Now breathe…a few quiet outdoor spots in the city

Mount Street Gardens is just behind one of London’s glitziest shopping streets lined with Lanvin, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs et al. You can bet your bottom dollar you won’t see a free line of benches like this during the week – you’ll be jostling with all the hedgies. But lo – come the weekend it’s dead as a dodo. You could even play frisbee in here – now try that in Soho Square on a sunny Saturday afternoon! Accessed from South Audley Street and Mount Street, W1.

Postman’s Park in the City houses the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice – a ceramic wall displays the names of those who have died saving others. Only a few minutes walk from the throng around St Paul’s. Find it between Little Britain, Aldersgate St and King Edward Street, EC4.

St Dunstan’s Garden – this medieval church was devastated in WWII leaving the bare bones of the structure left. The ruins have evolved into a memorable garden which is truly deserted at the weekend due to its remote City location. If you still need to come down a peg or two after a visit here you could nip into the Wren Clinic in the tower next door for some TLC. The Wren ClinicIdol Lane London EC3R 5DD.

St Dunstan in the East Church Garden, St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC4. Open all year, bar Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – from dawn to dusk.