Every year and it’s the same thing. The trusty folk at BBC weather promise us that this summer will be the year of endless heatwaves, that this summer we will all be forced to hang around Tesco’s freezer aisle in our swimsuits to avoid the heat. Instead, August the 31st rolls round and days have inevitably been spent falling asleep in the park or binge-watching Stranger Things in a darkened room. DON’T PANIC, summer hasn’t been wasted, and not just because that is one hell of a TV show, but because it’s not over yet. September is still hot, you can still gorge on Ben and Jerry’s and Magners, and you still have time to make summer 2016 count. Here’s our list of 5 things to do before summer ends.
1. Go to an outdoor cinema
There’s something so romantic about an outdoor cinema; the stars, the fresh air, the picnic blankets, and fortunately for us, London has some corkers. Nomad and Luna cinemas both show films in completely wacky locations. Didn’t think Jaws was terrifying enough? Watch it by Brockwell Lido AND then throw yourself in the pool, ok not the latter part but it will be atmospheric nonetheless. Pop Up Screens still have several screenings in Coram's Fields and Ravenscourt Park including Beauty and the Beast and The Notebook.
2. Have a BBQ
Is summer complete until you’ve almost given yourself food poisoning from charred on the outside but raw in the middle sausages? Can you call yourself a true Brit if you haven’t BBQed this summer? No you cannot. As summer’s nearly over, avoid the smoke inhalation and hard work and get someone else to cook your burgers. The Devonshire in Balham has a chef working the grills on sunny days, or if it happens to be raining (highly likely) Joe's Southern Table in either Camden or Kentish Town serves ribs, wings and burgers slow-cooked and slathered in BBQ sauce goodness.
3. Watch the sunset from a rooftop
Yes, London is sweaty and humid in the summer and yes, the Central Line is hotter than the fiery pits of hell but fear not, rooftop bars are here to save our city summer. With their Instagram #nofilter perfect views and just general sense of cool, spending a summer evening sky high will quickly make you forget about your sauna-like office and rejoice London once again. For the most incredible views, head to Searcys at the top of The Gherkin. The Roof Gardens in Kensington are so beautiful you might just forget you’re in London, while former carpark Roof East in Stratford has got street food, gin tastings and yoga.
4. Spend all afternoon in a beer garden
Beer gardens, you go for one sophisticated Pimm’s at 2 in the afternoon and end up singing karaoke with Sophie from the next table at 4am. They encapsulate English summer, a heady mix of alcohol, wooden tables and overcrowding. It’s practically sacrilege not to spend one last Sunday boozing the afternoon away before winter forces us back inside. Aeronaut in Acton is like being at a funfair with their circus-themed terrace; People’s Park Tavern in East London has actually won awards for their garden; and Shutterbug has an arty Shoreditch outdoor space.
5. Go for a swim in the sea
Yes it’s freezing and you’re not sure what that stuff floating over there is, but this England and this is summer and by golly we will go swimming in the sea. Brighton is under an hour on the train, it's got a cute beach and pier and there’s plenty of sea to dip your toes in before deciding that you actually quite like to have feeling in your feet. Plus Brighton is close enough for a seaside break, the nightlife is amazing and there’s plenty of beer gardens, secret bars and restaurants to feel like you’ve had one final summer fling.