How to get a head start on autumn planning
Make a start on your autumn to-do list now – you'll be thankful later
Instead of driving yourself near crazy this year, trying to cram your entire autumn prep list into one already busy weekend, why not get ahead? Whether it’s getting that haircut or buying tickets to see a soon-to-be-fully-booked play, here are some things to do now, that you’ll be glad you’ve already ticked off your to do list in a few weeks' time. You can thank us later.
Service your wardrobe and accessories
That coat you’ve been meaning to take to the dry cleaners since the tail end of last winter? Those make-up brushes you always intend to cleanse? Or the bike that’s been ferrying you from A to B over the summer months, that could do with a bit of TLC ahead of the harsher weather coming up? Now’s the time to do all of the above, so you can hit the September ground running. Looking to update your make-up? Check out the beauty trends of the season.
Book yourself that haircut
Manicures and pedicures are relatively easy to book at short notice – and many of us are less fussy about where we get our nails done than our hair. Most of us have a trusted hairdresser and we’d sooner go months without getting a trim, highlights or blowdry than let anyone else near our locks. (If you're on the lookout for a blowdry bar, we've got you covered.) Calling up for an appointment only to find your hairdresser is fully booked can throw your entire weekend off kilter, and it’s particularly annoying when you'd mentally planned to have your hair tidied up ahead of a particular event. Beat your hairdresser’s other clients to it and book your first autumn trim now.
Start curating your autumn wardrobe
While it might be much to early for you to start thinking about your Christmas shopping (although… there’s never any harm in picking up stocking fillers as and when you see them), it pays to sort your autumnal wardrobe before the season fully hits. If you’re in need of some inspiration, or help sorting the high street’s dimes from the duds, have a read of Culture Whisper’s take on this season’s trends. Spoiler alert: checks are in and pussy bows are making a comeback...
Get ticking off your back-to-school checklist
You’ve probably got school uniforms sorted by now (no judgements if you haven’t, mind), but what about those pencil cases that need replenishing? The lunch box missing a lid? Or those gym shorts that need replacing? Don’t wait until the last weekend before term starts to do a frazzled dash around the shops; start picking up your back to school essentials now. Whether you’ve got tots starting nursery or big kids moving into sixth form, this is also a great time to check in with your children and ask how they’re feeling about the academic year ahead.
Reserve your seat for the season's not-to-be-missed events
Here’s something the eagle-eyed culture vultures won’t have told you: while most of us were out and about enjoying the brief interludes of summer sun, the city’s top theatres and galleries released their autumn programmes – and there’s plenty you won’t want to miss out on. In the theatre world, whether it’s Yaël Farber’s stage adaptation of Blood Wedding, Matthew Warchus’s Lungs starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, or Dear Evan Hansen – which comes to London having wowed on Broadway – you’ll want to book your autumn theatre tickets now. Similarly with autumn art exhibitions in London: you don’t want to miss out on seeing the largest William Blake exhibition since 2001, or Tim Walker's Wonderful Things exhibition at the V&A now, do you?
In the restaurant world, there are several exciting openings, too. Be among the first to dine at the King’s Cross branch of pasta parlour Lina Stores. Also check out Vardo, the new all-day spot from Aussie-inspired restaurant group Caravan. Looking for a foodie pitstop around Covent Garden that won’t break the bank? Wander through the new Seven Dials Market, the first bricks-and-mortar home of Street Food Collective KERB.
Finally, don't be fooled into thinking it's too early to secure your entry to one of London's biggest and best firework displays. Dates for three of the best have already been announced, so book soon to secure your grassy pew.
Earmark dates for dinner parties and get-togethers
London is known for being a fast-paced, always-on-the-go city, and its inhabitants are no different. Summer’s not even over yet, but the savvy party planners among us are already scheduling in time to host their guests for dinner this autumn. Don’t miss your window – get your dinner dates locked down now before diaries fill up. (It doesn't matter if you haven’t finished decorating the dining room or retiling the bathroom yet, a looming date for hosting could be just the push you need to do it.)
Plan your autumn escape
It might just be us, but travel is looking relatively cheap online right now… to certain destinations, anyway. Couple that with past experiences of seeing prices rocket as soon as autumn hits (typically when we’re all looking to go on holiday again) and we’re feeling pretty safe recommending you book your autumn getaway now. In need of some inspiration? Check out our round-up of alternative city breaks in Europe. Also, you might find there's more availability than usual at some of the UK’s best boutique hotels if you get your booking in early, too.