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discarded umbrellas at Bala Baya
Photograph: Burak Can Aksit

This outdoor dining terrace has a canopy made from umbrellas lost on the tube

Practically perfect in every way

By Paula Akpan
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Picture this: it’s the year 2019. You’re sat on a jam-packed tube, sopping wet from one of London’s familiar downpours. Some stranger is essentially sat on your lap while the elbows of the person to your left keep nudging you, as they desperately try to rectify their drenched face of make-up. Your stop is approaching – oh wait, no, it’s here! You wrangle through the masses to alight. As you step off, it dawns on you: bollocks, you’ve left your umbrella. Safely on the platform, you mournfully watch the tube whizz away with your only protection from the elements outside.

But could it be that you might be reunited with your beloved brolly? London Bridge restaurant Bala Baya has found a handy use for your lost property, by launching the Discarded Umbrella Winter Garden.

Bala Baya Discarded Umbrella
Burak Can Aksit

The Israeli-inspired eatery is inviting guests to drink and dine under a colourful canopy of London’s finest lost brollies, having sourced 200 forgotten umbrellas from the London Underground. Not only is it a visually stunning cover, but it’ll also protect you from the unpredictable outlook while doing your outdoor socialising this winter. And bonus points if you bring an umbrella to donate to the display: you’ll snag £1 off one of Bala Baya’s cocktails. Bring two, and you get £2 off... you get the idea.

So if you’re missing the tube – or worse still, your favourite weather protector – head on down for a little throwback in among the Tel Aviv flavours.

Bala Baya is at Arch 25, 229 Union St, SE1 0LR. Find out more and book a table here.

Check out these outdoor drinking and dining terraces in London cosy enough for winter

Plus, this Google doc shows dining terraces with outdoor heaters

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