Me and some pals wanned to do something t’other night. It was a Friday. We’d finished work for the week. It felt right to celebrate getting through another laborious week in the office. YET we were quite poor and on a time constraint. We scoured Time Out and Londonist and Skint London and all those other lovely sites that help flailing-fun-hungry (flungry) Londoners and yet couldn’t find anything that cut the mustard (side note- how DOES one cut mustard? Answers on a postcard). London teems with things to do, like maggots wriggling out of an off piece of cheese (in a nice way) yet we couldn’t find anything that quite fitted. SO we decided to do a good old fashioned crawl of the Southbank, from Waterloo to London Bridge, with no more than a few gininatins and a heady sense for fun as our picnic.
First stop: Underbelly for Pimms.
If you’ve given my blog about HIT circus show A Simple Space a gander, you’ll know I j’adore Underbelly, mainly because it whets my summer whistle for my forthcoming week at Edfringe. Full of happy smilers admiring the copious astroturf all under a lovely wink from the London Eye with the sun’s rays piercing through, it is just a place of JOY.
From there, ONWARD to one of my happy places, the Southbank Centre. I just love their ethic, their playfulness, accessibility and community spirit. Everyone always BELONGS here. And I’ve had some bloody happy times working here. At the moment they’re hosting a festival of LOVE so get get your sonnet on.
Onwards past the fought for skatepark! (Two sides to every argument which I’m not going to massively wade into here- in a nutshell: free art and culture for two million people each year, including educational opportunities for 150,000 young people and creating nearly 700 new jobs, plus creative space for new artists and musicians. Yet on the other hand, it would mean rehousing and recreating a natural street art and culture scene that has lived, breathed and thrived for years and years which is also hugely important ). OOH IT’S A TANGLY ONE ISN’T IT!
We goggled at the flips and tricks being performed by the skaters before popping up to have gander at London from the Southbank Centre Rooftop Garden (and posed a bit on the stairs).
Then we went to the beach. YES we wriggled our toes in the sand by the thames, all courtesy of the Southbank Centre (apart from the gininatins in our hands which were courtesy of Marks and Spencers, thanks hunz xxxx)
Before having a swift glance at the Tate:
Having taken in so many of London’s best bits all in one massive shot, all whilst gabbling away about life, love and everything that comes inbetween, we rounded off the evening with a couple of delicious sunsetty smoggy drinks at the Founders Arms.
Cliched it might be, and there are certainly thousands of untapped and awesome nooks and crannies of London that deserve a blog post or two, but sometimes the classics are the best and the Southbank is an absolute storming classic. Beautiful, interesting and teeming without being oppressively busy, it’s always worth a stroll. Take a look at London with your eyes, it’s bloody beautiful sometimes.
p.s can’t wait til payday