04 August 2014

Summer in the City

Saturday was one of those great summer Saturdays in London where you don't plan anything, but just wander from place to place finding fun things to do. After a late night on Friday night, we skipped the Saturday morning run and headed straight to Maltby Street for a late breakfast at Comptoir Gourmand, followed by a pun- and kale-laced Liza Mintelli juice at Bumpin' Rinds.

We walked along the river to Borough Market, browsed some beautiful but pricey kitchenwares at Borough Kitchen, and then gorged on gorgeous doughnuts from Bread Ahead. I tried the cherry and almond one this time, and was sinfully delicious.

In an attempt to burn off some of the doughnut calories, we continued along the river to the Tate Modern and then across to One New Change, where we admired the view over the city, before crossing back and walking along the South Bank to Royal Festival Hall.

We couldn't resist a ride on the chair carousel, which rises way above the river and offers great views of the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and the City.

After all that spinning, in order to re-acclimatise, we shared a pitcher of Pimm's on a carousel bar, which rotates very slowly while you sip your drinks from the carousel-horses-turned-tables. At the Southbank Centre, there was a Festival of Love taking place, so we watched some keen couples taking part in a tea dance. You could also learn how to tie an infinity knot to give to your loved one, make your own fabric envelope for love letters, and watch a screening of Up; all of these events were free.

By then, we were starting to get hungry again, so we headed over to KERB, which was holding court behind the Southbank Centre. Even though I work in King's Cross and so have access to KERB's street-food traders most days of the week, it was still difficult to choose what to have, but in the end I had some fried chicken tacos from Ambriento and a refreshing glass of cold brew coffee from Bean & Gone. While we were walking to the bus stop, we came across the Watch This Space festival in St John's Church gardens near Waterloo. Organised by the National Theatre, the festival combines, art, theatre, music and performance art. We watched and, er, were hugged by a mob of meerkats (to the soundtrack of a cover of The Cure's Love Cats) and then watched Mr Spurty, who was, well, impressively spurty.

It was all a little surreal so we retreated home for movie night, which was a much more restful—and more normal—end to a fun-packed Saturday. London, I [heart] you.

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