Heatwave UK: 7 ways to cope with sudden summer

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Stylist Team
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Heatwave UK: How to cope in the sun

This weekend we are finally getting some proper summer sunshine. So how will we deal with the shock? Here are the Stylist team’s tips for making the most of a heatwave.    

Little yellow suns are suddenly appearing all over our weather forecast apps and the Met Office is predicting temperatures over 30 degrees this weekend. Thanks to a European heatwave we are, at last, experiencing a sudden summer, but are we ready?

Is the sunshine good news? Yes. Does it come with a possibility of sunburn, dehydration, hangover and irritability? Also yes. After months of grey, drizzly days the temptation to overdo everything in the sun is strong. So, take a few tips from the team on the best ways to keep cool in a heatwave and make the most of the sunshine while it lasts… 

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1. The dress to keep you cool

Mango midi dress
Mango midi dress

“You might have got away with wearing jeans so far this summer but now the heatwave is upon us, it’s time to ditch them and move into a summer dress. Last year was all about the floral midi, this year it’s all about linen. Step away from polyester and viscose and into the cooling embrace of this natural fibre. Wear with stacked gold jewellery and strappy sandals.”

Helen Atkin, Fashion Assistant

2. The book to read under a shady tree 

“To sit back and read with no distractions is one of the best things about summer. The moment the sun hits, grab Claire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had and take it to the park. It follows the Sorenson family in Chicago from parents Marilyn and David falling in love in the 1970s, to their squabbling daughters in 2016. The story is compelling and Lombardo’s writing is thoughtful and graceful.”

Anna Fielding, Associate Editor

3. The song to make your summer

Heatwave UK: Listen to Lizzo

“The biggest hit on our recent karaoke night out? Juice by Lizzo. From the first ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’ to the final ‘Ya-ya-ee’ pretty much the whole team spent three minutes being the gloriously talented, sexy and jubilant Lizzo and it was joyous. Sing along as she rules the stage at Glastonbury this Saturday crowning Juice, officially, as ours, yours and everyone’s song of the summer.”

Sarah Pyper, Contributing Editor

4. The rosé cider to enjoy

“While everyone else reaches for the Mirabeau, stay one step ahead by swapping your rosé wine for rosé cider. Leading craft cider producers Hawkes have just launched their latest concoction, Doom & Bloom – a blush-coloured blend of Gala, Braeburn and Pink Lady apples, with a hint of strawberry and rhubarb for a subtle, sophisticated take on the trend.”

Jenny Tregoning, Deputy Production Editor

5. The recipe for a perfect picnic

Heatwave UK: Cashew gazpacho

“It goes without saying but this is not the weather for being stuck in a kitchen. Or cooking full stop. So opt for a cooling gazpacho. Tapping into the trend for all things plant-based, this tomato and cashew version from Eleanor Maidment’s cookbook California is guaranteed to bring some chill to your weekend. Whizz it up in advance, pour into an insulated bottle with a couple of ice cubes, and pop it in your picnic hamper ready to be decanted as needed. A sprinkle of edible flowers will add extra cool points.

Jenny Tregoning, Deputy Production Editor

Cashew gazpacho

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves 2)

15 whole unsalted cashews
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
½ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp golden caster sugar
2-3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ cucumber, roughly chopped
½ red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 spring onion, roughly chopped
¼ garlic clove, finely grated (optional)
75ml cold water
Freshly ground black pepper
Edible flowers, to garnish
Step 1: Soak the cashews in a bowl of cold water while you prepare all the other ingredients.
Step 2: Put the oil, vinegar, salt and sugar in the jug of a high-speed blender. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and spring onion, along with a small grating of garlic.
Step 3: Drain the cashews and tip them in, then add the cold water and blend.
Step 4: Stop and scrape down the sides, if needed, and blend again. Check the seasoning and add more salt, sugar, garlic or vinegar to balance; a grind of black pepper is nice too. You may also need to add a splash more water to achieve the desired consistency. Blend again until really smooth. Gazpacho is best served well chilled, so pop it in the refrigerator for an hour before serving in bowls or glasses, garnished with edible flowers and a drizzle of oil. Or serve immediately with a cube of ice in each bowl.

6. The podcast to engross you

“If you’re anything like me, you’ll find lounging around in the sunshine enjoyable for all of five minutes before it gets downright boring. Enter the podcast featuring a smart mother-daughter duo telling the stories of inspiring women you’ve probably never heard of. Head to your nearest park, plug in and you’ll be so engrossed that you won’t even notice when the sun goes in.”

Meena Alexander, Sub Editor 

7. The mist to protect your skin

Heatwave UK: Garnier mist

“This is the simplest SPF mist to use for sensitive skin on unexpectedly sunny days. It’s so lightweight it can be applied over makeup and is literally a spray and go situation. Being transparent it doesn’t leave a white cast and is basically the best comeback for anybody who says they hate wearing SPF. Plus it’s only £6. I swear by it.”

Beauty Editor, Lucy Partington