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17 Cultured As Fuck Things To Do In London This Summer

Cool for the summer.

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1. Eat matcha taiyaki cones at Bake.

Instagram: @muypocho

Not only are these little fish-shaped cones (otherwise known as taiyaki cones) delicious, they're also highly Instagrammable. And isn't that what summer's about? Getting your 'gram so good that the money comes rolling in and you don't have to pay for your own holidays any more? That's what I was promised Instagram was for and I will be taking pictures of these beautiful Chinatown ice creams until it comes true.

Price: £3

When: Permanent location

Where: Chinatown

2. Catch a film at Rooftop Film Club.

Rooftop Film Club

I basically lived here last summer. It was so good. They do screenings of cult films on rooftops all over London (South Kensington Roof Gardens! The Bussey Building!) and also have a gorgeous pop-up bar and foodie stalls. The highlight of my 2016 summer was watching the first Pokémon movie as the sun set, and feeling my inner 7-year-old weep with happiness.

Price: £15

When: Selected dates throughout summer

Where: Multiple venues

Book here

3. Drink rum cocktails on Ladies & Gentlemen's Rum Boat.

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Yes, that's me. In this video I am enjoying rum cocktails on a wonderful canal boat, which is great but it does rather look like I've hired the entire boat just for myself and am making the staff sail me around in a kind of misanthropic-Heathcliff-on-a-rum-boat situation. You should definitely go and fill it with your friends instead. The boat is moored at the new Ladies and Gents rum pop-up, and it's £15 for an hour cruise, which includes a drink.

Or if you get seasick, there's also a beautiful pop-up bar on land, plus a seafood stall with fish finger butties and deep-fried shrimp.

Price: Drinks from £7, £15 for a boat cruise plus a drink

When: Until 30 July

Where: King's Cross

Book here

4. Go on an ice cream tour with Chocolate Ecstasy Tours.

Instagram: @petite

How much ice cream is too much ice cream? Find out the answer on this ice cream tour. You walk around Soho and Covent Garden for a few hours, trying ridiculous numbers of flavours at five different ice cream big hitters. It's also a really lovely way to see more of London, as they include a lot of chat about your surroundings as you go! I did this for my birthday and can confirm it is A++.

Price: £39

When: It's on all the time, but books up well in advance, so book sooner rather than later

Where: Soho

Book here


5. Drink garden cocktails at Bread Street Kitchen.

Bread Street Kitchen

If you like growing things and the word "allotment" gets you a little hot and bothered, then this is the pop-up for you. The Allotment (ooh matron) has just launched at Bread Street Kitchen and looks brilliant. They have Wimbledon cocktails, foodie bites inspired by seasonal British produce (botanical-rubbed ham! gin-cured salmon! Earl grey mousse!), and a garden shed photobooth, the themed photobooth you never knew you needed.

Price: Mocktails from £5, cocktails and dishes both from £6.50

When: Until the end of summer

Where: St Paul's

Call 0203 030 4050 or email to book

6. Drink rose and bergamot cocktails at The Sanderson.

The Sanderson

Italicus is my absolute favourite new spirit, and if you don't know it, it's time you did. It's a rose and bergamot spirit, which are my two most favourite flavours. Essentially it tastes like boozy rose earl grey. The bottle also looks like Tom Ford designed it as his new summer scent. The Sanderson, stellar chaps that they are, have launched a whole menu to its glory, hosted on their beautifully summery terrace. Go now and be converted.

Price: From £10

When: Every Tuesday until the end of summer

Where: Soho

Book here

7. Eat chocolate kiwi ice creams at Dominique Ansel.

Dominique Ansel

Honestly guys, I'm going to make my fortune with pictures of pretty ice creams on Instagram. This is my personal business model. But also, how gorgeous is this ice cream? It's like the fanciest, fruitiest choc ice you'll ever eat. Heads up, it will also be the most expensive choc ice you've ever eaten, but you need to spend money to make money, friends, and it will all pay off when I'm on my yacht.

Price: £6

When: Until the end of summer

Where: Belgravia

8. Take a boozy sunset speedboat tour with Thames Lates.

Jonathan Perugia / Via

Look. I just really like drinking alcohol on boats alright? I would 100% recommend this cruise for summer though. It's something quite different, and is just a lovely way to spend an afternoon. You get on the speedboat, cruise along the river to do some sightseeing, then once you get past the river speed limit it's ON. It's like a rollercoaster on a river. Then on the way back you drink cocktails and watch the sunset. I went last summer and liked it so much I'm doing it again this summer.

Price: £39.50

When: Various times

Where: Waterloo

Book here


9. Eat a fancy Vietnamese dinner at Go Viet.

Instagram: @hobrett

One of the nicest Vietnamese meals I've had in a long time. I'm putting this as a summer thing to do, as they have the most ridiculously refreshing appetisers: chilled "Bí Mật Tomatoes" that have been infused with a secret herb blend, summer rolls, and an amazing lemongrass seafood salsa. You must also order the crispy prawn flat cake and the spring rolls, as they're so delicious they'll make your eyes roll into the back of your head.

