Embed from Getty Images Crystal Palace Subway (Photo: Chris Racliffe / Getty Images News)
You’ve noticed, no doubt that Autumn has returned and, like a second-favourite son, kicked off its boots, helped itself to a glass of single malt and made itself at home in your favourite armchair.
It is for many a season as maudlin as it is full of mists and mellow fruitfulness. But take heart, for whatever the trials in store over the next few months, we have left many behind. School, for example, and public exams. Not for us that Gorgon demanding the French for ‘I should like to borrow a pen,’ nor that wall-eyed fiend of a German teacher yelling at us for being unable to stammer ‘I have no pen but the uncle of my friend Otto has some paper.’ No - so long as we have £20 in our pockets and the will to survive ‘til half past five, we’re rarely more than a few hours from being able to do just a little of precisely what we want. Such as:
Explore Open House London. Every September for the last 25 years, Open House has been getting the keys to some of the most famous, unusual, beautiful or secluded sites in London. From Downing Street and the Gherkin to the Crystal Palace Subway and Pear Tree House, there are over 800 places dotted all over London that one might never otherwise have a chance to see: https://openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk
Delve into the London Design Festival Similarly city-wide and running from the 16th to the 25th September, the London Design Festival brings together countless events, objects and opportunities that showcase the very best design of every kind. Details at: http://www.londondesignfestival.com
Ride the Mail Rail Nearly a century ago, the Post Office built a secret railway underneath London. Deeper even than the tube lines and driverless even back then, this strange but far-sighted invention stretched from Paddington to Whitechapel, linking Post Offices across the capital. As of this month, it’s taking passengers: https://www.postalmuseum.org/discover/attractions/mail-rail-ride/
Book a table at Taka With its narrow passageways and [comparative] lack of traffic, Shepherd Market can seem to the uninitiated almost Venetian with its tucked-away, pregnant-with-promise pubs and restaurants. The trouble is, aside from the handful of established premises, one inevitably rolls the dice a bit when one books a table at one of the just-opened places. Not so this time. If you like Japanese food, you are sure to enjoy Taka: https://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurant/taka
Reconnect with the River Thames It’s a slightly strange but strangely satisfying festival, this one, and for those who thrive on classical music and poetry, first amongst the various Thames-centric celebrations are the Bascule Chamber Concerts. Dates and other details can be found at http://totallythames.org