Beyond the Station and its famous bear resident, Paddington has gained rapid popularity as a tourist hotspot in recent years. It’s easy to see why you’d make the trip from deepest darkest Peru — parks, canals and great shopping and restaurants abound in this well-located and vibrant district. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Things to Do in Paddington
It’s difficult to talk about Paddington without mentioning its iconic occupant. A life-size bronze statue of Paddington Bear can be found tucked away in the Station (where you can also find a dedicated merchandise shop), sitting on his luggage and offering some great photo opportunities. If only there was some sort of service where he could drop that suitcase off at bargain prices, hassle-free…
If you’re interested in enjoying some of London’s more historical attractions, the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum might be for you. A stone’s throw from the Station, you can visit the site where Fleming made his famous discovery of penicillin in 1928. The lab has been reconstructed to its original appearance and offers some insightful commentary on how the groundbreaking developments unfolded.
As a transport hub, Paddington is pretty notorious for its bustling, busy streets and roads. Little Venice offers the perfect antidote to this chaos — a picturesque oasis of narrowboats and trees a short walk away. You can take a stroll down the canal, or hop on one of the numerous riverboat services and enjoy a lazy afternoon of drifting, stopping off at Regents Park, Camden and further afield. For the more adventurous, you can even hire a paddle board!
Places to Eat Near Paddington
Al Waha is a fifteen minute walk from Paddington Station, but it is most certainly worth it. For some of the freshest and most painstakingly prepared Lebanese cuisine in the capital, Al Waha is modestly priced and boasts excellent service. If you need any more convincing, the restaurant has featured in The Time Out Guide to Eating & Drinking in London every year since 1998. It doesn’t get more authentic than this — and we’re confident that the mouthwatering mezze menu will leave you hungry for more.
If you find yourself exploring the canal instead, then Beany Green is a perfect place to stop for lunch. Serving up healthy, Aussie-style brunches alongside fat-free smoothies and craft beer, this funky cafe has won the heart of West Londoners. We hear the bottomless brunch (which you can grab both on weekdays and weekends) is pretty much unbeatable.
Pergola Paddington Central
The secret to the Pergola Group’s success lies in the fact that they source locations for their restaurants and bars in unusual and unique spaces. Hence, the super successful Pergola on the Roof was perched atop a massive car park. In May, the clever folk opened Pergola Paddington Central, located behind Paddington Station in inner-city Paddington Basin. It’s an industrial-style pop up with the hottest restaurants in the city dishing up fine fare, running till October. Book online, if there’s spaces. We love the day beds and DJs; bring on the sun.www.pergolaontheroof.com
To get your Greek on, book a table at Greek taverna, Fantasia. Located on Praed Street, this place offers the whole shebang: Greek music, food and belly dancing. Choose from divine moussaka or Greek meatballs, soutzoukakia, but don’t smash any plates…
Pubs Near Paddington
Paddington tends to lose ground to its neighbours when it comes to pubs. However, the stunning alcoves of The Victoria are not to be avoided. A cosy, elegant Victorian boozer that welcomed the likes of Churchill and Charles Dickens as its former clientele, if you’re looking for a truly authentic pub experience then this is a good bet. Enjoy traditional London ales with a cheddar and chutney sandwich and soak up the atmosphere.
If you want a place to drink that sports some great views, our very own Anthony recommends The Waterway in Little Venice. While the prices are a bit steeper, the surroundings are worth the premium. With a wide, sweeping terrace overlooking the canal, this is definitely one for a sunny afternoon, Pimms in hand. It’s a great spot for a bite to eat, too.
Store your Bags Near Paddington
It doesn’t get easier than this. Spring Street is a mere one minute walk from the Station, and we’ve got two StashPoints here to choose from. Stop off at Charlie’s Barber Shop and get going. If you need storage late at night or on the weekend, the Shakespeare Hotel is just 3 minutes from the station and offers 24/7 storage at Stasher’s unbeatable value.