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29 Londoners reveal the places they go to cheer themselves up

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Time Out Tastemakers

Øivind Hovland

1. ‘Being a big kid and having a bounce at Zap Space Trampoline Park in Stratford or going to the massive ballpit at Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch. Yippeeeeeeee!’ Stephanie Chan

2. ‘Charity retail therapy on Northcote Road in Clapham. Hunting for bargains while knowing your money is going to a good cause is a brilliant way of distracting yourself from an existential crisis.’ Kristel Eloise

3. ‘The house chai at Dishoom takes me to my happy place. No matter how I’m feeling, it always cheers me up!’ Leena Shah 

4. ‘Jumping on the back of the Clipper completely pulls you out of commuter monotony. From London Bridge to Greenwich you go past all of the main sights. Rather than being rammed in a sweaty tube carriage, you feel like a tourist in your own city.’ Michael Ratcliffe 

5. ‘The National Theatre is the place in London that makes me most happy. You don’t even have to watch a show, just pick a quiet corner and people-watch.’ Caoimhe Loftus

6. ‘Hampstead Heath and Hampstead village always do it for me. They can turn my foul mood into an enthusiastic one.’ Elisa Riche

7. ‘Padella in Borough Market makes me happy. A good plate of pasta and a nice glass of red wine is my comfort food.’ Sophie Elizabeth Caplan

8. ‘9am at Borough Market on a sunny day before the masses arrive. It’s so peaceful and you have some of the best food in the world at your fingertips.’ Eva Pitarides

9. ‘The Tate Modern is my go-to place if I’m feeling down. I stick in my earphones, put on my favourite playlist and get lost in the artwork.’ Sara Akhtar

Øivind Hovland

10. ‘My aerial silks gym, Flying Fantastic. After each class I feel so much happier, fitter and stronger.’ Mei Mei

11. ‘A stroll through Greenwich Park always lifts my spirits. It’s so peaceful, you forget you’re in a city. The view never fails to take my breath away no matter how many times I visit.’ Kritt Normsaskul

12. ‘London has always been my happy place. If I have to pick one thing, it’s going to see the Rembrandt’s selfie at the National Gallery – his eyes and lines on his mouth are full of mischief!’ Valisa Iskandar

13. ‘A dark chocolate, rum and raisin crêpe from La Crêperie de Hampstead followed by a stroll on Hampstead Heath is my remedy for the blues.’ Edelyn Brawidjojo

14. ‘I love Regent’s Park, particularly Queen Mary’s Gardens, which have the most beautiful roses in spring. Wander around the gardens and water features or sit on a bench to people-watch or read a book.’ Claire Etchell

15. ‘The view from the Heron Tower on the way up to Duck & Waffle or Sushisamba. You feel the excitement as you get higher and higher and the London skyline gets more breathtaking.’ Maya Aweida

16. ‘I love Foyles on Charing Cross Road. It’s free, bright and welcoming. The lovely top-floor café offers two of my favourite things: books and wine! It’s easier to feel that you’re not alone when you’re surrounded by the words and stories of millions of people.’ Alexandra Laverick

17. ‘Sky Garden always makes me smile. It reminds me what an awesome city I live in and that not everything in London is expensive.’ Paula Kanesanathan

18. ‘Walking along the canals near Victoria Park. It reminds how happy I am living in London and immediately lifts me up.’ Elena Ferrario

19. ‘Museum of Happiness in Camden. A wonderful crowdfunded place with amazing workshops (the ukulele is my favourite), beautiful interior design and lovely staff.’ Noni Papp

20. ‘Parkrun on a Saturday in one of my local east London parks and volunteering at a junior Parkrun on Sundays. You can’t help but smile when there are lots of positive people around you. Plus, there’s always a post-run breakfast.’ Sonya Veerasamy

Øivind Hovland

21. ‘Running along the Thames at night or in the early morning before most people are awake. There is a 10k-ish loop starting at Tower Bridge running west along the South Bank and crossing at Lambeth and running east along the north side. That route without the crowds is breathtaking.’ Melissa Augustine Goldsmith

22. ‘The V&A is a melting pot of art and culture. It’s the perfect place to escape your troubles by absorbing yourself in the beauty of the epic collections of textiles, ceramics, fashions, sculpture and more. It’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.’ Chloé Adriana Fox

23. ‘The Wallace Collection always brings me joy on a Saturday afternoon. Having brunch in the stunning courtyard is sublime and I love to wander through the sixteenth and seventeenth-century artwork. Definitely a hidden gem.’ Cassie Root

24. ‘Freightliners City Farm in Islington. It brightens my day to spend time hanging out with farm animals away from the hustle and bustle.’ Lauren Wuleng

1. ‘When I’m feeling down I like to go to one of my favourite lookout spots, Alexandra Palace. When you stand at the top of the hill looking out across the city you can’t help but smile.’ Emma Walton

26. ‘Picking up a bagel on Brick Lane and wandering up to Columbia Road Flower Market to listen to the traders banter with each other before the hoards arrive.’ Shona ODonnell

27. ‘Meditation, preferably outdoors in a park, but Inner Space close to Seven Dials also offers a special room and quick courses (some are free!). There’s something magical about taking a couple of minutes to breathe in a rushed city like London.’ Laura Goldmeier

28. ‘Often when I’m feeling down, I find myself at Dumplings’ Legend in Chinatown eating the soup dumplings – they are truly comforting and delicious.’ Madison Cass

29. ‘The singing lift in Royal Festival Hall never fails to raise a grin.’ Lekha Nanavati

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