The skies might be grey and laced with droplets of rain, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming a little bigger, of a time where the grey skies materialize into blue and the flamingo floats come out to play. The sun would beam down on its ecstatic youth, who would challenge each other to bubble wars in the heat of the summer, while loves young dream would walk hand in hand, licking ice cream off each others noses, with cheeky delight. But what if I was to tell you that you didn’t have to go abroad to enjoy this summer 2018, what if I was to tell you that the top activities to check out in London, would have you putting away your passport and settling in for a summer of fun, where the weather might be temperamental but the fun would be incessant? You would become a tourist in your own city, during the day you would be a wanderer, trying your hand at emulating the vibrant murals and graffiti that is so lovingly embedded into the East London scene but by night you would trace Jack the Ripper’s blood stained footprints, where the ghosties come out to play when the whole world is sleeping. As you tick off your ‘things to do in London’ checklist you smile as you realize that the summer of 2018 might be your finest yet…
You sashay into a steamy salsa class, where the night is young but the room is hot, fumbling your way through the intricate moves with a twinkle in your eye. And when that cute dancer in the corner catches your eye, you draw upon your inner diva as you make your way over to the bar and buy him drink. Mojitos, daquiris and all things sugary and sweet, you indulge in an impromptu cocktail class, marveling at the bar tenders who juggle their canisters like they were performers in a circus act. And when the hunger begins a’calling, you find an Indian restaurant, where the smell of chickpea curry wafts under your very noses and you tuck into much needed delicious food. Morning breaks and you smile at the memory of last night but there is still so much to tick off your things to do in London list, would you be the next Banksy or would cheesemaking be your calling? Perhaps you would be a tourist and go round a tour of Buckingham Palace, capturing the beauty of the royal apartments and its breathtaking gardens. And lo and behold your summer of things to do in London came to you, as if in a dream, you scribbled out the notes with a fevered frenzy…
1.A One Night Stay At A 4* Hotel With Breakfast And Theatre Ticket
Your summer of fun things to do in London has begun, and what better way to kick off the fun than through a theatre break with a special someone, as you enjoy either the Woman In Black or Thriller Live, before a one night stay at a fancy hotel like RE London Shoreditch Hotel, with a much needed breakfast in the morning to rejuvenate your senses. You choose your best friend , as arm in arm your heels clonk on the pavement, a surprisingly balmy warm night wrapping you both in a blanket of warm fuzz. You are both dressed to nines, gowns emblazoned in a floral graphic print, with hair and makeup primed to perfection, as you shimmy into the theatre to watch The Woman In Black. You don’t want to give away any spoilers so you speak in riddles ‘ the night was beginning and the tension was rising, one storyteller on stage, 600 people captivated, all was not lost but the world seemed like it was ending, but the story drew us in like the tick tock, tick tock of an ancient clock, until BAM, the spell had broken and we were in reality once more’. The best friends had to pinch their flesh as their skin prickled with goosebumps and as they made their way back outside and headed for their hotel, they couldn’t help but wonder, what was all that about?
Bewildered yet dazzled, at last they had arrived at Corus London Hyde Park, a stunning 4* hotel in the fashionable Hyde Park neighborhood of London. You both turned stunned at the beauty that is there before you, a 200 year-old listed Georgian mansion that has you dreaming of summer balls with Mermen Princes who rush to take your welcoming hand. The hotel itself is exquisite but it is the food, famished after your fantastic theatre visit that has you salivating. A Malaysian and British hybrid menu fare at The Brasserie, you rove your wandering eye over the menu which features such culinary delights as buttermilk panna cotta and Grilled halloumi cheese salad, which you wash down with Disaronno Sour featuring a delectable blend of Amaretto, bourbon, fresh lime and Gomme syrup. Satisfied with your bellies no longer rumbling, you sleep until morning breaks and the smell of breakfast has you running. You sip on orange juice and admire the view, as you butter toast and have an odd satisfaction with the way that your poached egg oozes in a bright orange mess all over your plate. At last your theatre break is over but your things to do in London has only just begun…
2. A Royal Wedding II Special Medieval Banquet With Four Course Dinner, Ale, Wine and Prosecco
With the Royal Wedding mere moments away, you crave a gastronomic feast, a four course to celebrate Britain’s happiness. It would be a medieval Banquet in the heart of London, an immersive two hour experience, as you marvel at the knights and aerial acrobats who take you back into a time so long ago, where you become knights and queens dancing as one, making the choose to pay legion to a sacred house, with a motto that will be repeated for centuries to come. But plant lovers have no fear, for a vegetarian four course menu is on the cards too, as you feast in an ancient river dock, where time seems to stand still. You would tuck into a fresh vegetable soup, with vegetables plucked from the market, as you settle into a story as old as time, where the knights would battle bravely and fiercely, but the women would be the ones to watch, sharp witty tongued ladies who sought to change the world.
