No, memorising the Pret menu doesn’t count…
Make for a museum
Swap the same old meal deal for a blinking cultural smorgasbord, with one of the V&A’s lunchtime tours. Lasting only an hour, these free drop-in events are a brief but fascinating introduction to the museum and its collections. Granted, it’s easier if you work nearby. If not, just choose a day when the boss isn’t in. Tours last one hour, starting at 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
Feed your mind
The button-pushing monotony of the office grind is basically an anaesthetic for the brain. So get your intellectual juices flowing again with a lunchtime lecture. A huge range of subjects is covered at institutions including University College London, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy and the National Army Museum. Discover the best ones to add to your diary at timeout.com/lectures.
Catch a classical concert
Any decent band worth its rock salt are unlikely to be up in time to play a lunchtime session. But the cleaner-living stars of classical music are already tuned up and raring to bow. There are brilliant lunchtime recitals and concerts all over the city, including offerings at the Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and St Martin-inthe- Fields. If that’s not enough, find more free classical music events at timeout. com/freeclassical.
Draw someone in the buff
It might end up putting you off your sandwiches, but life drawing is still a great way to make the most of your midday break, as well as being a surprisingly sociable experience. London Drawing runs drop-in classes for budding artists every Friday at Artizan Street Library near Liverpool Street. Drop in any time between 11am and 1pm. £10 excluding materials. londondrawing.com
Step out for a schmooze
Looking for a new job? Hoping to launch your own company? Want to change industries? Get Lunched could be just the ticket. Essentially a social network for business, it can help to arrange lunch meetings between you and a well-placed contact who could hold the key to your future. So perhaps don’t suggest hooking up at a KFC, however much you love it. getlunched.com
Feeling peckish after all that learning? Here’s our 100 best cheap lunches in London.