Welcome to summer 2021, herein declared the season of sun, fun, and vaxxed-up huns. Arguably we haven’t put this much pressure on a summer since the year we turned 18 and fell for the siren song of Magaluf. Which yes, is just LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem on repeat. But that’s a story for a different guide. This guide is exclusively about summer 2021, and after a year that has loosely resembled a giant steaming pile of horse shit, there’s a lot riding on it being the best! one! ever! But thanks to this bucket list you’ll know exactly how and where to start your own months of sunny pandemic freedom.
Here’s to a belter of a season marked by the return of iced beverages, museums, physical touch, and inevitably, the sweet embrace of regret. Go forth and - whispers in Dirty Dancing - have the time of your life.
Get An Uber Boat To Darby’s For Oysters
Excuse you? Oysters and a bloody boat all in one day. Are you James Bond? Maybe? You did find that looker from Hinge on LinkedIn alarmingly quickly. Technically it’s not a speed boat but if you squint really, really hard, it sure does look like a stretch limo on water. Tickets start around the £5 mark and you can jump aboard at any of these places, then alight at Vauxhall to get involved in the Carlingford oysters at this slick Irish and American influenced restaurant. Also ngl, it’s a top idea for a summer date.
Eat Sonora's Winning Tacos After A Swim In London Fields' Lido
Chlorine! Burritos! Cheese! Obviously to avoid indigestion, we suggest you do it in that order. We also suggest you get the bean quesadilla alongside the barbacoa tacos, just because they’re really, really tasty.
See The Outdoor Moomins Exhibition Whilst Eating London's Best Toastie
Long before your cousin discovered ‘hygge’ or your dad declared Ikea instructions to be the most cruel and unusual punishment of fatherhood, the Moomins - originally published in Sweden - were making Scandi cool. This summer, an open-air exhibition celebrating the genius who brought us these pseudo-hippo cuties, Tove Jansson, will be dotted throughout Walthamstow Wetlands, including her personal effects and - commence internal screaming - an interactive map. Importantly, Wine ‘N’ Rind’s cacio e pepe toastie is a casual 15-minute stroll from the wetlands.
Embrace Your Inner Farmer At Hackney City Farms Before Eating This Sub
There is a donkey at Hackney City Farm called Larry who is an actual - insert jazz hands here - star. He’s been featured on the BBC, ITV, and takes part in nativity parades at Westminster Cathedral every year. One day soon Hollywood will inevitably come calling for Larry, but until then you can catch him and his farmyard friends at this charming farm smack bang in the middle of east London. Once you face up to the fact that it would be socially incorrect to kidnap one of the fluffy little guinea pigs, walk four-minutes to Dom’s Subs’ ‘The Gennaro’ sandwich. Just like Larry, this red wine beef brisket sub has pure star quality.
Watch Comedy Outside This Clerkenwell Barbers (Yes Really)
And now, we introduce you to something called ‘hahaha’, the artist formerly known as ‘laughter’. Now, maybe once upon a time you laughed or participated in its silly cousin, giggling, but that was long before the pandemic, wasn’t it? Luckily, Inside Out comedy are bringing it back with their schedule of summer events at a barbers in Clerkenwell, which just so happens to be opposite classy seasonal spot, Moro. Previous acts include Babatúndé Aléshé and Alfie Brown, and guess what the barbers is called? Go on, guess. Fine, we’ll tell you, it’s called Barber Streisand. You laughing yet?
Drink Panadera's Spanish Iced Latte On Primrose Hill
Sometimes it’s actually kind of nice to be alone in the summer. You know, to gather your thoughts and question important things like whether getting a spontaneous eyebrow piercing would actually make you feel kind of alive. Or better yet, read a book. We can’t think of a better companion than the Spanish iced latte from Panadera, a Kentish town bakery who are lowkey serving some of the best iced coffee in the city.
See The James Barnor Exhibition, Then Stroll, Then Lobster Roll
Hey, remember when you used to go to big old fancy buildings and bask in the glory of history? In case you need a brief reminder, it was kind of like watching Bridgerton except your interest didn’t pivot solely around a spoon and months of government-mandated celibacy. Fabulous, non? Revive your love of actual history with this retrospective of Ghanaian photographer James Barnor’s work throughout the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Then take a casual promenade (yes, walk) through Hyde Park to Mayfair, for Hideaway’s 10/10 lobster roll.
Eat Flavourtown's Bueno Cupcakes In Richmond Park
In the immortal words of wildlife legend and beloved national grandad, David Attenborough, ‘what is nature without cake’. Profound. Now, if we’re being like totally transparent, good old Dave didn’t actually say those words - that we know of. But you know what, we did, and that counts for something. Hit up one of London’s best desserts and then go find yourself some deer in Richmond Park to whimsically take photos of and / or Google ‘can deer mame fully-grown human???’ when that doe starts giving you the stink eye. Nature, so beautiful. Bueno Cupcakes, essential.
Go To Frank's To Watch The Sunset On The Summer Solstice
Because the Stonehenge Druids would approve.
Hire A Canoe In Hackney Wick, Then Eat Pizza
Yeah just on a moo canoe, wbu? Going on a canoe up the River Lea says hello, I am athletic. I am a creature of mystery. I am in no way emotionally damaged from watching Titanic at the tender age of 12. Sounds like you deserve some pizza after all that intrepid exploring and paddling, don’t you? Luckily, all you have to do is cross over the bridge from Moo Canoes drop-off point to arrive at Crate, a massive brewery that serves great thin-crust pizza and cold pints.
