The Free Option: Walking the Canal
I’m lucky to live a stones throw away from the canal and it was only fairly recently that I really appreciated how nice that actually is. I’m not saying that the canal itself is stunning, it’s not – it’s often got random plastic bottles floating around in it and it’s so murky you can’t see the bottom. But those things aside, the canal is a little haven in the middle of the city. There’s something a bit surreal about wandering alongside a chugging canal boat going past whilst you can see the sky scrapers of the new King’s Cross development going up. It does feel a world away from the rest of the city, and can make a for a nice relaxing walk – or refreshing run (although avoid busy tourist areas on sunny days if you’re running – it can get busy around places like Camden or little Venice so you will be constantly dodging people and bikes). The grassy steps below are also an area where the canal passes through the back of the King’s Cross development and they make a lovely little sun trap on a nice day, plus there’s usually something going on at the top of the steps that’s worth checking out.
The whatever-your-budget option: Exploring Selfridges
Selfridges is impressive, but I guess at the end of the day it is just a big department store that can be found anywhere and as a creature of habit I find myself exploring the same bits (the beauty hall, the Mulberry concession and the Topshop concession at the back…) so last weekend when I popped in to Selfridges I decided to explore from a different angle and wanted to share this with you! I went in through the food hall entrance and spent some time checking out the delicious side of Selfridges. It’s not quite got the ‘WOW’ factor of the Harrods food hall (also very worth exploring – although can be horrendously busy at weekends). But what it doesn’t have in ‘WOW’ to beat Harrods it makes up for in variety and tasting opportunities. There’s a little of everything – drop in cafes like eat and Yo! Sushi plus deli stands for salads and Greek food. Then there’s the fish and meat counters and a fairly decent sized veggie and fruit stand. All fairly standard so far – but then there’s the fun bits like Lola’s Cakes and cheese stands and aisles of American food that’s fairly hard to find over here (Lucky Charms and Pop Tarts!). There’s a Champagne and Oyster bar (of course darling…the perfect mid-spree refuel) and a whole area dedicated to Selfridges branded food and treats. The main area also leads down into a bit of a mammoth sweet shop with jelly beans and rainbow lollipops galore. Basically all sorts so you can explore and maybe find a treat to suit your budget – whatever that is.
Basically, it’s well worth exploring Selfridges beyond just the beauty and clothes. Next time I’m there you will be able to find me next to the cheese counter…
The splash-out option: West Side Story at Saddlers Wells
I love a good musical, and as far as musicals go – West Side Story has to be one of the best. The modern Romeo and Juliet with songs that stay humming around your head for days. This is currently on at Saddlers Wells theatre and I went with a friend and her family on Friday to see this and it was spectacular. Really amazing – I left the show singing ‘I feel pretty’ and ‘I want to be in AmeriCA!’ and googling the soundtrack on Amazon.
West Side Story is a classic for a reason and I definitely recommend you get tickets and check this out if you can before it finishes on 22nd September. It’s at Saddlers Wells theatre so it’s a little away from the typical West End area, but still very central – it’s not far from both Angel and Exmouth Market which both have a great selection of places to eat. Exmouth Market is one of my favourite places to go actually as always has a great atmosphere, especially on warm Summer evenings.
For more info on West Side Story see the Saddler’s Wells Website.
Gift card provided as sponsorship by Barclaycard