Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Canadian and I love summer in Edmonton, but these past few months in London have been great. As summer draws to a close, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the great times we had. When it comes to summertime fun, Brits have a strong game and there are a few things they just do better:
The art of picnicking. First off, with so many amazing parks, it’s no wonder the Brits take to the outdoors to dine al fresco. But I’m not talking about some takeout from KFC or the grocery deli, they go all out. Champagne with real flutes and gourmet food all packed into a gorgeous wicker hamper. Mike and I felt a little underprepared the first time we laid out our blanket at the park. But we soon learned what it takes to put together a glorious feast!
Soaking in the sun. As soon as the sun comes out, people take advantage of it! They descend on the parks or green spaces to enjoy the sunshine before it goes away. I’ve noticed people will readily strip down to their underwear, or wear a bathing suit even if it’s not that nice out just to catch some rays. When it’s nice out, many take the opportunity to have some fun playing sports we don’t usually see like cricket and lawn bowling.
Pub culture. What’s not to love about the neighborhood pub, especially if it has such a cute name! Some of my favourites are; The Slug and Lettuce, The Spotted Pig, The Crooked Billet and The Dog and Fox. But it’s not just the appealing exterior, the atmosphere is great too. Most pubs have beautiful outdoor beer gardens, fun summer drinks and you can bring kids and dogs!
New lingo. There’s a few fun words Brits use that just scream old fashioned summertime fun. Ice lollies (popsicles), swimming costume (swimsuit), lido (outdoor pool) and wellies (rain boots).
Homes with serious curb appeal. The summer climate in London is perfect for those with a green thumb. Anywhere off the beaten path, you are likely to spot noteworthy homes that are very well maintained and have beautiful gardens. It’s so picturesque; there are whole instagram accounts dedicated to all the pretty homes in London.
Garden parties. People throw some seriously posh parties in their gardens. There are usually fancy cocktails, sweets to nibble on and maybe even a game of croquet.
Continuing the tradition of aristocratic events for everyone to enjoy. For a few weeks in the summer, I couldn’t help but notice every weekend on the train platforms, there were hoards of people dressed to the nines. Ladies in cute pastel colored cocktail dresses with matching hats or fascinators and gents all dressed up with bow ties and wing tips. They were attending events like the Royal Ascot Horse Races or Polo in the Park. I so wish we had been able to go to one of these. You can buy pricey tickets in the stands, or just bring a blanket and picnic hamper and sit in the general area. For now, I’ll just dream about one day being able to stomp divots on the field!