June is the month of rooftop bars and alfresco dining. It’s the month that you spend far too much money on cocktails and summer clothes. It’s the month that you’d quite like to be in a country with more consistent weather so you don’t have to pack an umbrella “just in case”. It’s the month that Londoners whinge and moan about the lack of aircon on the tube. But it’s also the month that Londoners go apeshit for beer gardens, Pimm’s and short shorts when the sun does come out, and that’s a pretty great thing to be a part of.
1. Stuff your face with cheese at Archie’s new summer terrace
On Saturday 3rd June, Archie’s, the South East sibling of Camden’s Cheese Bar and The Cheese Truck, is hosting a cheese fest of epic proportions. To celebrate the launch of their summer terrace, they’ll be serving up their signature grilled cheese sandwiches alongside lots of local craft beer. Gin sorbet maestros, Sloshed, will also be on hand to cleanse your palate, and live music and DJs will be there to get you dancing.
2. Drink gin on a floating bar in a floating park
Paddington’s Merchant Square has teamed up with top-class cocktail and dining spot, Lockhouse, to launch an exciting floating gin bar within London’s very first floating park. It opens on June 10th, which just so happens to be World Gin Day, and will serve an extensive range of amazing gins and gin cocktails using produce from the on-site herb garden. Located in Paddington Basin, the Botanical Bar is the perfect place for gin lovers to enjoy a delicious drink on a sunny summer’s evening.
3. Drink Negronis
Next week (5-11 June) is Negroni Week, and the only way to celebrate is, well, by drinking Negronis, of course.
4. Drink Negronis at an east end boozer
Take a look at the ground floor of The Ten Bells and you’ll see a typical east end boozer with people piling out onto the streets and barging their way to the bar. But, we’ll let you into a secret: if you head upstairs to their newly opened Milano Bar, you’ll find a slightly less bashful space, where they’re serving up Negronis, Spritzes and tasty Italian nibbles. Opt for a good old fashioned Aperol Spritz or a standard Negroni, or go for something a little different like a Negroni infused with Mi Lang tea (seriously, that’s a good one).
5. Drink coin-operated Negronis at Sisu
Tucked away behind a top secret entrance, you’ll find a Scandinavian-inspired nature reserve in the heart of Oxford Street. This rooftop oasis comes complete with mixed log tables to emulate those Nordic vibes, lots of leafy green plants, and heated concrete seats… because the summer may not be as hot as some of us would like. On top of this, Sisu have made a bespoke cocktail tap. Yes, you heard us correctly. Customers will be able to purchase tokens and dispense Negronis and Old Fashioneds as and when they please. Read more about it here.
6. Do some exercise at a swanky new gym
We’ve heard about Barry’s Bootcamp and 1Rebel, but there’s a new kid on the block and boy is he feisty! Metabolic London, the city’s newest functional training gym, promises to blow everyone else out of the water with the toughest fitness classes in the game. Founded by Lawrence Hannah, a big name in the London fitness scene and an ex-premier league hockey player, Metabolic London is launching in Mornington Crescent on June 7th. Its ethos is simple: no egos or fancy frills, just back-to-basics fitness that guarantees results.
7. Do some exercise and get covered in paint
The Color Run might just be the happiest 5k in the world. Expect live music, foam clouds and multicoloured paint fights. This event is literally just one giant party, so don’t expect to see any stern-faced, lycra-clad serious runners about. It doesn’t matter if you walk, run, skip, roly-poly or cartwheel your way around the course, because the event isn’t timed and nobody gives a donkey’s if you beat your PB. The Color Run kicks off in Wembley Park at 3pm on the 11th June. Get your tickets here.
8. Dine by the waterside
Pick a sunny day (and keep your fingers crossed) to dine at one of these beautiful waterside dining spots.
9. Wine down at Hackney’s pop-up vineyard
London Wine Week kicks off on Monday and, as part of the celebrations, a giant wine village is popping up in Bethnal Green from the 8-10 June. The event will see Oval Space transformed into a picturesque vineyard where you can try various vino from across Europe and mix it up with some apertivos on their sun-kissed terrace while DJs hit the decks with soul and disco. Get your tickets here.
10. Get the hell out of here
11. Get even further out of here
Seriously, just get on a plane. We found 5 holiday destinations with return flights for less than the cost of a theatre ticket.
12. Get cosy at an outdoor cinema
Tis the season to grab a blanket and watch your favourite films in the great outdoors. Here are the best open air cinemas in London this summer.
13. Never. Stop. Brunching.
And what better place to brunch than in a beautiful Mediterranean cabana surrounded by roses and wisteria? Positioned perfectly along the Thames, with smashing views of the city, Coppa Club is the perfect summer hotspot for the times when you’d quite like to be holidaying in Tuscany, but your bank account says “are you having a laugh?”. Sip on White Peach Sangrias and scoff your face with avocado on toast, and you’ll instantly find yourself in the most Instagrammable scenario ever created. Read more about their brunch offerings here.
14. Eat tacos on a rooftop
Brixton Rooftop has managed to pack all of our favourite things into one evening because, on the 8th June, and for the FIRST TIME EVER, London is throwing a taco festival… on a rooftop. (Yes, we know what you’re thinking. Why on earth has it taken this long for such an event to be thrown)? For one night only, June 8th, Brixton Beach Rooftop will be throwing an evening dedicated entirely to tacos. Headlined by legendary taqueria, DEL74, taco-lovers will have their fill of tacos, tequila, frozen margaritas and Red Stripe. A £10 ticket to the Taco Festival will get you a welcome drink and a trio of tacos. Find out more and get your tickets here.
15. Eat other things on other rooftops
Trust us, there are plenty available. One of our favourites is Skylight, East London’s answer to all your rooftop dreams. East London’s Tobacco Dock has been transformed into a 3-storey British urban lawn, otherwise known as a glorified carpark. Upon this lawn you’ll find all sorts of fun and revelry, including croquet lawns, pétanque courts (don’t worry, we Googled it — it’s a French version of boules), a raised ‘Blue Moon’ bar for staring at sunsets, and a sky terrace with stunning, unobstructed views of the city. Grab yourself a cocktail and feast on amazing street food from We Serve Humans, Yiro or Kapow! It has everything a Londoner could ask for: drinks, views and an epic number of stairs. The only thing it can’t promise is sunshine, but it’ll do it’s best. Although the croquet and pétanque games will come at a price, entry to Skylight will be totally free. The venue is open Thursday to Sunday until 11pm.
16. VOTE VOTE VOTE
Seriously, do it. Your country needs you. 8th June, all day. Get it in your diaries, set a reminder on your phone. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you turn the hell up at that polling station and stick a cross in a box.