On London’s South Bank, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, stands a very curious building. It looks like some kind of mollusc, rounded and irregular and covered in glass. This oddball building is actually the headquarters for the London Assembly: the governing body of the City of London. They meet here throughout the year to keep London running smoothly, managing essential things like the fire service, police department and transport as well as social issues.
Ten times a year, the whole Assembly meets to question the Mayor about the issues that Londoners face each day. Ordinary Londoners who wish to take part can submit a question online and an Assembly member may read it out during the meeting. These meetings are also open to the public, so if you like, you can go along and see a little of the engine that keeps London running day-to-day. It’s a unique way to truly understand the place you’re visiting.
However, the South Bank is also one of London’s most entertaining districts. It’s full of pubs, markets, restaurants and bars, as well as the famous Southbank Centre. There’s no better place in the city for quality nightlife. If you’ve managed to nab a great London stay deal for your holiday, put those extra pounds to work and have yourself a great night out on the town.
The world-famous Ministry of Sound nightclub is just a few streets away from City Hall, and no trip to London is complete without a visit if you love to dance. It’s hugely popular, so lines can get extremely long and we recommend you arrive as early as possible. Once you get in, enjoy the crowded, energetic atmosphere and dance the night away.
For a quieter night out, The Hide is a nearby cocktail bar with a menu full of incredibly creative items – and they’ll even make your drink to go if you ask. Their cocktails include ingredients like bison grass vodka, lemongrass liqueur and quince tea, as well as unique house-made purees. If you’re after a conversation starter, this is an excellent place to start your night out.
Towering above the skyline, the Shard is the tallest building in the entire European Union. Its pointy silhouette can be seen from many miles away, and its higher floors are home to some very high-class places to spend your evening. Take in the view from Aqua Shard or try out one of the other chic restaurants, all with a Chinese theme.
The Old School Yard in London Bridge will appeal to travellers whose schooldays are not far behind them. Its school theme brings you a cocktail menu arranged by school subjects, and with pizza and karaoke, you’ll soon be transported back in time in a wave of slightly drunken nostalgia.
There’s no need to get stranded on a night out with nowhere to party. London is so full of nightspots that there’s always something open to guarantee you a fantastic evening. Bring a group of friends or go out on the prowl by yourself to meet some friendly locals. Though Londoners have a reputation for being reserved, it will usually disappear once they’ve had a few drinks!