London has been filled with luminaries since early celebrity diarist Samuel Pepys wrote accounts of the best places in the city to get your wig cleaned. If you’re passionate about film, theatre, TV, art or sport, it’s easy to spot big names in the capital at work and play. But it’s less easy to see famous people in their natural habitats. It’s one thing to notice them in the West End looking glossy for paps and promotional opportunities, but if you’re going to become their New Best Friend, you want to see them relaxing. Here’s where to go.
Sohot Bikram Studios, Bolsover Street, W1W 5AQ
Celebrities love bikram yoga – nothing burns calories like it. And the Soho studio is one of the trendiest in town, with rumoured guests ranging from Lady Gaga and JLS’s Ortise. The studio is opposite the Radio One building, so even if you don’t see celebrities stretching and sweating, you might bump into them after your class is over. You might want to take some extra trouble with the hairdryer afterwards.
Milk and Honey, Poland Street, W1F 7NU
One of London’s most discreet ‘members only’ addresses will allow civilians in, as long as they book in advance and promise not to point and get overexcited. If you stay calm, you’ll be rewarded with some transatlantic star presence – Zoey Deschanel and Selena Gomez are said to hang out in the bar when in the UK.
Scribbler, Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DD
Actors working in the heart of theatre-land have to buy their birthday cards from somewhere. And an urban legend suggests that Sir Ian McKellen used to come here to buy obscene wrapping paper every lunchtime. One day, an embarrassed woman purchased paper of the same design. The sales assistant said comfortingly “Don’t worry, Sir Ian McKellen comes here and buys this all the time.” The woman replied “I know – it’s for him.”
The Alibi, Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
For years, the Alibi had the dubious honour of being the (unofficial) grimiest nightspot in East London, which is quite a statement. The Alibi was adored by Red Stripe connoisseurs with asymmetric hair. Then Radio One breakfast DJ Nick Grimshaw brought his chart troubling pal Harry Styles, and the Alibi became an unlikely haven for pop fans. Celebrity models adore it too – keep an eye out for Pixie Geldof and Agyness Deyn.