Summer on the Southbank

In London, my favourite place to go in the evening when its light for that tiny bit longer is the Southbank. It’s full of quirky places to eat and drink, there’s always an impromptu performance happening from a street entertainer or the Southbank Centre themselves, and its surprisingly void of too many tourists who I suspect wander into the bright lights of the West End come evening.

After my boyfriend Jake and I had finished dinner near Leicester Square on Saturday evening, we took a stroll towards the Southbank for a drink and a wander. A particularly wonderful part of the Southbank in the summer is the Udderbelly and Wonderground that pitch camp on this lovely stretch of the Thames from July until late August. They have lots of different shows on offer – the Udderbelly shows comedy and circus, and the Wonderground shows cabaret, burlesque and drag queens galore – but with the two venues also come a lovely and unique place to drink and eat.
The bar next to Violet the giant purple upside down cow serves beer, cider, wine and Pimms (which was a bit steeply priced for my liking, but where isn’t in London I guess) along with offering some street food too. It is decorated with beautiful lanterns and flowers hanging from the sky, and is full of different seating areas, which are lit with pretty fairy lights when the sun starts to set. However, his area tends to get super packed and on Saturday we timed our arrival with the start of a show, which meant it was extra busy.

We got our drinks and decided that we would give up hope of trying to get a seat in the main Udderbelly area and instead try and find a seat in the Wonderground area – to our surprise, it was pretty empty! It’s hidden behind the cow so perhaps not as many people know its there, and luckily for us we got a seat in one of the dodgem style tables which are really fun. This area is themed like a fairground and as well as dodgem style seats, there are waltzer car style seats too with a circus tent at the far end which hosts all of the Wonderground shows and performances.

We sat and had a drink for a while until we decided to go for a walk along the river while there was a little bit of daylight remaining. We didn’t get far before we were stopped in our tracks by the bright pink Snog frozen yoghurt bus, which is always too tempting to pass up. There were a couple of free deckchairs right on the river in view of the Houses of Parliament so we grabbed a fro-yo and sat and ate them looking across the Thames which was so lovely. I had mango with passion fruit and white chocolate stars, and my Jake had coconut with strawberry and white chocolate stars.

Some of my best evenings from summer 2015 were spent on the Southbank and I forgot how much I loved it, I’m so glad I’ve discovered it again this year and here’s to a whole summer (hopefully without rain) ahead with lots of visits to this gorgeous stretch of the river.


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