It will still be January, of course. But at least we can pretend it’s a great British summer.
Wistfully looking forward to a lovely British summer full of pub gardens, rooftop bar sessions, and picnics? Join the damn club. There’s a ways to go before we can all break out the shorts and sunnies, but here are six things you can do to make January feel a little sunnier. [Photo: J Baxter]
1. Feel the heat at Kew Gardens
At this point, Kew Gardens is hardly a secret. It is, however, an excellent place to camp out and pretend the British summer has arrived early. Particularly if you head to the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which has some very pretty plants and (more importantly) climate-controlled zones. Stand amongst cacti and orchids and feel the warmth of a summer’s day wash over you, even if the weather outside is cold and grey.
2. Lounge around in Blixen‘s pergola
This Spitalfields restaurant is rather nice for a bite to eat, but what takes it to the next level is the heated pergola attached to Old Spitalfields market. It’ll keep you toasty in the winter, and the trailing vines that wind themselves around the roof will give off the impression of a lazy summer day. Put a gin & tonic in your hand, and it almost – almost – feels like June.
3. Take a dip in an outdoor swimming pool
The beach may not be an option – unless you’re either insane or Scandinavian – but you can still dive in headfirst. London Fields’ oft-delayed lido is finally open, and it’s heated to a balmy 25 degrees. For context, that’s roughly the same temperature as the seas around Ibiza in July. Whilst the party atmosphere won’t be the same, splashing around brings the British summer a tiny bit closer.
4. Pick up a plant at Petersham Nurseries
If your flat has been looking bare ever since the Christmas decorations came down, Petersham Nurseries can furnish you with a plant or two. We’ve completely fallen for their beautiful Richmond garden centre, which overflows with lovely leafy plants and cute cacti. In our mind, it’s always sunny here, but even if it isn’t, the greenery and tasty food menu will give the illusion of summer.
The chance to get green-fingered in the garden won’t come around for a few more months. Or ever, I guess – it’s London, none of us can afford gardens. But anyway, London Terrariums give you the chance to do some indoor gardening, hosting workshops to construct the most perfect terrarium you ever did see. For those of you too busy to spend hours fiddling with plants, you can pick up a readymade one from the shop. Either way, remember to Instagram the hell out of it.
6. Play a round of mini golf
The quintessential summer game for people who aren’t good at sports is a year-round delight. Swingers is, despite the dodgy name, an awfully British mini golf club, offering two utterly spiffing courses in the heart of The City. Grab a putter, tackle either the Windmill or the Lighthouse course, and forget all about those winter blues. Street food from DF/Mexico, Patty & Bun, and Pizza Pilgrims will keep your moody as sunny as a summer bank holiday.
Featured image: @akvilesolo