And sure, that has its own schadenfreude-y value, but it’s hardly making the best of lunchtime is it? So why not do something productive with your lunchtime, something inventive perhaps, like partaking in some colonic hydrotherapy, or learning how to be a drum and bass DJ.
The good thing about working in London is that you’ve got more options than most, and TNT being the thoughtful, caring types we are, we’ve only gone and collated some of the best ways to spend your lunchtime here for you.
Learn Magic | The Strand
Learn a trick or two in your lunch break from the experts at Davenports Magic. They do magic displays all day and are only too happy to show you how to bamboozle your mates at the next party.
Davenports Magic, WC2N 4HZ
Tube | Charing Cross
Watch a short film | Across London
Get cultured during your lunch break and watch one of 60-plus short films across 10 days and 22 venues at the London Short Film Festival. Each of the films is less than five minutes long and has a budget of under £500. It’s a great chance to dip your toes into another world for a few minutes – a much-needed, mid-day dose of escapism.
Times and venues TBA
Exercise your brain | Euston
Challenge your grey matter with one of the lunchtime lectures at University College London. UCL offers 40-minute lectures twice a week on topics ranging from sustainable energy to sex work.
Tue & Thur, 1.15-1.55pm
Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
Tube | Euston, Russell Square
Relax with Meditation | Covent Garden
Go to a creative meditation session with Inner Space. Their expert tutors will guide you through a half-hour relaxation session, which is said to build confidence and make you feel rejuvenated for the afternoon.
Weds & Fri, 1-1.30pm
36 Shorts Gardens, WC2H 9AB
Tube | Covent Garden
Eat something weird | Across London
Try something you usually wouldn’t this lunchtime. Restaurants around the city dish up all sorts of bizarre bites. At Bibendum you can chow down on deep-fried calves’ brain with Thai dipping sauce, or if your stomach dares you could try ducks’ tongues at Viajante or garlic locusts at Archipelago. Take some friends with you and see who’s brave enough to take the plunge – you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Bibendum, Michelin House, SW3 6RD;
Tube | South Kensington, bibendum.co.uk
Viajante, Town Hall Hotel, E2 9NF;
Tube | Bethnal Green, viajante.co.uk
Archipelago, 110 Whitfield Street, W1T 5ED,
Tube | Warren Street, archipelago-restaurant.co.uk
Become a Drum and bass DJ | Croydon
Learn how to spin, mix and use all that complicated-looking equipment with Flash-BackZ. They’ll even throw in a few cheeky production techniques, and all within a 45-minute slot.
Park Lane, CRO 1JA
tube | East Croydon
Lunchtime singing classes | Lambeth
Are you a star in the shower but never gone mainstream? How about a three-month singing course in your lunch hour? You’ll learn how to do group harmonies, improve rhythm and pitch, and interpret songs in your own style.
Next course starts Jan 10, 1pm
Morley College, SE1 7HT
Tube | Lambeth North
Get Hypnotised | Marylebone
Feeling homesick? Want to be more confident or want to give up smoking? Get cured by visiting a hypnotherapist. The Therapy Lounge has 11 hypnotherapy practices in the London area, where they could help with a whole host of issues and send you back to work feeling better.
1-7 Harley Street, W1G 9QD
Tube | Bond Street
Box for an hour | London Bridge
Bad day at work? What better way to offload some anger than with a lunchtime boxing class? Tokei Gym offers conditioning and cardio workouts with trained professionals who teach real boxing techniques. If you’re feeling it, stay on and give a bag a piece of your mind. Classes are open to both men and women and all abilities from beginner to expert. You may like it so much you take it up as a sport.
Lion Court, SE1 2EN
Tube | London Bridge
Cook, Eat and Run | St Paul’s
Don’t just buy lunch, learn how to cook a new dish, then eat it too. Each week the brilliant team at L’atelier des Chefs will teach you a new 30-minute recipe during lunch. A pan-fried sea bream with wilted fennel and black olive salsa or Indonesian fish curry with coconut milk beats a boring sandwich any day.
Wed-Thur, 12.30-1pm; 1.30-2pm; Fri 12-12.30pm; 1-1.30pm
L’atelier des Chefs, EC2V 6HR
Tube | St Paul’s
Go Go Karting | Docklands
Tear around the track at this indoor go karting circuit. They do mid-week special deals for those looking to burn some rubber for their break. Challenge your work colleagues to a race and relieve some of that office tension. The question is, will they manage to keep their lunch down after a go on the track? It’s a bonus if they don’t, it will make for interesting chat back in the cubicles. And it sure beats looking on Facebook for
an hour, though no doubt you’ll upload the pictures …
The Raceway, SE7 8NJ
Tube | North Greenwich
Hang Tough at lunchtime | Mile End
Spend your lunchtime up a mountain – albeit an artificial one – by scaling the walls at Mile End’s indoor climbing centre. There’s 16,000sqft of options to cover, from all sorts of bouldering to all levels of top-roped and lead climbing. Working out doesn’t have to be boring or cut into your ‘down’ time.
Mon-Fri, opens 12pm
Mile End Park, E3 5BE
Tube | Mile End
Chase shadows | Oxford Circus
Head to Hanover Square to check out how artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster turn urban debris into complex works of art. Their sculptures may not look like much, until you check out the shadow they cast – knick-knacks suddenly transform into complex portraits. Impressive stuff.
Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm. Until Nov 24
Tube | Oxford Circus
Try ear candling | Holborn
The Native American treatment of Hopi Ear Candling involves a candle being placed over the ear and creating a localised heat. This ancient ritual is said to cure all sorts of ear, nose and throat ailments.
Various locations, by appointment
Essentials Pharmacy, WC2B 5QA
Tube | Holborn
See a hot debate | Embankment
Watch one of 150 free talks, screenings and debates held by the RSA each year. Professionals, academics and expert minds will chair the debates and force you to engage the brain at lunch. Upcoming speakers include social theorist Robert Goodwin with On Settling.
Next debate Nov 15, 1pm
8 John Adam St, WC2N 6EZ
Tube | Embankment
Get a colonic | Islington
It’s certainly not the usual way people spend a lunch break, but colonic hydrotherapy will help purge you of previous crappy lunches – lose weight and rid yourself of all those nasty toxins.
Open Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm
Dermacia, 260 Upper St, N1 2UQ
Tube | Highbury & Islington
Learn a language | Covent Garden
Always fancied learning a language, but don’t feel like you have the time? The International House in London offers four-week lunchtime courses, comprising two lessons a week, that will get you learning the basics in no time. And even better, it only costs £60 for all eight lessons. Choose from French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian or Arabic, and avoid performing those elaborate mimes on your next holiday.
Twice a week from 1.15-2pm (days vary depending on course)
16 Stukeley Street, WC2B 5LQ
Tube | Covent Garden