From striking architecture to famous artworks and foodie temptations, the South Bank has something for every taste. A stroll along the Thames packs in cheeky buskers, wow-worthy shows and the most breath-taking views in town. The best way to explore? Ask a local. Lawrence from our team in Paris shares his insider’s guide to the neighbourhood, from must-see galleries to the best spots for gift-shopping. Let’s go!
When friends and family come to stay, they check in at the Park Plaza London Waterloo. From the ghoulish thrills of the London Dungeon to the sweeping views of the London Eye, the city’s most iconic attractions are just a hop and a skip away. The hotel’s petits plus? A modern brasserie, a Balinese-inspired spa and a picture-perfect indoor pool.
Feast at popular street-food market and hip nightlife spot Flat Iron Square. Try a carbonara at pasta purveyors La Nonna, a Margherita from pizza maestros Baz & Fred, or buttermilk fried chicken by Mother Clucker. Recover from that big night out over Bloody Marys and eggs Benedict at the buzzy Table café. Afternoon boosts from Konditor & Cook come in the form of scrumptious cakes.
Towering over the Southbank, the Tate Modern stands as a monument to modern and contemporary art. Take in thought-provoking commissions in the impressive Turbine Hall, or browse the permanent collection for works by the likes of Marina Abramović and Edgar Degas. Further along the river, the distinctive OXO Tower now houses art galleries like Sotis Studio Ceramics.
Locally run shops line the waterfront at Gabriel’s Wharf, a lively open-air hangout on weekends and in warmer weather. Support local artists at Southbank Printmakers, a cooperative art gallery staffed by the artists themselves and offering reasonably priced prints. The whimsical, British-themed handbags at nearby Vendula make for fun gifts.
Image credits: © Mike Stezycki; © Mike Stezycki; © Park Plaza London Waterloo; © Flat Iron Square; © Getty; © Alamy