Do you remember the sweet, sweet sensation of warm sun on bare skin? The happy yells of children playing in parks? The slow drip of a melting ice lolly? Yes, it feels like an eternity since the glorious days of last summer, but warmer weather is finally on its way. And the great thawing will start with the Easter long weekend, which is forecast to reach balmy high temperatures of 21C on Good Friday. Okay, it's not quite the wild heatwave of our dreams, but it’s more than warm enough to justify some delicious hours spent outdoors in the weak English sunshine. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy it:
1. Scoff an ice-cream sandwich from Ruby Violet
Ruby Violet serves up gorgeous iced treats from its branches in Tufnell Park and King’s Cross: the sweet contrast between comforting biscuit and chilly ice cream is just what you need on a warm(ish) day.
2. Delight in the cherry blossom in Greenwich Park
It’s sakura season! So make for Greenwich Park’s deliciously pink avenue of cherry trees and you’ll be in a rosy wonderland of pompom-shaped blossoms and falling petals.
3. Take kids on a Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed trail through Kew Gardens
This adorable-sounding outdoor trail for kids includes delectable fruit sculptures and nature facts as it narrates the life cycle of a butterfly.
4. Sip a cocktail at Bussey Rooftop Bar
Yes, the gold standard for outdoor summertime tippling is the legendary Frank’s Cafe, but you don't want to spend half your weekend queuing to get in. Opt instead for Bussey Rooftop Bar, which serves up exceptional views over Peckham and fruity cocktails like the Berry Garcia: it opens for the season just in time for Easter weekend.
5. Plan a perfect picnic
It’s not the food that makes a picnic great, it’s the location, and London’s got some pretty exceptional spots for an alfresco Easter lunch. Check out this list of 15 perfect picnic spots: for views over the city, we reckon Ally Pally is hard to beat.
6. Swim in the heated bliss of Charlton Lido
Unless you’re a seriously hardy wild-swimming aficionado, it’s still too chilly for the famous unheated London swimming spots like the Serpentine, Tooting Bec Lido or Brockwell Lido. Charlton Lido to the rescue! This pool is heated to a deliciously mild temperature of 25C. That’s warmer than the air, so it should be almost like slipping into a warm bath. Check out other London lidos here.
7. Enjoy a blissfully bright outdoor artwork
Lakwena Maciver’s zingy rooftop installation is full of sunshine-bright colour. Head to the top of Temple tube station for a work titled ‘Back in the Air: A Meditation on Higher Ground’, with geometric shapes and colours inspired by her Ugandan heritage.
8. Soak up the canalside atmos at Towpath Café
Bag a table outside at Towpath and you can watch Haggerston’s chic-est residents parade by the water, with a beautiful backdrop of lovingly painted canal boats.
9. Enjoy the magical bluebells at Queen’s Wood
Secluded Highgate park Queen’s Wood is a wonderful place to enjoy the beauty of a forest in spring: bluebells, wood anemones and wild garlic abound.
Get lost in these hidden gardens and green spaces in London.