On 29 February Do One Of These Things A Londoner Would Never Do

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 29 months ago
On 29 February Do One Of These Things A Londoner Would Never Do

It's a leap year and there's an extra day in 2020 — one bonus day in your life as a Londoner. Why not use it to do something distinctly un-Londony. Something like this:

1. Get your picture with a floating Yoda

Bet never you have this before done

Something that surely no Londoner has ever done, although we have chatted to a few floating Yodas ourselves, who, over a can of Red Stripe, revealed that it's not as lucrative as it used to be. While getting your picture taken, ask them how they're pulling off this amazing illusion of floating, preferably in pidgin Yodaspeak: "Name how in god's do this you do trick?". Pretty sure they'll absolutely love that.

2. Eat at an Angus Steakhouse

You know you want to. Image: Angus Steakhouse

Best described by David Mitchell as "rarer than the Siberian tiger" and "all that we have left of a proud heritage of serving shoe leather with béarnaise sauce to neon-addled out-of-towners," you only ever fall for an Angus Steakhouse once. If you'd not yet had that pleasure, then the last day of February is the time to be wooed by that red light district-esque glow, order a very OK ribeye and have the whole of Leicester Square ogle you through your floor-to-ceiling glass cage as if you're a... well, Siberian tiger.

Dessert is served. Image: James FitzGerald

For dessert, we recommend a cup of those sweet-smelling nuts that are always being flogged on the South Bank and nearby bridges. We've all enjoyed nasal freebies of that honeyed aroma, but never actually purchased any because... well we're Londoners, right. As for getting to that Angus Steakhouse, we've got an idea...

3. Ride the tube between Covent Garden and Leicester Square

Image: Shutterstock

It is, famously, the most pointless tube journey on the network. But on 29 February, let's raise the number of people doing this utterly useless run from 254 to 254,000. It'll wreak havoc with TfL's open data, and quite probably jam up the entire Piccadilly line, prompting major knock-on effects at Heathrow, and bringing international flights into unmitigated chaos. It'll be fun. Or, of course, you could splash out even more money and...

4. Take a black cab

We're all for the black cab, an icon on wheels driven by hippocampus-swollen geniuses who know more about London than we ever will. These days, an increasing number of black cabs run off electric, so even Greta can get one when she's over for a protest. But honestly, how many times have we actually hailed a black cab? We could count it on one hand finger. This 29 February, take a cheeky ride and ask your driver if they've ever had that Thunberg girl in the back of their cab.

5. Ride the cable car

You know you want to. Image: TfL

It is certainly not considered cool to be a fan of the Emirates Airline, or even to have ridden it — part of which might be down to your particular belief that it's a shameless vanity project dreamt up by a former mayor who blah blah blah. But if it's a heavenly-lit, Turner-esque 29 February, who knows, many you'll enjoy it — especially if you eschew the wildly overpriced Champagne Flights, and Fleabag it instead. Warning: there is — outrageously, we might add — no Angus Steakhouse in North Greenwich OR the Royal Docks.

6. Buy a Princess Di shot glass

If you're a Londoner, then you probably don't spend much time on Oxford Street. Even when you do, you probably march right past the (sometimes tax-dodging) emporiums announced by Union Flag suitcases and King Jong Un party masks. Make this leap day one filled with Beatles condoms and I Heart London ashtrays. And may we recommend to sir/madam the royal section of any given shop, where you'll find a cornucopia of solar-powered Queens, Prince Andrew pizza cutters*; and an entire subsection of boozewear including Diana and Princess Charlotte shot glasses.

You may wish to nurse your 1 March hangover with a cup of Harry and Meghan tea. If you think they deserve it.

7. Be available (without your friends having to book you three months in advance)

"I've had this sandwich in the diary since last September..." Image: Shutterstock

Just keep your Saturday free, totally free. No drinks plans, no gym, no bingeing sessions of The Witcher. Just sit there and wait. And if no one calls, then congratulations, you're doing something else that no other Londoner ever does... absolutely nothing.


Last Updated 21 February 2020