London has been baking in a heatwave for weeks now, so I thought I'd share my tips on how to survive the sweltering temperatures both above the ground and in the Tube, which, it was reported this week, had temperatures of over 40C...
- Wear comfortable clothes. Loose fitting linen or cotton is best. My favourites are Marimekko, Hobbs, Jaeger and Cos, who all make wonderful clothes which are easy to wear, but still smart enough for the office. Needless to say, I always wear flat shoes when commuting and change into something more formal at the office (although not always!) In a heatwave my 'go to' shoes are Birkenstocks or my silver K Jacques St Tropez sandals. But don't forget that pedicure; there's nothing worse than chipped nail polish or hairy tootsies...
- Don't rush and run. I'm usually the commuter with least patience; on the street I overtake anyone ( and I mean anyone) with a pull-long suitcase and run up and down escalators on the tube. But in this heatwave, I've become the one who amblers along the tunnels, and on the bus lets everyone else go out first. (I know I should do this all the time, but...)
- Carry a bottle of water. Even London Transport now make announcements about this, because the conditions on the Tube can be dangerous. This week The Standard (The London evening paper, free at most tube stations) reported that the temperature on the Central Line exceeded the legal limit for keeping cattle.
- Another way to cool down is a little fan. I carry a Spanish one which Son and Daughter-in-law gave out to the wedding guests in May. It's been invaluable when the train has suddenly stopped and the heat inside the Tube carriage has become unbearable. Plus all those around you benefit too!
- Find a park. There's always one around the corner in London. You may have to fight for a spot during lunchtimes, but for the rest of the day, there's usually plenty of room (and some shade) for everyone. Failing that, find a terrace with a view. There's a pretty good list here.
- Always carry an umbrella. It's London after all, so you never know when the heavens will open, plus it'll double up as a good shade when there's none provided by the venue...
With Son at Alexandra Palace beer festival last weekend.
My Marimekko Sumie dress was perfect wear for the hot day.
As was the umbrella...Boy, it was hot!