AREA GUIDE: Canary Wharf
Suits, stilettos and skyscrapers. That’s Canary Wharf in a nutshell right? So what kind of pram-pushing maniac would even consider doing battle with the bankers to venture into the concrete jungle?
Well, we would. And here’s five reasons why:
1. Outdoor Space
Nestled between the iconic HSBC tower, One Canada Square and JP Morgan are actually a surprising number of very pretty mini parks and green spaces. Water features, winding pathways, the works. So when the weather’s nice it’s a very pleasant place to be.
Yes Canary Wharf is typically very “male” which might understandably put some mamas off settling down to give their baby a mouthful of boob, but I breastfed and changed Theo there, right out in the open, and honestly no-one batted an eye. I even saw another mum doing the same thing and we shared what can only be described as an ‘eye five’. All the workers are too focused on their phones to notice!
2. Getting Around
Because the whole area is so new, compared to the rest of London, not only is everything clean and shiny but it means that the disabled access box has been well and truly ticked. Wide walkways and lifts from the tube, throughout the shopping malls and in the brand spanking new Crossrail Place (we’ll come to that in a moment) make buggy journeys a dream. Plus it’s on the Jubilee Line which – when forced to take the underground – would always be our tube-line of choice for ease of access. Drivers can get 3 hours free parking at weekends if you spend just £10 in any of the shops, cafes, bars or restaurants - just ask for your ticket to be validated.
No longer is Canary Wharf simply an isle of bankers, the construction of Crossrail has quickly turned it into a destination for many of our favourite restaurants and bars to set-up shop. Roka, Pizza Pilgrims, Tom’s Kitchen, Shake Shack, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Ippudo and The Breakfast Club to name but a few. Even Street Feast have moved in with the impressive eating and drinking rooftopia Giant Robot – a mega street food mothership for food, booze and panoramic views. We loved Yum Bun’s great value lunchtime Bun Box – 2 bao buns of choice, 2 crispy veg gyoza and crunchy Asian slaw for just £9.
Will you find cute baby boutiques or full maternity ranges in the shops around Canary Wharf? No, of course you won’t. But you will still find a huge range of shops that could certainly satisfy a sneaky bit of retail therapy or a Christmas shopping mission. With more than 120 stores across five malls (including Monica Vinader, Mango, Sweaty Betty, Zara and Waitrose Food Fashion and Home), this place gives Westfield a run for its money and is a damn sight quieter so gets our vote.
5. Riverside Relaxation
Trying to find an al fresco table for a glass of rose by the river on a sunny day in London can be a struggle…not if you’re in Canary Wharf. This could all change once Crossrail kicks off but, at the moment, choose a weekday and you could have your pick of sun-drenched spots outside the many riverside bars and eateries. Big Easy has a completely non-smoking outdoor terrace that’s definitely worth stopping by.
For more information about Canary Wharf click here