As we all know London is hotter than the Med at the moment and it is actually possible to enjoy all the best bits of a summer holiday right here in Zone 1 — and without even taking a day off from the office. (Actually, the best bit is that you don’t even have to fork out for a hotel.)
Why don't you have a laid-back breakfast in the heart of London at Inn the Park nestled in St James’s lush greenery. Peyton & Byrne’s sun-dappled wooden pavilion-café serves fresh, reasonably priced breakfast with a smile and views of fountains, foliage, the London Eye and Pall Mall. The perfect pitstop before a few hours working.
Next up, it’s time for a dip and a chance to relax on a sun lounger that you do not have to get up at 7am to bagsy. London has a few choice outdoor pools but the Serpentine’s is the only lido in Zone 1, making it easy to slip out of the office for a quick dip. You could also cram in some sightseeing and walk on through the deckchair-dotted park around Buckingham Palace towards Hyde Park. What the Serpentine Lido lacks in warm, sparkling-blue waters it makes up for with a great vista of the park and paddle boats and a bar serving Pimm’s.
For a spot of lunch, nothing screams holiday quite like sand between your toes — and in your sandwiches. Afternoon tea specialist Bea’s of Bloomsbury (beasofbloomsbury.com) has just started its hamper service for the summer. Now this is perfect for you as you can then head off to the Southbank Centre’s pop-up beach, part of its Festival of Neighbourhood. The only hitch is that Bea’s don’t come to you but it has locations in Bloomsbury, St Paul’s and London Bridge. Hamper pro Fortnum & Mason delivers to your office,
After your tea you should make a bee line (and make correct use of the sunshine) and head for the capital’s newest rooftop bar Radio at the top of the ME London hotel in Aldwych. There are plump white sofas, a DJ playing lounge house and a long list of tongue-twisting cocktails. You must book or blag guestlist in advance — and arrive just as the sun goes down over the West End. For less “ra” with your rooftop watering hole, however, the Queen of Hoxton is a popular east London draw.
Come dinnertime, it’s never been easier to eat al fresco after work in the capital. In particular, James Street, just behind Selfridges, and St Christopher’s Place, off Oxford Street, feel Mediterranean, with ample tables lining the streets.
What a perfect day! I am sure that you will agree that it does feel as if you are on holiday and you can also discover sights that you have never seen before in London.
Miss Jones xx