Now that’s more like it. Just cold enough to send the finger drifting towards the thermostat, just cold enough to warrant a jumper; just cold enough for those lucky blighters with the wherewithal to have a fire; certainly cold enough for Guinness, Scotch, sloe gin, claret and, oh, all the rest. Too cold for gaspacho, cold enough for casserole; cold enough for overly long, overly hot baths. Just. Cold. Enough.
1. Cold enough for fireworks, mulled wine and winter coats this Sunday.
Battersea Park is always a winner, but tickets invariably sell out in advance. It’s £10 for adults and it’s free for nippers. Gates open at 6pm: http://enablelc.org/fireworks). For a change of scene and a freebie, those willing to jump on the tube to Mile End are sure to love Bonfire Night in Victoria Park (which is free to all). Perhaps head there for lunchtime, having reserved a table at The Hemingway (http://www.thehemingway.co.uk), the Approach Tavern (http://remarkablepubs.co.uk/pubs/the-approach-tavern/) or the Empress (http://empresse9.co.uk), all of which serve superb Sunday roasts. Be sure to get to the Park for 7pm.
2. Cold enough for a spot of indoor culture. Drop by Tate Britain for The EY Exhibition: Impressionists in London
The Franco-Prussian War doesn’t figure that prominently in history syllabus this side of the channel – but it did make its mark on the history of art. Artists such as Monet, Tissot and Pissaro fled to London, and now we have the chance to see the results collected under one roof: http://www.tate.org.uk/node/376349 3. Cold enough to make us realise that we wouldn’t stand a chance Up North.
Pop in to Somerset House to take in North: Fashioning Identity and find out how mid-20th century film, fashion and photography continue to influence contemporary artists from all points of the compass: https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/node/680 4. Cold enough to need to warm up at 184 Green & Grill on Kensington Park Road (when it opens later this month)
If - as we recommend you do - you can manage to ignore the word ‘flexitarian’, you might be tempted by this new venture from Alex Giri, Oscar Harris and head chef Peter Tonge. Think wood-fired fish and meat, but also seriously thoughtful dishes for the herbivorous.
5. Cold enough to get lost in the woods.
If Hyde Park’s festive offering is a little synthetic for your jaded tastes (shame on you) the journey to Syon Park should restore some of that starry-eyed wonder. The 600 year-old gardens and Great Conservatory are transformed into an Enchanted Woodland that lives up to the name. Be sure to book ahead: http://www.enchantedwoodland.com