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There's More To Life Than Work (Douglas Wignall)

There's More To Life Than Work (Douglas Wignall)

The latest article in our series “There is more to life than work” comes to you from Douglas Wignall, our hotel law specialist.

We are working in the greatest city in the World with so many diverse and interesting things to do many of which are free and which you can do or see either alone or with friends/colleagues. I try to take advantage of it as much as I can without upsetting my work obligations. On a Friday afternoon, if I am able to put into practise the POETS (translation available on application) day stratagem to a mild extent and leave the office around 5.00 pm, I walk to High Street Kensington tube via three Gardens – Temple, Embankment and Whitehall Gardens and three Parks – St James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens.

I say hello to familiar statues, resist the temptation of a drink at Gordon’s wine bar in Villiers Street or the Sherlock Holmes just off Northumberland Avenue, walk along two beautiful lakes in St James’ and Hyde Parks and smell the lovely flowers in the Rose Garden in Hyde Park. The walk is probably just over 5 miles and about 75% of it either Gardens or Parks. Unbelievable in a city as densely populated as London. At the end of the walk, I have a rewarding pint of beer in a pub or club with my wife and/or other people. A great way to start the weekend.

Nearer to work in Fetter Lane, and discarding the many and lovely beverage outlets, there are so many interesting places to go to if, for one reason or other, you need to get some distance from the office for an half hour or so. If you go through the big door at Chancery Lane and head west you will soon come across the Royal College of Surgeons which also houses the Hunterian Museum. If you are the sort of person interested in surgical instruments and preserved body parts, this is an absolute must for you. The Crystal Gallery of 3,000 glassed specimens is magnificent. The perfect place to hold a Halloween party! On the other side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, you will find the Sir John Soane Museum. Sir John was a famous architect who lived around 200 years ago and who designed, amongst many other buildings, the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. What is now the Museum used to be his house and office and it has been maintained, as near as possible, as it was at the time of Sir John’s death in 1837. As soon as you enter the Museum you are taken back 200 years. There are so many fascinating rooms – the Dome Area, Colonnade, the Breakfast Room the Museum Corridor - it just takes your breath away.

If classical music is your avocation head south down Fetter Lane into Fleet Street. If you cross over into the Temple and walk in a westerly direction you will find the Temple Church, recently made famous by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. Not far from there going east is St Brides Church with its famous seven spires and built by Sir Christopher Wren. Both of these churches have weekly lunchtime concerts/recitals. If you are a Dan Brown fan you can inspect the tombs of the effigies of the knights in the ‘round’ part of the Temple Church. If you are a Christopher Wren fan, then you can gaze at the magnificent architecture in St Brides Church whilst listening to the music. 

I have described a walk and four magnificent buildings. One thing they have in common - they are all free and I have only described a small portion of the free or very affordable things you can do or see in London within easy distance of our office. Take a short break from the office every now and then and marvel at the great city in which you are working. You never know, it may help you solve that problem you have been stressing about.