When was the last time you took a stroll along the South Bank?

My basic point being, if it has been rather a long time then you should probably get yourself there soon as you can – there’s tons going on:

1. From now until 4 September, the South Bank Centre is celebrating the Festival of Britain’s 60th anniverary. There are performances, talks, events, comedy and an exhibition. I went on Saturday and, although possibly more of a nostalgia-fest for those who were actually there, it is a lovely celebration of British creativity and community in spite of the post-war slump, triumph over adversity and all that, and coming so soon after the Royal wedding, it makes you feel quite proud to be British. What other nation could have invented bunting?

2. There is an urban beach for beach parties, getting sand in your toes, and other sand-based tomfoolery. Mucho beach snogging noted.

3. You should also check out the Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar which is there until 4 October and where you can sit outside overlooking the beach and drink some wonderful (v strong!) Juhu Punch, Bombay Pimms and eat some of Dishoom’s lovely food.

4. The Hayward Gallery is hosting the Tracy Emin exhibition Love Is What You Want. I also went along on Saturday and will post more soon but here’s a quick tip – perhaps avoid taking your mother unless you are able to remain perfectly comfortable while Tracey discusses grabbing a man’s balls on a giant TV screen in front of you.

5. There are these cool painted huts all along the Thames front filled with art and sculptures.

6. If you wander further down to the brilliant art deco Miami-style Design Museum (although beware the shop – you could spend a small fortune on trendy designer cutlery or similar) and upstairs to the Blueprint Cafe with one of the most incredible views over London and fantastic food. Here’s Marina O’Loughlin from the Metro’s glowing review and here’s mine. It’s all been spruced up recently for its 21st birthday so definitely worth a visit.

7. Just as romantic is the Royal Festival Hall’s Skylon restaurant which is offering a 3 course lunch plus tickets to Tracey Emin’s exhibition for £29 – well worth a trip.

8. The BFI and its lovely Atrium bar is always worth a visit – and they’re doing a Jeff Bridges retrospective from 1 – 30 June.

9 responses to “When was the last time you took a stroll along the South Bank?

  1. Fingersdavies

    Your mother has heard worse things before. Why do children always think their parents are innocents?!

  2. I was just there this weekend. I was taken aback from all the new additions, especially the ‘beach’.

  3. Are they huts or sheds? I love a shed… Last year I met two friends at the Royal FEstival hall listened to some free Brazilian music and shared a picnic. It was a cheap evening out!

  4. Don’t forget to mention the very lovely garden in the sky – the rooftop gardens at Queen Elizabeth Hall. My new favourite place! Find it by going up the yellow staircase http://twitpic.com/4v2ff1

  5. I was there a week or so ago: my date and I were snapped kissing by a passing photographer, who was documenting the festival. If that’s not one for the files of the HPL, I don’t know what is! 😉 x

  6. I just love the Southbank and still get the whole touristy/visitor to London excitement when I go there. At the moment there’s an American BBQ stand with the tastiest pulled-pork ever! I read about it here http://helengraves.co.uk/2011/05/pitt-cue-co-southbank/

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