Finally, it seems that summer might happen. We’re done with pretending (read: shivering in beer gardens clutching a pint), which is why we’ve put together a list of 10 things to make your summer great. It’s time to emerge from your winter hibernation and start reacquainting yourself with the sun. Or, if not the sun, at least the outside world where good food, drink and people live. Or so we’ve heard.
London Rooftop Film Club, various times
Various locations; rooftopfilmclub.com
Say goodbye to cinema rustling – The Rooftop Film Club has wireless headphones that cut out any noisy eaters or annoying whisperers. On top of a cinematic line-up that includes 80s classics, Oscar contenders and pure Hollywood gold, there’s an abundance of beer, blankets and comfy directors chairs. Summer doesn’t get better than this.
Village Green Market, every Sunday
Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT; eastworkart.com
They say a bit of fresh air is good for the soul. But what if we add a gourmet burger and hand-cut chips into the equation? Well, that’s the line-up at Hackney’s hipster-friendly al fresco Village Green Market. From Mama’s Jerk Station to the Cast Iron Kitchen that’s a veritable meat feast, why not pick-up a second-hand bike from The Hackney Peddler and really blow away the cobwebs?
Supersonic Festival, 11 -14 June
Various locations; supersonicfestival.com
Music lovers, vinyl collectors, musicians and art aficionados unite in this eclectic three-day festival that’s a meeting of Birmingham’s creative minds. With the likes of DJ Food and The Bug on the roster and a mash-up of the weird (there’s a lot of immersive art) and wonderful (some truly wacky Indie films) in the main tents, this is creative mecca.
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival, 31 July - 9 August
Various locations; www.edinburghjazzfestival.co.uk
Any line-up that features Jools Holland peaks our rhythm and blues interest. With a swinging roster of big band, skiffle, ragtime and free-form, this festival programme delivers on all jazz fronts. For those seeking some al fresco action, there’s some Mardi Gras fun at Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, which sees hordes of revellers unite for some sessions in the sun.
London Coffee Festival, 1 - 3 May
Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London; londoncoffeefestival.com
Kicking off UK Coffee Week (4 - 10 May), this festival celebrates London’s busy, varied and internationally renowned coffee scene. With a barista competition, over 250 artisan brewers and food stalls, an Espresso Martini Launch Party, bean-based seminars, signature drinks and a small lorry-load of coffee, it’s a must for anyone who owns a grinder and knows how to use it. Prices from £14.50
Sony World Photography Awards, 24 April - 10 May
Somerset House, London, WC2R 1L; somersethouse.org.uk
The world's biggest photography competition returns to Somerset House (more than 173,444 images were submitted in the hope of bagging the top prize of £25,000). This showcase of the winners and runners-up covers categories as diverse as travel, wildlife, portraiture, landscape and fashion. Taken by both professionals and amateurs, these truly breath-taking pictures will inspire and shock in equal measure (and no doubt re-ignite that hidden suspicion you may be an undiscovered genius). Prices from £8.50.
Udderbelly Festival, 9 April – 19 July
Udderbelly Festival, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XX; Udderbelly.co.uk
While the whole line-up here is comedy gold, there’s some truly award-winning laughs during the Comedy Store's Southbank residency at the annual Udderbelly Festival. The Store remains one of the best places to see quality acts, both established big names and newer faces on the rise. You’ll be able to watch (and judge) new material crafted both specifically for the occasion and in preparation for the Edinburgh Festival. You’ll not only snort with mirth, but visiting the big purple cow on the edge of the Thames is always a surrealist joy. From £20.
Treezone Aerial Adventure, daily
Loch Lomond Shores, Ben Lomond Way, Balloch, Glasgow G83 8QL; treezone.co.uk
Remember when you were a kid and you could climb trees? You’re biggest worry at that age was getting back down. Ah, halcyon days… <dabs eye> Ahem, well, anyway, this Bank Holiday is the perfect excuse to revisit those heady days. Zip wires, balance beams, hanging platforms, tight-ropes and scramble nets hang over the truly spectacular scenery of Loch Lomond. A perfect day out with kids or really competitive groups of friends. Same thing, really. Prices from £17.
Jimmy Carr 'Funny Business'
Various locations across the UK; jimmycarr.com
Jimmy’s new tour is well underway and you can catch the plastic-haired joke-machine in and around the UK until November. Pay attention to the website small print which specifies how ‘if you are easily offended, don’t be a d**k about it’ and ‘this show is not suitable for anyone who hasn’t bought a ticket’. Go for the witty musings on the human condition. Stay for the crude gags. Carr remains a master craftsman. Tickets are £25.
The Brighton Fringe, 1 - 31 May
Various locations; brightonfringe.org
Only an absolute fun-sponge could fail to have a laugh in Brighton at the worst of times (the pier! the slot machines! the fish and chips!), so imagine what a cracking weekend you’re in for during The Brighton Fringe. Theatre, comedy, dancing and singing barbers are all par for the course during this celebration of the arts. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find it here. And then there’s the pier, of course. And the drinking. And the beach. See you there.
Whether you’re out with friends or simply having the boys round for a night in, Haig Club™ makes the perfect accompaniment to any social gathering. Here, we’ve teamed up with Haig Club to present three great bars in which to enjoy the beloved whisky.
And, if you're having a night in, we kick-off with a recipe for the popular Haig Club Citrus Smash serve.
To be in with a chance of winning one of five bottles of Haig Club – enter our competition here.
HAIG CLUB CITRUS SMASH
“The smoked tea brings a modern twist to this iconic whisky and ginger serve and the ultra-smooth
“The Haig Club Citrus Smash is a fantastic drink to make over the long summer evenings that is sure to impress both non-whisky lovers and adorers alike" says Haig Club ambassador David Sinclair.
Method: Muddle the lemon wedges in a highball. Add crushed ice and liquid ingredients, then churn and top up with more crushed ice. Garnish with lemon zest and a sprig of mint.
Ingredients: 50ml Haig Club / 10ml runny honey / 2 lemon wedges / 6 mint leaves / Soda to top (2 units of alcohol per serve)
Mews of Mayfair
10, Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London, W1S 1EY; mewsofmayfair.com
There aren’t many restaurants that unite geography with the culinary. But the Mews of Mayfair menu has done just that with its extensive map of the British Isles showing where the food comes from – think beef from Devon and halloumi cheese from Sussex. Keeping things simple, there’s five cuts of steak cooked on the Josper Grill and the ‘Roast and Toast’ menu delivers a spread fit for a 21st century king (or someone with a raging hangover). Nip down to the bar on the ground floor for a little pre-evening sharpener or two.
25 Heddon street, London W1B 4BH; momoresto.com
Rod Stewart, The Clash, The Rolling Stones and Steven Tyler: these rock legends are the inspiration behind this Heddon Street bar. Walls are covered in music memorabilia, while lavish peacock feather and leopard print fabrics bring a bit of mischievous sass to a night. Take your Haig club on the rocks before whiling away the night under the retro glittered ceiling.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, London W1B 3BR; aquakyoto.co.uk
There are some places that make you feel like you’ve done alright in life. Aqua Kyoto is one of those spots. With its polished Japanese finish, mirrored walls and waitresses that look like they’ve breezed off a catwalk, this is for those who seek the good life. Whether reclining on the rooftop terrace with a Haig Club whisky or tasting the sea bass in a spicy dashi broth, exclusive just went up a notch.
The HAIG CLUB word and associated logos are trade marks. © Diageo Brands B.V. 2015