1. Ice, Ice, Baby at the Absolut IceBar
Nothing cools you down on a hot day like a chilled drink. And venues don’t come much more chilled than the Absolut IceBar! Everything in the bar – the walls, tables, chairs and even the cocktail glasses - is made of ice. (Don’t worry – you get given a thermal cape thingy so you don’t get hypothermia!) And to keep things fresh, the bar is redesigned with a completely new theme every six months. Cool!
2. Stroke of Genius at The Berkeley
Acrophobic (scared of heights)? Aquaphobic (afraid of water)? It’s probably best you don’t read on: the two are combined to spectacular effect at the rooftop pool at The Berkeley. Between doggy-paddles, you can take in gob-smacking views over Knightsbridge and Hyde Park as part of a half-day or full-day package at the hotel’s Health Club & Spa. And when the sun’s out, they even retract the roof so you can top up your tan.
3. Speed Boat on the Thames: Sorted for Breeze and Whizz
LondonEyeStPaul’sCathedralTateModernTowerBridgeâ€¦! Yes, a voyage on a high-speed RIB (rigid inflatable boat) is without a doubt the fastest, most exhilarating tour of London’s sights! If you have false teeth, make sure they’re securely fastened as you whizz up the Thames, James Bond-style, with the cool breeze whistling through your hair. The fully guided tours – you can choose between the Canary Wharf Experience and the Thames Barrier Experience – last around 50 minutes. That’s your lunch hour sorted, then!
4. Fortnum & Mason: Sundae Service
Back in the day, summer just wasn’t summer without a Screwball from the ice-cream van! But things have moved on since then, and now London’s eateries are serving up all manner of weird and wonderful ice creams and sorbets. Take the Parlour Restaurant at Fortnum & Mason, where you can cool down with treats such as the Lazy Sundae Afternoon (see what they did there?). It’s basically fresh strawberries with vanilla bean, crushed meringue, frosted strawberry and shortbread ice creams, strawberry coulis and – wait for it – 12-year-old balsamic vinegar. It shouldn’t work but it definitely does!
5. It’s Great to Skate at Queens in Bayswater
It baffles me why ice-skating is a winter sport. The last thing you want on a freezing cold day is to end up pirouetting on your rear. In the summer, however, nothing could be more welcome! So head down to Queens London Ice Skating and Bowling in Bayswater, where you can attempt Torvill & Dean’s Bolero to the accompaniment of a state-of-the-art sound and light system. If you don’t quite pull it off, the venue offers classes to turn you into a pro!
Let us know if you have any other inventive ways to keep cool in London…