It seems most of the foreign press is full of guides promising tourists the authentic London experience while they visit during the olympics this summer.  As a Londoner, I can guarantee you most of them are total crap. If you really want to see the city from a local perspective, I suggest picking up one of these fabulous guides by Herb Lester Associates featuring old bookshops and new coffee shops, park benches and dive bars, hat shops and haberdashers.

My favourite has to be An East London Companion.This guide takes as its subject the area from Old Street to Hackney Wick, exploring and uncovering delights old and new: places to eat and drink, cultural centres, shops and markets. Even veteran east Londoners are likely to learn of new places to visit.

All in all they have carefully selected a hundred of the best old and new shops, bars, parks, pubs, restaurants across this lively terrain.

In addition to London, there are also maps of Paris, Berlin, Glasgow, Chicago, Austin, New York and Amsterdam. Each map is illustrated by a different artist including Brent Couchman, Jim Datz, Jez Burrows, Ed Nacional and Mike McQuade.

The East London Companion is available here for only £4.00