Greek Things To Do In London: Cuisine, Culture, History And More

Looking for an authentic Greek experience in London? From cuisine to books to history, Nayia Yiakoumaki and Medea Manaz from the Hellenic Centre in Marylebone give us their top recommendations.

We know where to find the best spanakopita in town. Image: iStock/Juanmonino

Hellenic Book Service, Kentish Town

This place is a real book-lover’s paradise — and, so we’re told, is home to the biggest collection of classics and modern Greek books anywhere in town. If you’re interested in learning/improving your Greek, this is a superb place to come. Owner Monica is always there to advise on selecting the right book. We’d also recommend looking up the Greek Library of London, a group which meets monthly in a cafe in Central London to enjoy Greek books, with Greek coffee and chat about Greek literature. All in all, very Greek.

Hellenic Book Service

Greek Library of London

The Greek Necropolis, West Norwood Cemetery

This south London cemetery is home to a slew of fascinating tombs — from the ornate ceilinged-tomb of pottery magnate Henry Doulton, to the grave of Mrs Beeton. The Greek Orthodox section, though, has the grandest of monuments, mausoleums and tombs — most dating back to the Victorian era. It’s like wandering through a miniature version of Athens’ Acropolis.

West Norwood Cemetery

The Greek Orthodox section of West Norwood Cemetery is something to behold. Image: KotomiCreations via creative commons

The best Greek food in London

Aroma Patisserie, Palmers Green: The best spanakopita (spinach and feta pastry) in town, and the koupes — a Cyprus delicacy of bulgar wheat filled with ground meat — is well worth trying too. Then there are the amazing freshly-baked cakes; we recommend the petit-four biscuits or baklava. Aroma Patisserie

Vrisaki Kebab House, Bowes Park: A lively atmosphere and lots of delicious dishes to share with family and friends. Our picks: the kleftiko (slow cooked lamb), Greek salad and authentic souvlaki. Vrisaki Kebab House

OPSO, Marylebone: Our neighbours! The chefs use seasonal ingredients from Greece to create contemporary Greek tapas — the lamb shank with truffle is an absolute highlight. OPSO

Byzantium, Bayswater: A real family feel. Their homemade spinach and cheese pies are delicious! You can even buy a tray of moussaka to take home. They also serve great latte in a very large mug. Byzantium

Carpo, Piccadilly: THE place to visit if you love nuts, dried fruit, Greek coffee and chocolate. Don’t miss the delicious macadamia nougat, and the chocolate-coated almonds! Carpo

The Greek Theatre has been putting on plays for decades. Image: Greek Theatre Players.

The Greek Theatre, Walthamstow

Perhaps Walthamstow’s best kept secret (until Londonist wrote an article about it, anyway). Though not strictly Greek, this outdoor theatre was built in the ancient Greek style, back in 1924 — when then-headmistress of Walthamstow Girls’ School, Mary Norris, decided she’d rather build this than an outdoor pool. It opens to the public for shows every July.

The Greek Theatre

St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Hagia Sophia), Bayswater

That’s right, London has its own Hagia Sophia. Built in 1670, this is the first Greek Orthodox church in London — and the Byzantine mosaics are quite something. This is an important hub for the London Greek and Christian Orthodox communities, although anyone is welcome to visit. When you do, don’t forget to look for the frescoes that depict scenes from Jesus’ life — they look so real! The church also houses a small museum.

The Parthenon Sculptures have some stories to tell — some of them quite crazy. Image: Londonist

Parthenon Sculptures, British Museum

Originating from Athens, the Parthenon Sculptures hold a rich and complicated history; about half of all these fragments from one of the most famous buildings of the ancient world are available to see for free in central London. Whether or not you believe they should be here, they are a true wonder of the world, and have some crazy stories to tell.

The Parthenon Sculptures

The Hellenic Centre: a shoo-in if you want to learn more about Greek culture.

The Hellenic Centre, Marylebone

Last but not least! Located in the heart of Marylebone, the Hellenic Centre is a thriving hub for arts and culture. From screenings to exhibitions, food events and academic talks, the majority of our events are free and open to anyone interested in the Hellenic world. Our visitors say that this is their go-to place to visit for exploring and celebrating the Hellenic culture across multiple art forms and its influences from the past, to the present and for the future. We also offer Greek language courses for those wanting to learn from scratch, or brush up on their Greek alphabet before their travels.

The Hellenic Centre

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