We can't get enough of this heatwave! Temperatures are reaching an all-time high this weekend and there's plenty to see and do in London, starting with Cocktails in the City - the perfect way to kick off Friday. Read on for fun things to do in the capital...
Toast the weekend at Cocktails in the City: Summer Edition
London was basically crowned the cocktail capital of the world last month, cleaning up seven out of 14 gongs at the international Spirited Awards. Impressive? You know it. And what better way to raise a toast of celebration than at Cocktails in the City: Summer Edition. Taking place at Bedford Square Gardens this weekend, this festival-like pop-up will see 25 of London's leading mixology houses pouring unique creations, and hosting tastings and impressive workshops.
Have a midday sushi feast literally on top of the world
SushiSamba is out of this world before you even talk about the food - its location on the 39th floor of the Heron Tower right by London's trendy Spitalfields market is worth a visit just to ride in the great glass elevatore that whisks you up the outside of the building. But while views are extraordinary here, the food is even more so. An eclectic blend of Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese food, it's sushi, but not as you know it. And because the menu's so broad, those who prefer meat or - on the opposite end of the spectrum - are vegan, are perfectly catered for too.
Dinner at SushiSamba is a treat, and one you'll probably need to plan ahead for. But new to the establishment is the Omakase lunch time menu, and that's what we tried when we called in last weekend. Omakase is the Japanese tradition of letting the chef choose your order - to translate it's "I’ll leave it to you", and you'll be glad you did. Widely regarded as being the best way to enjoy the chef’s creativity, we were left agreeing, especially when these crispy yellowtail taquitos were brought to the table. Other treats on the menu included a light and fluffy sea bass tempura, heritage carrots with smoked emulsion and a serving of the crispiest, tastiest quinoa you've ever had, plus wagyu gyoza.
The food just kept coming, and the perfect ending was a super-indulgent but just-small-enough-not-to-feel-too-terrible-for-the-waisline chocolate banana cake. And while it might be lunch time, it would be rude not to sample one of the restaurants infamous cocktails. Some of them even come with a piece of sushi balancing on top.
Is it just the 39th floor, or are you actually in heaven?
Have a clucking good day out at London Wing Fest
Europe's biggest chicken wing showdown is taking place in London this weekend, and although Saturday's tickets are sold out, you still have all day on Sunday to catch the day's antics. Apart from £1 wings to look forward to - yes, £1 wings - there's going to be street entertainment, bourbon masterclasses, Frank's RedHot eating competition and Dr Sweetsmoke's deadly Lava Wing Challenge.
Give your Wilderness Festival visit a bubbly twist
If you're heading to Wilderness Festival this year (2nd - 5th August), then in between the music acts, theatre, comedy, and dance, why not visit to the Veuve Cliquot champagne garden? Returning for the second year running, the garden is split into three pods "encapsulating Veuve Clicquot's audacity and creativity" with pop art inspired fruit and waiters with plant pot heads. Sip Veuve Clicquot's signature Yellow Label or opt for RICH, dedicated to drinking over ice. Which sounds exactly what you need in a heatwave...
Book tickets to see the darker side of the Wizarding World
The Warner Bros studio tour is one of the most magical places on earth if you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, but if you’re bored of seeing the heroes take centre stage, then you’ll love their next installment. In a special feature dedicated purely to the Dark Arts, you can see the costumes of the infamous Death Eaters, as well as learn about duelling from the film’s wand choreographer, Paul Harris. Visitors can even take part in an actual live duel, using the wand techniques that Death Easters used during the storming of Hogwarts Bridge, and learn all about how those battle scenes were created. The iconic Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, and there’s also vats of slimy Troll snot, unicorn blood, and drool from a certain three-headed dog - so perhaps not for the faint hearted…
Tickets go on sale on 14th August, and the feature runs from Friday 28th September to Saturday 10th November.
Get stuck into Her Mother's Daughter by Alice Fitzgerald
1980: Josephine flees her home in Ireland, hoping never to return. She starts a new, exciting life in London, but as much as she tries, she can't quite leave the trauma of her childhood behind. Many years later, Josephine gets a call: her mother is dying and wants to see her - a summons she can't refuse. 1997: Ten-year-old Clare is counting down to the summer holidays when she is going to meet her grandparents for the first time ever. She hopes this trip will put an end to her mum's dark moods - and drinking. But family secrets can't stay buried forever and following revelations in Ireland, everything starts to unravel. Have mother and daughter passed the point of no return?
Try out a new sparkling wine in a stunning rooftop bar
Rathfinny Estate recently launched their first Sussex sparkling wines, and what better way is there to toast the release than on top of a rooftop bar? Head to Soho's Ham Yard hotel and visit their stunningly decorated roof for the ultimate tasting experience with incredible sweeping views. You can sample their new Blanc de Blancs 2014 and Rose Brut 2015 as well as cocktails using their unique gin. Because while we're enjoying a heatwave, there's no reason not to drink everything outside. Tickets to Rathfinny on the Roof cost £18 and include a glass of bubbly, and the pop-up is running between 6th - 19th August.
Listen to Maya Jama's podcast When Life Gives You Melons
Have you been tuning into Maya Jama's podcast When Life Gives You Melons? If not, why not – it's fab! This week's episode sees the presenter, TV host and Radio DJ discussing the art of hustling, gender pay gaps and burning out as she reveals the hardships she faced when first embarking on her career - including struggling to balance her personal and professional life. Maya – who literally didn't have a day off last year – talks about rebalancing her life and taking more time for personal relationships (her boyfriend is grime superstar Stormzy), and she's joined by Katherine Ormerod, founder of anti-perfectionism project, Work Work Work, and Emma Gannon, author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, for this show Put Your Hands Up And Give Me A Payrise. A must-listen! When Life Gives You Melons is an all-female podcast brought to you by Freya Lingerie. It can be downloaded via freyalingerie.com/melons-podcast.