Lifestyle

A guide to entertaining any visitor in London

Jason Allen Published On 07/25/2013 Published On 07/25/2013

London's a popular town, and plenty of people come to visit, but sadly not all of them share your enthusiasm for spending the entire afternoon at the pub. And the entire evening. And then going back the next day for lunch. Luckily, we've written this foolproof guide for when life throws you a curveball... and that curveball is expecting you to entertain it. THE GUEST: YOUR SISTER AND HER THREE-YEAR-OLD KID It's tough dealing with an immature brat who cries a lot, and even worse when they bring their child, so here are some spots that'll entertain them both (and you!). Coram's Fields, 93 Guilford St; 20 7837 6138 This place is literally seven acres of play parks, so the kid isn't going to run out of entertainment or space. Pro Tip: Don't lose the kid.

LEGOLAND Windsor, Winkfield Rd; Windsor; 871 222 2001
You know you've been waiting for an excuse to go, because it'd look creepy if you went by yourself.

Battersea Park Children's Zoo, Battersea Park; 20 7924 5826
There's a glass room in the meerkat enclosure accessible via tunnel, which is, quite frankly, all you should really need to know about this place. Meerkats are the tops.

Bodeans BBQ for Lunch, 10 Poland St; 20 7287 7575
You can score yourself a pulled pork sandwich & a beer, and the kid’s meal is thrown in for free. See whose face ends up messier.

Gorilla Circus, Regent’s Park; 20 3287 7179
It's basically like the regular circus, only you get to do your own stunts. So it's way better than the regular circus.


THE GUEST: YOUR GRANDPARENTS
You have an accumulated debt from fivers in birthday/Christmas cards that you have to pay off, and now is the time to start -- mostly by not taking them to places populated by hipsters who dress... kind of similarly to them, actually.

Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, 181 Piccadilly; 0845 602 5694
Face it -- this place is like their Woodstock. Actually, most of the people at Woodstock are probably grandparents now.

Literally Whatever's on at the Old Vic, 103 The Cut; 844 871 7628
There is a Young Vic, and an Old Vic. You, sir, want the latter, because... well, it should be pretty obvious by now.

Holland Park, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
It's got the most shaded areas of any London park, which is a bonus in basically any weather scenario when old people are involved. Also, lots of benches!

The Gilbert Scott's Gin Garden, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel; Euston Rd; 20 7278 3888
All old people like gin. It's a scientific fact, proven by old scientists who love gin.

Live Jazz Cruise down the Thames, Departs from Westminster Pier
It's just a shame the water isn't blue.


THE GUEST: YOUR BUDDY WHO CAN'T DRINK ANYMORE FOR VARIOUS REASONS
Activities around London can be expensive, but then again, so is bail -- when your buddy says he isn't drinking, it's best to just go with it. Here's how...

The Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Rd; 20 7908 9696
It's arguably the most comfortable cinema in London, and they have an amazing diner, too. He can still eat!

BYOC, 28 Bedfordbury; Covent Garden
It's a cocktail bar, but they don't have a license, so your buddy can take advantage of their adeptness with mixers and sip expertly prepared fruit cocktails all night, and no one will be any wiser.

Graffiti Tour of Shoreditch, Multiple Locations
Even if you can't paint the town, you can appreciate that other people have.

Thames RIB Boat, Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment; 20 3245 1177
If you were to have alcohol here, you'd quickly lose it in the Thames.

Redemption Bar, Multiple Locations
It's a booze-free bar... and somehow they make it work with live music, top-notch food, and "mocktails". Though if you're sneaky maybe you can spike yours.

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1. Coram's Fields 93 Guilford St, London, WC1N 1DN

Coram's Fields is a seven-acre child-friendly playground in London.

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2. LEGOLAND Windsor Winkfield Rd, Windsor, SL4 4AY

It's LEGOLAND. It's a land made out of LEGOs -- but in all seriousness, it's a LEGO-themed amusement park, and all are welcome. Especially you.

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3. Battersea Park Children's Zoo Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ (Battersea)

Battersea Park Children's Zoo is a zoo in London with a large variety of primates, birds, and reptiles.

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4. Bodean's BBQ 10 Poland St, London, W1F 8PZ (Soho)

Bodeans BBQ in Soho is a smokery serving up killer Kansas City-inspired ribs and other delicious meaty goodness.

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5. Gorilla Circus Avenue Rd & Outer Circle, London,

Gorilla Circus is a flying trapeze venue in Regent's Park, London.

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6. Fortnum & Mason 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER

Fortnum & Mason is a large shopping center in London with several stores and restaurants.

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7. The Old Vic The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8NB

The Old Vic is a high-profile, old-school theatre in London.

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8. Holland Park Ilchester Pl, Kensington, W14

Holland Park is a huge public green space in London.

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9. The Gilbert Scott St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Kings Cross, NW1 2AR

The Gilbert Scott is a restaurant, bar, and gin garden in London. Yes, you read correctly: a gin garden.

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10. The Electric Cinema 191 Portobello Road, London, W11 2ED (Notting Hill)

They sell out in mere moments, so spend 0.3 seconds booking a ticket to Edible Cinema's latest sensory bedazzlement, a food-aided screening of When Harry Met Sally that actually lets you have what she's having, in the all-new Electric on Portobello.

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11. BYOC 28 Bedfordbury St, Covent Garden, WC2N 4BJ (Covent Garden)

Located in Juice Club in Convent Garden, this secret speakeasy is accessible after paying a modest cover. Past the hidden door, and down a staircase, is BYOC: a '20s-style candle-lit cavern. It has every element to concoct a cocktail (including the folks to make them) EXCEPT the booze. Just bring whatever spirit you fancy and they'll turn it into something you probably would have screwed up at home.

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12. Thames RIB Experience Embankment Pier, London, WC2N 6NU

Thames RIB Experience is an extreme boating ride in London.

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