It’s summer in London; the season of floral headpiece wearing festival-goers and “How’s your Monday?” irritating Instagrammers is finally here. Lucky us.
Those who don’t fit into those categories most likely haven’t managed to book a holiday at all this year (sorry for your loss), or are still waiting desperately for theirs to come (this is me – time is moving as slowly as Camilla’s relationships on Love Island).
Not talking from experience – obviously – but I don’t find it particularly fun crying over Facebook friends’ holiday photos while sitting in an overly air-conditioned office, eating my colleagues’ duty free Toblerone airport gifts until I feel sick, waiting for my trip away. But to curb those holiday cravings, what can we get out of London apart from extreme humidity, sweaty tube journeys, fat men wearing speedos in Clapham Common, and general chafing?
Why not bring the holiday cheer here?
Don’t cry like a little beach – head to Brixton
Feel like a trip to the Caribbean but don’t quite have the cash for it? Take a stroll down to Brixton Rooftop – a quirky space that hosts an urban beach inspired by the culture of Cuba.
If, like me, you visited last year and were a bit disappointed by what appeared to be more a bar with some sand scattered on the ground than a beach – don’t let that put you off! This summer’s launch has brought with it a new and improved setup including colourful beach huts in a summery outdoor area on the roof, a range of delicious street food stalls and funky DJ set.
Great for: Sundays – the perfect way to get rid of (or slightly postpone) those Monday blues, with a cocktail in hand. Don’t get too excited like me and wear your best Cuban heels – they’ll get completely ruined by the sand. 🙁
Entry is £5 but there are a few free parties on the website to look out for if you’re really on a budget.
Pasta time at Mercato Metropolitano
If you haven’t guessed it already, this outdoor and indoor food market in Elephant and Castle is an Italian haven – with a contemporary twist.
Hosted in a once abandoned paper factory and fully kitted out with open brick décor, street art, fairy lights and cute regenerated caravans – this alternative space is a hipster’s dream. Focusing strongly on sustainability and social responsibility, markets include small producers from all over the UK and Italy with plenty of locally sourced ingredients – belissimo!
Great for: casual after work dinner and drinks. People (and dogs!) of all ages are welcome with open arms, the range of food is amazing and you can even find bottles of wine for £15 in some of the stalls (not bad for London).
Get over the stigma of Elephant and Castle (it’s up and coming – promise!) and head on down for Italy’s next best thing.
Per-GO-la daft in Paddington
Ever wondered what Paddington has to offer other than a station with great transport links to not-so-interesting destinations like Heathrow airport and Slough? Now you can feel the Miami vibes in Pergola – a newly opened space that gives the choice of outdoor and indoor drinking and dining for reasonable prices, in a beautiful, green space.
Great for: large parties. You can book ahead – for free – and you can even get yourself a free tropical cocktail on arrival by registering here. You’re welcome!
Who needs a holiday when you’ve got London? I’d personally rather spend my time thinking up ridiculous puns…
*Checks 2017 holiday countdown; cries at last year’s Ibiza album*