From time to time, we write about technology that we come across which we feel has the potential to enrich the travel experience. Recently, we were introduced to 24hourlondon an app which by its suggestive name, helps you explore the nightlife of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, London.

 

24hourlondon in a twenty-four hour city

Imagine…You only have 24 hours to spend in London, a city you’ve always wanted to visit. You have expectations of exploring BUT business meetings or other commitments mean that your personal time only begins after conventional work hours have ended.

Tower Bridge, London

Not many cities give you options to make the best use of the hours you have left. However, London (now joining other cities like New York and Berlin) is a truly 24-hour city, offering a range of creative nightlife options for the sleepless and anyone with an eternally curious mind seeking a unique experience.

 

The Night Tube helps…

London’s night-time economy got a significant boost in 2016 when the Mayor launched the Night Tube. Records estimate a £77m boost to the local economy and approximately 2,000 jobs created since its launch.

TFL Night Tube

Copyright All rights reserved by Transport for London Press Images

With access to public transportation now available past midnight, social bees are now able to linger for longer instead of rushing off to catch last trains or pay for expensive taxi rides to the city’s outer regions.

So, how can adventurous visitors get the most out of a 24-hour city like London?

Enter 24hourlondon, an app for when you’re out in London, it is late and you don’t want to go home. The app uses geolocation to tell you what is open late nearby: bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs. With around 400 late-opening venues currently on their database, there is a lot to consider.

HDYTI Tip: From 15 December 2017, the London Overground connection from Dalston Junction to New Cross Gate will join the Night Tube network.

 

A quick overview of the app

We downloaded the app at home to check out its interface and functionality. Following a quick installation and setup on Android, a red dot indicated a late-opening venue just down the road from us. A quick pinch of the map, however, showed a large collection of red dots concentrated around central London, especially Soho. Brixton, Clapham and Camden also showed a lot of promise.

Download 24hourlondon app

The current interface of the app is basic and easy to navigate, with very little fluff to distract the user. Social media integration, potentially allowing users to share venue info and invite friends seemed to be missing. However, the real value of the app is the local knowledge that sits behind it.

This knowledge comes from co-founders, Dean Jenkins and Emma Hartley and their team of researchers who know the city well. Emma’s background is particularly interesting. She is a UK national newspaper journalist and an author…and everyone knows that if you are looking for the best spots in town, you should always ask a journalist.

We randomly picked a few venue suggestions and were pleased to see clear descriptions, information about opening hours and detailed directions including journey times, fastest routes and nearest transportation links. 

 

A late night cocktail experience at The Devil’s Darling

We were curious to try the app and selected two late-opening venues near Shoreditch in East London. 

Cocktail at Devil's Darling, The Napoleon Hotel, London

The first venue we visited was The Devil’s Darling a playful cocktail bar located on the first floor of The Napoleon Hotel, which itself is a rather unusual property. 

The brainchild of entrepreneurs Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson, The Napoleon is probably London’s smallest grand hotel. It comes with a single luxury suite and three bars. Guests can enjoy personal room service from an in-room elevator.

The Devil’s Darling is notable for a few reasons. Firstly, there is the attention-grabbing floor-to-ceiling painting of Napoleon’s coronation, an original copy of which sits in the Louvre, Paris. Green table lamps cast off a soft hue of warm colour that only enhanced the bar’s ambience. 

Secondly, the creativity of the bar staff is exceptional. When not teaching enthusiasts how to mix creative cocktails, they are encouraging connoisseurs to look through the bar’s classic cocktail books, including the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book and The Savoy Cocktail Book, to find serves they would like to order.

Cocktail at Devil's Darling, The Napoleon Hotel, London

Our friendly host, Jaz, started us off with a glass of complimentary champagne while we chatted about our shared interest in travel. We then selected one of the three options on that evening’s cocktail list – Paloma, which was a fun combination of tequila, agave syrup, lime juice, grapefruit and soda. This cocktail set us up well for the rest of the night. 

Address: The Devil’s Darling at the Napoleon Hotel, 9 Christopher St, London EC2A 2BS

 

Skyline views and honest food at The Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower, London

The pride of London’s 24-hour food scene is The Duck & Waffle headed up by executive chef, Dan Doherty. Ever since we met Dan on the recording set of an episode of Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s food lifestyle show, we have been eager to visit this iconic restaurant. 

The app led us to the 40th floor of the skyscraping Heron Tower. Open 24/7, guests come to this restaurant to enjoy creative versions of classic British food. 

Chef Dan Doherty is a traditionalist whose restaurant captures the feeling of a family gathered around a dinner table to enjoy what he describes as ‘honest food’.

With an appetite for one more cocktail, we tried a tasty roasted red pepper and blood orange bellini. The delicious ingredients tempted us into ordering one more. 

Although the picture-perfect views of London’s night-time skyline were distracting, the food was the main event. 

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower, London

We ordered their signature Duck and Waffle (confit duck leg, fried duck egg, mustard maple syrup) and were rewarded with unpretentious presentations and a remarkable combination of flavours. The flavours in the sea bass were enhanced with trompettes, smoked butter, pickled dulse and oyster emulsion.

In a 24-hour city, who needs sleep when you can experience creative gastronomy in the sky?

Address: Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

 

London, the city that never sleeps

London: 24hourlondon in a twenty-four hour city

Relaunched in 2017, 24hourlondon told us that they plan to keep adding exciting late-opening venues to their database. They have recently launched their first free drinks offer – a margarita at House of Tippler in East Dulwich. 

The concept of a 24-hour London is perfect for travellers visiting the city on business or pleasure who barely have enough time to squeeze in a meaningful experience during the day. As London’s night-time economy grows, thanks in part to the Night Tube, we expect to see more people taking the opportunity to explore the city that never sleeps.

24hourlondon app

 

Disclosure: Our visits to The Devil’s Darling and Duck & Waffle were courtesy of 24hourlondon. However, all views expressed remain ours. We wish to thank Emma and Dean for the opportunity to try the 24hourlondon experience. Download the app on iOS and Android and tell us what you think.


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