While winter still feels like it’s lingering longer than it should, today is the Spring Equinox, marking the start of the season. Not only that but 20th March coincides with International Day of Happiness – a day to share happiness and be part of something wonderful. So we thought we’d share the top five things in our area that make us happy on a day to day basis, for International Day of Happiness and every other day we spend in Midtown.
1. Leather Lane Street Market
While the name of this street marks it’s history, there’s no longer any leather to be found in the area. Nestled between Farringdon Road and Gray’s Inn Road, Leather Lane‘s weekday market has been operating for over 400 years. Stroll through the area on a lunch-time and you’ll see swathes of workers searching for a satisfying lunch – and they’ll certainly find it too, with stalls and shops aplenty that will meet pretty much every culinary requirement. Check out Grill My Cheese, Daddy Donkey, Pieminister and Kin.
2. Fenner Brockway Statue
Fenner Brockway spent most of WW1 in prison after refusing to enlist on the grounds of being a pacifist. Around the time of the war, “conscientious objectors” were handed white feathers as a sign of cowardice. Allegedly, Fenner, who went onto become a labour MP and campaigner, used to say that he had enough white feathers to make a fan. His statue stands in Red Lion Square and is easily one of the jolliest little statues in the whole of London. Brockway looks positively delighted and it never fails to make us smile.
3. Cittie of York Pub
As one of the top “Olde Pubs in London”, the Cittie of York seems to be historically very confused. The Londonist describes the pub as “firmly rooted in the Victorian, built in Edwardian times, a pub site since medieval days, and with a Tudor disregard for spelling” and that says a lot about how much this brilliant pub has to offer. It’s a cosy, comfy place to hang out at Beer O’Clock and has tonnes of eye-catching details – from the great iron fireplace in the centre of the room and the wooden beam ceiling. Happiness can usually be found in here with friends, colleagues and a nice cold pint, especially if they open the semi-secret beer garden in the summer months.
4. THATMuse at the British Museum
THATMuse (which stands for Treasure Hunt at the Museum) offers visitors to the British Museum the chance to scout for treasure amongst the museum’s art, injecting adrenaline, interaction and learning into their experience. The concept is simple – teams are given a list of clues and are sent to “scrutinise a Mesopotamian Lion Hunt, find a Roman girl playing Knucklebones” and search for “famous folk like Ginger (the Gebelein Mummy) & the Lindow Man (a Roman who met with a grisly end in 1st century Britain)”. Spending time with loved ones is a sure fire way to increase your happiness – especially when you’re all doing something wildly fun like this.
5. Exercise at GYMBOX
We all know that exercise makes us happy, so if you’re in search of some endorphins on this International Day of Happiness, there are few better places to find them than in the gym. Head to Gymbox at Farringdon or in Holborn to try Bike and Beats (high intensity spinning class where the lights are dimmed low and the music jacked up), Muay Thai (including defensive and offensive kicking and elbowing skills) or a House of J dance class.