If you're stuck in the office this summer, dreaming of St Tropez and beach-side cocktails, then make the most of what sunny London has to offer, says Zak Smith
While the City boys are fist-pumping in St Tropez's VIP Room and dancing the night away at Paradise in Mykonos, save a thought for those staffers working through the summer.
Shifting uncomfortably in thick cotton suits on the trudge to work, pressed up against fellow no-good-niks on the Central line, they clamour for dusty air as the thirty-second bead of sweat drips laboriously from the temple down the neck. White shirts turn a curd yellow in the tighter regions, hands are covered in Metro's ink: London doesn't quite accommodate the summer city commute.
Then they toil away in stale, over-air-conditioned cubicles, sitting wistfully at their desks as another heatwave arrives in London, covering the capital in Mediterranean weather and drawing out gallons of Pimm's. Stepping out for an iced coffee, they wait half an hour with the queue around the corner, only for it to have melted by the time they get back to the office. It just seems like one of those mornings that never quite ends.
Leaving the office late as another balmy day draws to a close, the sun not setting until late, the heat settling, they dream of Domaines Ott and fresh langoustine, Sex on the Beach (or sex on the beach) and a relatively well-known DJ playing until the early hours with the accompanying sax-man leaving that oh-so-satisfying-great-night-4am-tinnitus.
I know of one unlucky banker primed for a ten-day break in New York and the Hamptons, only to be forced to change his ticket at the last minute as a deal dragged on into the summer due to the recent Ukrainian unrest. Thanks, Putin.
Even those fortunate enough to get a few minutes on Facebook to enviously stalk friends' holidays have had trouble ogling beach bodies and sunsets as the turmoil in the Middle East clogs up news feeds with opinions and diatribes and drowns out sun and sand.As one friend put it, 'Facebook should be reserved for perving on holiday photos and exes at this time of year.'
However, for those overworked and undertanned and stuck in London, the impending heatwave provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy what the city has to offer (should free time be available). Get a 99 with a Flake and take a walk up to the top of Primrose Hill and enjoy the views of London, pointing out the high-rise in the distance you usually spend sixteen-hour days in.
Head with non-City friends to the roof of Shoreditch House, where the best rooftop pool in London awaits, adorned with sun loungers and pitchers of cocktails. Enjoy a pint in the beautiful beer garden at The Albion, a great pub in Islington, and if you fancy something more upmarket, try to nab an outside table at La Petite Maison in Mayfair, perfect for a weekend lunch.
With so much to do in London and the sun seemingly set on staying for the next few weeks, let your Facebook friends enjoy their holidays. You can enjoy home – and it doesn't come out of holiday time.