For a brief month or two, it’s all enjoyable. The leaves fall off the trees in a maelstrom of reds, golds, browns and yellows, the chilly weather means cosy scarves and hot drinks are prepared to beat away the frosty wind. With Christmas just round the corner, it’s easy to relax and actually the yuletide weather. Hell, you might even relish the cold. It’s just all so festive and by the time the snow rolls in, you’re singing the songs of the holiday with glee.

Without wanting to get too GoT on you, the words Winter is Coming should not set in motion the kind of joy that they do every year. Then, it’s over. Christmas that is, and the New Year. Suddenly it’s January and you realise that it’s you have at least 2 more months of this. Biting cold, bleak landscapes and winds so freezing that you’ll wonder how you’ll make it to work without becoming a giant icicle. Providing you can get there with the snow and the sleet and the British transport system’s inability to deal with, well, anything.

So what are you going to do with yourself for the 2 months until the sun peeks its head back out back from behind the clouds and the plants decide to pop out? You could be forgiven for being a bit glum about it all: we certainly have been in recent times. Fear not though, the capital still has some little gems hidden away for just such an occasion. Like a careful squirrel with his stash of concealed nuts or some equally tortured metaphor, London has some little surprises ready for you.

Non Brand Coffee Shops  

Whilst everyone is drowning their sorrows in mountains of whipped cream at Starbucks, you can be tasting the best cup of joe you’ve ever had at a local cafe. Look for places keeping it under 2 pounds a cup and running if you ever hear an x instead of an s in the word espresso. Run and don’t look back.

Hyde Park

Ha! Seriously though, the park is beautiful at this time of year and the lack of pretty leaves means that this is one of the few times that it won’t be full of tourists.

The V&A

Cold means inside. Inside means museums. Museums means kids. Kids means earsplitting noise and constant whining. So head to the one museum that repels children like a combined trip to the dentist and the shoe shop: the V&A. Full of artsy exhibitions, it’s the perfect place to relax in warmth and comfort without having to worry about screaming kids.

Your Own Home

Buy some decent alcohol and a box of luxury coffee/tea/hot chocolate. Draw the curtains, being sure to glare contemptuously at the bitter darkness as you do so and settle in. Get a duvet and sit in the warmth, enjoying life away from the outside world. A word of warning though: onesies will draw contempt from anyone who sees in one, and will always create intense feelings of self loathing. There’s casually comfortable and then there’s a onesie.