Jan 212013
Isabella Street, Southwark, SE1


I’d like to say that Isabella Street is one of London’s best-kept secrets, but it isn’t really. It’s just that I’ve only recently discovered it. I was initially drawn to it by – you’ve guessed it – the plants that adorn the archway at the entrance.

Isabella Street isn’t a ‘street’ as such – it’s an odd patch of ground sandwiched between a railway bridge and Southwark and Waterloo East stations. Strangely, it’s home to a few restaurants and bars, including EV, a Turkish place. Dozens of hardy yet exotic-looking plants in pots – bamboos, cordylines, Mexican orange blossom (choisya), loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) and date palms, all watered lovingly by the restaurant staff – line the walkway and seclude the outdoor tables. At night they’re lit with fairy lights. Somehow all this gives the place a holiday feel. The place is packed on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in summer.

I’d wager that no one would be drawn to Isabella Street without the plants – they make the place. Without them it’s just a patch of concrete with a view of the Shard.

  8 Responses to “Isabella Street”

  1. I’d never thought of seclude as a verb. I’ll check out your passage!

  2. Thanks so much for this post!

    I often walk close to Isabella street, but I never went there…:)

    I definitely worth a visit! ;)


  3. Love this planting. You’re right, the street would be bleak without. Will be heading off for a Turkish meal in Isabella street, once the weather warms up!

  4. This is very popular for after work drinks and leaving dos with my Waterloo-based organisation. It does have a slightly studenty/cattle markety vibe on a Friday night…

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