The City 24 Hour Guide
Statistically, it’s the last neighbourhood in which you’re likely to have 24 hours free.
But we’ve never been ones for statistics – 5 in 4 of us are actually innumerate. But we are ones for recommendations – and so, on the off-chance you find yourself in the City with time to spare, we’ve got just what you’re looking for…
With a whole day of certified fun ahead of you, now is a good time to take a little breather in the form of a leisurely breakfast. And surprisingly for this part of town, there are actually places where you can get such a thing. There’s Aussie brunch spot Beany Green in Broadgate Circle, which offers al fresco dining in the warmer months and serves up dishes like smashed avo on charcoal sourdough, and the coconut bread french toast.
Or for a brunch of the more hard-hitting kind, head straight to Bad Egg, where they serve brunch all the livelong day, with dishes like pulled pork and kimchi on toast, huevos rancheros, and cheeseburger hash – while at weekends you can get all that, but with bottomless mimosas, prosecco and Bloody Marys too. If you wanted.
And if you’re really heading down the hair of the dog route, there’s Hawksmoor’s offering, where the breakfast cocktails range from the cornflake milkshake with a shot of bourbon, to the charming Corpse Reviver No. 2.
Because it’s never too early for absinthe.*
Feeling suitably rotund with bread and eggs, there’s plenty of ways to work up an appetite before lunch. On weekends (and in the golden window between rush hour and lunchtime on weekdays), the City becomes a ghost town – and therefore the perfect opportunity to walk around and soak up some of the historic sights hidden away in London’s old centre.
If you’re after some structure to your ramblings, the borough website has an impressive range of self-guided walks that cover everything from hidden green spaces, to a tour of Shakespeare’s stomping ground. Or just the best trees. If you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re peckish and find yourself towards Liverpool Street, make your way to Devonshire Square where you’ll find Scotch eatery Mac & Wild. Not only do they serve their snacks like their famed haggis pops they’re also home to award-winning burger, the Venimoo.
And you’re now also perfectly placed for the afternoon’s activities – which you might choose to begin right beneath the restaurant, in the gun room – where you can don your tweeds and shoot wild virtual game, in a virtual game. And for shots of a different kind, there’s the whisky bar in the next room, where they hold frequent tasting sessions and masterclasses.
Getting the most out of those tweeds (you look dashing, by the way), you could then swing by Swingers, tucked in the shadow of the Gherkin. And while yes, we too were skeptical of the plan to open an indoor crazy golf course – it’s full of holes – throw in cocktail-bearing caddies and a bevy of street food traders, and you’ll find they’ve got everything down to a tee.
If you want to keep the competitive spirit alive, you could also head over to Bounce for ping pong or Flight Club, for that age-old combination of darts and slushie cocktails…
…Or, you could skip straight to the cocktails part, and head along to Oriole in Farringdon – which comes from the Nightjar founders, and is every bit as show-stopping as you’d expect; or the bar at the City of London Distillery, which makes not only their own gin, but yours too – as part of their bespoke gin distillation experiences.
When it comes to a showstopper dinner, Duck & Waffle wins every time. Literally. Because it’s open 24 hours, meaning that you can head up for your evening meal whenever it takes your fancy… with some of the most incredible views of London to boot.
…Leading you conveniently to the best way to spend your next 24 hours.
*At least, not according to statistics. Was that worth scrolling all the way down here for? Probably not. Sorry.
Still got time to kill? Check out our other recommendations for bars and restaurants in the City.