Fashion graduate Louis Prier Tisdall is showing his first menswear collection at The Truman Brewery this weekend
A taxi-drivers' favourite, Fish Central, above (149-155 Central St, EC1V 8AP, 020 7253 4970, fishcentral.co.uk, ) is my first choice for a place to kick off a night out. It's been dishing up terrific fish and chips since 1968 but now also serves oysters, lobster and specials such as skate and dover sole, so attracts a lively crowd drifting in from Islington and Clerkenwell.
If there's something to celebrate (like the end of four years at art college, in my case!) we'll often head to Rowans, above (10 Stroud Green Road, N4 2DF, 020 8800 1950, rowans.co.uk) in Finsbury Park which has bowling lanes, pool tables and an excitable atmosphere, particularly on Friday nights. I've been going there since I was a kid and I still get a thrill when I put on those special shoes... I prefer venues with live music to clubs - Village Underground (54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ, 020 7422 7505, villageunderground.co.uk) in Shoreditch is a nice intimate venue I'm fond of, mainly because I saw the brilliant Shuggie Otis there, and I always keep an eye on what's happening at the Jazz Cafe in Camden (5 Parkway, NW1 7PG, 020 7485 6834, mamacolive.com/thejazzcafe) which is a good place to see legendary acts playing one-off gigs - for example they've got Lonnie Liston Smith and Sister Sledge appearing in the coming months.
My top tip for a hangover fry-up is the Rheidol Rooms, above (16 Rheidol Terrace, N1 8NS, 020 7226 8674), a spotless old-school cafe with quality fare - if they got a decent coffee machine they'd make a fortune, but then it would be changed forever. There's a Breakfast Club just up the road in Camden Passage that always has ridiculously long queues, while this place is rarely full and cooks perfect bacon and eggs at a nice price!
This weekend I'm busy showing my collection at The Truman Brewery as part of Graduate Fashion Week, but at other times Saturday is all about visiting galleries, bookshops and stores in the West End for inspiration and ideas. I love Claire de Rouen Books, above (125 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EW, 020 7287 1813, clairederouenbooks.com) which specialises in fashion and photography. My menswear is influenced by Egyptian Coptic textiles from the 4th-6th century and I bought quite a few works here for research.
The Photographer's Gallery, above (16-18 Ramillies St, W1F 7LW, 020 7087 9300) always has a good variety of exhibitions which are often free, plus there's a great bookshop and view of London from the top floor.
For interesting clothes, I like to drop into The Vintage Showroom, above (14 Earlham St, WC2H 9LN, 020 7836 3964, the vintageshowroom.com) in Covent Garden, which is well-edited and particularly good on army surplus. And while I can't afford much at Dover Street Market, below (17-18 Dover St, W1S 4LT, 020 7518 0680) there's always a lot to admire on every floor.
After all that, it's time for a drink in Soho - I'm off to Madrid next week so like to get in the mood with some fino and tapas in Spanish bar Copita (27 D'Arblay St, W1F 8EP, 020 7287 7797, copita.co.uk). I'm also lucky to have a friend who's a chef at Quo Vadis (26-29 Dean St, W1D 3LL, 020 7437 9585, quovadissoho.co.uk), and he's turned me on to its robust British menu - save space for the almond, chocolate and orange tart!
Portobello Market, above (Portobello Road, W10 5RN, shopportobello.co.uk) is always great fun, with the snacks and people watching often more absorbing than the antiques and oddments on sale. Battersea Boot (401 Battersea Park Road, SW11 5AP, batterseaboot.com) is another a favourite place to spend my Sunday afternoon. There's always a good bargain to be had and a large selection of junk to gawp at - I still sigh over an amazing Spice Girls memorabilia collection I once saw here. For a cheap dinner with friends I usually head up to Mangal (10 Arcola St, E8 2DJ, 0207 275 8981, mangal1.com), a small Turkish ocakba?i (grillroom) in Dalston that looks nothing much but serves a fine feast of grilled meats, aubergines, tomatoes, yoghurt, humus, Turkish bread and baklava. It's cash only with no reservations and you can take your own booze. We always order too much, but then what's a good weekend without a little excess?
Louis Prier Tisdall (louispriertisdall.tumblr.com) is a recent fashion graduate from Edinburgh College of Art. His six-piece menswear collection will be on show at Graduate Fashion Week (31 May-3 June, tickets at gfw.org.uk) at The Truman Brewery (11 Hanbury St, E1 6QR, 020 7770 6001, trumanbrewery.com).