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London (Taylor’s version): A guide to key spots in the capital for Swifties

You may have heard: Taylor Swift is bringing her career-spanning, record-breaking Eras Tour to the capital. In celebration, these are the London spots to connect with your inner Swiftie, from a Kentish Town kebab shop to a Vauxhall pub adorned with friendship bracelets

By Zoey Goto

Taylor Swift performs on stage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" (Photo by Xavi Torrent/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management )

“So long, London” Taylor Swift recently lamented on ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ album. Like so much in Tay Tay’s world, her tangled relationship with London is complicated. Having first touched down in Blighty in 2008 to play a gig at King’s College’s grungy student union, more recently the singer-songwriter spent six years living as a part-time cockney while romancing the English actor Joe Alwyn. During this time, she kept it real with jaunts to Shoreditch and Camden, taking cab rides in the rain like a local and indulging in high tea like a tourist, all documented in her lyrical love letter to the city ‘London Boy’.

Although Swift and Alwyn have since called time on their relationship, the musical titan is again returning to the city that she once called home. As part of the billion-dollar, 152-date stadium takeover, Swift will bring her Eras Tour to Wembley Stadium on the 21, 22 and 23rd June and then again on the 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20th August. A ‘Swiftonomics report’ predicts that the UK shows, which also includes stints in Cardiff, Liverpool and Edinburgh, will boost the economy by almost £1bn, a staggering sum made up of ticket sales, travel, and of course new threads, because Brits never go out of style. As Swiftmania reaches fever pitch, here’s where to pay homage to the reigning queen of pop in London.

Miss Americana & the Kentish Town kebab

Blink and you will miss Kentish Delight, a dinky kebab shop which at first glance looks like every other shish grill lining this stretch of north London. But take a closer look and the clues start to build; a laminated selfie of Swift in the window, a photo on the white tiled wall showing a film crew swarming the takeaway’s entrance, then a sign advertising the ‘Swift kebab’ house special.

Conveniently located around the corner from ex-boyfriend Harry Styles’ old pad, Tay soon got a taste for Kentish Delight’s döner; a slab of juicy meat freshly carved off the glistening spit, served with lashings of extra chilli and garlic sauce, all for the bargainous price of just £7.90. The 49-year-old kebab shop even starred in segments of Swift’s music video for the ‘End Game’ in 2017, which saw her handing out polystyrene takeaway boxes to her hungry squad.

The team at Kentish Delight (Picture: Zoey Goto)

The pop culture icon will apparently be hitting the döner hard when she returns to London this summer. The restaurant tells us that 40-plus Kentish Delight kebabs have supposedly been preordered by the performer and her entourage for their lunch. Followed by the same again for dinner. Rather than taking a nap between these two meaty feasts, she’ll somehow summon up the energy for a three-hour-long high-octane extravaganza at Wembley Stadium. You’ve got to hand it to the girl, she’s got stamina.

Have a Swift half at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town

Just steps from the Kentish Delight kebab house, is the Bull & Gate; a handsome pub with etched mirrors and a mahogany bar that dates back to 1871. Swift may have put this listed boozer on the map by filming a nightlife scene for her ‘End Game’ music video here, but the pub’s musical roots run far deeper.

In a former life, the Bull & Gate was a finger-on-the-pulse music venue where Coldplay, Blur and Nirvana cut their teeth. The Bull & Gate has since pulled the plug on live gigs, instead offering up a quintessentially English pub experience with scotch eggs served under the watchful eye of a framed portrait of the Queen Mum pulling a pint.

The Bull and Gate (Picture: Zoey Goto)

Check into Swift’s ‘Gorgeous’ suite at the Savoy hotel

The four-times-Grammy-Award-winning artist has become a familiar face at London’s ultra-luxe Savoy hotel over the years. Having used the Art Deco backdrop of the hotel’s Beaufort Bar for a Vanity Fair magazine photoshoot in 2015, she then returned to shoot scenes for the End Game video, captured chilling on the sofa of the Savoy’s royal suite with Ed Sheeran.

Swift has also slept in the four-poster bed of this penthouse, which includes a gold private bar, two butlers to discreetly unpack your luggage into the walk-in dressing room and iconic views of the River Thames and London Eye. All this decadence comes with a price tag of £17,500 per night, but that’s surely just a drop in the ocean for the most listened-to artist on the planet.

The Savoy’s Royal Suite

If you can’t stump up for an overnight stay at the Savoy, then book around four weeks ahead to secure a sitting for their afternoon tea, one of T-Swift’s beloved London rituals. Served under a glass-domed atrium, the traditional tea costs £80, or £95 with a glass of bubbles. Karma is eating tiny sandwiches in a glamorous hotel, to a soundtrack of a pianist tinkling the ivories.

Stock up on merch at Camden Market’s Soul Look and Miss Sunshine stalls

“I enjoy walking Camden Market in the afternoon” T-Swizzle sang on ‘London Boy’, which suggests that she probably wasn’t elbowing her way through the throng on a Saturday afternoon in high summer. 

Swifties should cut a dash through the crowds and head to Paddock Lane, to find not one, but two covered market stalls dedicated to the American cultural juggernaut. Somewhat tellingly, the Soul Look stall started life hawking Harry Styles goods, but then switched teams to now almost exclusively sell Taylor Swift merch.

Camden Market is a must visit (Picture: Zoey Goto)

Stock up on ‘I-heart-T.S.’ enamel pins, ‘But Daddy I love him’ t-shirts and ‘I remember it all too well’ trucker hats at this indie-owned booth. In time for the Eras Tour rolling into town, there will also be a collection of Swiftie socks hitting the shelves. Just opposite, you’ll also find the Miss Sunshine stall, selling sheets of slap stickers, stacks of 1989 friendship bracelets and Saint Taylor t-shirts.

Treasure hunt at Swift’s favourite antique emporium

Swift was so enchanted by Alice’s antique shop, legend has it she dropped a cool £30,000 on quirky furnishings in a 30-minute spree. This post-box red shop on the Portobello Road is an easy one to spot, with its statue of Paddington Bear out the front and dusty figures of Elvis and Jesus in the window.

Alice’s on Portobello Road (Picture: Zoey Goto)

Inside lives a treasure trove of eccentric curiosities, including a life-sized sculpture of a zebra and vintage tea caddies commemorating the wedding of Charles and Diana. Those wanting Swift’s champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget can take home a ceramic poodle memento for a mere £9, before browsing the nearby market stalls flogging Taylor tote bags.

Exchange friendship bracelets at The Black Dog in Vauxhall

Within an hour of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ dropping, this low-key gastropub tucked down a Dickensian side street in Vauxhall found itself mobbed by devoted Swifties. The reason for this seemingly random chain of events was that Swift had named a track on her 11th album ‘The Black Dog’. The song tells the story of someone watching their ex going into their favourite bar following their breakup. Fans soon joined the dots and congregated at the south London local where Swift and her former love Alwyn were thought to have kicked back during their relationship.

The Black Dog in Vauxhall (Picture: Zoey Goto)

Although the bemused bar staff were initially caught on the back foot, they soon caught up and have since introduced Swiftie singalongs and the Swift burger; a classic burger in a bun smothered in a rich house sauce. A freshly painted mural in the dining room now showcases Swift’s lyrics “And so I watch as you walk – into some bar called The Black Dog – and pierce new holes in my heart”. But the real action happens outside this shrine of a pub, where Swifties now leave friendship bracelets on a ledge, like beaded offerings to the god of pop.