Reclaim the lunch hour

Fountain in Russell Square

At this time of year, I can’t wait to get out of the office and into the sunshine. But I can’t help noticing that some of my colleagues remain glued to their screen, munching absently on sandwiches.

Wrong! I say. Reclaim the lunch hour; get out of the office and carve out a little scrap of time to take a longer view. Here are some of my favourite ways to spend lunch hour in WC1, rain or shine.

Sit outside (or inside) the cafe in Russell Square Gardens and watch pigeons and schoolchildren playing in the fountain.

Explore the British Museum. To avoid the crowds, skip the mummies and head for the third floor. The Korean galleries are nice and peaceful (unlike much of Korea itself).

Visit St George’s Church, Bloomsbury, an airy Hawksmoor gem. Pause outside to admire the pyramid spire, unicorns and lions.

Browse the British Library’s highlights gallery. Imagine how the Lindisfarne Gospels would have looked if Eadfrith the Monk had been told they needed it done by Friday, latest.

Get things into perspective with a lunchtime lecture at Gresham College, Holburn. This 400-year-old institution exists to educate the public with free lectures on the grand old disciplines of astronomy, divinity, rhetoric, physic and others.

Have a proper cup of tea and piece of freshly-baked cake at the Patisserie Deux Amis, an oasis of civilisation in Judd Street.

Then there’s my personal favourite, but you can only do this if you live very close to work: nip home and make an omlette and tomato salad, listening to The World at One. Then have a quick siesta. Proper midday me-time.

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