Your ultimate guide to London in the summer

........from the coolest bars to urban beaches

Right ear, right now… 

Septum piercings are so last summer – join the glitterati’s top piercing squad at Notting Hill’s Love Hate Social Club, where owner Guy Saar caters for the London A-list (‘but I’m American, so I don’t know any of them’, he says, helpfully) and their demands for this year’s trio of trendy piercings (helix, conch and daith – the exciting inner-ear type). With prices starting from £80, you’ll barely feel the pinch. 5 Blenheim Crescent, W11.  (

Night owls…

Just 11 months, umpteen strikes and lots of grumbling later, the Night Tube finally rolls out on the Central and Victoria Lines on 19 August. The city’s first ever 24-hour weekend service promises to pump £360m into the economy – think of all the extra cash coming in via London’s late-night bar tills.  (

Basic beach…

Want to feel the sand between your toes without going outside the M25? London’s pop-up beaches might just have the answer. CopaCabana and Camden boast cocktails and food stalls, while BeachEast even has a fairground. CopaCabana Beach (Southbank), BeachEast (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), Camden Beach (Camden) and Urban London (The Crystal, Royal Victoria).

From Russia, with Love…

You wait all year for an Anton Chekhov play, then three come along at once. David Hare’s Young Chekhov trilogy lands at the National Theatre, charting the birth of his genius through the Russian’s early plays Platonov, Ivanov, and The Seagull – you also have the option of watching all three in a single day. 14 July – 3 September. Tickets from £45. (

Deed dating…

Feel like saying ‘swipe left’ to seedy dates? Good Deed Dating was set up in June, determined to mix romance with charity work. Those who sign up get the chance to do a raft of lovely things – like cat cuddling, marathon cheering and gardening for grannies – while hopefully meeting the love of their life. (

Raise the bar… 

What will you be sipping this summer? London’s cocktail queen BarChick leads us through the hottest new openings…

1 Yosma

With Matt Whiley, aka Talented Mr Fox, creating raki-based cocktails from fennel pollen and parsley gin, and head chef Hus Vedat roasting meats on coal pits, this meyhane will be hotter than the Turkish sun.

50 Baker Street, W1. (

2 Night Tales

The best street-food party in town has hit Hackney. You’ll find BarChick at the Lazy Flamingo Bar sipping pink piña coladas or keeping it cool at Coco’s Rum Shack stall – ’cos you just can’t go wrong with coconuts.

1-2 Hepscott Road, E9. (

3 Heist Bank

Sitting big and airy just off the canal at Paddington, this hot new opening offers a bit of regression with an adult twist – Mr Whippy ice creams, fun cocktails and beer kegs if you play nice. And then it’s time to hit the basement, where the karaoke machine and Nintendos are at.

5 North Wharf Road, W2. (

4 Pergola On The Roof

A sky-high playground on the old White City BBC building, with killer drinks, awesome food and bathtubs full of wine. Did we mention it’s all set under a canopy of flowers, with 170ft high views across London? Television Centre, W12. (

5 Land of Bamboo

Tropical huts, trampolines and one huge fire pit, this tiki playground is where to tuck into nitrogen ice cream while sinking your toes into the sand(pit) this summer.

Hawker House, Canada Street, SE16. (


Watershed moment… 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s London’s extraordinarily elegant Floating Cinema, slipping like a Japanese Lantern down the city’s waterways this summer via Stratford (30 July), Hackney Wick (19-21 August) and King’s Cross (1-4 September) with its indie mix of talks and screenings (‘Another Country’ is a timely exploration of London’s identity and relationship with the world). (

Wild things…

‘Naww’, ‘zomg’, and ‘adorbs’: Twitter’s musings on the birth of two of the world’s rarest Sumatran tigers at ZSL London Zoo, whose early steps we’ve been tracking on the Zoo’s YouTube ‘Cub Cam’. Watch them use their mum Melati as a slide if you’re having a lousy day, or head down to the zoo yourself later in the summer to see their first walk in the… err… wild. (

All the rave… 

Why go to further afield than London when a hat-trick of festival highlights rounds off the summer right here in the capital? South West Four sees the brilliantly Bonkers Dizzee Rascal tear up Clapham Common on August Bank Holiday (27-28 August), before Madness host House of Common on the Monday (29 August), while OnBlackHeath – on Blackheath, naturally – brings Primal Scream, Belle & Sebastian and Hot Chip to your doorstep. (10-11 September). (Tickets from,


Street style…

Got a summer wardrobe to refit? Hackney Walk, the latest shopaholics’ Shangri-La to rise in east London, boasts striking yellow shutters (designed by architect David Adjaye), Victorian Railway arches and enough luxury destinations to give Bicester Village a run for its money. High-end brands such as Matches, Joseph and Present join the recently opened Nike store, Anya Hindmarch, Burberry and Pringle of Scotland this summer. Morning Lane, E9. (