If I’m staying in London for a long weekend, then I’ll usually hang around Battersea or Clapham. There’s a new place in Battersea Park called Pear Tree Café that’s amazing. My gym is right around the corner so I tend to go there often. The entire Battersea area is already becoming much more busy/popular as the area gets itself ready for the Northern Line extension. There’s a Black Cab Coffee Co. right on the water near some of the newer flats that I discovered recently which has a nice view and is surprisingly peaceful!
For a perfect three-day weekend the place to start would be Maltby Street Market. After that I would head down to Southwark Park, and if the weather allows it, bring a blanket and have a little lie down or just a wander around. After that I would make my way along the river, straight to The Mayflower pub for a drink and a bite. The picturesque pub is said to be one of the oldest on the river, and it isn’t difficult to believe.
I would end my day by going for a stroll around the riverside and marvelling at Tower Bridge, like I haven’t seen it so many times before! And if I’m still feeling up for doing something, I’d meet my friends near Borough Market at London Grind for a cocktail or two.
If I’m leaving my area, it has to be to Columbia Road Flower Market! Then you have time to actually enjoy the flowers on the Monday…
On a three-day weekend my favourite thing to do is escape the crowds! The Geffrye Museum is a perfect part of Hackney that welcomes visitors to exhibitions about London homes through the years. When you’ve finished picking out your favourite era, the beautiful gardens are open for a wander or picnic.
Eppie Shepherd, eppie.me.uk
Given a bank holiday weekend, my favourite place to visit is Salon in Brixton. It’s a gorgeous but tiny restaurant, tucked into Brixton Village Market. They serve delicious seasonal food made with such an array of fresh ingredients and it’s the perfect place for catching up with a friend!
If I had to choose one place in my local area, I’d say Telegraph Hill Park. It’s perfect for a picnic if the weather is nice. Or there’s always a pint in the sunshine, Thai food and live music at the nearby Skehan Public House.
My favourite place to visit in my area on a sunny long weekend is Chiswick House and Gardens. You get a beautiful green open space on the water with a lovely little café for refreshments. This last bank holiday wasn’t so sunny so we went for brunch at Urban Pantry on Devonshire Road – where they have the most delicious menu – then had drinks at the Roebuck pub afterwards.
A lovely little bank holiday ritual has to be a cheeky little Croydon pub crawl, when you know you’ve got more days than you normally do to recover. If it’s sunny, start off in the garden of the Dog & Bull, then make your way down to The Green Dragon for a bit of music. Then it’s off to The Baskerville to reminisce on times gone by and how much you miss The Folley.
The walk back is more interesting. Depending on how many pints per stop you’ve had, it’s likely that you’ll end up in the club upstairs at The Treehouse or in Lloyds No 1 Bar, pretending you’re 18 again!
The best place to visit in Croydon on a bank holiday weekend is The Treehouse pub. Not only do they serve fantastic food and drink, they also have a lovely beer garden with an interesting interior. It’s a really good, relaxing place to soak up the bank holiday sun.
Bank holidays should always be warm and therefore spent adding a little bit of greenery to your life. Neal’s Nurseries, just opposite Wandsworth Prison, is the largest garden centre in London and offers a welcome source of botanical inspiration for both your garden and interior alike.
Emma Jane Palin, Emmajanepalin.com
If it’s sunny then The Wandle beer garden is a must-visit in Earlsfield. With live music in the evening and good food options it’s easy to waste a full day there.
Alexis von Pfefer
May bank holiday in East Sheen and Mortlake means time to shop and time to relax. I kick off the weekend along the high street or at Sheen Lane, where a great range of independents provide everything from antiques to the latest sportswear. On Sunday and Monday it’s papers and brunch at any one of our great independent cafés (most notably Artisan, 11 Coffee & Co., Babycakes or The Bakery on Sheen Lane, which has great pastel de nata!), followed by a river walk or a wander through Sheen Woods. It adjoins Richmond Park but it’s quieter by far. Then it’s off to a pub with a garden, of which there are four – The Hare & Hounds, The Ship, The Victoria or The Plough. And for dinner, Valentina Fine Food’s Deli is a great place to shop for a casual Mediterranean supper dish or two – they do antipasti, fabulous charcuterie, pasta and great wines.
My favourite place to go is Sydenham Woods via the Horniman Museum gardens. Once you’re in the woods you can take a long rural walk in the heart of London. Surprises abound: there’s an old railway bridge once painted by Camille Pissarro before the railway line fell into disuse and the woodland reclaimed the land around it. There’s also the Victorian ruins of a church left over from the gardens of large houses of that era and the Dulwich Wood House pub with its imaginative beer garden. Claim a cabin/shed for a drink or lunch at the end of the walk.
One of my favourite local places outside of my neighbourhood is Fulham Palace gardens: it’s a little bit of countryside in the heart of south west London. The walled garden provides ample opportunity for the kids to run off some steam, and I get to stroll around and look at the lovely plants and trees. The palace itself has a little museum charting its history, and of course there’s a café for cake and coffee. What more do you need for a day out?
Megan Morgan, www.trulymadlykids.co.uk
Depending on the weather, my first order of the weekend would be to go to Bill’s for breakfast, then stroll to Greenwich Park, taking a hamper with me. After lunch I would go to the National Maritime Museum and visit any special exhibitions that they have (Emma Hamilton is worth seeing at the moment). A drink at the Gypsy Moth would be the perfect end to the day.