Now, this is not an everyday occurrence, to be honest it’s not even a regular occurrence. However, sometimes London does get hot – very hot. Over the last few weeks it has been scorching, and we mean rip off all your clothes in the middle of the street and have an ice bath scorching, and like true Brits, we’ve been complaining about it.
The city hardly has any air so it’s muggy and intense – but, what can you do to enjoy this phenomenon I hear you say?! Well, after living in London for a combined amount of over 50 years (yes that makes us feel old!) we have a few tips to help you out.
Hyde Park and the Diana Memorial
Now, Hyde Park is the biggest green space in Central London and London’s answer to Central Park, NYC. Wedged between South Kensington, Marylebone, Oxford Street and Pimlico (you can’t get more central than that…) it is a must go for any picnic or sun bathing activity you have planned!
There is an abundance of things to do in Hyde Park, from rowing on the Serpentine, to relaxing on the deck chairs and eating in a handful of outlets. However, our favourite pass time is paddling in the Diana Memorial fountain. It was built in remembrance of Princess Diana after her heart-breaking death in 1997 (we still remember watching the coverage on a tiny little television with our grandparents). It is a man-made stream with water running around dipping into little pools and rushing over waterfalls. It’s not deep but the perfect placed to paddle, watching the children of London frolic and people setting up for all day picnics.
But, if you’re feeling really brave, they also corner off an area of the Serpentine itself where you can experience fully submerged swimming with the fishes. However, the memorial is enough for us these days! Algae extensions were so 2005.
Roof Top Bars
We went on a press trip recently with IN Adventures Travel and we found out on the first evening there was a wine tasting, you can imagine our delight. After showing that delight to our fellow sailors we were met with “that’s what the British do best right!?”. Now, we’re not saying we resent the comment but we weren’t exactly thrilled with it either. We can do more than drink, as Huge Grant pointed out in Love Actually “we created Harry Potter and David Beckham right foot.” But, then we came to realise maybe we are all so fond of a cold glass of rosé because we have so many amazing places to do said drinking in London, and furthermore because the places coming up are so amazing we don’t want to leave. This theory is a work in progress but it has legs!
Here’s our top four…
Madisons, Radio Roof Top, Pergola Paddington and Franks.
Walk along the Southbank
The Southbank is one of our favourite places in London and yes, it is the place in London with all the food. The Southbank is a strip which runs along the river from Lambeth Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge and it is full of restaurants and food stalls, street artists performing magic and nearly every type of dance you could imagine. The ‘vibe’ in this part of town is amazing, it is infectious and it lights you up. You will never see an unhappy face on the Southbank – unless they have just found out they can’t get tickets to the amazing shows performed at the Southbank Centre, or Underbelly is full and they have to unfortunately pick from one of the other hundred bars along the river.
There’s nothing here which is a must do or serious attraction, it’s simply the whole place. Have wander, take in the sights and take your time. This is probably the only place in London where people don’t walk a million miles an hour.
Milk Train for an extraordinary Ice Cream
Would it be a blog by us if there wasn’t a food recommendation? Well, the answer is no, and you can thank us for this one later. Ice cream is amazing, everyone knows that and if your someone who ‘doesn’t understand the attraction’ or complains that ‘the cold hurts your teeth’… off you go, you are no longer welcome here.
Now, we have a simple question; have you ever had an ice cream with a cloud of candy floss around the outside? We thought not. Well this is going to be a treat for you. Only a hop, skip and jumper over the river away from Southbank, down a little side street is a Aladdin’s cave for ice cream. They have everything from blueberry to honeycomb, with an even bigger selection of sprinkles (including Oreo – we know dreamy right) and to top it all off you can opt for a cloud of candy floss to surround the whole thing!
Top Tip: Eat it quickly. On a hot day, as was the day we were there, surprisingly ice cream melts fast – who would have thought!? So, get those snaps ASAP before the ice cream melts onto the candy floss because then you into a whole other world of problems which only a whole pack of wet-wipes and hand sanitiser will be able to fix. You can see the previous carnage on the floor as you walk up.
But, not it be missed.
OR head down to Dominique Ansel Bakery for whatever delicious treat they have going that day!
Columbia Flower Market
This is a pure treat and the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning (did we forget to say this is a purely Sunday activity? Maybe change those flights…?) It is situated in East London off Hackney Road and it is a dream for all the senses. The smells yes! The sights yes! Everything about it is a pure delight and it might actually be the second only place in London people don’t walk a million miles an hour.