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London's bloggers share the ways they beat the blues in the Big Smoke

By londonblogfreelancer

It's been a miserable January. But since you've made it past the most depressing day of the year, give your spirits a lift with our list of things that make this city's bloggers smile.

Busker bantz
'The busker at London Bridge who sometimes switches up his lyrics for people walking past. My favourite was when he swapped "Half the World Away" by Oasis to "I like your coat today"!' Lucy Devine

Silver (stomach) linings
'There's something surreal about catching the tube on a Saturday morning and sitting next to a street performer completely covered in silver paint from head to toe. I saw one eating an Egg McMuffin and wondered how much silver he was eating at the same time!' Jordi Sinclair

Surprise, surprise!
'I love the hustle and bustle of London: there's always a new street food trend, exhibition, show or bar opening, and so much fun to be had. Whether it be a pop-up deep-frying everything from bakewell tarts to Sunday roasts or "Yodas" queuing for the much-anticipated "Star Wars" release, you never know what's round the corner.' Jacqui Faiman

Deep-fried Oreos at When Mac Met Cheese

The call of the wild
'Hampstead Heath always makes me smile. Maybe it's the bracing wind blowing the corners of my mouth open, or maybe it's because I can find a quiet patch and pretend I'm Maria in "The Sound of Music" and sing "The Hills Are Alive" at the top of my lungs. For a while you forget that concrete is a thing and you feel all Bear Grylls: back to nature. But thank goodness civilisation is nearby for a sugary hot chocolate and the bus ride home.' Samantha Baines 

Perfect strangers
'Things that make me smile in London… When you're reading the newspaper over someone's shoulder on the tube and they angle it towards you so you can see (I mean, it doesn't happen very often, but when it does…). And, funnily enough, the guy who hands out Time Out magazines at Hammersmith station – he sings "Freeeeeeee Time Out" at the top of his lungs and does a little dance.' Lottie Coltman 

Hitting the (top) deck
'Nothing improves my mood more than bagging front seat on the top of the number 25 bus. You can spot the decorative stone boats on Whitechapel Road, admire Atlas holding up the world on Cheapside and there's a cracking view of St Paul's.' Katie Wignall

Going with the flow
'Heading to the river for a walk or a cycle never fails to put a smile on my face. The stretch of Thames from Battersea Park along to Wandsworth Park is a particular favourite.' Natalie De Luca

A cuppa like no other
'Tea in a polystyrene cup from the lady at Regency Food and Wine on St John Street. A pleasant antidote to all the third-wave, fancy-pants coffee shops popping up in the area.' Megan Carnegie Brown 

© DncnH

Market forces
'A smile never fails to creep across my face each time I head to Druid Street Market. London is the only place that will have a local blogger launching their cookbook and Chefs of Tomorrow pitching dishes, all while you sup a craft beer from The Bottle Shop.' Nic Crilly-Hargrave

A potter through Portobello
'Portobello Road market is one of my favourite places to spend a Saturday morning. The food there is really underrated. Aside from stuffing my face, this really is a special part of London: amazing people from all walks of life plying their trade.' Neil Barnes

Singin' in the train
'There's a tube station assistant at Stockwell who doesn't just say "stand clear of the closing doors", he sings it. Every morning. It's wonderfully weird but you can't help but smile.' Ellen Harrison

Our feathered friends
'I love how pigeons seemingly interact as fully integrated citizens by sharing the pavement (and occasionally public transport) with everyone else.' Valentin Boulan 

A pint of history
'Spotting some small hidden detail in a London pub makes me smile. There's so much history in pubs and maybe I'll see an old London brewery's mirror, a sign above the door or a unique quirk of the place. It makes me wonder who else has seen that sign in the decades that it's been there.' Mark Dredge

© Barney Moss

A view from the bridge
'Of course there are many things about London that make me smile. But nothing makes that smile brighter or bigger than walking across Tower Bridge. It holds fond memories of me traveling with my father – who has since passed away – and it was the defining moment when I ran the London Marathon in 2012. The fact that it's bloody gorgeous doesn't hurt either!' Candice Brown-Brathwaite

Being a tourist
'I love the view as you travel over Waterloo Bridge late at night. No matter how tired I am, or how many drinks have been imbibed, it always makes me smile. Despite having called London home for over 14 years it always makes me feel like a tourist here.' David Hamilton 

Commuting surprises
'I love it when the TfL staff go off-piste with the tannoy system. Like the lady at London Bridge who sometimes holds impromptu trivia sessions on the platform. Thanks to her I now know a) the Shard contains 11,000 panes of glass, and b) my next train will arrive in two minutes.' Stacey Sobieski

© David Holt

Heaven scent
'In the mornings I get out of the tube at Leicester Square and cut through Chinatown to get to my office. And every morning I look forward to the sweet, buttery smell of the Chinatown Bakery. It is incredible! It makes me want to lick the air. I just wish I could bottle it.' Victoria Cameron

The world at your feet
'The thing that really makes me happy about London is seeing the different cultures that populate the city. From the cockney fruit 'n' veg man at the local market, to the barbershop that lives next door, to a Chinese takeaway. These little things make me smile.' Peigh Asante

Admiring the city from two wheels
'I love hopping on a Boris bike and riding past fantastic London landmarks, knowing that the hordes of people on the tube are missing out on the experience – particularly between stops that are walkable or rideable.' Nick Andrews

Get an eyeful of our fair city with this dreamy drone footage of south London in the snow

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