A Resident's Guide to: Waterloo with Michael Anastassiades

Widely known as a dynamic transport hub, Waterloo is quickly establishing a reputation as a new cultural centre in the capital. Situated within the central London Borough of Lambeth, the area is home to two world-class theatres, growing independent galleries and a wealth of small-scale businesses.

Here, local resident and designer Michael Anastassiades shares his insights into the area.

“The area around Waterloo has changed drastically since I moved here 20 years ago, but it has resisted commercialisation in many senses and retained its independent character. Lower Marsh in particular has all of these awkward, eccentric shops. I moved here when it was a neglected pocket of London but I love being in the heart of London and within walking distance of all of the theatres and galleries.”

Coleman Coffee
Coleman has been on my street for a couple of years now and it’s in a building that was originally owned by a retired architect who ran a second-hand bookshop on the ground floor. It’s a really thoughtful, characterful building and Jack Coleman has taken it on but very, very subtly adapted the interior to meet his needs and retained all the features that the architect had introduced. Jack roasts all his own coffee and he’s a very interesting guy – it’s also by far one of the best coffees I’ve tried and I only buy coffee from here.

Greengrassi Gallery
Cornelia Grassi and her husband share this space in Kennington and it has a beautiful programme of exhibitions and shows the work of incredible artists. I only discovered it a couple of years ago but it was a very pleasant surprise.

Radio Days
This place has always fascinated me and it makes me smile every time I walk past. It’s a vintage store that sells clothes, memorabilia and a few furniture pieces, and the owner has an incredible eye. They play wonderful music from the ‘40s and ‘50s through a radiogram which has a beautiful, nostalgic quality. You can hear it as you pass outside and it has brilliant window displays that always catch your attention.

Anchor & Hope
Everybody knows the Anchor & Hope. It opened a long time after I moved to the area but I’ve been going ever since. The chef used to work in the kitchens at The Eagle in Clerkenwell and they have exceptional food. They don’t take bookings but I always manage to find a table.

Waterloo Acupuncture, 88 Roupell Street
This is a great find. It’s quite hidden away but the treatments are exceptional. I used to be a yoga instructor and I’ve always been interested in alternative therapies. It was recommended to me by a friend and it was a great discovery.

The Old Vic andThe Young Vic
I follow the theatre and read about new productions and whenever there’s something interesting on I always find myself there. The Old Vic and Young Vic are great neighbourhood treasures.

Imperial War Museum
I love this museum. It’s somewhere not many people would think of visiting but it has an incredible presence as a building and the collections are fascinating. They’ve had some amazing exhibitions. I also love the open lawns and the Buddhist garden is very inspiring.

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View similar stories – My Modern House: the magical Waterloo home of designer Michael Anastassiades