5 Loafing Spots in London
London is a hustle and bustle type of city but it is possible to keep the pace of life down to a slow mooch if you pick your venues carefully. So here are 5 places in town where you can hit the pause button, kick back and relax!
- Upper bar of the Punch and Judy, Covent Garden
I have been long known to hang around in bars, especially when there is some free entertainment in the offering. The street entertainers of Covent Garden are an institution. Jugglers, acrobats, musicians, comedians – well they are all comedians it would seem – vie for the attention and adulation of shoppers, diners, and passers-by. Those on the balcony can enjoy a wide variety of performances safe in the knowledge that the only danger of being asked to participate is at the end when the performers come round with the hat asking you to throw any donations down to them (gently). Entry to the bar is under the balcony to the right as you look at it from the performance area!
- Trafalgar Square
Ever since the pigeons were gently persuaded to leave by the then mayor, Ken Livingstone, Trafalgar Square has become a much nicer place to loaf. On any day of the week you can just mooch around watching people and generally trying to get into as many tourist photos as possible but more and more it is becoming a venue for festivals and national events, from Canada Day, Pride in London and Eid-ul-Fitr to Get Reading and West End Live.
- Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park
The Serpentine Lido really comes into its own on summer days like we have been having recently, but being British a bit of a chill has never stopped us from doing anything, so visitors to London should take the same attitude and just get on with it. The water is rarely anything but cold but it is chlorine-free which means you’ll be swimming with wildlife… but that is part of the fun isn’t it? Of course you may not have any plans to swim: it’s OK, partaking of a glass of wine from one of the waterside tables of the Lido Cafe Bar is just as an acceptable activity as paddling about with the kids!
Open only on the weekends in May it is open every day from 01 June to 12 September and if you are done with loafing then why not join in the triathlon training sessions that take place each evening Mondays and Thursdays. You’ll have to bring your own wetsuit though!
- Camden Beach
Camden Beach is more of an event than a destination. Hidden away on the terrace of the Roundhouse, courtesy of over 150 tonnes of the very best sand, Camden Beach offers the summer loafer deckchairs, bars, seaside restaurants (you can’t bring your own food), live music and end-of-the-pier amusements.
You can play ping pong or air-hockey or watch the summer’s sporting events from large screens. There is family loafing available with a children-friendly area so bring buckets and spades… and you won’t even have to worry about the tide.
Musical loafing will be taking place on each Friday evening.
- British Museum
For agoraphobic loafers the addition of the stunning roof at the British Museum is a godsend. Now you can travel the British Empire, discovering everything the Colonials nicked from wherever they went and have a nice glass of wine and lunch when your feet tell you to stop all of this exploring, in the genteel confinement of this huge relic of the empire. The museum is mainly free although it does host special exhibitions to which there is a modest charge. This summer’s exhibition (to 29 September 2013) is Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum and is truly worth the entrance fee.