Captured in song by the likes of The Kinks and in art by no less than Claude Monet, the South Bank is a beautiful part of central London. It’s perfect for loved ones to stroll along on a crisp weekend morning on the way to an art gallery, or to browse together arm in arm, unobserved in the afternoon crowds. End the day with dinner for two overlooking great views like that world-famous Waterloo sunset.
For a truly special occasion, book yourself a romantic visit in a private capsule designed just for two. Share a bottle of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne, nibble on Hotel Chocolat truffles and spend quality time while taking in the panoramic views accompanied by your own London Eye host. Cupid’s Capsule bookings are available daily.
A leisurely wander around the bustling food stalls of Borough Market at Bankside (the area south of the river, between Blackfriars Bridge and London Bridge), offers a classy way to start the day. Grab a gourmet cup from the Monmouth Coffee Company then browse for prime ingredients to take home for lunch, or find a table at Roast on the first floor and enjoy excellent British dining.
The restaurant on the top floor of Oxo Tower is a great choice for fine modern British dining, while the sophisticated bustle of the Brasserie is often enhanced by live music. Head here at dusk and watch the sunset over the Thames as lively chat and the clink of glasses fills the air.
Stroll along Jubilee Walk on the South Bank, past the National Theatre, heading east, and you’ll come to Gabriel’s Wharf. Here there are some great little huts selling art, gifts and fashions. Here too, is a leafy oasis where you can sit out (if it’s sunny), grab an ice cream and simply relax.
The trail of unexpected art works that are often scattered around the terraces of the Southbank Centre tell you that one of London’s boldest art galleries is nearby. Major exhibitions are always worth booking in advance, but you can pick up tickets on the day if you’re feeling spontaneous, or simply soak up the arty atmosphere by booking one of the special talks or live events themed to current shows.
You can’t miss Oxo Tower – it has the large letters OXO written on its tower! On the ground floor, you’ll find galleries and showrooms for independent contemporary designers. One-off fashions, homewares, art and ceramics can all be found here, ideal for those with an eye for style, and the jewellery truly sparkles. Check it out for a one-off piece – a romantic gift or that special ring…
Show your loved one your dramatic side by snaffling tickets for a production at one of the NT’s many performance spaces space given over to new and classic theatre. Each season is packed with dynamic plays as well as sessions where you can get close to actors and directors during special talks and other one-off events.
With its riverside location and vibrant bar, the BFI is a cut above your average cinema. Check out their varied programme of new and classic films or book a couple of cosy seats at one of the BFI’s special events. For everyone from arthouse cinephiles to lovers of golden era Hollywood, there’s always something special to share when the houselights go down.
Discover the South Bank with...
Coco Nail Bar
A nail salon and bar located conveniently close to Ladbroke Grove station. Here you can have your talons tended to in big leather chairs or at individual manicure stations, with over 600 colours (who knew that many existed?) to choose from. Coco's extended opening hours make fitting in a mani/pedi easy and they have mother and baby mornings, too, if you can't find anyone to watch the little one. The in-house bar serves hot and soft drinks, as well as boozy ones, and if you hire out the place for a party, you can even pre-arrange sushi platters and a DJ. A 40-minute classic manicure will set you back £28, while a 20-minute ‘quickie’ costs £18. Facial threading, lash-tinting, massages and waxing are also available.
Venue says: “Professional Beauty's 'best UK nail salon', 2014 and 2015. Superior hand and foot pampering, in-house bar and Apple TV.”