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Almost every week, I find myself heading to London for meetings and each time I leave knowing a little more about the city. Whether it’s a cool coffee spot that my 10am was at, or just a nice side street that I’ve walked down to get to my next meeting, London keeps showing me more of itself. Though for all these meetings and trips to the city, I’ve forgotten parts of London that make it so great.
My routine in London consists of meetings from morning through to early evening and grabbing a quick bite to eat before heading back to Leicester. I want to upset this a little. There’s more to London than meetings and relying on coffee to get me through to the end of the day.
What helps me add more to my trips is when I’m able to stay overnight. My last stopover was with hub and this time, I wanted to make sure I found balance in my stay. I know I have work to do, but it’s also important to carve a couple hours out of the day to do something new. Located at Tower Bridge, I was able to make the most of the extra time I had in the city. Hub’s location meant that I was a short distance from anywhere. Head East, go into Soho, I had the choice of being anywhere across London in no time at all.
The room was pretty much spot on. It always comes down to the bed and I think the fact I slept through my alarm is telling. Outside the window was the second best thing about the room, the view. The Shard was there, staring right back at me (room 606 for those wanting the same view). With all the tech bits that come along with staying at the hub – controlling the lights and temperature through a phone app – I was able to enjoy a hassle free room.
Photography by Joe Galvin and Matthew Pike
With all my meetings finished up on the day of my stay, the morning was left to see friends. After a cinnamon bagel and some emails in the room, Joe and myself met up for breakfast no.2 at Grind. This is a perfect example of finding balance. We’re the first to admit we don’t hangout often and that’s because both of us are working constantly. It’s important to dedicate time to seeing friends. With the weather in London transitioning towards spring we headed east, taking a couple photos along the financial district, Leadenhall Market, Spitalfields and Brick Lane. Joe’s blog post does a good job of following us on this little walk and captures the light beautifully.
“It was a real luxury to be positioned in an area where I could work, travel to meetings and play tourist for an afternoon”
For some reason, The Tate has always escaped me and the bonus is that it’s across the bridge from hub. In both the Boiler House and Switch House there were airy spaces within and between installations. At times, I found myself appreciating the light and shadows that were being created in the space, rather than the contents in the room. The Tate made for a perfect backdrop for conversation as you find yourself going from floor to floor.
It was a real luxury to be positioned in an area where I could work, have meetings and play tourist. Being reminded of how much there is to see in London was refreshing. Soon I want to dedicate a weekend to explore without the guilt of work commitments. It’s important to appreciate where you’re visiting. Do as much as you can to get a feel for the place, even if you’re there for work. Take the scenic route, walk where you haven’t and discover something new.
This post is created in partnership with hub, but my views on London and finding balance are my own.