Dishes from £3.50

When: Open every day

Where: South Kensington

Email or call 020 7589 6432 to book

10. Have a day out at the Horniman Museum.

Instagram: @petite

This is one of my favourite days out in London. It's underrated but SO brilliant. The museum is delightfully eclectic, as it used to be owned by a wealthy merchant who just filled it with things he found – like a billion beautiful musical instruments and taxidermy animals. Then they have an aquarium downstairs and a gorgeous garden and petting zoo. The garden is worth going for alone – it's huge, and blissfully uncrowded even on the sunniest of days.

Price: FREE – unless you want to go to the aquarium, which is £4

When: 10am to 5:30pm every day

Where: Forest Hill

11. Go on a picnic at German Gymnasium.

Thomas Alexander

German Gymnasium's new "Berlin Hamper" is delightful. You can get one to take away, but I'd recommend staying and eating it on their terrace. The Grade II-listed building is beautiful, and was, I believe, originally London's first gym (hence the name), and they really go all out, putting down a special faux-grass table topper for you. The picnic itself comes with three sandwiches to share, crisps, sweet Bavarian Giga rolls, marzipan treats, sunglasses, and bottle openers. Oh, and a full bottle of German wine (I recommend you go for the sparkling option).

Price: £48 for just a glass each, or from £64 for a bottle (I winced when I saw this price when I went for the picnic, but it's for two people, so only £32 each, which ain't bad for lunch plus a full bottle of wine)

When: Until 10 September

Where: King's Cross

Email or call 0207 287 8000 to book

12. Watch Black Cat Cabaret at Underbelly.

I love a bit of summer cabaret and Black Cat are one of the best. They'll be at Underbelly this summer season, which is one of the best seasonal theatre pop-ups in London. The whole thing is inspired by vintage Montmartre and Parisian Belle Epoque hijinks, and usually sells out super fast so get your tickets while they're hot.

Price: £22.50

When: Until 22 September

Where: South Bank

Book here


13. Summer drinks at The Hyde Bar.

The Hyde Bar

The Hyde Bar is the newly opened bar at the Royal Park Hotel, and lemme tell you it is DIVINE. The interior is super intimate and peaceful, and the hotel itself is opposite Hyde Park, which makes for beautiful views. The cocktails are also seriously punchy, and well worth the £14 price tag attached to them – they're on a par with the best of the hotel cocktails, which usually come at £16 to £20+ a pop. Order a "Stealing Beauty" (the bougiest cocktail mix I've ever heard of velvet liqueur, Lillet Rouge, Champagne, and spiced Aperol froth) and prepare to feel your fanciest summer self.

Price: Cocktails from £14

When: Every day

Where: Paddington

Book here

14. Go on a secret gin dining experience at Juniper Manor.

Juniper Manor

I actually don't know much about this as I haven't been yet (going in August!) but this is what I do know: 1. It's a secret immersive gin-themed dinner 2. it involves Sipsmith gin 3. it involves Gingerline, who are pretty top notch at immersive things 4. it's really very secret guys, there's zero photos of what's inside online. Their tickets sold out lightening quick, but I have it on good authority more tickets will be released in batches so sign up for their mailing list asap.

Price: From £52.50

When: Indefinitely

Where: Secret location

Book here

15. Experience proper gastropub food at The Pig's Ear.

Instagram: @petite

This gorgeous little gastropub is tucked down a quiet street in Chelsea and I'm a big fan. It's calm but not dead, has great atmosphere and also served me possibly the best damn risotto I've ever had. The risotto in question was on their new summer menu, and I dream about it nightly. If you like pubs and fever-dreams about risotto, you should go.

Price: Dishes start from £6

Where: Chelsea

When: Open Monday to Friday, 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm, then Saturdays 12pm to 10pm and Sundays 12pm to 9pm

Book here

16. Drink some sparkling red wine at Fiz.

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Have you heard of sparkling red wine? Apparently it's big on the continent, but I hadn't heard of it until Fiz (a new pop-up sparkling wine bar in Lights Of Soho) started serving it. Maybe I'm just terribly uncultured? Well, my uncultured, non-red-sparkling-wine-drinking self is over now. Now I am the new, cultured Emma, who drinks sparkling red wine and goes "oh, you DIDN'T know about sparkling red wine? Clearly you haven't been holidaying in Spain enough dahling."

Anyway. Sparkling red wine is surprisingly delicious, and the bar you can find it in is also very good. They do normal sparkling wines too, if red sparkling wine is a bridge too far for you.

Price: From £4.50 a glass

When: Until end of August

Where: Soho

17. Eat ice cream eclairs at Melba.


Melba is The Savoy's mega fancy café and they've just launched "Icéclairs", which are, you guessed it, eclairs filled with ice cream instead of ordinary cream. Because in summer ordinary, room temperature cream is for chumps, you hear me? CHUMPS. Brilliantly, you can build your own – you pick your ice cream (dark chocolate, Sicilian pistachio, salted caramel, wild berries, or vanilla), then choose your sauces, glaze, and toppings.

Price: £4.95, which honestly I don't think is that bad. It's The Savoy – you know they could charge more than this if they wanted to and get away with it

When: Available indefinitely

Where: The Strand