You’ve come to London for a day or two, and most of your time is taken up with work. But if you’re trying to eke out an opportunity to tackle your London to-do list, don’t fret: a one-hour lunch break, or snatched hour between meetings provides the perfect excuse to explore. Below are ten suggestions that should be on every business tripper’s itinerary.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Those who are convening for meetings in West London can skip out on their lunch break to the V&A, one of London’s most popular museums. Free tours are offered every day at 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM. Meet at the Grand Entrance for a quick cultural dip.
Free lectures at University College London
Though your university days might be long gone, it’s never too late to sit in on a lecture and pick up something new. Every Tuesday and Thursday, UCL hosts free lunch hour lectures from 1:15-1:55 PM, covering topics as diverse as the science of laughter to 1960s cinema.
Those who flock to London’s tech hub at Old Street won’t want to miss Shoreditch Grind, a sleek, circular café that serves some of the city’s best artisanal coffee. For those seeking something a bit harder, it’s also known for its cocktails, many of which are coffee-based, naturally.
City of London Distillery
The three-martini lunch may largely be a vestige of the past, but those looking to unwind the old fashioned way should stop by City of London Distillery. Located down a narrow staircase off of Fleet Street, the pint-sized distillery serves its house gin, as well as hundreds of others, at its in-house bar. Not a bad way to blow off steam.
St James’s Park
Fresh air, exercise, and greenery: the perfect way to decompress. The oldest of London’s Royal Parks, St James’s is located conveniently near to Westminster and offers pretty views, a scenic lake, and plenty of lush spots in which to power nap.
Concerts at St. Martin in the Fields
Several times a week, St. Martin in the Fields hosts free lunchtime concerts that showcase top talents in classical music. From flautist Rosanna Ter-Berg to Russian cellist Mikhail Lezden, the concerts cover an array of genres and time periods. The building itself is a historic destination, dating to 1726.
Founded in 1875, the inimitable Liberty offers some of London’s finest shopping. Conveniently situated on Regent Street, the department store is housed in an old Tudor-style building and specialises in trademark Liberty print goods (including everything from notepads to clothing), avant-garde designer fashion, and top quality homeware.
City of London Walking Tours
In lieu of an aimless stroll, brush up on your history during one of the lunchtime walking tours offered by City of London Guides. From Roman London – The City Beneath Our Feet to Smithfield’s Bloody History, learn all about London’s hidden corners.
A magnet for local and visiting foodies, Borough Market is only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays but regularly attracts hordes of gourmands. From gourmet cheeses to elegant tapas and wine bars, the market truly has something for everyone.
Header photo: The sculpture collection at the V&A © pio3, 2013. Used under licence from Shutterstock.com
Written by Claire Bullen
Have you ever tackled London's landmarks whilst on a business trip? What were your favourite lunchbreak attractions?
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About the author: ClaireBullenClaire Bullen
Claire is a born globetrotter: before relocating to London, she spent time in New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. When she's not in pursuit of the next exciting meal, she can be found haunting indie bookstores and sketching outdoors. Follow Claire @ClaireMBullen