The Temper Trap’s London Secrets

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Melbourne rockers The Temper Trap have called London home since 2009. With their new album, Thick as Thieves, hitting shelves on June 10, the guys are busier than ever, but bassist Jonny Aherne and drummer Toby Dundas took five to take Travel Insider’s Fiona Joy on a tour of their adopted home of Hackney, in London’s East End.

Where we live

TD: Jonny has just moved to New York, but for years we all lived within 500 metres of each other in London Fields in Hackney. There’s a real community vibe – we have our own fishmonger, butcher and some great cafes.

JA: The locals love to talk about how different it was 10 years ago and we caught the tail end of that. The first year we were there you’d go out to get a coffee in the morning and there’d be police tape across the street and cars being set on fire. Now, it’s very different.

Restaurants

JA: Our friend Byron runs a great Hawaiian restaurant called Pond in Dalston. The food is unusual but incredible. It’s the kind of place you’d take someone on a date because you’ll spend a bit of money, but it’s worth it.

TD: And there’s a Japanese place called Okko on Broadway Market in Hackney. It’s run by an Aussie guy. There are lots of cafes and restaurants in London run by Australians.

Coffee

TD: My favourite café is called Pavilion in Victoria Park. It has an in-house bakery so it’s great for coffee and a pastry.

e5 Bakehouse is similar; it’s under the railway arches in Hackney.

JA: I recommend La Bouche on Broadway Market. The whole coffee experience is slowly becoming less niche but for quite a time there were only a handful of places you could get it. They called it ‘specialty coffee’ and I’m like, this is what you’d buy at a petrol station in Australia!

Bars and pubs

JA: I love the London pubs. I love the family vibe – the way the kids are in there, too. At a church I go to they say, the service continues over the road in the pub and the first beer’s on us. I like that.

TD: English people drink a lot. I thought Aussies drank a lot until I got to London. Places we go are the Owl & Pussycat in Shoreditch and The Spurstowe Arms in Hackney. Off Broadway on Broadway Market is an old favourite. We did a lot of our early press photos there. The London Fields is my local. They serve really good pizza and I go there to watch the football.

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Shops

JA: I shop at thrift stores but I like new things, too, from Levi’s or Bethnals. There’s a shop in Hackney called Hub and my wife gets my birthday presents from there. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped in the West End – we tend to stay local.

TD: I buy almost everything second hand on eBay but on occasion I go to the vintage shops on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch.

Fitness

JA: Me, Joey [Greer, keyboards / guitar] and Dougy [Mandagi, vocals] have got into Muy Thai and Jiu Jitsu. We joined a gym called Fight Zone just off the Hackney Road. It sounds super brutal but it’s not.

TD: The best place to go walking is Hampstead Heath. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing, and it’s so big you get lost and you think someone from Game of Thrones is going to ride past you on a horse. Me and my wife like to go there on a Sunday afternoon when the sun’s out.

Art

TD: There a cool gallery in Bermondsey that we go to called White Cube that champions up-and-coming artists. And of course Tate Modern for the big exhibitions that come through.

Music

TD: There are lots of really good venues in Hackney. Oslo, in the old railway station is really cool. We’ve played there a few times. And we’re about to play at a new place called the MOTH Club in Hackney Central.

JA: You should also go to the Field Day Festival in June – we’re playing there again this year. It takes over Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets and it’s always great fun.

Sport

TD: I was madly into AFL in Melbourne so I transplanted that passion to the Premier League. Arsenal is the closest ground to where we live so I go there and support them. I’ve embraced it big time.

JA: He gets very upset when they lose.

Landmarks

TD: For me it’s Christ Church at Spitalfields. There’s something quite magical about the building. It was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor who was renowned for all this pagan symbolism but at the time no one really realised what he was doing so there are hidden layers of meaning everywhere. And it’s right in the middle of Jack the Ripper country.

JA: There are old gas works all over London – just the steel frames, the skeletons, are still there. There are two of them on the Regent’s Canal in Bethnal Green. They’re quite dramatic.

The best part of living in London

TD: There’s so much happening. London is the perfect base; Europe’s obviously right there and America, too. People in England really embrace new music and are very supportive of little businesses. I love the way you can be encouraged; it’s inspiring to see people working on their dreams and making it happen.

The worst part of living in London

JA: It’s a cliché but it has to be the weather.

TD: It’s the main event when the sun comes out in London. Life moves onto a new frequency. People are sunbaking on little grass verges on roundabouts and stuff. It’s 18 degrees, I’m still wearing a pea coat and I can see English people trying to get sunburnt.

SEE ALSO: See our full guide to London

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