This Bright Land
Explore London with One Aldwych Curator, Silvia Melchior
London is such a great place in the summer. We have access to so many brilliant parks, pub gardens and open-air experiences. I’m a big fan of the recently redeveloped King’s Cross area: on a nice evening, you can relax by Regent’s Canal sipping a cocktail from the Lighterman and walk all the way to Camden Town as you follow the trail of narrow boats moored along the way (check out The Floating Boulangerie for their perfect pastries).
The Globe Theatre offers a unique experience with the original playing conditions of Shakespeare’s theatre. For something really authentic, why not grab a £5 ‘groundling’ ticket and catch some open-air Shakespeare!
For me, a perfect London Summer day is a stroll along the South Bank, starting from Jubilee Gardens and all the way to Tower Bridge. You will encounter the most varied food stalls, street artists, gardens, art installations, shops, cafes and many art venues such as Southbank Centre, the National Theatre and Tate Modern all while walking along the River Thames, and if the tide is low you can even build a sand castle (though I wouldn’t attempt to touch the water!).
For something quieter, wander though Kensington Gardens to find the Serpentine, a large lake in Hyde Park. On the banks are the Serpentine Galleries, home to ever-fascinating exhibitions from rising stars and international names, or you can take to the water in a rowboat or try out the Solarshuttle – the UK’s first solar powered vessel.
Covent Garden really is the heart of London’s theatre scene. Home to my theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, it is a mostly pedestrian area with incredible restaurants, shops and galleries. Many of Covent Garden’s eateries – including all restaurants in the Piazza – are great for outdoor dining in the sunshine. Petersham Nurseries is a gorgeous oasis of peace with a reputation for great food and beautiful plants. But my absolute favourite is Redemption, a vegan restobar in the Neal’s Yard courtyard. Their broad beans and avocado hummus is to die for, and don’t miss the loaded cassava chips!