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London’s waterside resorts: the South Bank beach

Posted at 10:15 am, April 12, 2015 in Outdoor London

Southbank

Welcome to South Bank, London’s answer to…

Miami. That’s right. At the first hint of warm weather South Bank becomes party central! It’s like Will Smith said, ‘All night on the beach, till the break of dawn.’ Just replace ‘beach’ with ‘concrete rampart’.

Good looking

You could take a turn on the capital’s iconic jazzed-up ferris wheel, The London Eye. Though the lesserknown fifth-floor balcony of the Royal Festival Hall affords similarly dramatic vistas. And it’s free.

Hot stuff

If you’ve got sand in your sandwiches, then head to Skylon Grill (within the Southbank Centre) for a steak with a view. Or The Green Room restaurant behind the National Theatre cooks a mean hotdog. Dandelyan at the Mondrian Hotel is your bar for a fancy bevvy. Then it’s off to The Little Mixing Factory’s waterside truck for the kind of frozen yoghurt that’ll put you off Soleros for life. THAT GOOD.

Party time

Go wild, dude! Culturally speaking, that is, at Udderbelly Festival, which opens this weekend. If you’ve never entered a giant purple cow, you’ve never lived, and South Bank’s got London’s biggest, hosting the best of the city’s alt comedy and cabaret scenes. Book now for tentacular spectacular ‘Kraken’ and you’ll be squids in come July 16.

Local knowledge

Did you know that the South Bank is a popular spot for arts and culture events? It’s true! You can also broaden your culinary horizons at the Southbank Centre Market (Fri-Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays) behind the Festival Hall. Or why not whizz down Carsten Holler’s slides at the Hayward Gallery, from June 10? It’s art, though, so try and look intelligent on the way down.

London phrasebook

You say: ‘The brutalist architecture is arresting.’
We say: ‘Looks like a council estate, innit.’

By Jonny Ensall

Find more things to do at the South Bank.

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