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Life Around the Map

A Roof With a View

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 30 September 2014 | Views [1461]

The 360 degree view of the skyline of London at sunset was absolutely free. Lights twinkled, the cool crisp air tickled my skin, and my breath fogged slightly in the air, just enough to give the deep resonating sense that fall had arrived.

The rooftop was empty save a handful of others gathered to watch a free showing of "Hot Millions" on the roof of the CLF Art Cafe in Bussey building. As it is the year of the bus, TFL and British Airways waived the normal entry charge (9-13 pounds), allowing a chance for budget-conscious romantics to enjoy the experience of a film by starlight.

One of the stunning rooftop views.One of the stunning rooftop views.

Far different from a bland cinema outing, this experience is invigorating and romantic. Climbing up five full flights of stair containing everything from a yoga studio to office rooms, you reach the top deck, which is divided into two sides. One side hosts a rooftop bar and burger stand, and the other is home to one of the Rooftop Film Clubs. Both have thrilling views of London as the sun sinks gracefully behind the skyline, leaving a rainbow of warm hues as the backdrop for the evening. Show up early to grab a fresh drink and a succulent burger (there is even a mushroom burger available for vegetarians) while the sun sets.

Headphones on and ready for the show to start!Headphones on and ready for the show to start!

When sufficiently satiated with the skyline (as if it were possible!), head over to grab headphones, a blanket, and some popcorn or candies for the show. It may be an old classic, a new hit, or a fringe film, but it doesn't matter: you are on a rooftop, in southern London, under the stars! Cozy up next to a loved one or simply enjoy the shared experience and memory with friends and family. Listen to fellow crowd members laugh, watch them conduct along with the music (yes, this was witnessed multiple times!), and hear the casual commentary of the audience. Stand up to stretch, take a picture (or twenty) of the rooftop view, grab more snacks or a cocktail or two. Shiver ever so softly in the cool night air. Count the stars. The possibilities never end.

But above all, breathe in the life emanating from the city, embrace the tranquility amid the bustle. Maybe it is the chill in the air sharpening your awareness, or the result of a drink too many, but feel your life deep deep down in places you had forgotten.

Remember. Remember who you are, remember where you are,  and remember where you are headed.

Tags: clf art cafe, date night, london, romance, roof, rooftop film club, sunset, view

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