In this new series, the team at Mobius let you in on all their favourite arts venues and regular haunts from their hometowns around the UK.
Next up is our Senior Account Manager Flavia Fraser-Cannon, who hails from Waterloo. Check out our previous post, featuring Alastair Norton giving you all the best tips from Wolverhampton to Wimbledon.
1. Can you tell us about your favourite local arts venues when you were growing up?
When I was growing up my mum used to take me to the Royal Festival Hall for the Ernest Reed classical music concerts. The South Bank was NOTHING like it is now (aside from the skaters), it was a kind of desolate concrete jungle, no bars or shops or restaurants (or London Eyes) and certainly very few folk taking a walk down the Thames for pleasure.
We also used to go to The Old Vic sometimes, I saw mime legend Marcel Marceau perform there once, and I was a very disappointed tweenager when John Barrowman was the only person in Hair who didn’t take his clothes off! Special mention in memorandum for MOMI too - the Museum of Moving Image - that was absolutely brilliant, playing with chromakey and zoetrope, I made my dad take me there all the time.
2. And what about your favourite local culture spots now?
Waterloo is amazing for theatres, within a 10-15min walk of my front door you have big hitters The Old Vic, The Young Vic, and The National Theatre – but you also get fun more alternative options too like The Vaults, the Southwark Playhouse and COLAB Tavern – they also almost all have a great café/bar offering so the culture of hanging around in and near the theatres and socialising is strong. About 12 years ago the bar under the Old Vic was the absolute late-night drinking haunt of most of London’s theatre gang, proximity made my flat the after-party haunt from time to time too – many late nights were had.
3. And any other local recommendations?
If you are in Waterloo and looking for fun things to see and do my first recommendation is to potter down Leak street, the graffiti tunnel that Banksy convinced the council to give over to street artists in 2008 – it’s always alive with people spray painting, taking selfies, filming music videos, having motorcycle meetups, even tangoing! The best parks in the area are probably Archbishop’s Park and Geraldine Harmsworth park next to the Imperial War Museum – they have a bit of the Berlin wall to go and look at and an orchard behind the kids playground.
My fave places to eat are all on Lower Marsh; Pizza Pilgrims, Candiero for Gelato, Marie’s Café will always hold a very special place in my heart and my neighbour founded Greensmiths so a specific local love shout out to them. Oh and the vegan chicken wings at Vaulty Towers are lush, and the décor is incredible. To be honest Waterloo is an instragrammers dream – see also the Carmen Miranda mural on the side of Cubana.