The Great British Summer 2017 Roundup

wowcher-guide-british-summer

When you think of British summer time, what comes to mind? Well, it is time to dash those nostalgic stereotypes of day trips to the seaside, fish ‘n’ chip lunches on the pier and handkerchief clad burnt foreheads. Think gourmet picnics, some of the most coveted festival line ups all within city limits, classic movie moments set within historical venues, hop on Underground and hit up the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the Hyde Park Lido – If you think you’re hard enough. This is a roundup of some of the best things to do in and around London this summer.

Spirit of Tiki Cocktail Festival: 14-15th July

Start your summer as you mean to go on, with some South Pacific fun, music playing and the drinks flowing. Regents Park says Aloha to the world of Tiki culture, think chilled beats, cold cocktails and chargrilled eats. Celebrating the best of Polynesian flavours, music and most importantly rum-filled cocktails, top it all off with some hula dancing and this festival only just falls short of a Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson appearance. What I believe you are trying to say is… you’re welcome!

Friday 14th: 4pm till 9pm

Saturday 15th: 12pm-6pm

Tickets from £20 include one FREE drink token.

RHS Hampton Court Flower Show: 3-9th July

Blumen - Dekoration

Hampton Court Palace welcomes back the annual return of the RHS Flower Show, one of the biggest weeks in the summer calendar. Televised across the BBC, this event is set within the grounds of our favourite Tudor tyrant Henry VIII. Whether you have discovered your green thumb or not, this is a fantastic day out for all the family (guaranteed brownie points if you take mum!). Immerse yourself in displays showcasing more than 250,000 flowers, enjoy talks and demonstrations from chef duo The Hairy Bikers, sister act and food bloggers Hemsley & Hemsley, 2013 Great British Bake Off-winner Frances Quinn and many more as they cook up a storm in the kitchen garden. As if this wasn’t enough to keep you busy amongst shopping the stalls and stopping for lunch at one of the many restaurants, cafes and champagne watering holes around the show, you can also be captivated by the amazing butterfly dome – a magical space, filled with tropical butterflies and plants, a photographer’s delight!

Luna Cinema: May-October 2017

Objects of the film industry, the concept of cinema.

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next” – We’ve got chills already! Once again Luna Cinema brings together classic movie moments set amongst the grandeur of over 50 of the UK’s favourite historical venues. A great excuse to fill your picnic hamper with cheese and the all essential bottle of Prosecco or a cheeky Pimm’s. If you’re feeling flush or don’t fancy carting around your foldaway chairs, opt for premium admission and recline in a Luna director’s chair in prime position of the screen. I mean who could say no to the best of British romance, set amongst the grounds at Westminster Abbey – yes we are talking about Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, or to that iconic John Williams theme accompanying the roar of a T-Rex echoing through Battersea Park! Pack up your picnic goodies and get down to your nearest Luna screening.

Brixton Beach: 8th July – 1st October

Mac To The future

Whoever thought of bringing the beach to the city is an absolute genius! Looking for those beach party vibes? Well call off the search, because Brixton beach is here to cut down your journey time and transport guests to a lush and colourful paradise, serving up a winning combination of cocktails, street food and entertainment, creating the ultimate festival that lasts all summer long. Brixton Beach has it all. No, seriously. It comes complete with sand, street food, cocktails and all round sunny vibes. Each Saturday and Sunday welcomes some of the world’s best DJs, from garage sessions to Cuban takeovers, this rooftop paradise has something to keep your hips shaking and the sand vibrating.

Pique: Open all year

Enter the couture of picnic hampers. Pique is a self-start-up gourmet picnic delivery service run by two passionate foodies who met while working as chefs for a London catering company. Indulge in a freshly made picnic for any occasion, albeit on the pricey side these hampers are another level and perfect for a special occasion! Tuck into Scotch quail eggs, jerk chicken drumsticks, Chilli, garlic and herb king prawn skewers, Zesty green bean and hazelnut salad, double chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondie bites. Pique certainly is the pièce de résistance of alfresco dining, freshly prepped and delivered, from romantic picnics in the park, corporate events and school sports days the Piquey Girls can create a picnic no matter the occasion or season.

Hyde Park Lido: 1st June – 12th September

Paddling boats at the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park

Fancy a cool down from the summer sun, but not feeling the slog to Brighton? Hyde Park Serpentine Lido and its accompanying paddling pool are great for both adults and children. It is open seven days a week from 1st June to 12th September. Now don’t be put off, the water is tested weekly to ensure quality and safety. Facilities include a sun terraced sun bathing area, children’s play area including swings, slide, climbing frame and paddling pool and an open water swimming area measuring 30m by 100m. Unless you’re very thick skinned then wet-suits are must, and if you’re anything like me and entering the water is a step too far then enjoy the Serpentine aboard a pedalo or keep it classic and opt for a row boat!

If, like most of us, you’re in full out denial that the summer is coming to an end, what better way to round it off than with a party? Whether you are looking for a ‘lime ‘n’ wind’ through the streets of Notting Hill or a proper festival weekender, London is guaranteed to deliver.

Notting Hill Carnival: 27-28th August

Group of dancers wearing colorful feathers costumes gathered for a gay pride street parade

Last summer celebrated 50-years of full-feathered Caribbean carnival culture and this year sees the return of Notting Hill Carnival once again. Going bigger and better every year, the party winds through the borough of Kensignton and Chelsea with Calypso and Soca music, steel band demonstrations and the vibrant parades. Join in the fun and sample incredible Caribbean cuisines along the way. Head over for some family friendly fun on the Sunday or hold out for the bank holiday shenanigans and the Carnival Grand finale on the Monday!

Free!

SW4, Clapham Common: 26-27th August

Festival

South West Four takes place on Clapham Common and since 2013 has beckoned us with the lure of A-list line-ups. This year’s line-up sees Pendulum, Tinie Tempah, Sigma, Knife Party and many more take to the stage. Pick up a ticket, let the drinks flow and prepare for an all-out party weekend.