10 Things to Do Before Summer Disappears
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It's been one long, hot summer so far,
but at some point that will end.*
Get to these places while you still can,
and perhaps take a friend.
*Based on recent changes to our climate, we don't actually know if summer will end.
1. Cocktails round the campfire
This quiet little corner of Rotherhithe may well restore your dwindling faith in London. Do you like the sound of seasonal cocktails in a tiny rooftop garden? How about a guided tour into the historic underground shaft? Yes it is exactly as dreamy as it sounds, with plenty o' marshmallows to toast on the campfire, little nooks where you can steal kisses and just about the quaintest bar serving homemade sodas, cocktails and a tasty local honey beer.
Until: End of September
2. Al fresco eats
When the debauched streets of Shoreditch get too much, our remedy is a wholesome spot of farm life at one of our favourite restaurants - The Culpeper. Named after the herbalist Thomas Culpeper, this local-seasonal-ethical restaurant grows the kitchen’s ingredients on its rooftop farm. Dining on the rooftop (overlooking the Gherkin) is as great as life gets, and the food - which is simple but quality - never disappoints.
Until: Depends how hard you are
3. Daytime boogies
Headlines around East London's live music scene have been pretty negative of late, so the summer residency of Giant Steps at Hackney Wick has been plenty welcome. From the clever minds behind Brilliant Corners, it combines hi-fidelity music (courtesy of a pitch-perfect sound system), excellent street food (from the likes of Morito and Brawn), and some tasty beverages. A dependable terrace to enjoy the sun and let loose, with every weekend having a full programme of day-time events, live music performances and parties.
Until: 19th September
4. Music at sunset
This has to be one of the most pleasant ways to pass a summer's evening. Woodburner is a live music night taking place every Tuesday at the enchanted oasis of Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. It's a beautiful affair combining woodland, fairy lights, £6 pizzas, a friendly crowd and some super eclectic, interesting music and spoken word. The acts they bring in here vary from Afro-folk to moody electronica; jazzy beats to Latin fire. Tickets are only £7 too!
Until: 2nd October
5. Flicks under a blanket
You know as well as we do that there are around three evenings remaining when it'll be plausible to comfortably watch a flick under the stars, but let's indulge in a little delusion, eh? Luna still have a fair few gems left including Three Billboards at Ally Pally (15 Sept); Blade Runner 2049 at Battersea Park (19 Sept); and The Shape of Water at Brockwell Lido (27 Sept). When you're shivering under your blanket, don't blame us.
Until: 27th September
6. Canal cruises
We're sure you've seen those enthusiastic sorts careering down the canal, smashing into walls and canalboats and thoroughly enjoying causing as much mayhem as possible. That could be you - but only for a limited time because Moo is taking her cow-painted canoes off the water when autumn hits. Located at Limehouse Basin, go for either the longer circular route around London’s canals or do a shorter ‘out and back’ trip.
Until: End of October
7. Get full for a good cause
Imad, the brains behind Imad's Syrian Kitchen, continues to lay on his fabulous Syrian menus, whilst simultaneously raising money for the charity Help Refugees. £15 of your ticket goes direct to the hospital in Aleppo he's supporting - a stonkingly good cause, not to mention a super delicious dining experience thanks to Imad's authentic Syrian home cooking.
Until: 28th September
8. That panoramic
Sure, its clientele has become a little more basic bitchy, but the mesmerising panoramic view has not changed - and we do love negronis - meaning Frank's is still the spot for a rooftop tipple. On top of all that (well, below actually), is the addition of all the fun stuff that has arrived with Peckham Levels, now inhabiting the non-rooftop parts of the carpark. A fine place to be on a sunny day.
Until: 22nd September
9. Outdoor dip
Traditionally freezing cold, the clay ponds at Hampstead Heath have been royally warmed up this summer. It's now similar to a thermal spring in Iceland. If you've not been yet this year, what the frick is keeping you? Originally dammed off clay pits, there are three swimming ponds: mixed, female and male which are surrounded by willow trees, woodland and cruisers (the male pond). Jump in, have a swim, then dry off on the grassy banks - if you can find a space.
Until: Depends how hard you are.
10. A (semi) wild adventure
If you've a hankering for a simpler, outdoorsy kinda life - but only for a night - this is the micro adventure for you. Lea Valley Almost Wild Camping is a beautifully green, idyllic spot surrounded by water located in woodland and riverside meadows, created by volunteers and rangers to bring a slice of wild life to city dwellers seeking escape. It's only 40 minutes from central, a mile from Broxbourne Station, with only the occasional rumble of trains reminding you of civilisation (and trains).
Until: End of September