Hit Up The London Jerk Festival (!!!) In August
A whole day dedicated to doing nothing but eating jerk chicken. Or as we call it, Wednesday. But this year’s jerk festival goes far beyond licking jerk from our fingers in bed, as it’s actually outdoors in Bohemia Place, Hackney, will have live music, and banging food from many of London’s top jerk spots. Write the 7th and 8th of August in your diary with the memo ‘eat bodyweight in jerk!!!!’.
Get All Whimsical At Mayfield Lavender Farm, Then Get A Table At Ell Fresco
Do it for the ’Gram. Do it for the gift shop. And do it for Ell Fresco by Elliot’s Isle of Mull cheese puffs, which just so happen to be a five-minute walk from London Bridge station. Yes, to get to all the very pretty flowers you’ll need to get a train from London Bridge to somewhere deeply exotic called Banstead. But it’ll all be totally worth it when the likes come rolling in and you’re sipping a nutty French number as a personal pat on the back for schlepping all the way to SM7.
Toast Marshmallows At Midnight Apothecary's Campfire Bar
Sure, you could go camping and ruin yet another pair of Converse and at least two friendships. Or you could just admit that you don’t know where the fuck your tent is and go to this campfire cocktail bar in Rotherhithe instead. We promise this place isn’t gimmicky or naff in the slightest. Be warned that one of your friends will probably suggest ‘bringing the old guitar’ so they can perform a rousing rendition of Wonderwall around the fire. Tell them no, a million times no. We’ve all suffered enough, haven’t we?
Go Peak Tourist In An Emirates Cable Car Before A Night Of Jazz
I can see my house from up here! Oh… wait, wait no is that a car park? Do you think sea gulls feel real love? As well as being one of London’s most iconic locations for a deep and meaningful, or to play a competitive game of I Spy, the Emirates cable cars will also take you from The Royal Docks to Greenwich. If you time it perfectly, you can watch the sunset from your cable car and then take a 10-minute cab to Oliver’s, a proper little jazz bar complete with sticky-floors, a fireplace, and top live music.
Have An Absolute Summer Sesh At Costa Del Tottenham
If you’re not absolutely butchering the lyrics of some Disclosure song by 9pm you’re doing it wrong. Make us proud.
Spend A Rainy Summer Evening In Bao Borough's Karaoke Room
This is Britain, land of umbrellas and crippling trust issues based solely on the weather app’s constant betrayal. Sadly - and we’re sorry to be the people to tell you this - at some point this summer it’s going to absolutely piss it down, probably whilst you’re wearing that cute suede jacket and those shoes that - SURPRISE! - have a chunky hole in the sole. Rather than investigating whether all the nice teenagers of the internet have finally posted an efficient raindance on TikTok, head to this karaoke room instead. It’d be rude not to get a round of curry cheese bao and Taiwanese fried chicken whilst you’re there.
Sip A Frozen Negroni At Sunset On Forza Wine's Rooftop
Frogronis, baby! Let’s be honest, there is no such thing as a mediocre London rooftop. They’re either absolutely rubbish or so glorious that you start to debate whether your singledom, personality flaws, and bad hair days have just been down to the fact that you haven’t spent your entire existence above 30ft. Forza Wine is firmly the latter. A Peckham wine bar that does soft serve, small plates, and spectacular views without any of that faux Ibiza silliness. Cheers!
Cycle Little Venice Before Hitting Up London Shell Co.
In our humble opinion, one of the best cycle rides you can go on in London is along the canal in Little Venice. For starters, Maida Vale is one of the most densely populated cute dog areas in the whole city. And secondly, you can end your polite, casual cycle ride at Paddington’s London Shell Co., a docked boat that does the whole ‘eating oysters on a boat, baby!’ thing really well.
Experience The Van Gogh Alive Exhibition With A Side Of Strawberry Sando
Bold. Absorbing. Deeply moving. We are of course referring to the experience of eating Kova Patisserie Kensington’s strawberry sando, but we’re guessing that the new Van Gogh Alive immersive exhibition will also hit you right in the feels.
Watch A Movie On Bar Elba's Rooftop Cinema
Films, ew. Doesn’t the world know that you spent the entirety of lockdown 1, 2, and 18, simply trying to decide what to watch before inevitably settling on something with like, Adam Sandler as a pirate with amnesia? We know. We understand. But you’re probably forgetting about the cinema, a truly magical experience marked by popcorn, childhood nostalgia, and okay maybe a little neck ache. Rediscover your love of the big screen at this great Waterloo rooftop bar, where the mood is as good as their film line-up. Pulp Fiction and Hustlers, we’re looking at you.
Eat Trap Kitchen's Signature Bucket In The Sunshine (Tears Of Joy Included)
We’re not going to refer to this as a picnic because you probably spent the majority of March sitting on a scarf whilst making your way through a lukewarm tinnie of M&S mojito, so cold that you momentarily felt a true kinship with a penguin’s testes. You know what, Trap Kitchen’s lobster tails laugh in the face of something as mediocre as a picnic. This Balham BBQ restaurant’s £40 bucket is what we’d label a masterpiece of butter and seafood. Eat it in the sun on Tooting Common whilst letting the bleak memories of 2020 fade to nothing but surreal fizz. Fuck it, have one of their alcohol slushies too. You deserve it.