I was meeting my friend Nico for lunch. He had a business meeting beforehand at the PwC offices in London.

“How about the Oxo Tower?” He suggested. “Or Le Pont de la Tour?”

He was paying, but I didn’t fancy any of those very expensive places, though they are very nice.

Instead I told him to walk a few steps down the road to Hays Galleria, one of London’s best kept secrets. I always feel my spirits lifting each time I step into Hays’ high arches.  Here, you can indulge in shopping with a difference: there is a small number of craft stalls selling delightful gifts such as amber necklaces and hand-woven scarves.



I wandered along the riverbank for a bit, and feeling hungry (which I always do), I sat down at Bagel Factory for a donut and tea (for £2.49). It was so nice that I ordered a second donut (for 99p). At last, somewhere in London where the prices are not astronomical!

As I was buying cute t-shirts for his sons, he came rushing to me, full of apologies for being late. I didn’t mind waiting at all. We went for a lovely lunch at the Horniman by the riverside, at a fraction the cost of Le Pont or Oxo Tower.


So if you are ever in London, do visit Hays Galleria. I love it.