Personally my top five hits are:
Friday morning antiques market
Bagel shop on Bermondsey High Street
The quality of the Courage bitter in the Kings Arms on Newcomen st
The Beer garden at the Scotia Bar (in the summer)
The quality of the harveys bitter at the Royal Oak nr Borough Tube
(Oh dear - time to stop that line of thought before too much embaresssment caused)
Top two misses are:
Both OK-ish but over-rated, I'd eat out where you work if I was you!
Can recommend the yoga (evenings) at Druid St/Crucifix Lane (details and timetable on the SE1 website under health clubs).
I like to walk to work along the river. Depends where your office is, but I join the river walk close to the Tate and cross on the Hungerford pedestrian bridge - it's about 2.5 miles, takes about 40 mins door to door. The riverside walk in the morning is wonderful because it's so quiet, away from the traffic noise and pollution and the dreaded sweaty tubes.
If you only visit the river at weekends, it's a completely different place...tourists et al.
Just a little way beyond the London Eye (in the old GLC building still SE1) is a bar/restaurant called Shimos - they have live jazz playing and comfy sofas - worth checking out if you are up that way.
Curly - Thanks for the yoga info - something I fancy taking up and they only hold classes at the oddest times at my gym!
I've spotted the bagel shop on Tower Bridge Road but I only have to look at the darn things to put on 5lbs so I might give them a miss... unless they're open when I'm staggering home after one too many of course!
Shino's is shut!Supposedly re-opening in the next week or so but check first. If it does re-open by 31st October can highly recommend you go along and see the band 'The Fugitives' playing 50's/60's blues and soul.See www.fugitives.com.
Baltic - also on Blackfriars Road. Good Polish food and plenty of flavoured vodkas. The bar at the front is a good place to meet for drinks first.
Champor Champor - unlike some others recommending it as a "miss", I think it is excellent, although not cheap but a good evening.
Tas Pide - opposite the Globe Theatre. The third Tas I believe to open, but the Pide is the dish that differentiates it from the others. It is very good value, the bread, humus dip, and soup are all complimentary !
I agree with KC, champor champor is deffinately worth a visit, not cheap but excellent.
For good food and a great pint try my fave The Bridge House, on tower bridge approach. Fat chips there are excellent home made ones and their chicken liver parfait can`t be beaten in my opinion. Staff great too.
The Garrison is ok, (bermondsey street) but IMO not as good as the Bridge House. The cinema there is good though. Pop in and check whats showing, it's usually on a blackboard by the bar.
Also I don`t think you can miss the Borough market. Top tips are Farmer Sharps Lamb (divine) and Utobeer for a great beer learning experience.
Enjoy SE1 and we hope you stay for a very long time!!!