29 Hours In Canary Wharf

I love exploring and this year has taught me that you really don’t have to travel far to have a good time. Whether you’re wanting a beach trip or a city break, the UK has it all — I’ve discovered all kinds of new favourites over the past 18 months. In search of something close to home, I crossed London for a weekend away in Canary Wharf, which has a real mix of great food, incredible art, fun activities and calming spots to rest and reset. 
I’ve planned a full day of exploring so I start early with a little headspace in the form of a hatha yoga class at Third Space. It’s my first time doing hatha practice and it’s much more gentle than I’m used to but the mindful breathwork and deep stretching feel so restorative. Side note: this gym is insane. I linger in the changing rooms for way too long.
I fill up my bottle at a water refill station (one of many at CW) and stop for a post-workout green smoothie and muffin using virtual coins I collected on the Helpful app. The app is geo-fenced especially for the estate and instantly directs users to plastic recycling or reuse points in the area, rewarding them with points for each drop-off. Pretty cool!
I wander down Bank Street to find Newfoundland, where we’re staying tonight. We’re up on the 26th floor so the views are unreal. I dump my bags, take a hundred pictures of the view to send to everyone I know, and decide instantly that we must also paint our walls blue. 
Time to go exploring! I head up to Crossrail Place Roof Garden via the cool Camille Walala bridge for a gander, where it's impossible not to stop for a few snaps inside. This is one of London’s largest roof gardens — and arguably its most impressive. I’ve been briefly before but this time I take a moment to read the signs and learn about the diverse, luscious plants up here from all over the world. I spy a lady in a quiet, leafy corner nose-deep in a book and make a mental note to bring a read myself next time. What a gorgeous spot to while away an hour or two.
I’m starving so I make a beeline for Wharf Kitchen, which holds the proud title of London’s first plastic-free food court. I can’t decide between a tuna poke bowl and gyoza so I get both and eat them in the sun in Jubilee Park.
The clouds have moved on and it’s turned into a gorgeous afternoon so, naturally, I want to spend it outdoors. Curious about all the sculpture around here, I follow the Modern Art Trail map and see it all, from Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman to Giles Penny’s Two Men On A Bench and Morag Myerscough’s Sun Pavilion. The Summer Lights exhibition adds so much colour to the area — there are rainbow brights around every corner! I love that you’re surrounded by so much water here, too — it’s unique to have that in London and I find it so calming. 
My husband arrives and we head to Humble Grape — a wine bar that’s right across the water from our apartment and stocks over 400 organic, biodynamic and natural wines.
Ready for dinner, we wander over to Crossrail Place where Friday night vibes are in full force up at Pergola on the Wharf! There’s a DJ booming tunes, colourful cocktails are making their way to tables and the food smells delicious. It’s a waste-free restaurant concept full of plants and greenery, and the menu is sectioned into Earth, Land and Sea. We lean into Earth — the charred cauliflower with satay dressing is my favourite. 
After a busy day, it’s time to call it a night so we take a longer route back to Newfoundland through Jubilee Park and along the twinkling water edge. We make mint tea, take a shower and call it a night. After a year of lockdowns, sleeping in another bed (however close to home!) still feels like a novelty.
We wake up and instantly clock the view — I wish I could always wake up to a sunny skyline vista! We make coffee before strolling over to The Ivy on the Park. I love being able to walk everywhere around here. 
We’ve scored a good table at The Ivy in the Park and I’ve got a pot of coffee and a beetroot juice to kick things off. I deliberate over the menu for a good 10 minutes before settling on smoked salmon on rye. Delicious! I see other tables ordering mimosas and make a note to come back here with the girls for cocktails.
We walk off our full tummies with a stroll in the sunshine through Cabot Place. There’s a much more leisurely Saturday morning pace today and I contemplate a spot of ping pong — I love the graphic, Kelly Anna-designed ping pong tables! We pass up the ping pong and settle on some retail therapy at Space NK instead. I replace a few empties and splurge on an amazing-smelling candle as a souvenir to take home. 
I finish up my staycay as I started by getting a little headspace, this time on Wood Wharf. This is probably my favourite area — it’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle with a gorgeous waterside walkway that has benches and beautiful flora attracting all kinds of birds and bees. The Summer Lights ‘Out of the Cocoon' butterfly installation by Amberlights fits in perfectly! I sit and soak it all up, trying to spot different birds, before reluctantly heading home.
Plan your trip to Canary Wharf and discover more here.


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