Fed up with eating at your desk? Bored of scanning news sites while munching your sandwich? Suffering from bad digestion and poor work performance? It’s about time you started enjoying the lovely sunshine which seems to be spoiling UK office workers this year.
Stepping out of the office to have an outdoor lunch is good for both your health and your mood. It is also allows you to rest your eyes, stretch the back a little bit and breathe some fresh air.
Working in London, one of the busiest capitals in Europe, sometimes means you have to walk a bit to spot a tree. But don’t get discouraged, here’s a list of ideas and suggestions that might be useful in your search for a relaxing urban spot.
Have a closer look at the local map. Are there any green spots and if yes where are they? Are they accessible to public? It’s worth using online maps with satellite images of the local area to find any potential spots. I once worked in London’s busy Old Street area and over time I compiled a list of five local places where I could sit in the sunshine, have my lunch and even read a book.
Ask your colleagues if there’s a lovely local spot that they go to. If you wear a skirt and are worried about sitting on the grass, hunt for places that have benches. There are some unusual suspects like old cemeteries (i.e. Bunhill Fields in Old Street) and church yards that normally have a few benches available. But beware that even in these hideaways it sometimes gets tough to find a vacant bench!
Explore local establishments such as museums, galleries etc. Some of them have on-site catering facilities, and some simply have massive amount of concrete steps that are perfect for sitting down! Trying to juggle your messy sandwich with crowds of tourists might be a bit tricky, but it will definitely give you a break from spreadsheets and emails.
Follow the water. Is there a river nearby, a canal, or perhaps an old dock? London provides excellent access to the banks of the River Thames, with Canary Wharf being literally bordered by water. If the only exploring you’ve ever done was the trip from the tube station to your office and back, dedicate a lunch or two to having a longer walk in the area. You’ll be surprised!
If your office is located near any of the piers on the river Thames, have your lunch on board one of the regular boats. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sights of the City from the top deck. You wouldn’t want to do this every day though!
Find local pubs that have outdoor seating. Unfortunately you won’t be allowed to bring your own packed lunch, but at least you’ll catch a little bit of sun and have a long-deserved break.