How to pretend you’re on holiday without leaving London

                        “In August most of Europe goes on holiday”
                        Tony Visconti

No holiday for the Holmes’. I have been warned though that holidays are never the same once you have kids so that is some comfort.

What can you do if you’re having a ‘staycation’ or just a regular weekend in London? Pretend you are on holiday of course. Pitch a tent in the back garden, if you have one, switch off the TV and maybe the mobile phone too, and spend the weekend pretending you are on your jolly holidays.

How to pretend you’re on holiday:

beach1. Hit the beach

Most people like a beach holiday so why not pull out the beach bag that is at the back of the wardrobe and fill it with everything needed for a day at the beach? Now, I’m not suggesting you go to Brighton or even Southend, you can get your beach fix in London. The Roundhouse in Camden has a pop up beach complete with beach huts, pier entertainments and 150 tonnes of sand. It is free entry but if you are feeling flush you can hire your own beach hut for the day for up to 8 people for £250. A bit pricey but it does include: comfy seating, a fridge full of beer, a television, a fan, a platter of gourmet hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, candy floss and rock, waiter service at your hut and a souvenir tote bag, a pair of beach mats and a beach ball. Ideal if you want to celebrate a birthday or you are getting a bit carried away with pretending you’re on holiday. I am always prepared to spend £4 on an ice cream on holiday yet would not dream of paying that at home.

Camden Beach, open until 23rd August

2. Swim in the sea

This is a bit trickier to pull off however you can get the feel of an ocean swim by taking a dip in one of London’s lidos. Don’t be fooled by all this hot weather though, the water will still be cold. Hampstead Heath boasts three swimming ponds, but they might be very busy now the holidays have started and the last thing you want on your holiday is a load of other peoples kids. So check out London Fields Lido, the pool is heated and there are two cafes, or a classic Art Deco lido in Brockwell.

ice-cream-235071_640  3. Eat an ice cream

Of course you can eat ice cream sitting at home watching TV, but that isn’t what you’d do on holiday. You need to get yourself a 99 cone in your local park or on the beach (see no.1) or find the best ice cream in London and spend silly money for your scoop. Try Gelupo, near Piccadilly Circus, for unusual flavours, think kiwi and gin rather than mint choc chip, or 3Bis in Borough market for traditional Italian gelato.

I like a Feast from the ice cream van in Ridgeway Park myself.

4. BBQ

When you’ve had a long day at the beach it is nice to relax with a bit of alfresco dining. Get the BBQ out at home (not sure we are allowed to have one on the balcony) for a relaxed affair, and you are also closer to your tent under the stars, or there are some places in London you can have a BBQ. Islington is the only borough in London where you can BBQ in any public park, responsibly of course, but there are also places in Hackney, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth.

Where to BBQ in London


Happy Holidays