I shall return

Here’s our first ever guest post, and it’s from our good friend Matt E. 

Lincolnc inn fields

It’s a blazing Sunday afternoon, and I’ve just bought an armful of books (Penguin Little Black Classics, 80p a pop) at the nearest open bookshop (Waterstones, along from Charing Cross Station.) Now all I need is somewhere to read them.

But where? The parks are packed and, anyway, I fancy a drink. I doubt the pubs are full, but who wants to sit in a boiling boozer on a day like this? Then, as I wander through St James’s Park, I suddenly think of another green space, and of a restaurant that nestles within.

Arriving at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a minute’s walk from the hell of Holborn Tube, I wince at the crowds spread thickly over the grass. Surely, some of the overspill have stumbled across Fields Bar & Kitchen (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ) – an unassuming pizzeria that overlooks the park’s tennis courts. (It’s so unassuming, in fact, that until very recently I’d always thought it was an oddly opulent parkies’ hut.)

Stepping inside, I instead find glorious near-emptiness. Giddy with relief, I lavishly order a bottle of ice-cold house white (£20) and head outside to the part-covered terrace. There, at one of the distressed metal tables, I happily sit for the next few hours, reading Michel de Montaigne’s collection of short essays, How We Weep and Laugh at The Same Thing, while watching people play tennis to a standard that also makes me want to Weep and Laugh.

I eventually get up to leave, thinking I really should try the food the next time. Because there will most definitely be a next time, having already assigned Fields privileged ‘bolthole’ status – the kind of place you can count on when London’s burning and you’re in urgent need of shaded sanctuary. M

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On the sunny side of the street

I love London when it sizzles. Looking round and seeing swathes of people basking at a lunchtime, you get to see the City in a completely different light. Red necks, red arms and smiling people all add to the sheen of summer. I went for a little stroll last Friday and saw a couple of things that may become a regular feature as the temperature goes up in the Capital.

First on the list, London Suntraps.

I like to see the small areas that people use to soak up the sun, however ill-suited that place may be. The niches and corners where the sun hits, even for the shortest time, become the refuge of the London worker. Check this place out.

 

garden furniture

garden furniture

A tiny terrace about a concrete car park but bung some garden furniture on it and that’s good to sit in from 12 till 3, no problem.

Let us know if you see any more.

And for the second feature:

Sunshine Pubs

The Shakespeare - corner of Goswell Road and Fann Street

The Shakespeare – corner of Goswell Road and Fann Street

Many people want to find a pub that’s got the sunshine at lunchtime. These places can be hard to find and generally quite busy. Here I’ll try and find some good ones. To get in the pub must have sunshine between 12-2pm and not be rammed. I found a corker. On the corner of Goswell road and Fann Street lies the Shakespeare pub. It doesn’t look much, admittedly, but there’s plenty of room to sit our stand outside and it’s nice and quiet out the back. Recommended. W