On the radar: January 2014

Oh January, the quiet month of the year where we kick start our good intentions, aim to exercise more, eat better, drink less (or not at all) and try to spend as little money as possible. For me, a week into the month and three working days of the year down, I’m just starting to get back into the every day swing of things after a relaxing holiday and I’m now contemplating how to survive the month ahead.

So for this month’s on the radar post I’ve decided to choose a few ideas that I hope will help get you through to February without damaging the bank account. They may not be original ideas or new places to you so if you have any of your own favourites to add, make sure you leave a comment!


Cheap eats

Burgers – Whilst not all that healthy, burger joints are usually a good place to start for a cheap eat. My favourites are: Honest (they now have branches in Brixton, Camden, Kings Cross, Portobello and Soho!), reliably good burgers and the best rosemary salted chips; Dirty Burger, fast food far better than McDonalds; Patty & Bun, handy central location; and Tommi’s Burger Joint, great chargrilled flavour.

Street food – You can often find a filling lunch for a small price at a street food market. Try KERB, Netil Market, Brockley Market, and Brixton Village but also keep an eye on what Street Feast are up to (Hawker House is returning 17/18 January for 10 weekends.)

London curry houses – If you love a good curry but you’re not fussy about your surroundings Brick Lane and Tooting High Street are great options. You can get a meal for around £10 and some places allow you to BYOB. Lahore Kahari in Tooting is a good one to try. (I’m always keen to have more curry recommendations so do let me know if you have any!)


Redemption Bar – An alcohol-free bar where your liver can recover from all the sinful festive drinking with mocktails and nutritious food.

Coffee bars My favourite way to get out and about but only spend £5 or less. Take your book, your Kindle, a newspaper or magazine and let the London world whiz by for a while. You can find all of the places I’ve been to here. The next places on my list are Mother’s Milk, Wild and Wood, and Craft Coffee.

Happy hour cocktails – Bar Chick is a great website for finding everything you need to know about London’s bar scene. If you can’t make it through a dry January (or you’re not taking part) here’s a list of the best happy hours to satisfy your thirst.

Money-saving websites

Red spotted hanky – a site recommended to me for finding cheap rail fares, handy if you need to advance book some train tickets this month.

Skint London – A brilliant twitter feed telling you where all of the free or cheap events are happening in London. Follow @SkintLondon or like their Facebook page.

Theatre People – A great site for buying theatre tickets that often has discounted prices.

Of course there’s also the likes of Book a table, Toptable, Tastecard, Voucher Codes, and Lastminute.com .

Free things to do

Regent’s canal walk – On a cold crisp weekend this would be perfect for a long walk along the canal followed by a drink in a cosy pub.

The Royal Parks – The finest outdoor spaces you’ll find in the city.

London Ice Sculpting Festival (10 – 12 January) – Watch big chunks of ice get carved into pretty pieces of art.

Museums and Galleries – You can find all the exhibitions on right now on the Londonist.

If you need more inspiration the Londonist and Time Out have a fairly comprehensive pages of free things to do (see links).

How will you survive January? What are your favourite frugal places? 

1 Comment

  1. January 9, 2014 / 4:24 pm

    Ooh Wild and Wood looks good, will have to check them out!! Also despite passing Honest in Camden almost daily, have never eaten there -will have to rectify that too! My favourite burger place is Hache http://www.hacheburgers.com possibly a touch pricier than Honest (because sides are separate) but just SO SO good! As for curry, my heritage ties me strongly to south Indian food and dosas are my ultimate treat -the best I’ve found in London come from the Woodlands restaurants http://www.woodlandsrestaurant.co.uk and are very reasonably priced too 😉