Five Favourites: The Southbank, London

Happy Tuesday lovely people! Here in the UK we’ve just had a bank holiday so it’s especially hard going back to work today. Luckily there’s a Travel Tuesday link up to help us along the way. Let’s be honest, if I can’t go on a world trip then visiting places while sitting at my desk is the next best thing.

It’s funny isn’t it, but I always forget to talk about where I live. I don’t know why, but Fi and I both seem to automatically write about trips away rather than those favourite nearby places. Which is pretty silly as I love reading about places that people live near, you get such great advice from people that actually live in a city. So in the spirit of talking about where I live I’m going to share with you my five favourite places to visit on London’s Southbank.

The Southbank is exactly that. It’s an area on the south bank of the River Thames from Westminster Bridge all the way down to Gabriel’s Wharf. It’s filled with art, theatres, eateries and shops.

Temporary space at The National Theatre

The National Theatre – The National Theatre is probably my favourite place in London, I love a trip to the theatre and this place has amazing productions all year round. They are the people behind hits such as War Horse, The Curious Incident in the Nighttime and One Man, Two Guvnors. Trips to the National tend to be a family affair, with Fi and I joining our parents and younger sister (when she is home from Uni). Most recently we’ve watched A Small Family Business and Medea here, and we have tickets to see Ballyturk here in October. Even if you’re not watching a play it’s still worth a visit. There are two restaurants, a coffee shop and an espresso bar as well as countless numbers of photography exhibitions and musicians taking over the foyer space throughout the year. Plus a trip to the terraces and numerous balconies are always necessary. The views from here are stunning, from Parliament and the London Eye, across to St Paul’s with the city in the distance. Plus if you can time it for sunset you are in for a serious treat.

National Theatre all lit up

 The Riverfront Bar and Kitchen Restaurant – This restaurant run by Benugo, is situated underneath Waterloo Bridge. It’s the perfect place to people watch and grab dinner before taking in a film at the BFI or a play at the National. Their menu is constantly changing and there have daily specials. I can highly recommend the arancini starter and the pulled pork burger.

The Southbank Shop – I’m a huge fan of the shop at the Southbank. They have brilliant window displays and lots of quirky gifts for everyone, including that tricky person who you can never please. It’s also a great place to pick up good stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts at Christmas. They stock everything from jewelery to furniture, toys to crockery, there really is something for everyone (and lots that I’d love!).

The London Eye

The Royal Festival Hall – The Royal Festival Hall is one of the three buildings that make up The Southbank Centre, along with the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. The RFH is my favourite because of the vast variety of things going on there at any one time, from music to sculptures and knit-ins. Plus there’s a Pimm’s terrace in the summer! There’s also an excellent food market throughout the year at the back of the RFH. Brownies to die for.

The People Watching – Where ever you are along the Southbank there is so much to see. The views of the river are stunning, but there’s also just the sites and people along the way. From the children playing in the water fountains and the sandy beach in the summer, to the Christmas Market, the Skylon cocktail bar, eating outside at Gabriel’s Wharf, watching the locals cycle and run along the River, people perusing the book market or the skateboarders completing tricks in the skate park under the RFH. It really is a site to behold.

Browsing the used book stalls

Does anyone else have a different favourite place on the Southbank, what have I missed?

And what is your favourite place near where you live?

Lau xx

 

Travel Tuesday
  • I really feel like I should go and explore the Southbank next time I am in London. I only ever seem to pass through it without actually stopping to check out what it has to offer.

    • thisandthatblog

      You definitely should. There’s always something great going on there.
      Laura xx

  • There’s an italian restaurant over that way (i think!) – locale – I think it’s pretty tasty!! I remember that it had a really energetic scene for a Sunday night, too Oh, I miss roaming around London…

    • thisandthatblog

      Ooh, I’m intrigued which one you’re talking about. I always love a good eatery! Thanks for stopping by.
      Laura

  • You had me sold at the Pimms terrace 😉
    I love me a good theatre though – I’ve just recently seen the War Horse movie and was so touched! I’m really curious to know how they even do it on stage!

    • thisandthatblog

      A girl after my own heart! War Horse is actually still on in London, I can’t remember which theatre but it’s a really good production and definitely must be seen to be believed. You should check it out.

  • I love the Southbank! That’s when I fell in love with London 🙂