London is fast. The pace of life is fast, the summer was fast, people walk (really) fast.
This weekend brings summer officially to a close, but I can quite confidently say it has been the best; action packed, full of new experiences and new friends, and absolutely enjoyed to the max.
I follow numerous London based blogs and social sites meaning new events, attractions, gatherings and activities are forever being added to my to-do list. When the opportunity to attend a cabaret show for £2 presented itself, we were a little sceptical at what exactly we would experience for such a low price. Mirrors, sequins, feather boas, plush velvet booths, flamboyantly gay hosts and fancy cocktails later, I can’t say I’ve ever got better value for money.
Outdoor cinema screenings seem to be the thing of the summer. Whether free or overly priced, there’s something special about watching a classic movie outside on a warm summer’s evening with over 1000 other people, all singing along to theme song and mimicking famous lines.
I’ve had many amazing nights out here in London, the highlight being The Mayor of Scardey Cat Town in which you must tell the waiter at the Breakfast Club that you’re ‘here to see the Major’ in which his response is ‘The Mayor?’, and you confirm ‘Yes, the Mayor of Scardey Cat Town’. He will then escort you through, yes through, the Smeg fridge down into a secret, hidden basement bar adorned with pictures of cats, among other strange memorabilia. In addition to this gem of a find, I had possibly the best night of my life at an 80 vs 90s dance night in Camden in which singing to Whitney, dancing the Macarena and starting a line dance were the complete norm (of course we requested Britney and the Spice Girls). We also attended a 50s party with 100s of others, all of which made a huge effort dressing in flare pants or swing skirts. The venue was a 1950’s basement bar complete with American diner, bowling alley, karaoke booths and a huge dance floor matched with 50’s music and couples swing dancing the night away! Other great nights out include dancing in Covent Garden, late nights followed by late eats in my home suburb of Clapham and another 90s vs 00s party in Shoreditch (no competition with my Camden night which was hands down number 1).
Weekdays and nights are filled with reuniting up with friends from home, after work drinks in very old pubs, lunching with colleagues at the new Jamie Oliver restaurant just across the road (!), attending improv comedy on Drury Lane and wandering the many rooms of department store Liberty.
Weekends have included early morning Sunday cycle adventures along them Thames whilst the roads are quiet – I cycled from my flat to the Shard, via Trafalgar Square, and back down to Brixton from their annual street community carnival. Also trips to Maltby Road markets, the Natural History Museum, amusement at Southbank street performers (including stunts on top of a 7foot unicycle just four months after open heart surgery) and wildlife exhibitions. Of course between all this the hot weather calls for swimming and sunbathing at Brixton lido and Hampstead Heath (my favourite).
I love exploring on my own, however time with friends is always much welcome. This month one of my good friends from home arrived to start his big two year OE, and two of my other close girlfriends are arriving tomorrow for a holiday. Catch ups with distant family members, old friends from home and new friends from London are enjoyed at amazing restaurants on the likes of Heddon Street and Covent Garden (best Italian tapas experience ever), cafés on the Serpentine in Hyde Park or BBQs in cosy, shady friends’ gardens.
Summer surely did disappear as quickly as it arrived, but with friends arriving tomorrow and adventures awaiting in the near future, I’m happy to say hello to Autumn and all it will bring.