It finally feels like spring is blooming in London. Growing up in this city, it was only when winter gave way that I could properly explore everything the capital has to offer. Londoners have a tendency to hide away indoors in the cold weather, huddling around pub fireplaces, whisky in hand. But when the weather turns, I like to spend as much time as possible immersing myself in my surroundings, spending my days discovering new secrets, losing myself in the excess of the capital.
Now that the weather is improving, I thought I’d share some of my favourite things to do which take full advantage of the glorious city when it’s in a warm haze. After all, the only thing better than London in the springtime is London in springtime with a lover or two…
Drinking in the atmosphere at the Hampstead Heath pergola
Hampstead Heath on a sunny day is pretty near to perfection, but head to the Pergola at sunset for a truly unforgettable experience. The faded glamour of the Pergola is reminiscent of a decadent past, truly one of London’s hidden treasures. Moody and atmospheric, it is overgrown with vines and exotic blooms. As the sun goes down, we’ll slip behind a trellis, hands wandering, the heavy scent of jasmine in our noses…
Hampstead is also home to L’Antica Pizzeria, a rustic Neapolitan style Italian restaurant. It might not receive a Michelin star anytime soon, but sometimes on a warm evening all you need is a large glass of red wine, and a well-made pizza, served fresh from the oven.
An afternoon of wine tasting at The Ten Cases
The Ten Cases is a small but perfectly formed wine bar in Covent Garden, tucked away from the main drag. The name is down to their decision to only ever buy 10 cases of the wines on the short menu – this means that you can constantly try new things, discovering something unique and different on each visit. They also have a delicious menu of small plates – the food is sophisticated but unpretentious, and complements the wine perfectly.
On a sunny day, it’s hard to beat the simple pleasure of a glass or two (or three…) of chilled white and some excellent bread and cheese, sitting outside on their pavement tables, watching the world go by.
A champagne Sunday brunch at The Landmark Hotel, followed by a sunny stroll around Regents Park
The Landmark Hotel was doing a ‘bottomless’ brunch well before they became a mainstay of the Hackney hipster scene. Forget everything you think you know – this is the real deal, endless champagne and a spread to make Dionysus weep. The lofty conservatory-esque surroundings of the gorgeous Landmark make the perfect backdrop for gastronomic indulgence, the sunshine spilling over you as you fill up on delicious food and drink. If you want to watch a girl really enjoy her food, this is the place to do it.
You’re then just a short stroll away from Regent’s Park, and can soak in even more afternoon sunshine, before slipping away somewhere a little shadier to devour each other.
Afternoon tea at the Barbican Conservatory
The Barbican Conservatory is a riot of greenery, a lush hidden gem amongst the sharp Brutalist lines of the main building. The afternoon tea is designed to showcase the unique venue, highlighting tastes and flavours which reflect the best the garden has to offer. Chilli, passionfruit, turmeric – the menu takes you on a sensual journey through your surroundings. It’s only available on a few dates over the summer, so booking in advance is a must.
Do you have any favourite things to do in London when the weather is beautiful? I’d love to explore them with you – so why not get in touch and let’s make mischief while the sun shines.