As a former lego fan, it was with nostalgic wonder that I noticed The Art of the Brick. Boldly going beyond the realm of spacecraft kits, the exhibition promised to elevate the humble plastic brick into an art form. Intrigued though not entirely convinced lego could be called art, I booked an afternoon off to discover the lofty heights my beloved bricks have now reached.
Is conserving hard-earned cash top of your priority list? My lunchbreak posh cheese and pickle addiction is leaking hard-earned cash that could otherwise pay for annual leave sojourns to far-flung climes. In the spirit of autumnal back-to-work austerity, I booked an afternoon off to pick my own at Parkside Farm.
As flip-flops retreat to the back of the cupboard and the tube returns to full-capacity, the September return-to-work is in full swing again. In the great wine growing region of Surrey, productivity is also about to soar as the harvest gets under way. Seeking a rural break far from the madding crowds, I booked an afternoon of wine tasting at Denbies Wine Estate.
From the sea of grey suits swaying on the underground to the uniform glass and chrome of city-centre offices, the working world can seem a sombre place. Breaking out of the monochrome monotiny, I booked an afternoon off to visit Matisse Cut-Outs at Tate Modern – a parallel universe of striking colours and bold designs to shake me out of the muted palette of my daily routine.
Are your Mondays mundane? The return to the working week marks a day laden with tasks to achieve, optimistic gym visits and even a carefully prepared home-made lunch. But what if one Monday afternoon, you could teleport yourself away from rigid routine to a distant galaxy of fun, spontaneity and out of this world indulgence? Protons at the ready, I logged off last Monday lunchtime to experience the Ampersand Hotel’s Science Afternoon Tea.
Signal failures, engineering works and leaves on the track are just a few of the daily challenges that get our teeth gnashing and blood pressure boiling. Having spent many memorable hours stuck on the Met Line, a two-hour tour of the tube may seem like a strange choice for an afternoon out of the office. But love it or loathe it, life without the London Underground would be hard to imagine and compared to our predecessors, we’ve never had it so good.
With no end in sight to the hot and sticky afternoons, your inner child may yearn to break free from the classroom and race around the playground. Re-discovering the things that delighted you as a child can help you to relieve stress, manage negative emotions and also improve your productivity. If the sales figures are driving you stir-crazy, shake off the shackles of responsibility for an afternoon of adventure in London’s parks, where you’ll find a whole lot more than rounders and frisbee on offer. Why should the kids have all the fun?
Swing from the trapeze: if you ever dreamed of running off to the circus as a child, it’s not too late to change career now. Offering the ultimate in high-top high-jinks, the Gorilla Flying Trapeze School will have you flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Two hour classes available in Regent’s Park all day from May to September. Visit: www.gorillacircus.com for how to book.
Push the boat out: Yearning for the freedom of the open seas? Why not set sail on the Serpentine for a turbo-charged afternoon of pedalo action. Requiring all your powers of ingenuity, this aquatic slalom will propel your agile working abilities to a whole new level. Just watch out for Mr D’Arcy. Boating lake open from 10.00 – 6.00pm, April-September.
Return to Neverland: If real life’s become all too much, seek sanctuary back in Neverland as you re-live Peter’s journey from the Serpentine to Kensington Gardens on an interactive walk. Dress up like Captain Hook and join other ever-green Peters as you discover how the park inspired the plays and stories. Next walk, Friday 9th August, 11.00-12.30pm, pre-booking recommended.
Go fly your kite: Kites have come a long way since the humble days of string, wood ad plastic and nowhere is that more apparent than in Richmond Park where power kites rule the skies. Propelled by the elements and sleek aerodynamics, you can opt to glide along in a kite buggy, stand on a land board, ride a surf board or even whizz along in a pair of inline skates. Classes available in Richmond Park from March to August. To book visit: http://www.kitevibe.com
If work is getting on top of you but the chance of an exotic escape anytime soon is looking as likely as a day without an urgent deadline, you can still experience the wonders of the world right here on your doorstep. Temple visits are not just reserved for trips to Asia, particularly when you can drop into the largest Hindu Mandir outside the Indian sub-continent on your way back from IKEA.
Are you looking forward to the FA Cup final? Whether you love it or loathe it, football is an intrinsic part of UK culture, not to mention an endless topic of conversation at work. As someone who is definitely in the loathing camp, nothing could have thrilled me less than receiving a free ticket to tour Wembley Stadium. However as these trip advisor accounts testify, the magic of this iconic venue is capable of thrilling even the most ardent anti-footy campaigner. Image courtesy of Proforged on flickr