Friday, 18 May 2012

London Staycation 2012 : The Definitive Guide

This year, thanks to the Queen, UK residents will be enjoying additional bank holidays. Many are planning short trips abroad to catch some sun while others are considering to ‘staycate’. Staycation, (defined by the urban dictionary as “a vacation spent at home or near home, doing enjoyable activities or visiting local attractions”) has many advantages, especially if you’re going on one in London!

In our opinion, all great vacations are made up of the same ingredients : great weather, sense of adventure, new discoveries, exploring cultures, lasting memories, relaxation and amazing food!

Faking Summer

Saying that the weather in London is temperamental is an understatement. If you’re lucky to catch an afternoon of sun, make the most of your luck and have a picnic in Hyde Park (be sure to bring Pimm’s, snacks and a frisbee, if all else fails play charades)

If the weather is sunny now but looks like it might change soon, you can’t plan a grand outdoor event. Just take it easy and enjoy a laid back coffee at one of Soho’s numerous cafes (add a Mediterranean touch by challenging friends to a game of backgammon) – when it rains you can always hide inside.

Feeling totally nostalgic about those summer nights (like Sandy and Danny in Grease)? Then head over to South bank immediately. Your destination is the purple cow. This year’s Udderbelly festival offers it’s visitors an array of exciting events as well as some fake grass, summery lanterns and outdoor heaters to ensure you can enjoy mingling in fresh air no matter how chilly it gets.

There are plenty of photo opportunities at the Wondergound so be sure to bring your camera.
Who needs summer romance when you can be watching the beautiful and sexy cast of Cantina perform unimaginable stunts all evening!

Going on an Adventure

Why waste precious hours flying to another country or fighting off jetlag when you can travel to Narnia without leaving London ? This year ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ is playing at the Kensington Gardens. The three sixty theatre is a massive white tent which recently appeared in the middle of a field (and unless you know better it is easily confused with the headquarters of Alien Abduction Anonymous). The fact that it cannot be found on google maps makes this temporary venue even more intriguing and mysterious. The show itself is a masterpiece of great acting and superb special effects. Due to the round stage, every theatregoer will see the story’s events unravel at his their own unique angle. You can expect to be amazed by mythical creatures, 3D-like effects inside of the dome and seriously good singing. Once the performance is over, you must wave the weird and wonderful threesixty theatre goodbye. You won’t notice as the helpful assistants appear out of nowhere and shine their torches to guide you out of Kensington Gardens. Follow their instructions if you want to get back to the real world before midnight when the aliens come out to play !

Exploring Culture

Catch the latest of French cinema without having to go to Paris ! Ciné lumière is located in South Kensington and plays films every night! What’s not to love about this amazing place which was opened by Catherine Deneuve in 1998 and has screenings of French, World and Independent cinema (classical as well as new). In the true spirit of a British staycation, all movies have English subtitles! There’s Le Pain Quotidien nearby if you’d like to continue your French ‘soir’. For macaroons head to Paul or Ladurée (luckily London has 4 shops in prime locations)
Bon Appétit!

Tasting Unusual Dishes

Can’t afford to go to Le Gavroche but still want to feel like royalty ? This year, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, Byron Hamburgers have added ‘The Chilli Queen’ to their menu. Whether this juicy burger captures the essence of Her Majesty or not is for you to decide. As a bonus you will get a complimentary Royal badge to commemorate your staycation 2012 :)

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