We’ve mentioned before why London is actually pretty great in the rain and then just to be fair, we gave you some reasons why it also absolutely sucks. Sometimes it can be hard to see the bright side, given the frequency of the rainy days in question and the fact that all your Primark flats are still damp from the last downpour. But come on, embrace the precipitation people! Here’s a list of 8 awesome activities for you to enjoy to ensure the London weather doesn’t “rain” on your parade.
1. Start your morning in a toasty tea room.
Yeah, see you could argue your case for coffee and I would hear you out but the only proper way to start a rainy day in London is with a big steaming mug of tea. A toasted teacake is merely a suggestion on my part but I think you’ll agree that when the showers start to pour, carb-counting goes out the door and a teacake dripping in melted butter might just take you to nirvana. We recommend the sister-run Lavish Habit in Balham; a treasure trove of cutesy vintage furniture and scrummy snacks (they also do a great coffee if that really is your thing).
2. Go for a welly-wearing walk in the wain. Sorry, rain.
Fact: unleashing your inner kid is best done when it’s raining. Splashing in puddles is not immature, it’s scientifically proven to make you feel less stressed. Also all your friends have probably travelled down to see you this weekend (travelled down from…Zone 6?) so a fun-filled romp in the rainy weather will remind you all of the good times you can (and will) have. London has many a park to frolic in but St James’s has pelicans (which is pretty cool let’s be honest) and some very picturesque scenery.
3. Fall into a lunchtime carb-coma.
This is mandatory. You won’t feel the cold if you’re full to burst and you’ll have lined your stomach well enough to survive a full weekend of drinking. Choose your carbs carefully though, since you’ll want to feel satisfied not sluggish. Bread= bloating. Potatoes = perfection. We’re very excited for the autumn opening of Come Fry With Me (the menu is exclusively chips only) but for now why not head down to the Hungry Donkey in East London. This Greek street food restaurant situated on Wentworth Street in Aldgate serves up its fries topped with Greek feta, Graviera and oregano for only £3.50. And not that many people know about it…until now.
4. Ping the pong.
Playing tennis on a bank holiday? Hell no. Playing table tennis however? Hell YES. You’ll be so fired up about winning you’ll forget the pouring rain outside. We mentioned them before but Bounce in Holborn has 17 tables, cocktails AND a pizza oven. The best thing about taking your friends along? You’ll find out which of them is Forrest Gump and which is Chandler level. In this scenario, you actually want them to be Forrest.
5. Make like RiRi and invest in a good umbrella (ella, ella).
I shan’t lie, this may just be the most British suggestion ever made on Secret London. But given how frequently and how much it rains, a quality umbrella is not the worst purchase you’ll make in London. James Smith and Sons have been in business for nearly 200 years as London’s finest purveyors of brollies. You can even have one specifically made for you and let’s face it, anything monogrammed with your initials simply screams sophistication, dah-ling.
6. Gaze in wonder at some true water babies.
So you might not be a big fan of water but the creatures here certainly are. The London Sea Life Centre is fun to pootle around if you want to kill a few hours away from sopping streets and um, it’s really cool?! Did YOU know that sharks pre-date dinosaurs by 200 million years and have minimally changed since?
Tickets from £19.
7. Make your way to a matinee.
Much cheaper than evening ticket prices and with the added bonus of better seat availability, matinee performances are the best kind of self indulgent rainy-day activities. Also you’re guaranteed to find something for even the most pickiest of pals. People are in a frenzy over the adapted for-the-stage Bend It Like Beckham musical, based on the exceedingly popular film starring Parminder Nagra and “I-thought-she-was-a-Pisces” Keira Knightley.
Tickets from £19.50.
8. If all else fails, snuggle down with some vino at the cinema.
Nothing beats a film on a rainy day. Actually that’s not true, nothing beats a film WITH WINE on a rainy day. The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill and Shoreditch has a bar serving wine, beer and champagne and if you book one of their two-seater sofas you can also recline/cuddle with your significant other (but that’s all – no hanky panky in a place so swanky).
Got a favourite rainy day haunt you think we’d like to know about? Tweet us at @Secret_LDN to set the record straight.