We've already had the hottest July day on record and I could argue that the heatwave has been entertainment enough (albeit a little bit challenging/HELL ON EARTH on the Central Line) but to just 'make do' with warm weather would be a travesty when there's SO much to do in London this month.
Whether you're after rooftop Wimbledon screenings, nightclub launches or to simply dip your toes in the sand, London has something for you this July. She's the gift that keeps on giving.
"Dead: A celebration of mortality" at the Saatchi Gallery.
The Saatchi Gallery is by far my favourite London museum and exhibitions like Dead are why. Appreciate the sculptures, installations and paintings whilst being subtly reminded of your own mortality. Just try not say "I see dead people" repeatedly as you walk around, like I was tempted to. And maybe don't go with a hangover. Runs until 26th of July, entrance is free. More info here.
Snoop Dogg, Hot Chip, Mark Ronson, Rudimental, Groove Armada and whole heap of others at Lovebox.
There are, at time of writing, still day tickets available for Lovebox in Victoria Park on the 17th and 18th of July. A day ticket is around £55 (including fees) but the hardest part will be choosing which day to go as the line-up is ace for both. Cypress Hill Friday or Snoop Saturday? WE CAN'T DECIDE. More info and tickets here.
The best in street food heads West (hurrah!).
Okay I am clearly writing this as a West London girl, but WHY OH WHY should those Dalston types get all the foodie festival pop-up fun to themselves?! Luckily the folks at Feast have understood the dire need for some pop-up goodness this side of town and have taken a six week residency at the historic Shepherds Bush Market. 'Little Feast' will be open from 5pm Thursdays and Fridays and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays until 11pm each evening (9pm on Sundays). You can see a list of stallholders here but I know who I have my eye on: Holy Toast and Bad Brownie. Mmmmmmmmmm. Find more info on the Little Feast site.
Let Bone Daddies educate you on all the latest Japanese street food trends. Via your mouth.
The Shackfuyu pop-up from the Bone Daddies gang is a treat for anyone who enjoys Japanese flavours with a rock and roll twist. Expect everything from sticky lamb ribs with a pickled plum miso glaze to prawn toast masquerading as okonomiyaki to spicy monkfish cheeks with lemon mayo. Just make sure you save room for the kinako french toast with soft serve ice cream and their speciality sakes, yeah? Find Shackfuyu on Old Compton Street. More info here.
Oh and on a side note, Japan is coming to the O2 - well, sort of - from the 10th to the 12th of July as part of the Hyper Japan Festival. The line-up of events looks spectacular...and it's certainly cheaper than a flight to Tokyo. Buy a ticket here.
Enter the enchanted world of Jimmy's Secret Garden.
We wouldn't normally recommend skulking around secret doorways in Clapham in the hope of being fed, but we'll make an exception for this delight of a summer pop-up. Think of The Secret Garden as a long lunch on the patio, a picnic with friends and sundowner drinks in a giant hammock...all rolled into one and without any of the washing up. Open until the end of August, you can get an idea of some of the fabulous food on offer here. BBQ fiends may prefer the clever 'table top BBQ' nights that take place on Wednesdays and are BYOB. More info and booking here.
Make the most of a car-free Regent Street.
London is great - that's why we live here - but there are still plenty of things about London that are irksome, like all the bloody traffic. Regent Street is doing away with all that car and bus nonsense though and every Sunday in July will see the famous street become one big party. Well, the shopping version of a giant party anyway. There'll be everything from rugby lessons to catwalk shows as each Sunday takes on a different theme, so instead of doing your damned best to avoid the centre of town on a weekend you may actually want to rush towards it. It promises to be fun. More info here.
Go to the beach. In Stratford.
The Olympic Park's 'Beach East' - the UK’s largest urban beach (by far!) - will feature a huuuuuge area of deep sand, a giant paddling pool (for kids, sadly), funfair rides, two beach bars and a whole host of sporting events and activities. It's free and doesn't involve a sweaty train ride to Brighton, so you can't complain really. Opens July 11th and will be there til the end of August. Woop! More info here.
Make your own custom Magnum.
Granted, I am obsessed with Magnums, but I think you'd have to be made of stone to not see the appeal of witnessing your VERY OWN MAGNUM CREATION come to life in front of you. You choose your chocolate, you choose your toppings (THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES) and you get to wallow in a real "I made this" pride as you gobble the whole thing up. This 'experience' costs £4.50 and is exclusive to the Magnum Pleasure Store in Covent Garden. Of course, if you prefer your iced treats a little more boozy, you could opt for an alcoholic popsicle instead at any Late Night London bar. I think I'll have my DIY Magnum and then nip round the corner to Mabel's to get my G&T in frozen form. I mean, why not have both?! It *is* hot out there, after all.
Enjoy a drink or five at Mayfair's hottest new bar and club - Fifty9.
This has been a brilliant summer for new bar openings (you've checked out Scarlet's and Mabel's, yes?) and it's now even better, when Fifty9 has opened its doors the first time. There'll be all sorts of offers and launch parties this month to make Fifty9 feel truly welcome on the Mayfair bar scene, so look out for updates and get your dancing shoes ready. (Seriously, the dancing won't stop at Fifty9. you genuinely need to prepare yourself).
Have a big night out for half the price? YES PLEASE.
The Foundation summer sale has started (schaweeeeeeeeet) and you can basically get 50% off ALL drinks between 5pm-9pm, every single day. All you have to do is register to get your voucher. Hell, even if you needed to buy a printer to print your voucher it would still be worth it. Get your VIP discount sorted out in a jiffy by registering - for free - here.
Dance your way onto MTV.
On the first Friday of every month, something exceptionally exciting is going to go down at The Piccadilly Institute...CLUB MTV ARE TAKING OVER. There'll be something for everyone, with five different floors catering to every musical taste, with takeovers from the likes of MTV Base, MTV Dance and MTV Hits. These club nights will be be filmed (no need to rehearse a dance sequence a la Ross and Monica, but it might help your chances of being on TV) so get your best outfit ready! Call up for more details or get on the guest list here.