It might happen every year on a regular basis but it's still irrationally hard to contain our excitement for the summer months.
In order for you all to get the most out of the impending warm weather, we've assembled a list of what we're recommending to spend your time and money on. If it rains, don't blame us, okay?
(Image: Flickr Creative Commons: zisk0)
The Dark Knight Rises
While the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is a deeply upsetting event, it's also an incredibly exciting one. Aiming to inject some depth into a typically shallow blockbuster season, the final chapter sees the Caped Crusader facing off against the hard to kill and hard to understand Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Anne Hathaway also co-stars as Catwoman.
The Dark Knight Rises opens in cinemas on July 20th
While we could fill a stadium with all of the forgettable Olympics-related guff out there, these Onitsuka Tiger trainers are worth investing in, whatever the season. The California 78 Vintage collection give off a vintage appearance but with a modern twist. They're designed to represent gold, silver and bronze medals and this is one time that we wouldn't mind coming in second or third place.
Find your nearest stockist here.
Traditionally the thought of street-based food might make you think of an after-club burger van or a motorway-based greasy spoon but lately, we've been taking inspiration from our international brethren. Our recent investigation (yes a lot of eating was involved) tracked down the country's finest spots for street food, from Thai to Italian to Japanese.
You can read the full piece here.
Managing to maintain a fresh smell throughout the, hopefully, hot summer is tough. Just travel back in time to last July and meet us after a long day at work to find this out. This time around, we have a secret weapon. YSL have just released a new fragrance for the summer called La Nuit De L’Homme and they're pitching it as a "Frozen Cologne" which means that not only does it smell great but it has a chilly feel to make you feel less sweaty.
Available at The Perfume Shop nationwide.
Now you might not typically associate Barbour with the summer since they're known for waxy jackets that aren't advisable attire for a day on the beach. But, prepare to open up your narrow mind. These Barbour Corbridge shorts are a stylish way to stick a finger up to your reliable jeans when the sun comes out.
Available at John Lewis.
Bloom Gin & Strawberries
While we might be drinking alcohol throughout the year, it's the summer which offers up the most opportunities for diversifying what you're pouring down your throat. Adding a spin to the classic G&T, Bloom Gin have gone and added strawberries, just because. Read, make note and try:
2 parts BLOOM Gin
4 parts Tonic water
Put 3 English strawberries at the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice + gently muddle. Pour the BLOOM Gin over the ice. Top with Tonic Water.
The Bourne Legacy
It's been an awfully long five years since the last Bourne film was released. There have been a multitude of maniacally shot copycats but this summer, the real thing returns, albeit somewhat changed. Matt Damon is out and we have a new super-spy, in the shape of Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner. He stars alongside Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz in the latest, action-packed instalment. You can see the trailer here.
The Bourne Legacy is released in cinemas on August 13th
Aiming to keep you moisturised, youthful and protected from the sun, the infinitely useful new Molton Brown invention is a must for your summer grooming routine. The skin-firming lipamino hydrator minimises the appearance of wrinkles and boasts SPF15 protection so, in other words, it'll pretty much save your face over the next few months.
You can find a stockist here.
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
While TV ads will surely tell you that your summer soundtrack should resemble an all-night beach party in Ibiza, there are some more appealing options. Hot Chip, for example. The electro gods are back after their excellent last album with 11 tracks of foot-tapping, finger-bashing, shoulder-twitching greatness. Consider this essential barbecue listening.
In Our Heads is released on June 11th
The Carluccio's Hamper
Sure, the idea of a picnic is great but the actual reality is often far less appealing. And yes, we're mainly referring to the food. From lukewarm quiche to sweaty cheese, it's a grim ordeal. No more. For a more refined park-based lunch, we highly recommend Carluccio's delicious hamper. Comprising everything from quiche to antipasti to salad to chicken to chocolate, it's a summer must.
You can find your nearest restaurant here.
If you find the thought of V or Reading to be a bit too, you know, festival-y, then Latitude might be more your thing. Taking place at Henham Park in Suffolk, the lightly more laid-back three-dayer mixes music with comedy, poetry and theatre. This year you can catch Elbow, Metronomy, Bon Iver, Paul Weller and Lana Del Rey, amongst others.
You can buy tickets here.
Twothirds swim shorts
While that half-hearted plan of yours to gain the perfect six-pack just in time for summer might have stalled about a day in, there's nothing stopping you from attempting beach perfection in other ways. Which means it's time to throw away your surfer trunks. Firstly because you don't surf and secondly because they're awful. Replace them immediately with these new swim shorts from Twothirds, which will draw attention away from your belly. Success.
While we impatiently wait for the new series of The Thick Of It to return later this year, our summer will be mainly spent watching and laughing at Veep. If that makes little sense to you then Veep is Armando Iannucci's first US series and follows the misadventures of Julia Louis Dreyfus' vice-president. It contains all of the swearing, bumbling and awkwardness that you'd expect. But with American accents.
Veep begins on Sky Atlantic on June 25th
Festival season has just begun and if the weather continues to be as sunny as we hope, you're going to need some help in actually seeing the bands that perform. So to prevent maximum frustration and/or holding your beer-holding hand up to your eyes for an entire set, you might want to pick up a pair of these sunglasses. From the Charmant group, these Trussardi and Espirit styles are designed to keep you protected from the sun and looking damn fine in the process.
Check out our picks here.
While remaking Arnie's sacred sci-fi classic might seem like a deeply immoral thing to do, we've got an enormously good feeling about this one. For one thing, the Colin Farrell update is taking a different route and following the source novel more religiously. For another, Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale will both be starring. This can only be a good thing. You can take a look at the trailer here.
Total Recall is released in cinemas on August 22nd
Cooling leather shoes
Just in time for the (hopefully) sweltering heat, Nicholas Deakins has released the new 'Walsh' Airtex shoe. Despite its smart appearance, it's designed to keep your feet cool all day long with its addition of unique sports Airtex to Italian leather, camo textile interior lining and a full crepe sole. In other words, your new summer workwear essential.
Find out more information here.
...is back! Norwich's finest returns to Sky Atlantic this summer in a variety of exciting ways. Firstly, his web series Mid-Morning Matters will be turned into a six-part series while he'll also be starring in two other mockumentary specials, which will see him revisit his hometown haunts and get interviewed in front of a book club. Is it possible to want something too much?
Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life is on Sky Atlantic on June 25th
When the sweltering heat comes (yes, it will be sweltering), you'll soon start bemoaning the perils of going to work without coating yourself in sweat. Well, we have an idea. The Alan Paine Ice Cool Knitwear range aims to provide you with a smart set of work outfits but without the heat exhaustion that often comes alongside. They've sourced a new yarn which combines Supima Cotton and Clima fibres which manage to keep you cool in the hot weather.
You can find out more information here.
Yeah so shoes are great. We're totally not trying to discount the overall importance of shoes. But when it gets hot, there's really nothing better than flip-flops and when it comes to flip-flops, there's also nothing better than Havaianas. Your guaranteed essential purchase for hanging around the pool, walking on the beach and, yes, even heading to the shop, they're an absolute necessity.
You can buy your own pair here.
New Jack Reacher
If you're planning a late summer getaway and you're looking for some reading material, you can't go too wrong with the latest Jack Reacher thriller from Lee Child. The 17th book in the series sees our grizzled hero caught in a mysterious web of deceit with a group of strangers. If you haven't read the previous sixteen then that's your task before this one hits...
A Wanted Man is released on August 30th