We are half-way through August, which means there is just over a month left until the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the best season of the year, so don’t let it pass you by without extracting every last drop of fun from these long, sunny days. Here’s my guide to how to win at summer (even if you don’t have a vacation booked):
1. Have an adventure. Travel to a new place or have a fun weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Explore a new city, go to a festival, spend a weekend on the coast, or go camping in the countryside.
2. Get outdoors. Make the most of these long summer evenings and get outside whenever you can. Cycle to work instead of taking the subway, dine al fresco at sunset, watch an outdoor play, visit an outdoor cinema for to see a favourite movie beneath the stars or listen to a jazz band in the park.
3. Dance all night. Every summer should include at least one extravagant party. Get all dressed up, drink champagne, kiss beneath fireworks and dance until the small hours.
4. Play tourist. Don’t let the tourist have all the fun in your own city. Visit the sights, go to the zoo, take in a show or try the hottest new restaurant or rooftop bar in town.
5. Throw a picnic. I take any excuse to have a picnic outside, but every summer I try to have at least one especially wonderful version complete with the best food, good company and a round of croquet or punting on the river afterwards.
6. Build the ultimate summer playlist. Make the perfect soundtrack to accompany those summer adventures. Mine is filled with everything from the Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot to Phoenix and Vampire Weekend and evokes fond memories of summer bike rides and beach days (and my imaginary summer in California).
7. Take to the water. Head to the pool to practice your swan dive (or cannonball), rent a rowboat on the lake or, better yet, make friends with someone who owns a yacht and set sail into the sunset.
8. Host an impromptu dinner party. On an evening when you have no other plans, gather your favourite people for a summer party at home. Decorate with bright flowers, put together a make-your-own taco or pizza bar, play your favourite tunes and serve up homemade lemonade or frozen cocktails.
9. Work on your green thumb. Even if you only have a tiny windowsill or balcony, make the most of the sunshine and try growing your own basil, mint or hydrangeas. Guaranteed smugness when you make a salad with your own herbs.
10. Have a beach day. Grab your brightest towel, your strongest SPF and your favourite swimsuit and spend the day splashing about at the sea. Bonus points for beach hair and silly photos.
11. Visit the farmer’s market. Go for brunch at your favourite cafe and then head to the farmer’s market to stock up on summer berries, peaches and the biggest bunch of hydrangeas or sunflowers you can find.
12. Ride a bike. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, rent a couple of bikes and spend the day cycling out to the prettiest spot outside your town (I’m planning to cycle to the Grantchester meadows or the Hitchin lavender farm in Cambridgeshire).
13. Find the best lobster rolls or ice cream in town. I’ve taken this one step further and bought an ice cream maker with my neighbour so that we can make our own ice cream flavours as often as we want (my favourite so far is peach and orange blossom).
14. Make like an aristocrat. Head to the grandest estate near where you like and spend the afternoon strolling the gardens, having tea in the orangerie or playing croquet on the lawns.
15. Spend a day in the park. Feed the ducks, watch the clouds drift by and and make a dent in your summer reading list.
I’d love to know your favourite things to do in summer! How do you plan to spend the rest of the season?
Love, Miss B xx