It’s cold outside. Really cold. It hasn’t snowed yet (thankfully) but it most likely will and with it will come the usual barrage of public service shutdowns that normally accompany a shower of white powder. Everyone is wrapped up warm, a fair number of them have nasty bugs and things in general are just a little bit… frosty, if you’ll pardon the pun. It’s that time of the year when people start to get a bit grumpy about the weather, with no Christmas to cheer them up.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Spring is months away, so you have two options. You can either moan incessantly to anyone who will listen about the bad road conditions, the need to have the heating on 3 times a day and how your little dears keep picking up colds from everywhere or you can deal with it. Embrace the winter, and enjoy some of the delights that it offers. You’d be surprised at what the city has to offer.
The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street.
Offering limited but entirely free tickets to come and view the new Sky Garden atop one of the city’s skyscrapers, this is an excellent chance to enjoy a beautifully serene area in the heart of the city. Let’s be honest though, there are plenty of peaceful green spaces in the capital: the real reason for coming here is the astounding view. We don’t use that word lightly, but it feels like this place deserves it. The majesty of the London skyline in winter- all pastel greys and blues- is something truly incredible.
Speaking of amazing green spaces, Hyde Park is a different beast in the winter. The vast trees that line the walkways are transformed into strange apparitions: monoliths of jutting bone and sharp edges, so unlike the soft curves of their summer foliage. It makes for a great picture, and it’s intensely peaceful to look at. Perhaps most importantly, it’s quiet for once.
Go to your favourite coffee shop and curl up with the paper and a mug of something special. Let the fiery spices of chai warm your bones, or the silky indulgence of real hot chocolate ease all your worries.
If it’s cold outside, no one will begrudge you an afternoon drink in a cosy bar, and London has so many interesting ones to choose from. Our personal favourite is 4 quarters, a hidden gem that offers a wide range of vintage video game cabinets to play whilst you drink. Nothing beats away the winter blues like playing Metal Slug co-op with a friend and a pint.
Pull on a warm jacket, a scarf and enjoy the city. There are so many beautiful places to just go and see, monuments and attractions that seem so different in the calm clear air. Virginia Woolf once described the joy of wandering in the city in the cold, speaking effusively about the champagne brightness that infuses the winter air.