“I’m always excited to go to London,” musician Elle King said in a phone interview. “There’s a music scene there that I really, really love.” Her first trip to the city, when she was in her early 20s, was to meet with British songwriter Eg White, who has credits on King’s first album, Love Stuff. And there’s more where that came from: King’s second album drops this fall with the gritty single “Shame” setting the tone.
Since that first trip, King, who is now 29, has been going back to London on a consistent basis for salt beef bagels and afternoon tea. She heads to East London, her favorite place to wander, for some of the best music in the city. One of her favorite areas is Dalston, she said. “It’s really hip, like the Williamsburg of London.” Another fave? “Brick Lane is my shit,” she said. It’s also the place where she scours for treasures at the flea markets. Here’s where else you’ll find her in Londontown.
Where to get the best Thai food in the city
King heads to Som Saa, where a shared-plate meal starts with Bangkok-style papaya salad and transitions into a selection of curries served with sticky rice. And it all ends with dessert: kanom allowah, a custard topped with candied lotus seeds and poached jackfruit.
The snazziest spot for afternoon tea
When she’s in the mood for afternoon tea, King posts up at millennial pink paradise Sketch London, which has caviar and quail egg sandwiches and candy-colored macarons on the menu. The pink interior in the gallery also features artwork from satirical British artist David Shrigley, like one that reads, “news: hole found in sock.”
Where to go for a dose of music history
King dips into the basement club of Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, a vanguard since 1959, when she wants to get deep into some jazz tunes. She’s not the only fan the speakeasy vibe: Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson and Kurt Elling have all played to the intimate crowd there.
The best late-night hangout
King loves the chill vibes at Efes Snooker Club in Dalston. “A snooker club is kind of like a pool hall, but, it’s a different game,” she said. “It’s amazing.” They also have ping-pong or table football if your snooker game is rusty.
The superior snack — at any time of day
“My favorite food that I get late night or any time of day are the salt beef bagels on Brick Lane,” King said. The crew at Beigel Bake serves hot salt beef sandwiches — warm corned beef wrapped up in a bagel — around the clock.