Phew, if like me you love the heat but you are finding it a little bit oppressive in London I have found some cool down tips for you.....
Take a dip
Avoid heated pools and dunk your body into cool water at the Brockwell Lido (£5.75 at Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, SE24, fusion-lifestyle.com/centres/Brockwell_Lido). It’s currently 22°C in Parliament Hill Lido (£5.50 at Gordon House Road, NW5) and in Hampstead Heath bathing ponds (£2, Hampstead Heath NW5). For lux lengths book a day pass for the rooftop pool at the new Bamford Haybarn Spa at The Berkeley Hotel (from £150, the-berkeley.co.uk).
Ice ice baby
For the best ice cream in London head to Gelupo (7 Archer Street, W1, gelupo.com) or to Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park, which has homemade, organic ice creams and sorbets. Rum raisin and candied orange peel should do the trick (118 Fortess Road, NW5, rubyviolet.co.uk). The delicious Ginger’s Comfort Emporium will be at Secret Garden Party next weekend (gingerscomfortemporium.com).
Spray misty for me
While tipping a bottle of water over your head is tempting, in public a spritz of facial mist is a better idea. Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray (£6.95, boots.com) is one of the best. Skyn Iceland’s Arctic Face Mist (£25, marksandspencer.com) is as close as it comes to sticking your head in a freezer.
Sizzling skin soothers
Peppermint, menthol and aloe vera are best friends to hot and bothered skin. Cult celeb personal trainer Tracy Anderson loves Mama Mio’s Lucky Legs cooling serum (£16.50, mamamio.com) or, if you’ve turned a bit salmon in the sun, slap on Korres’ Yoghurt Cooling After Sun Gel (£16, cultbeauty.co.uk) for instant relief.
Cooling spa treatments don’t get more refreshing than the minus 135°C temperatures of Cryotherapy. Champney’s spa in Tring offers three-minute sessions in its Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber (£55, champneys.com) to soothe aching muscles, while Anne Semonin’s Age Defying Cryotherapy Super Facial (£120, michaeljohn.co.uk) uses ice massage to reinvigorate your complexion.
Inner city beach chic
Heading to the park in a two-piece used to be London’s last hot weather taboo. Now we’re all stripping off on our local greens. If baring (almost all) is a step too far, team bikini tops with lightweight shorts. Be sure to choose a quiet corner. (Petit Bateau stripe two-piece, £67, petitbateau.co.uk)
Put a hat on it
Shading your face and eyes from the sun with a hat will make you feel cooler — despite the rising mercury. Opt for wide-brimmed panama styles. Avoid black. (Sensi studio straw panama hat, £60, Net-a-porter.com)
While you might get a few choice glances in the boardroom, office-ready shorts are a heatwave essential. Girls should opt for structured styles in dark shades and team with crisp cotton shirts. Men should wear above the knee city-shorts in grey or navy with Oxford shirts and classic white plimsolls. (cutwork shorts, £35, Topshop.co.uk)
Rhubarb is the flavour of the summer — a Swedish influence. Rhubarb cocktails created by 69 Colebrooke Row’s master barman Tony Conigliaro were on offer at the Imbibe Live drinks show at Earls Court earlier this month. Get rhubarb cordial at Ikea (£2.95, ikea.com) or try Tillmans Organic Rhubarb Cordial (£4, scandikitchen.co.uk). Redchurch Street’s Franzé & Evans serves fruit coolers of the kind you’ve only ever been able to get on holiday in Sri Lanka. Made from crushed fruit and ice, they’re like a grown-up slush puppy (£3.20, franzeevans.com).
You don’t want to eat anything but fresh greens in this heat. Ultra-cool(in both senses) is Shoreditch’s new CAFEAND which has the perfect smoked salmon salad (77 Redchurch Street, E2, cafeand.co.uk). Or sit on the decking at Boxpark with a choice from Chop’d (2-4 Bethnal Green Road, E1, chopd.co.uk).
See some cool art
Galleries maintain strict temperatures to preserve artwork: the National Gallery’s magic number is 23°C, while the British Library’s falls between 18°C and 21°C. A perfect excuse to see Michael Landy’s Saints Alive (free) at the National Gallery. If you’re south of the river, rest your cheek on the cool concrete floor of the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
Summer screenings don’t start till sundown when the outdoor air is cooler. The Luna Cinema Club (thelunacinema.com, from £12.50) is taking over lots of London parks. Pop Up Screens (popupscreens.co.uk, tickets from £8) won’t be beaten on price.
Hit the roof
The air above hoi polloi is breezier, so do your summer drinking up high. Head to Boundary (2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2) or to the top of One New Change (EC4), which overlooks the iconic dome of St Paul’s. If you’re south , try Frank’s Café (95A Rye Lane, SE15) — the legendary Peckham venue atop a multi-storey car park. Lower but nice and shady is the new verandah at Dishoom Shoreditch (7 Boundary Street, E2).
Take a shower
Children are sensible. When they’re hot, they run through a nearby fountain. Granary Square, the new courtyard at the back of King’s Cross station, is the latest place to cool off in the intermittent spurts from the illuminated fountains (N1, kingscross.co.uk). If you’re on the South Bank and don’t fancy a dip in the Thames, head to the Scoop Fountains at More London by Tower Bridge (SE1, morelondon.com).