London life can often be relentless and gruelling. Hot tubes, fierce traffic and impatient commuters take their toll. But you don't have to travel as far as you might think to find a bit of unexpected tranquility amongst all the commotion.
Take a ten minute train journey away from the hustle and bustle of London Bridge and you'll find country living in the capital. If you've never taken a visit down to this part of South East London, you're missing out. The quaint old school village is set around acre upon acre of stunning open heath. It's brimming with independent coffee shops, boutiques and pâtisseries providing the perfect location for a lazy Sunday this summer. It's also just a short walk to Greenwich Park which provides one of the best views over the capital from the platform at the Royal Observatory. If you want a bite to eat, head to CAU. This vibrant Argentinian restaurant serves up some of the best steaks around and is positioned just metres from the heath itself. Be sure to pop in for a mojito or two when the sun appears.
The major London thoroughfare would probably one of the last places I'd head to if I was looking to chill out. However, there is a small oasis of calm to be found at the Radio Rooftop Bar which sits on top of the ME Hotel near Waterloo Bridge. There are stunning views over the city but be warned that they do come at a price. Food and drink are expectedly dear though certainly worth it if you can get hold of one of the coveted tables in the heated outside area. There's a real spectacle to look forward to as the sun goes down and London lights up for the evening.
London's eclectic artsy district is awash with things to do and people to meet. There's always something new to see and if you can avoid losing your cash on an infamous game of 'Where is the ball?', you might be tempted by something from the book fair for your tube ride home. If you get a chance, it's well worth taking a visit up to the OXO Tower Bar and Restaurant which boasts a superb outlook across the London skyline. The restaurant has a sublime menu but if it's just a drink you're after, head onto the terrace and soak up the atmosphere.
The financial district located in Tower Hamlets is full of surprises. When trading ends and the city slickers head home, the area reinvents itself. Canada Square Park hosts big screen viewings throughout the summer months which will feature Wimbledon and the Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall. There's also the opportunity to attend some great live music events that tend to pop up when the sun comes out too. The Four Seasons Hotel is the perfect retreat if you're staying in the area. The stunning position on the bank of the Thames gives you the opportunity to spend the early hours watching the sun rise over the capital. There's also a treatment suite on hand to relieve the pressures of day to day city life.
Know somewhere I should have mentioned? Leave a comment below and I'll do my best to hunt it down!