What Does £100 Buy You In London?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 12 months ago
What Does £100 Buy You In London?

London is frequently dismissed as a prohibitively expensive city. A coffee will cost you a fiver, they say. A travel card will cost you an arm and a leg. A London property will cost you the death of a rich old magnanimous uncle with a property in London.

Surely a measly £100 won't get you far in this day and age? Well, yes and no.

£100 will buy you eight minutes on a helicopter. Photo: IanVisits.

Travel

£100 won't even get you close to a month's worth of tube travel in zone 1 — you'll be £24.40 over budget [pdf]. However, if you don't care much for venturing into the centre of London, you can pooter about zones 2-3; 3-4; 4-5; or 5-6 for the month, and still have £6.60 in change. Or get a monthly bus and tram pass for £81.50, and have an emergency Uber fare left over.

If you had the inclination, you could shuttle across the Thames between Marble House and Ham House on Hammertons Ferry exactly 100 times. Or ping back and forth for free on the Woolwich Ferry, spending your dosh on 40 bottles of local brew Hop Stuff Pale Ale.

The Woolwich Ferry: you can afford to get very drunk on here. You're probably not allowed to though. Photo: Hilly.

Otherwise book a BMW 2 Series Convertible Auto for £59, and screech around London for the day like a minted lunatic, throwing 11 eight pound notes and a one pound coin out the window. (Or be responsible and use the £41 to refill the tank.)

Unfortunately, standard 12-minute helicopter tours above London set you back £150. Have a word with the pilot, and see if they'll let you do eight minutes for £100.

£100 gets you 0.04% of Barry from EastEnders.

Entertainment

The West End's got pricey. But your £100 might get you further than you think. One of the best deals is the Donmar Warehouse's weekly release of £10 tickets. In theory, your money will get you and nine of your friends into a quality play. (You can only book a pair of tickets each though.)

And if you wanted seats for blockbuster Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? With the swishest Potter tickets at £95 per part, you could only afford to watch 0.52% of the entire saga. We're not sure the theatre would agree to let you in for a fraction of the second half, on the condition you quickly kicked yourself out again. Try your luck with the £40 ballot. That'll get you into both halves of the show AND you can afford to watch it another one and a half times.

You can JUST afford the best seat in the house here. Photo: eon60.

Arsenal FC has the dubious honour of being London's, and the UK's, most expensive football team to watch. As a non-member parking yourself in the best seats in the house, you'll scrape by on £100, with exactly enough left to get you a programme. Alternatively, watch Harrow Borough FC play 10 times.

As for the cinema, go and watch four movies at The Lounge in Bayswater, or 20 at Peckhamplex (with 20p change). Depends how much you value legroom.

Like to rent a real-life London celeb? Treat yourself to 0.04% of Barry from EastEnders (excluding petrol), or buy four personal videos from Boycie off of Only Fools and Horses.

Food and drink

Cheap, delicious food is abundant in London. Your £100, will get you 400 plain beigels from Brick Lane's Beigel Bake — enough to keep you going for a good few months.

What will your 100 smackers get you at the higher end of the culinary spectrum? A three-course à la carte menu from Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester (one of the capital's priciest joints) will cost you £95. Which leaves you with no wine funds, and a below-par tip. You'll just about get away with it, as long as you don't return anytime soon.   

As for booze: go for 38 pints of Brodie's at William IV in Walthamstow (it was £2.60 a pint last time we checked). Or get 0.01 of a flute of the world's most expensive cocktail from Gigi's in Mayf... oh hang on, it's permanently closed. Wonder why.

Accommodation

Cheap accommodation in London? you say. Impossible, you say. You can't have heard of Crystal Palace Caravan Club site. Prices here start from £26.50 for two adults. That means as long as you have someone to snuggle up to, your £100 will buy you seven nights in London AND you'll have pocket money for Calor Gas.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to have a receptionist laugh in your face, try to book a room at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park with your £100. The cheapest room is £540 a night, which means you can afford just under four and a half hours of sleep/something else before someone rudely knocks on the door.  

As for buying... according to these figures for first-time buyers, for £100 you could be the lucky owner of 0.00009% of a property in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Or, in far more affordable Barking and Dagenham, you could be showing your envious friends around 0.00035% of a house. That's, what, half a light switch?

Last Updated 04 August 2017