC on the same street (also one on Farringdon Street) has you entering through the Exmouth Arm’s pub and sneaking through a hidden door to find yourself in an underground vintage speakeasy with a cocktail list to die for.
After a few drinks to get you going, where does the party go next? To Bounce of course! A bar-cum-club full of ping pong tables is the perfect way to end the evening and a good time to show your new work mates just how great your paddle skills are, or, if the drinks are flowing, not so great (as some of us at BrighterBox have learnt from experience).
Whether it’s comfort food you’re after, a light lunch to keep the creative juices flowing, a team drink to build morale, or a post-work blackout there are a ton of spots in Farringdon to entertain you.
Suddenly, the little cheese becomes your perfectly mature cheddar. So, who wants some wine with that?