A drink on the fifth floor balcony at the Festival Hall on the Southbank, London

If you’re looking for a great place to meet up with friends for an afternoon/evening drink/picnic, I can warmly recommend the fifth floor balcony at the Royal Festival Hall, located on the Southbank near Hungerford bridge.

We met up on the terrace for a friend’s birthday, tucked into the snacks we’d brought along while I happily downed a delicious Welsh ale or three.

No one seemed bothered that we’d brought along our own food and drink, so it turned out to be a very pleasant and very affordable way to spend a few hours in the centre of town.

Free and open to all, you can feel like you’re looking out of your own milllionaire’s penthouse suite, as you gaze across the Thames and watch the world go by.

One thing: the balcony is sometimes hired out for corporate shindigs, so it might be worth checking wha’g’wan before you set off for an evening’s imbibing on the terrace.

[Southbank website]