London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has shared some of his favourite places to eat, drink and chill out in his south London neighbourhood, in a new drive to encourage visitors to live like a local.

Just like Carl Goes city guides, the Mayor is a strong advocate of urban exploration and living like a local while travelling. According to Visit London, millions of visitors come to the city every year to experience the city’s culture in the form of museums, galleries, restaurants and nightlife, but few visitors venture out of central London to the outer neighbourhoods. Furthermore, 78% of visitors say they are looking for more local things to do on their trips. The city’s outer boroughs are also the most searched for destinations on Airbnb, as travellers seek more local and ‘authentic’ experiences.

“London’s cultural and gastronomic gems are not just limited to the city centre, and that’s one of the things I love most about this city. Almost every nook and cranny is hive of activity, offering something for absolutely everyone. From Camden to Tooting and Ealing to Greenwich, every local area has its own personality and appeal. There are secret cinemas and intimate theatres, local festivals, heritage sites and grassroots music venues all over the city. I urge tourists to not only enjoy our world-renowned central London sites, but to wander off the beaten track and see more of London.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

The Mayor lives in the neighbourhood of Tooting, and he names a number of recommendations in the neighbourhood that he and other locals love.

Tooting according to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

  • Tooting is home to the best South Asian restaurants in London, and Lahore Karahi is one of the Mayor’s favourites, for the fresh naan and delicious tarkah dahl.
  • Tooting Common is a tranquil place to visit; the Mayor goes there with his daughters to enjoy the wildlife and treat them to ice cream in the café. It’s also home to the Grade II listed, Art Deco Tooting Bec Lido, which is England’s largest freshwater pool and was once visited by Brad Pitt.
  • The Mayor loves Tooting Market, which is so colourful “it’s like a summer holiday year-round” and has cool pop-up eateries.
  • Tooting Art Club puts on theatrical performances in unusual places, such as Sweeney Todd in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop.

In Carl Goes London, our locals have their own Tooting recommendations. As well as the iconic Tooting Bec Lido, our locals love Tram and Social – a bar inside a converted tram shed, the authentic curry house Onam, and The Castle Pub that dates back to the 1830s. It looks like we’re on the same wavelength Mr Mayor!

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