“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June”…
While each season holds its own compelling charms, there’s really nothing like the beauty of a British summer, blissfully experienced in London. From languid lunches outdoors to Aperol o’ clock with a view, here’s the best of what could be over the next few months…
… I believe they call it al fresco?
If you know where to look, you can see that all of London is a garden in full bloom – from the très chic Ivy Chelsea to Scott’s summer terrace in Mayfair, designed by none other than Victoria Beckham in a nod to Vita Sackville-West’s “White Garden” at Sissinghurst Castle.
Particularly inviting spots include the rustic cafes of colourful Neal’s Yard, which boast enough outdoor seating to have you topping up your summer tan. In nearby Covent Garden, Petersham Nurseries has opened not one, but two restaurants spilling out into the open air Floral Court. To level with you, the food is not particularly memorable, nor as transporting as the enchanting surrounds… but all told the setting does make for an afternoon idly well spent, particularly if cocktails are involved!
Bar-hop across London’s rooftops
Speaking of which, cocktail hour certainly calls for many heady visits to the city’s rooftop drinking destinations. My current go-to is The Rumpus Rooms at the Mondrian at Sea Container’s, where you can sink back against rattan swing chairs whilst drinking in views of St Paul’s and the river too!
Aqua Kyoto continues to hold buzzworthy status. Transformed in collaboration with Tanqueray Gin, its summer “Lovage” terrace embraces a Japanese-meets-English garden aesthetic, complete with a tranquil water feature and floral draped swing!
Oh and then there’s Alto, the new rooftop restaurant at Selfridges on Oxford Street helmed by the ever-stylish San Carlo Group. It’s a breezy spot for Aperol o’ clock, especially when you need to flee the madding crowd out for a bargain in the summer sales… (More on where to to eat & drink whilst shopping here, here).
Hustle Your Way Into White City House
Of course, while it’s all-too-easy to continue harping on about the city’s thrilling rooftop bars, where you really need to find your way to is the latest outpost of Soho House in White City, West London. Taking over the former BBC Television Centre, the private members’ space is a palm-studded paradise with its own Palm Springs-inspired rooftop pool and an Electric cinema in the basement!
On the subject of elevated film experiences, Secret Cinema are presenting Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of Romeo + Juliet in a top-secret outdoor location, which will recreate the dazzling world of Verona Beach! Expect live bands, DJs, choirs, artists and lots of debauchery! More details on their website, here.
Experience summer in Shakespearean style this August. Secret Cinema Presents William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Tickets available now In bio. #SecretSummer #RomeoAndJuliet #YoungHearts #outdoorcinema #immersivetheatre #immersivecinema #summer #bazluhrmann #londonnights #londonevents #summerinlondon
The River Stage Festival is also set to return to The National Theatre, with five weekends packed with a mix of theatre, drag, DJs, family fun, contemporary dance, outdoor cinema and live music acts. The festival is free to enter and also features a stellar line-up of food and drink – from craft beers and organic wines on draft, to grilled cheese toasties, wood fired pizzas and heaps of ice cream (including vegan versions!).
13 July – 12th August | nationaltheatre.org.uk
Taste of London
As if I’d forget to mention the foodie event of the
Over 40 of London’s best restaurants are all set to make an appearance in Regent’s Park – from the Michelin-starred stalwarts to the terrifically trendy eateries you’d otherwise have to queue up for! There’s also going to be a fire pit for BBQ demos, an artisan market, Champagne Club House and tasting menus curated and delivered by the city’s favourite chefs!
13 – 17 June 2018 | More details on their website, here.
Taste of Summer
It’s also time to embrace an ice cream diet, fuelled by the beguiling likes of macaron ice cream sammiches and taiyaki (fish shaped waffle cones piled high with matcha soft serve!). But of course, when it truly comes down to it, there’s nothing as pleasurable as the sight of a Mr. Whippy on a hot summer’s afternoon…
When you simply can’t choose just the one @YolkinMacIce ! If you missed it, our favourite macaron ice cream sandwich makers have set down permanent roots @thisissoho @chinatownlondon… Expect captivating colours, creative flavours and an all-round E X P L O S I O N of sugar! #Yolkin #MacaronIceCreamSandwiches #SummerDiet #TheFoodieDiariesLondon
The colours of summer are also well worn in the minty green hues of Lina Stores’ Wes Anderson-esque ode to pasta on Greek Street, not to mention the pastel tones at London’s latest instagram sensation, Feya cafe… More on London’s new & noteworthy openings, here.
You can and should take advantage of a gloriously sunny day to discover the hidden gems brimming in the quiet corners of London, such as St Kats Docks.
Discover the magic of @StKatsDocks on the blog today // Tucked away right by Tower Bridge, central London’s only marina is a hidden gem bursting with a thrilling mix of drinking & dining destinations… Expect contemporary Basque cuisine, award-winning coffee, ethereally-framed foraged plates … and more! Follow the link in my bio to discover The Docks. #StKatsDocks #LondonByLondoners #PrettyCityLondon #TheFoodieDiariesLondon
Sheltered in the shade of the Tower of London, London’s only marina is a treasure trove of intimate cafés and quirky establishments, set tranquilly amidst yachts and vessels (including the Royal Barge Gloriana and the Thames Barge). You can feast on anything and everything here, from sun-filled tapas (at celebrated chef Victor Garvey’s Bravas Tapas), to most fascinating rendition of avocado toast yet (at Dokke)! Full Guide to St Katharine Docks, here.
And When It Inevitably Rains…
This being London – rain, thunder and lightening strikes are all pretty much inevitable at some point in the summer. Luckily, silver linings are in no short supply with this summer showcasing a spectacular line-up on the art, cultural and fashion front at the city’s most iconic museums.
From Azzedine Alaïa’s scuptural creations to the recently-discovered contents of Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe, here are the unmissable exhibits to complete your summer bucket list!
Find more on a Foodie’s Guide to Visiting London, here.
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