Long gone are the days when Waterloo was thought of as just a station; today it has become a hub of activity, from food festivals and high-end dining to theatre shows and film festivals – and the odd Crossfit gym. If street food is more your thing, the neighbouring Southbank will keep you very busy, and full.
Cubana, SE1 7RG, Lower Marsh
0207 928 8778
Just in time for summer, Cubana has launched a great seasonal menu, the focus being on quality ingredients cooked in a healthy way. You’ll always find more traditional Cuban fare here, alongside a wide range of tapas, but for summer they’ve also added some great salad options. Lightly dressed, usually with a simple, non-calorific dressing, choose from fresh papaya and quinoa, avocado salad or a chef’s salad, featuring chargrilled chicken, free-range ham, avocado, free-range egg and Spanish goat’s cheese.
Greensmiths, SE1 7RG, Lower Marsh
0207 921 2970
This old school greengrocers has an army of fans coming in on a daily basis to choose from a wide variety of filling options. Not only does it serve the best meats, cheeses, coffee and other essentials, there’s an on-site kitchen constantly creating fresh salads, quiches, sandwiches and more. The best bit? They’re always generous when it comes to a free tasting, so make sure you visit during the Waterloo Food Festival, running throughout July!
Waterloo Food Festival
Throughout July, Waterloo comes alive with a huge range of food tastings, teachings and experiences. During your lunch break be sure to pop down for a sneaky spot of free sampling, and once you’ve finished for the day, book yourself in for some Make, Do & Mend Yourself classes, including some perfect summer salads. And there’s more; Waterloo doesn’t just go food-crazy one month out of the year; every weekday you can catch the best in international street food, from Sri Lankan to Italian, at the Lower Marsh Market.
Union Street Café, SE1 0BS, Great Suffolk St
0207 592 7977
If you haven’t visited this popular – and very booked-up – Gordon Ramsay location yet, summer is the perfect time. There’s a vibrant new menu, including a colourful tomato salad, chilled tomato soup and sea bream cooked with courgette and saffron. Just ask for the Spoilt for Summer menu and you can be sure you’ll be enjoying some healthier, altogether lighter fare.
Wearable technology is huge business right now, and Fitbit is the brand that’s leading the way, offering a wide range of activity trackers; you can go as in-depth as you like – analysing sleep and your heartbeat – or simply use one to closely monitor your daily exertions. Fitbit is a great option for those who barely get to grab an hour at lunchtime, as it’s all about monitoring anything, and everything, that you do manage to get done throughout the day. Even a 30-minute walk can have an impact, and it’s great for your heart, and mind, so why not monitor the health benefits along the way?
Classpass is a new kind of gym membership that allows you to access thousands of classes around the world. By signing up for a monthly membership you can begin to create your own schedule of classes, from Bikram yoga to a Beyonce dance class. Classpass allows you to visit the same studio up to three times in one month, depending on the plan you choose. So, simply put, the more you pay for your monthly membership, the more classes you can attend, all over London – even when you’re on holiday.
As Waterloo stretches between the Westminster and London Bridges on the south side of the river, it’s the perfect place to start a run, either on your lunch break or after work. All you need to get running is a solid pair of footwear that supports your feet in all the right places, breathable clothing and, if you’re motivated by music, a great activity playlist; Spotify has a brilliant running selection to keep you moving during those more challenging moments.