© Alan Stanton
Giles Coren knows how bad you feel.
The spring party season, or ‘Annual Summer of Booze’, is about to hit us and your favourite media interfaces will be full of suggestions about where to get shitfaced. Very useful. Often on a sunny day I am so bladdered that I forget pubs and off-licences exist, which is when I whip out my smartphone and Google ‘boooz?’. But what about the day after? What about the ten best places to go in London with a hangover? Nobody has ever offered you that service before. Until now…
You need to keep your ibuprofen levels up. It’s no good just whacking a couple in the morning, because your head will get better and then worse again. You need to take the max dose every four hours. Paracetamol works too but Ibuprofen is your main bae: it is anti-inflammatory so will stop your brain rattling around like a walnut in the dented tin can of your skull.
2. Ottolenghi, or similar healthy breakfast place
You need juice, fruit, salad and some fish or egg protein to get minerals and antioxidants back into your depleted system. You don’t need a fry-up. Fry-ups are full of sodium and nitrates: they dehydrate you even more and after the initial blood sugar rush, you will feel much, much worse.
3. The top of Parliament Hill
You need perspective. The tiredness, headache and nausea are the easy part, it’s the shame that is the problem. Alcoholics in rehab (which is sort of what you are) talk of feeling ‘like a piece of shit at the centre of the universe’ and so the first step is to remember that you are not at the centre of the universe. Big hills are good for that. But avoid Primrose Hill, because all those beautiful, wealthy, famous people might make you feel even more sick about what a fucked-up drunken loser you are.
4. The Thames
Just sit and watch it. You need to remember that tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow you will be fine. The old river knows that. (But for fuck’s sake don’t get on a boat: you will feel trapped, you WILL vomit.)
It has been there for nearly 1,000 years. This woe of yours is but a flicker in time. Contemplate Traitor’s Gate. Think of Anne Boleyn arriving by boat at dawn, 500 years ago. People have had worse mornings than this one of yours.
6. Polpo (any branch)
It’s lunchtime! Lighten the fuck up, misery balls. Grab a bowl of pasta or a pizza bianca for ballast, and have one – I said ONE! – glass of red wine.
7. Tales on Moon Lane
Or any bookseller with sofas. You just need forty winks. The carbs and wine will help with that. But this kid’s bookshop in Herne Hill is the most peaceful place in town. Read a childhood favourite – Pooh, Spot, Asterix, The Secret Seven – regress a little, feel your inner child, sleeeep…
8. Caffe Vergnano
Or whatever happens to be your favourite coffee place. We’re not exactly short of choice these days. It’s perky-perky time: you need a roasty-strong double macchiato (with a little splash of froth to stop you barfing) to set you up for the evening.
9. The Electric Cinema
Or whatever is your local independent. You want the darkness, the soft seat, the passivity, the amniotic security that comes with a story starting. You’re turning this experience round into something positive.
At last. Tomorrow is nearly here. A new you. But before you sleep, if you’re lucky, and you’re not alone, that raised blood pressure and light-headedness should have put you in the mood for a nice cathartic shag. And if you are alone, well, there is a time-honoured hangover stress-relieving solution for you too…