London comes alive in the sunshine and there is something for everyone. Every rooftop bar, garden and swimming pool is open from the very beginning to the very end of summer, and stays open, whatever the weather. And if it rains… well that’s just British summertime for you. We don’t need to tell you about the sites (we’re assuming you know about those already), we’re here to share why we love our capital in the sunshine (and yes, one of those reasons does involve bottomless popcorn…)
THE OUTDOOR CULTURE
The Rooftop Film Club takes cinema up a level (quite literally – to the roof!). Snuggle up on red and white striped deckchairs and watch the sunset before the film starts. From the classic Dirty Dancing, to the recently acclaimed A Star Is Born, this cinema has a genre for all. Experience an unforgettable evening with a rooftop view, delicious cocktails and bottomless popcorn. Yes, you heard us, bottomless.
An absolutely breathtaking London landmark, this outdoor theatre will provide you with an evening you will never forget. Opt for the very back row – the tickets are good value, the view is second to none and lastly, and MOST importantly, you can sneak in the remnants of your picnic including that second bottle of rosé. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the play being shown this summer so grab your tickets now.
Nothing screams the start of summer like an outdoor swimming pool, and Londoners complaining about the weather being ‘too hot’ (you know who you are). For the brave, all-year-round swimmers, try the Brockwell or Tooting Lido. Once you’ve had your swim, the surrounding park is a glorious place to spend the rest of your day. And if you’re a fair-weather swimmer, like us, then the Hampton Pool is the one for you. A beautiful, heated outdoor pool suitable for all ages. Once a month, they host a ‘Moonlight Swim’ which we’ve heard is pretty spectacular, provided the weather holds up.
THE AL FRESCO DINING
If you feel the need to leave the hustle and bustle of central London, take a trip to this hidden oasis. Their café is filled with fresh, summer-flavoured foods and the best part? You get to eat it in a stunning greenhouse surrounded by exotic plants and (hopefully!) sunshine. After all that cake, take a stroll around Richmond Park to get rid of that guilty feeling… And if you can’t get in, try the Dysart Arms next door, deemed to have one of the best Sunday lunches in London (and we would know).
This weekend market is the perfect place to chill on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The choice of food is phenomenal, if a little too extensive for those of us who suffer from indecisiveness. The espresso from Craft Coffee is just a little bit of heaven, teamed with a giant macaroon and you may as well be in Paris. However, the star of the show has to be Finest Fayre’s Scotch Egg – how British are we?
So, we know it’s not ‘technically’ al fresco dining, but we had to slip one of our favourite restaurants in here. As the name alludes, this little corner street haven is famous for its fresh pasta and exciting wines. The exposed brick interior and buzzy atmosphere make it an extremely popular Friday night place. We recommend the Truffle Taglierini as it is – in simple terms – just WOW.
We’re obsessed with this chic boutique located on New Kings Road. If you are looking for brands that the whole of London isn’t wearing, then Katie & Jo are your gals. And they even sell our FAVOURITE eco-friendly water bottle brand – the famous Chilly’s Bottles. Treat yourself to a bright orange one, or even one with avocadoes on! Grab brunch at Hally’s and pop next door to Deuxieme – great designer finds for a fraction of the price. Because who doesn’t love a bargain?
Located in Wandsworth, Pom London stocks beautiful up and coming brands, as well as the on-trend items people are craving. We’ve been dreaming of the Castañer embroidered pears wedge espadrilles ever since they arrived. And we know we’re biased, but they look FAB with a pair of our Olivera Gold Hoops (also sold there…!)
Situated in the newly built Coal Drops Yard, this immense store with its huge windows, high arches and old brickwork used to be a nightclub… Now it has been crafted into a beautiful shop filled with all our favourite things. We particularly love the gorgeous printed silks made by Libelula – jazzy, super flattering and unbelievably comfy. Once you’ve exhausted yourself shopping, grab a snack at one of the many, independent food trucks that line the entrance. We can firmly say that the burgers are to die for.
Image credits: rooftopfilmclub.com, londontown.com, suitcasemag.com, herblester.com, islingtongazette.co.uk, chillysbottles.com, castaner.com, wolfandbadger.com