One of the things I love most about working in London is the amazing art installations that suddenly pop up out of nowhere to startle us out of our daily routines. Who would have guessed that the 19th century Covent Garden market would be suddenly taken over by a mass balloon invasion? Blown away by the prospect of witnessing 100,000 giant white balloons, I popped along during my lunch break to find out if it was all just a lot of hot air.
As we get stuck back into the working routine this week, in the desert wilderness of Nevada, tens of thousands of citizens are getting to work on building their own creative metropolis. Dedicated to community, art, self-reliance and self-expression, Burning Man has captured the global imagination with its jaw-dropping installations, burning effigies and free-spirited vibe. If you can’t get away from your desk to join them, you can catch a glimpse of the highlights at the Lights of Soho art gallery and member’s lounge.
How often do you notice the area you work in? Caught up in the frantic rush of getting to and from work on time, we barely register our surroundings. But while we’re dashing in and out of revolving doors; sprouting up amidst the sky-scrapers of the Square Mile are some of the world’s most cutting-edge pieces of contemporary art. Featuring leading names such as the legendary Damien Hirst and America’s Bruce Beasley, Sculpture in the City aims to enhance our urban environment and make us see our work environment from a fresh perspective.
As a champion of tiny museums, I was delighted to stumble across the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery on my way to a recent work meeting. Telling the tale of Elizabeth Garett Anderson – Britain’s first female doctor and the founder of London’s first women’s hospital, the pint-sized gallery proved to be an inspirational lunch break find.
Adopted by global giants: Deutsche Bank, Apple and Astra Zeneca, mindfulness is the latest buzzword sweeping through offices. Claiming to improve memory and performance, reduce stress and lower blood pressure, the simple act of becoming aware in the present moment, is set to revolutionise the way we work. If you fancy giving it a whirl, here are my top four tried-and-tested techniques which take no more than ten minutes in your lunch break.
Love them or loath them, there’s no denying that beards have sprouted back into fashion over the last few years. Once the preserve of homestead hill-billies, they’re now as likely to be sported in the boardroom as they are down on the pig farm. Combed and coiffed into submission, today’s facial topiary bears no resemblance to the mutton chops of yesteryear. Hot in pursuit of the new hursuit trend, I popped down to Beard at Somerset House to put in some face time.
In the frantic rush of the working week, do your find yourself mindlessly munching on the same things week-in, week-out? In a bid to widen my culinary horizons, I left my desk for a lunch time browse around Borough Market. Brimming with home-grown and far-flung bounty, London’s millennial market is the perfect place to seek out wholesome products while also treating myself to a little of what I fancy. From breakfast al-desko through to post-work tipples, here’s a few of my top recommendations.
With only sixty minutes to spare, finding a quick yet classy lunch time eaterie can be tricky. Anxious clock watching followed by a rabid nosh and mad dash back to the office can make eating out as stressful as staying desk-bound. Offering a solution to agonising slow service, a new self-service vegetarian restaurant in Mayfair caught my eye. Intrigued, I took two work colleagues along to sample lunch at Ethos.
Glancing out my office window at lunchtime yesterday, a vision in amber shimmers before me. Lining the steps of Granary Square in King’s Cross are three thousand pumpkins basking in the freakish heat of the Halloween sun. Gazing in awe, I popped out to take a closer look at Pumpkins at KX – London’s quirkiest veggie art installation.
Stressful morning? In need of some light relief? The House of Illustration could be just the tonic. Quirky, fun and enlightening, this newest addition to London’s art scene provides a welcome break from the taxing task of contemplating highbrow artworks. In need of some light relief, I slipped away from my desk to find out more.