Did you know that TV host Jerry Springer was born in a tube station? Highgate station to be precise. He was born in 1944, at a time when tube stations were being used as air raid shelters. Now that has got to be the sign of a true Londoner?
Another sign of being a Londoner? Staying in London during the summer (well, it could also be a sign that you have already had your holiday, like me with my two trips to West Africa already this year) or you are planning a lush getaway when everyone else is hunkering down for autumn. However you have ended up in the capital whilst seemingly everyone else has packed their bags, flown off and keep bombarding you with photos of their knees by the pool (do people still do that shot?) you are here and London, this magnificent city is now yours for the taking. But just what are you going to do with it all?
I might just be able to help your wellbeing with this ideas….
Eye up the silver screen
The evenings are getting shorter, but only just. Squeeze every last drop out of our beautiful summer evenings and go to an outdoor film screening. You’ll feel like you are in those American movies from the 50’s, just without the petrol guzzling cars. For extra wellbeing points, take some friends with you and makes some memories to share for later. There are lots summer screenings around the city. Pop Up Screens
What if I told you that you could tap into the mindfulness of working on a creative project, reap the well being benefits of having plants in your everyday environment, and, not fall into the usual trap of automatically killing any plant that comes within a 5 mile radius of your watering can? no, it’s not too good to be true. You need a terrarium in your life. These mini gardens are the answer to all our desires (OK, maybe not THOSE ones) but they are growing in popularity (than you Instagram and tiny London flats for that) it’s got to be because they are just perfect for modern living. Why not get some expert tuition whilst you get to try your had at creating your very own this summer. London Bridge City, 28 August
Working out is great, obviously. Being outdoors is great. So, working out in the great outdoors must be even better. How about doing it by the mighty river Thames? Alongside lots of other people without paying a penny? Sound good? London Bridge City have partnered with Fitness First to give you your very own outdoor SHRED at the wonderful Scoop. What do you mean you’ve not been to “The Scoop”? It’s beside City Hall and has views of Tower Bridge that make you smug to be a Londoner. Go on, dig out your trainers, go, go, go. Outdoor SHRED class, 19 August
Who does not does not love a ball pit? How about obstacle courses (ahh, memories of watching the exciting bit of the Krypton Factor) Are you with me in thinking that inflatable castles are unfair because small children hog them? Yes, I thought so. Let me introduce you to THE MONSTER an inflatable obstacle course that is going to make you so very you happy that you chose to stay in London over the long weekend. I almost too excited about this London adventure to finish typing this. That’s handy, because having something positive to look foward in the future rates highly on measurse of well being and mental health. Last one to Ally Pally needs to supply the bandages. The Monster, 23rd – 28 August
Tour the tastebuds
It’s hot outside, it’s too hot inside. What can you do? How about an ice cream walking tour? You can make like a tourist and walk slowly, taking in parts of central London that you only usually rush through on your way to the office/meeting/shopping. You also get to taste the very best ice cream that this city has to offer. Chocolate Ecstacy Tours, Saturday afternoons.
Hunt for treasure
I once did a treasure hunt across London. I did not get an Anneka Rice style jumpsuit (thank goodness) and I cannot remember what the prize was. However, I do have a vague memory that at one point I was on the roof of St Thomas Hospital, feeling like some kind of action hero. London town is full of curious nooks and interesting crannies, throw in some puzzles, clues and a summer-inspired spirit of adventure, I defy anyone not to feel energized and a little bit giddy. Scamper across the city and star in your own action adventure challenge . Hidden City, dates throughout August.
How many sleeps until Santa comes to town? I know, I know, grown ups don’t talk like that and most of us are certainly not preparing our Christmas plans, it’s only August for goodness sake. But hear me out, this could work to your advantage…. You’ve been good so far this year, right? So, why wait all the way until December and Santa (who we all know is over-worked and might well forget to get you what you really deserve) so, activate your self care strategy and treat yourself to a day of luxury with a cool down in the beautiful rooftop pool at the Berkeley Hotel. You don’t need Santa. Berkeley Hotel
Feed the body
You already have your beach body, you already have your poolside body, so, leave the fad diets to one side and tuck into London’s newest foodie event: the dessert festival. This is the inaguaral event, so no, we don’t have any reviews to compare with, we just have to go with our gut and make the decision to give it and all that sugary fun a go. Dessert Festival 17-18 August
Walk yourself happy
What do bodies of water and greenery have in common? They both have a near magical ability to induce calm. What better way to enjoy London in the summer than in a state of blissful relaxation that you can only get from walking along a canal. Start at Bethnal Green and make your way to Hackney Wick travelling through the Olympic village and remembering the “spirit of 2012”, whilst the Grand Union route could take you all the way to Birmingham. Like that journey of a thousand miles, take that first step to bliss.
Frolic in fragrant bushes
I can announce that I get the appeal of lavender now. It’s not just reserved for old ladies you sit next to on the bus, the aroma is uplifting AND calming AND energising; there is some kind of alchemy at work. So, what could be better than spending an evening in fields of lavender? Get your relaxation on at Cadwell Farm in Hitching, better still, go to an outdoor film screening or take a yoga class there. I know, it’s not quite in London, but, I could not resist those fields of flowers. Hitchin Lavender, Caldwell Farm, £6.00 adults
There we have it. London in the summer is a wonderful place, it feels like the city belongs to us; the streets are quieter, you get to places earlier, there are fewer queues, the tube is possitively civilised and there is a general feeeling that the city is yours.
Soothe and relax with Pilates
But wait, if you need even more bliss and wellbeing in your life, then you need a Pilates class. Throughout summer I’ll be teaching Pilates on the mat teaching at Clerkenwellbeing, which is a beautiful holistic space/oasis of calm in Clerkenwell (see what they did there). Clerkenwell is smack, bang in the centre of London’s bustle, my Wednesday afternoon classes are an opportunity for a post-work de-stress where you can strengthen your muscles in a meditative and relaxing space. Pilates on the mat 5-6 Wednesday, Clerkenwellbeing.
That’s my London summer bliss list. What are you going to do with your city this summer?