How to Spend a Day Off in London

PHOTOS BY: Dave Swindells www.daveswindells.com

England’s Spring Bank Holiday is one of the weirdest holidays we know – what exactly are we celebrating here? But life taught us that if the government gives you a day off, you take it and you ask no questions. Actually, you can ask one question: How can I live the hell out of this extra free day? While some businesses are closed, our cousins know what you can do.

Breakfast:

115 St John's Hill, London SW11 1SZ, United Kingdom
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Floor-to-ceiling glass windows greet you as you take your first step into this cosy cafe at the top of St. John’s Hill. You’ll instantly be met with a warm smile and the lovely smell of coffee. This place is wifi-free, so nestle in with a book, notebook, or sketch pad, and be open to making a new friend or two. My favourite thing about Story Coffee isn’t actually the coffee, although it is second to none. It is their matcha lattes that have me coming back, and the darling handmade mugs that they are served in. A real place for peace and quiet, along with all-day brunch, tucked just out of the craziness of Clapham Junction. Win.
Adrianna, 33 Yoga Teacher
Cool Cousin London
Story Coffee
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Inspiration Time:

Lunch:

5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, UK
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Dishoom is one of the most famous restaurants in London right now. It has more than three locations but I would say that the King's cross branch has the most impressive interiors. Their food is reasonably priced and delicious, I would order to share between friends. I love their Chicken Ruby (not just for the name!) and the 24hour black daal, as well as Okra Fries and chargrilled prawns. They are most famous for their brunch, a fun asian spin on western classics such as bacon sandwich naan, and spiced omelette
Ruby, 28 Junior Doctor at NHS
Cool Cousin London
Dishoom (Stable)
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Post-Lunch Chill:

Baps Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir, London NW10 8LD, UK
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This temple is just about the last thing you’d expect to find in London. Donning gorgeous authentic architecture, if you by any chance find yourself in the neighborhood (or fancy a trip that way), head here. I’ve travelled much of India and can honestly say that this is a slice of Hindu authenticity in the outskirts of England’s capital. Its unexpectedness is its charm!
Jacob, 31 Film Maker, Musician
Cool Cousin London
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Lansdale, PA
Official Website

Afternoon Tea:

9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG, United Kingdom
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There is really no place like Sketch, a wonderland of bars and dining rooms that consummate the marriage of food and art. It’s one of my favourite places to drink and dine – from afternoon tea to evening cocktails – you’ll want to admire before you taste. The owner, Mourad Mazouz, is a great restaurateur and friend. His boundless energy and acute attention to detail make for a generous stream of inventive dishes. Sketch’s main restaurant, The Gallery, changes hands to a new artist every few years: currently Shrigley’s artistic wit covers the walls and plates leaving you with more than just good food to digest. Play hopscotch on your way out.
Dara, 27 Palindrome 💕
Cool Cousin London
Sketch
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Evening Fun:

Wrapping Up The Day:

Hampstead Rd 103, London
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As the Spanish saying goes, this is a place where to dance “like there's no tomorrow.” It is a medium-sized bar with great atmosphere on Thursday nights, serving Mexican beer and Spanish music. The uncanny thing is that for a bit, you will forget you are in London. Mestizo is a great option if you fancy some dancing and do not want to go to a club. Tip: Go downstairs! Skip the restaurant on the ground floor. Thursday night is the best for drinks (not overpriced!), dancing and street food.
Maria, 32 Architect
Cool Cousin London
Mestizo
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