Meet Ed. Ed is the founder of a company called World in London, a travel nut like the rest of us, and a genuinely nice guy! After an incredible overland adventure from Bangkok to Birmingham, he decided to set up a travel company when he got home after falling in love with the experiences that come along with travel.
Ed tackled the stunning Silk Road all the way from Thailand to the UK without taking any planes, without spending more than his allowance for rent per month, and did it to raise awareness for sustainable initiatives worldwide. You can imagine what an incredible journey it was.
Now, back in London, Ed’s company World in London is all about enabling Londoners to have these incredible travel experiences on the doorstep of their own city. London is one of the most diverse and multicultural cities on the planet, but having these culturally rich experiences is difficult if you don’t know where to look. Therefore, World in London is a new app that makes it easy and fun to discover amazing international experiences throughout London.
Last weekend Ed gave a bunch of bloggers a sneak preview of some World in London experiences and a taste of London’s rich ethnic communities. Here are a few highlights:
Ridley Road Market
Established in the 1880’s, Ridley Road was the heart and soul of London’s Jewish community. Since that time it has now been populated by Ghanaians, Nigerians, Turkish, Bangladeshi and a superb mix of many other nationalities.
The market space is a vibrant celebration of London’s multiculturalism and a hub for all your international culinary desires – although, not a spot for the faint hearted. How would you fancy a spot of Cane Rat aka “bush meat”? Or perhaps a small serving of charred sheep’s head? The market has found itself in some controversial situations lately for the …colorful nature of the food it provides.
What seems normal for many of the African locals proves offensive to some the sheltered Londoners. What are your thoughts? Should traditional food and cooking methods be deemed acceptable in a Western Society? Whatever your opinions the cultural induction at this market is like stepping into another world.
The smell of incense, fish, and charred meat fill your nostrils; your ears are filled with foreign languages; and you definitely don’t need to travel the world in search of all your dried catfish needs. I certainly felt foreign in a city I now call home, and I didn’t have to jump on a plane in search of fulfilling that wanderlust.
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
This spacious wooden café and garden area was reminiscent of a fairy folk land. The Eastern Curve Garden is full of wildlife friendly trees, and butterflies dance around like a wish in the night sky. The space also includes a gorgeous wee community garden, and was built on the derelict site of a historical Turkish Bathhouse, originally opened in 1882. The Victorian’s fancied a bit of Turkish culture in their own back yard although there’s speculation that it was male-centric.
And then a sneaky spot of Baklava in transit.
This hospital was built specifically to cater for sick Germans in London, but also took in needy Londoners where required. In WW1 all the German staff were removed, however Reverend Schonberg [A Nazi] still managed to run the church out the back. A sneaky spot for Nazi black shirt meetings.
A beautiful mosque specifically for those who practice Turkish Islam – a different form to that practiced in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The services are conducted in Turkish and there is also a Turkish school attached to the facilities.
Originally the building was developed as a cinema in 1913 and remained this way until 1974. Most commonly notorious for martial arts and soft-core sex films, it’s now faced it’s own baptism by fire and has cleaned up its act.
The Hackney Peace Mural
A picture perfect representation of the diverse borough that is Hackney. This mural was created in opposition to nuclear arms – an issue that united the communities of London around 1985.
So if you want to be inspired, to walk the streets in awe, to hear the mysterious sounds of a strange land, and to feel the freedom of adventure in the heart of London, check out World in London.
The crowd-funding campaign is in full swing at the moment and should it succeed, the app will curate the 10 best authentic experiences to do in London, for each nationality. Rewards for the campaign include hand picked experiences by Ed, and I’m sure looking forward to participating in the Burmese Supper Club.