Sunday morning in London

Whether you’re full of beans or in need of several siestas, we’ve got your Sunday morning covered.

Sundays are for relaxation, catching up with things there is little time for in the week, and quite often, recovering from the night before. Whether you’re full of beans or in need of several siestas, we’ve got your Sunday morning covered.

Start the day by going for a walk. Hyde Park is the most obvious choice, and will likely be filled with early morning joggers. Alternatively the beautiful, very peaceful Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is a fantastic place to read a book or simply sit in the sunshine (weather permitting). Rather surprisingly, there is a small but perfectly formed green space tucked behind Charing Cross Road called the Phoenix Garden, which is both well maintained and filled with wildlife. There is another unlikely natural habitat near King’s Cross station, at Camley Street Natural Park, which is run by the London Wildlife Trust. If you feel like spotting birds, fish or butterflies, there is plenty to look at here. If greenery doesn’t appeal, try a walk along the Thames. Pick the Embankment area for a view of the Houses of Parliament and the Southbank Centre, or head further East for Tower Bridge and the Docklands. To really indulge in that Sunday morning feeling stroll around the City, as the streets connecting the area’s imposing skyscrapers are completely deserted at weekends. If that seems like too much effort for a Sunday, the river bus operates various services daily, the two longest routes being from Embankment to as far out as Woolwich Arsenal, and Putney all the way to Blackfriars.
The fresh air is likely to have whetted your appetite by now, so a substantial Sunday brunch is in order. Will you opt for the swishness of The Wolseley or The Delaunay, or a hangover-appeasing fry-up at a greasy spoon? The classic eggs benedict and Bloody Mary combo will be offered at pretty much any venue serving brunch, try Raoul’s if you’re in West London, Balans in Soho, or The Breakfast Club in Hoxton. If it’s not too early for your tastebuds to be tickled, try the Indian brunch at Dishoom, which includes spiced omelettes, sausage and chilli jam naan rolls, and eggs baked on a lentil bhaji mash. Karpo, opposite King’s Cross, has an American-influenced menu with shrimps and grits as well as steak and eggs and freshly baked pastries, or you could go for the more traditional pancakes with bacon and maple syrup at Lola & Simon in Hammersmith. For hair of the dog check out The Modern Pantry, and pair a delicious cooked breakfast (chorizo and plantain fritters, prawn omelette and toast) with a glass of Champagne or a cocktail.

Sunday mornings are a great time to go shopping, as busy streets are empty and shops are uninhabited, meaning you might actually reach some of the rails at Topshop on Oxford Street. There are also a number of markets to be visited, some of which operate exclusively on a Sunday, like Columbia Road Flower Market in the East End. For clothing, pick up a bargain at the Holloway Car Boot Sale; second hand books and bric-a-brac are also sold. Farmers’ markets have become trendy of late, where the focus is on fresh food from small producers at exorbitant prices. Still, some of it is mouth-watering, such as the organic nosh offered at Marylebone Farmers’ Market. If you didn’t make time for brunch, the Sunday UpMarket at the Truman Brewery has stalls selling food from all over the world, from Japanese fried octopus balls to Spanish gazpacho.
This is also an opportune day for a spot of pampering, whether this means going for a relaxing swim, having a massage or visiting the hairdressers. Splurge on a spa like the K West Spa, which offers a wide range of massages, facials and nail treatments, and benefits from a sauna, hydrotherapy pool, and brand spanking new trends like a “snow room", where the body’s circulation is stimulated by immersing it in below freezing temperatures before exposing it to steam. As unpleasant as that may sound, it’s very good for the skin and the immune system, although given the choice between this and a lie-down on one of their suede loungers we know what we’d be choosing. Other very reputable spas include The Sanctuary, Aveda and Elemis.

You might not want to be induced into a state of dreamy relaxation however. On a Sunday morning gyms are at their quietest, so you’re in luck if you like solitary workouts. So long as it’s not pouring with rain, tennis enthusiasts can use the courts off Farringdon road in Islington and Southwark Park for free, and many parks have facilities like table tennis, football, boating and even fishing. Regent’s Park has its very own sports centre called The Hub, as well as pitches for cricket, boules and rugby. And after all this physical activity, it’ll be time for a hearty Sunday lunch and a snooze.

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