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London Before 10 AM

photography & words by Chelsea Paisley 

London Before 10AM by tête-à-tête &PLATE


Communion | 2015



“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 

― André Gide


There’s something tempting about a morning sleep-in. Luxuriously reclining in bed while the world stirs around you may be an attractive prospect, but lurking just outside your window is a world of beauty, calm and inspiration awaiting early risers at home and abroad. In London, the city quietly gears up for the day ahead, and gives a fresh and thoughtful flavour to your adventures in the city. From a reverential morning service that speaks to the hearts of locals at St. Paul’s Cathedral, to the lovingly crafted goods on offer at London’s weekend markets, both locals and visitors will be invigorated by their travels before Buckingham Palace even opens its gates.


Earliest service Monday-Saturday 7:30am, Sunday 8:00am | St. Paul’s Churchyard

St Paul’s Cathedral is, at any time of the day, an imposing piece of architecture among its surrounding buildings, and certainly to its visitors. Sitting atop the highest point in the City of London, it is at once grave and ornate, both inside and out, but comes to life during its Anglican religious services. The services are open to the public, and the earliest one is best attended by locals before the working day begins. Hearing the morning prayers in the church that saw the burials of figures like Winston Churchill, the Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebrations and Princess Diana’s wedding, is a humbling and inspiring way to begin the day.


Opens Monday-Friday 8:00am | 25A Warren Street, Fitzrovia

Honey & Co.’s 8am patrons are more often than not bleary-eyed suits dashing in for a coffee and out again in an instant. Stick around, however, and sample the Middle Eastern fare – from pumpkin & fetta filo pastries to roasted eggplant, as well as a day-to-day selection of pastries and sweets. Owned and operated originally as a passion project for wife-and-husband duo Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Honey & Co. and its staff feel more like a family home than a breakfast pitstop. Don’t hesitate to start your day with a friendly chat to go with your breakfast and coffee.


Opens every day 5:00am | Chester Road, Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park is one of London’s Royal Parks, and boasts the Regent’s College and London Zoo – but its gardens are a sight to behold. Tucked between the perfectly manicured Avenue Gardens and the expansive Boating Lake are Queen Mary’s Gardens, a treasure trove of England’s finest flowers, almost hidden waterfalls, and an open air theatre: this is where the magic is. There is a map plastered here and there in the park – with dubious helpfulness – but ambling among the vividly colourful and fragrant blooms, never knowing what you’ll stumble across next, but always being pleasantly surprised by it, is the only way to experience the crown jewel of London’s Royal Parks.


Opens Saturday 8:00am | 8 Southwark Street, Southwark

Borough Markets recently celebrated 1000 years of operation in Southwark, hosting its famous markets weekly on Saturdays where you can pick up anything from homemade mustard to artisanal toffee – and literally everything in between. Local producers offer their foods, seasonings, products and workshops with a warmth that reflects the love that went into each and every piece, and the history and quality of the Southwark institution. The market is constantly buzzing with locals and tourists alike, sampling cold brew iced coffee and learning to make their own sourdough loaves. Come with an open mind; leave with a piece of Southwark’s legacy as treasured by its creator as it will be by you.


Opens Sunday 8:00am | Columbia Road, Bethnal Green

On Sunday, sleepy Columbia Road becomes invigorated by dozens of flower vendors and thousands of their finest specimens. The cacophony – of patrons chatting leisurely, vendors calling their prices over one another and street musicians performing at either end of the street – is only matched by the veritable rainbow of flowers and plants on offer. From petite succulents to boasting sunflowers (and absolutely everything in between), for between 2 and 10 pounds you can adopt a living piece of one of London’s most famous markets: but you’ll also take home memories of the vendors’ genuine love for flower growing, and smell of greenery in the fresh morning air.

London Before 10AM by tête-à-tête &PLATE
London Before 10AM by tête-à-tête &PLATE
London Before 10AM by tête-à-tête &PLATE
London Before 10AM by tête-à-tête &PLATE