Monday, 18 August 2014

Brunch Club - August: Canteen and the Festival of Love

Although I do enjoy pottering around an exhibition, I'm much more likely to get out of bed on a Sunday to visit if there is also going to be food involved. So, with this in mind, we decided to initiate Brunch Club - where we go for brunch and then go to an exhibition, in a nutshell, with the idea being that we take it in turns to choose an exhibition to visit and then pick a brunch spot nearby.

The Festival of Love is the Southbank Centre's summer program, and seeing as summer is nearly over (sob!) we decided to visit this one first while we still had the chance. Of course, the obvious choice for brunch then was the Royal Festival Hall branch of Canteen.

As I already knew exactly what I would order at Canteen we power-walked over there as soon as we arrived in town. I've had the bacon, eggs and bubble & squeak before and loved it, so I didn't even need to look at the menu - the other half had a classic sausage and onion butty. I've already documented my love for Canteen so I won't go into it again - all I will say now is that it was the usual relaxing and delicious time I've come to expect.

The Festival of Love centres around the seven different types of love - the love of humanity; family love; love which endures; self-respect; shared experience; flirting, playful affection, and romantic and erotic love - with each weekend across the season focusing on one of these and hosting a range of activities to suit. There are certain parts of the festival which you need to pay for, but the majority of things are free of charge and this is definitely a family-friendly festival - the petting-zoo for one was pretty popular with all the younguns we saw running around! Our favourite bits were the tunnel of love - a love-heart scented tunnel plastered with pictures of hearth-throbs past and present, that leads into a room with, amongst other things, a game of giant twister - and the Museum of Broken Relationships. This was something that I had read about with interest before and so was super-excited to visit. It contains a collection of various tokens and keepsakes from failed relationships, with the accompanying story behind them. Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure this is a definite highlight.

The Southbank Centre (and Hayward Gallery) is one of my favourite London attractions and I'm really pleased we got round to visiting this. This season is finishing on Sunday 31st August, so there are only two weekends left to visit - make it a priority!

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