Summer is in full swing and now is the time to make the most of it! From cultural festivals to the best al fresco restaurants, we’ve rounded up our top picks for what to see and do in August.
Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, is taking place until 28 August in Edinburgh. It’s a lot of fun, with many well-known performers such as Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry and John Cleese having got their first break here. You’ll need at least a weekend in Edinburgh to get the most out of the festival, although if you can spare a week that’s even better!
Another long standing cultural event is the opera season in Verona. Throughout August, ticket holders can enjoy a fantastic schedule of performances including Aida, Madame Butterfly and Tosca in the Roman amphitheatre. A city break in Verona is not just fun for the opera though, there is lots more to see such as Juliet’s balcony and the gardens at Palazzo Giardino Giusti.
Dressing for a heatwave can be a challenge, even if it’s a pleasant one, so our Summer Style Guide aims to give you pointers on how to adapt your outfits to the warmer weather.
The British seaside is stunning at this time of year and Bournemouth in Dorset is one of the 10 most Instagrammed places in the country. We recently visited the Art Deco gem that is The Cumberland Hotel, with a magnificent sea view. I can’t wait to share our photos with you but here’s a taster.
While we were in Bournemouth, we met the inspiring Jack Eyers, who was recently crowned Mr Dorset, then Mr England and now has Mr World in his sights. He is an amputee, born with the medical condition Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency, a model and personal trainer who firmly believes that physical health can impact positively on mental health and well-being. He aims to be a role model for other disabled people and has some inspiring ideas up his sleeve on how to do this – no doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about him!
Jamaica is a true jewel of the Caribbean, with its perfect white sand beaches, waterfalls and river rafting. It’s less crowded in this season and there are considerable bargains to be had, and Jamaican food is fantastic too. We share the first in our series of posts about the island, with our guide to what to see in Jamaica – expect plenty more sunshine filled posts soon.
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King’s Cross in London is well known to many rail travellers who pass through it on their way to other destinations but it has some interesting attractions of its own that are well worth a visit. From Platform 9¾ to an urban wildlife reserve, the area is full of surprises. Whether you’re in the capital of Italy for work or pleasure, make sure to check out some of our favourite al fresco bars and restaurants in Milan. Who’d have thought that there were so many?
Wining and Dining
For a taste of the Caribbean without leaving London, head to the Jamaica Garden Terrace at Boisdale Canary Wharf until the end of August. The floral decor and rum punches will certainly make you feel like you’re in Jamaica.
One of our favourite London outdoor dining spots is Tom’s Kitchen in St Katharine Docks. Overlooking the harbour and yachts, it’s a great place for informal all-day dining. The brainchild of well-known chef Tom Aikens focuses on seasonal produce and as well as tasty meat and fish dishes they have a great selection of vegetarian and gluten free options. We recently went there to try their new Summer menu and enjoyed a selection of sustainable British dishes including spicy Devonshire crab cake, chicken liver parfait, roast breast of duck with a shiitake mushroom risotto and a fantastic Sunday roast. The desserts were a real highlight, particularly the raspberry millefeuille with raspberry sorbet.
Have you ever tried poké? This Hawaiian delicacy of diced cubes of raw fish is a big trend right now. With the launch of Island Poké at Broadgate Circle in the City of London, you can get your poke fix easily. A sister restaurant to their well established Kingly Street branch, it was dreamt up by James Porter, who trained under an ex-Nobu sushi chef. Island Poké serves up tasty breakfasts, poké bowls and tacos as well as Kona coffee and Hawaiian beers.
If you’re in London this Summer but hankering to be in The Hamptons then the cool new pop up at The Avenue on St James’s Street in London is for you. Offering East-Coast inspired cocktails and food, it will certainly make you feel like you’re on holiday. From lobster rolls to Tanqueray gin cocktails such as Life’s a Peach, the vibe is fun and colourful.
Like gin? Then you’d love the first ever ‘Press For Gin’ bar. Held at the top of the world’s highest tunnel slide, in the Arcelor Mittal Orbit, this pop-up was recently hosted by Brockmans Gin. I pressed for gin before sliding down the helter skelter where a G&T was awaiting at the bottom. Afterwards there was a party with delicious gin cocktails, canapes, live music and performances. The London pop-up is now finished but it’s heading to Glasgow in September and Manchester in November, so follow Brockmans on Instagram and Twitter for updates.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this update of what to see and do in August and do let us know if you have any recommendations for must-see exhibitions or events or cool new restaurants that we should try!
Thank you to Ultimate Class Airfares for sponsoring this month’s Hot List