Our wonderful Ambassadors are back on the streets of the Northbank, welcoming visitors to the area whilst adhering to social distancing measures. We caught up with Ambassador Team Leader Mariana to find out about the best places in the Northbank, as well as the changes that have been implemented for our visitors’ safety.
1. Since you’ve returned to the area, what changes have you seen as a result of Covid-19?
The Northbank team has implemented Covid-19 measures across the entire Strand, Aldwych and Trafalgar Square area, including the installation of hand sanitizer stations and social distancing signage. We have been ensuring that people returning to the area for work or leisure are following the government guidelines, while also supporting businesses as they reopen.
We’ve seen businesses supporting one another more than ever before. From helping each other with advice to just sharing their thoughts and experiences, we’ve seen a real unity in the area.
The Westminster Trade Parking Permits are another useful initiative, helping businesses to trade and welcome their customers back. It’s also been great to see beautifully decorated tables and chairs along the street and people enjoying their meals in the sun, making the area feel positive and lively.
During the quieter period, our planters on Villiers Street, Agar Street and Wellington Street grew, which has improved our healthy living areas and put a smile on the faces of our regular visitors!
2. What can visitors get up to in the local area?
The Northbank offers a wide range of activities and sights to see. Starting from Trafalgar Square all the way down to Temple Church, you’ll find a lot of history and hidden gems.
We recently saw the opening of a new playground in Victoria Embankment Gardens, where kids can have fun and parents can enjoy a coffee. Somerset House hosts events, exhibitions and even music festivals – at the moment you can visit The Mushrooms exhibition: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi, curated by Francesca Gavin. The River Terrace has breath-taking views across the Thames and is the perfect location for a reception party or a glass of champagne with a friend.
The area usually hosts huge summer events. The West End LIVE show takes place in Trafalgar Sqaure and sees the cast of London’s hottest shows performing in front of thousands of spectators, showcasing the best of the London stage. We also host the Pride Parade in June, which is the UK’s biggest and most diverse parade celebrating gender diversity and self acceptance. Due to the pandemic, both of these events went online this year – but they’ll be back in Summer 2021, bigger and better than ever before.
3. Do you have any favourite spots to grab a bite?
We have plenty of different places with a good selection of food! I would definitely recommend 50 Kalo pizzeria, which serves authentic Naples pizza and is included in Italy’s Michelin Guide.
Frankie & Benny’s restaurant would be another recommendation for families, with a kids menu and gluten free options, an outside eating space and a spacious dining area inside.
Head to Honest Burger for their British burger and famous rosemary chips. They also have an outdoor dining space on Southampton Street.
I would definitely recommend Gordon’s Wine Bar: they offer a selection of award-winning wines and great food, including sharing boards, snacks and home-made food which includes 15 different types of cheese! You can enjoy an alfresco experience in their outdoor seating area – the terrace is by Victoria Embankment Gardens, away from the busy street.
4. Do you have any advice for people wishing to visit the area?
My only advice would be don’t hesitate to come and visit Northbank! We have plenty of things to do, from a nice river walk on Victoria Embankment where you can visit the Obelix, to reading your book in the gardens, with a river view and green space. You can visit Trafalgar Square, which is coming back to life: more people are coming to see our talented buskers on the North Terrace.
Covent Garden is just around the corner, which is getting busier every day. You can also enjoy some shopping, with massive discounts at Next and Topshop stores. Our range of bars and restaurants have a good offer on food and drinks, welcoming you with a big smile and impressing you with exceptional customer service. Outdoor space and the weather will set the vibe.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Northbank!