Photo by Tristan Appleby
Even the most experienced of Londoners will, at some point, find themselves with an hour or two to kill in a neighbourhood they’ve never bothered to explore before. So you’re at a Tube station with a heavy bag, an empty stomach and a need to pass the time with something more intriguing than a meal deal; what now? Just consult this handy guide. These are the five best venues within 500m of Waterloo station.
Literally a lift ride above and metaphorically miles away from the bustling south bank, Skylon hosts a fancy cocktail bar with a really rather impressive view over the River Thames.
Masters Super Fish
Don’t be enticed by the gloriously titled Fishcotheque on Waterloo Road, for although it has shunned the pun, Masters Super Fish is the place to get a deep-fried dinner round Waterloo. It’s a classic British chippy with surly service to match, but spirits will soon be lifted as it’s BYOB. Grab a bottle from Sainsbury’s on your way and you’ll have a fine time.
Indulge a little at this dignified but comfortable French restaurant whose set menus are an absolute steal. Their wine list is also worth taking advantage of, so calculate your time slot and settle in.
Benugo Bar & Kitchen
Relaxed enough for you to be able to use it as your living room for an hour or two (except with added table service), the Benugo Bar & Kitchen has all the sofas, snacks and wifi you could need to get stuff done, or get your book read, while you enjoy a pick-me-up.
Photo by Bods on Flickr
South bank book market
The rows of trestle tables bearing stacks and stacks of second hand books, annuals, posters and antique maps are an almost permanent fixture under Waterloo Bridge, and are ready and waiting for your perusal.