Reclaiming beaches and looking around old hotels

Top weekend! On Saturday, we checked out several Solstice Parties before ending up near Waterloo for the superb Reclaim the Beach party. This takes place on the banks of the River Thames (underneath the Festival Hall) on the patch of sand when the tide is out. So, from midnight to 5am, up to a thousand revellers enjoyed the free party – drinking, dancing and relaxing on beach towels in the darkness. It was a fantastic night, and thankfully the police didn’t bother trying to break up this highly illegal – but fun! – gathering of peaceful ravers. Miss the next one at your peril!

Next day, we checked out the truly breathtaking Midland Grand Hotel, in front of St Pancras railway station. Closed as a hotel since 1935, the building is an absolute marvel of High Victorian architecture, with its fading, crumbling glory adding to the mystery and melancholy of the place. Get there quick before it turns into yuppie flats!