Throughout this year, friends have told me how lucky I am to be living in London. But London during a pandemic, unable to meet friends at restaurants or museums, doesn’t really feel like London. Now that things are slowly reopening, however, it’s important to make the most of the activities you can safely enjoy!
Indoor eating – I have made the most of indoor eating, such as La Tartine in Notting Hill Gate for tea and cake, Dumplings Legend in Chinatown for noodles and dumplings, and Ethiopian food at Merkato near Carnegie Street for a delicious vegan feast. Now that the weather is much better, you can also enjoy outdoor seating, too! Book in advance to avoid disappointment, and if you’re sitting inside, keep a mask on you when entering, leaving, or going to the bathroom!
Museums are open again! Make sure you book your slot online – lots of museums in London are free, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Or you can pay for certain exhibitions, such as the Nero exhibition at the British Museum. One of the highlights of booking your museum slot (and choosing less popular times) is that’s I’ve never seen any museum as empty as it is now – make the most of this time to stand in front of displays for as long as you like!
If you’re in need of an artistic fix, you can visit some excellent galleries such as the Van Gogh immersive experience, or ballet at the Southbank Centre (followed by a visit to the Southbank Centre Food Market!) Or you could visit a modern exhibition at the Tate, or a smaller gallery such as the Grosvenor Gallery, which will be exhibiting South Asian Modern Art throughout June.
Theatre is back on! You can find discounted tickets online, or if you’re not feeling picky, why not visit the TKTs theatre booths? You can get on-the-day discounted tickets and enjoy an afternoon or evening show! You’ll have to keep your masks on throughout the show, but it’s a small price to pay for an evening of excellent theatre.
There are some wonderful gardens around London – which you could visit anyway without wearing a mask, although certain greenhouses are now opening up, which is excellent news! The Sky Gardens are free to book and combine wonderful views, tasty cocktails, and a pretty indoor garden. Kew Gardens (although mainly outside) are a MUST visit, any time of the year. If you bring your student card, tickets start at £8.75.
If you’re not ready to explore London at the moment, then don’t worry at all – the weather is WONDERFUL and the scope for outdoor activities has (thankfully, finally) greatly expanded!