The second course is here and its a breathtaking tower, made up of tomato and mozzarella with exotic baby leaves and balsamic reduction. Before your eyes the dish is nibbled in a flash and it is the third course that has your heart a’racing, as the drama is amped and the knights continue to battle. For lo and behold your senses are being awakened , by a roasted butternut squash filled with a root vegetable and butterbean cassoulet, topped with a rich cheddar cheese topping. It almost melts in your mouth and you close your eyes in ecstasy as the roar of the battle grows ever louder in your eyes. The crescendo builds and the dessert is served, a rich fruit pie filled with smatterings of cream, exploding in your mouth in one very satisfying foodgasm until the two hours have come to a halt and your evening of fun is over. Of all the things to do in London this is undoubtedly one of the most unique experiences you have yet, but your summer is not over just yet…
Your itinerary takes a ghoulish turn, where your fascination with the macabre comes into play and you hunt out the ghosties who lie in purgatorial abandonment, chained to earth as they bemoan the travails they had faced in their lifetime to anyone who would listen. You begin at Westminster Abbey for a tour of haunted London, driving past the Banqueting Hall where Charles I was beheaded, and overthrown by Oliver Cromwell, the English Puritan who rejected Monarchical constitution, before a visit to the Royal London Hospital where The Elephant Man lived. The Elephant Man, you remembered was once a ‘circus act’ abandoned by his father and his mother was dead, who only lived until the age of 27 after dying from from asphyxia and a dislocated neck. You wonder what he would think of his skeleton being on display but it is the empty Smithfield Market where Braveheart was tortured that chills your bones, as you find out how bloodthirsty Londoners truly were. And when you spot a glimpse of the infamous Cock Lane Ghost roaming the streets, you almost scream before you blink and the ghost is gone, as if they were never there in the first place.
The bus chugs into the East End where Jack The Ripper once lived , as you attempt to solve the mystery that still remains uncertain to this day. Who was he and why did he strike, was his ghost here at his victims murder sites, forever sentenced to eternal damnation or was he just a figment of our very own imagination? Detective work and sleuthing was not over just yet as you huddled in the Sherlock Holmes Pub, where your tour must end, sipping on a well earned pint with a Sherlock Holmes novel in the other hand. And at night you dreamed a dream where the night had turned red and the ghosts had come out to play until you woke, startled and shaken, but then you remembered it was just a dream?
4. A Chocolate Afternoon Tea for Two With Champagne At The Grand Royale
After wandering through London’s murky past you craved something sweet to liven the mood. It would be a chocolate afternoon tea with champagne for you and your ‘hot summer date’, at the Grand Royale in Hyde Park which boasted sophisticated, ornate Edwardian interiors. The afternoon was surprisingly warm and the sun was high in the sky, a yellow egg yolk that was beaming on you both, as though it was rewarding you with its very own blessing. But as you stepped into the hotel, your stomachs began rumbling with anticipation as you toasted your new love to a bright and happy future, with champagne that seemed to course through both of your veins. The chocolate tea was whisked in with aplomb, a quintessentially British experience with that decidedly delicious twist. It would be homemade chocolate brownies crumbling in your mouths with chocolate sponge cake and lemon filling, oozing chocolaty goodness in both of your mouths.
You would share a sweet chocolate kiss, as time began to halt, two lovers caught in a chocolate world, where Willy Wonka was its master and you were ‘Charlie’s’ in search of your Golden Ticket. But you realized something special midway through a mouthful of chocolate scones with clotted and chocolate cream, the answer was there all along. For you were each others Golden tickets, a winning prize in an otherwise grey filled world, where the rose tinted glasses changed your lives forever and a bright fantasy together had only just begun.
5. A Cocktail Making Masterclass At The Goat
After your chocolate afternoon tea with ‘MR Dreamboat’ you crave something refreshing and what could be more perfect than a ‘Cocktail Making Masterclass’ at The Goat, an Italian style restaurant on Fulham Road? You are presented with a welcome drink of your choice, a Mojito of course, which you drink slowly, relishing the way that the ice cubes roll across your tongue in a seductive water dance. But the class begins and this is what you came for, a chance to make your own cocktails, as an expert bartender leads the way and shows you how to craft the drink magic. You try your best but its not quite the same as the professionals make it, still you are proud of yourself for taking the plunge, for having the creativity to think outside the box. And yet you are thankful for the six taster cocktails you are presented with, getting merry with all the drinks that have been thrown your way, one sip at a time.
As the cocktail masterclass comes to a close you explore the restaurant and its vegetarian options, what would tickle your fancy you ponder to yourself? A Marscapone pizza with poached egg and rocket catches your eye, which you pair with smoked paprika rub fries and a generous helping of olives, plump and juicy, drizzled with olive oil. But it is the vanilla and blueberry cheesecake that makes your night complete, 50 seconds of pure foodgasm, swallowed whole in your mouth. The night is over and your summer of fun things to do in London is over, yet you can’t help but want more. I wonder what next summer will bring?
What Would You Do In London This Summer?
Please note this is a collaborative post with Groupon but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.