The Handbook
The Handbook

This weekend isn’t just any old weekend, it marks the beginning of summer. On Saturday, the sun will reach its highest point, giving us the longest day of sunlight for the year. Although the thought of having the longest day of the year while we’re still in lockdown doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.

Luckily for us though, these pagan rituals and summer solstice plans have been brought into the virtual world, allowing us to enjoy the longest day of the year with cocktails, masterclasses, yoga and even watching the sunrise and sunset over Stonehenge.

Here’s how you can celebrate at home…

Stream the sunrise and sunset from Stonehenge

Celebrate the summer solstice in true pagan style by streaming the beautiful sunset and sunrise over Stonehenge. 

Summer solstice celebrations have typically taken place in Stonehenge for centuries, with thousands gathering every year to experience the solstice over the ancient monument, but this summer will see the celebration being transported into the virtual world. 

English Heritage made a statement, asking goers to not travel to Stonehenge amidst the pandemic, so instead they have chosen to live stream both the sunset and sunrise allowing anyone, wherever they are in the world to experience the spiritual ritual at home.

Both the sunset on Saturday 20th June and the sunrise on Sunday 21st June will be broadcast. Catch the stream here

Camp Out With The Wildlife Trust’s Big Wild Weekend

The Wildlife Trust is challenging eager adventurers and solstice lovers to get out in the garden and camp under the stars this summer solstice. It’s part of their Big Wild Weekend, a weekend dedicated to bringing people closer to the nature surrounding them.

The celebrations kick off on Friday with an evening dedicated to music, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Cel Spellman who’ll be joined by special guests including Jack Savoretti for an evening to remember. Saturday night will see you setting up camp in your garden, or making a den in the living room for those who don’t have outdoor space, for an evening under the stars. Over on their Facebook page they’ll be hosting competitions and challenges that you can get involved with. Prizes include family tents, binoculars and breakfast hampers. The party weekend will end with a big ol’ wild quiz on Facebook so remember to swat up on your nature, culture and general knowledge. It’s the perfect weekend celebrations for Father’s Day too.

The Wildlife Trust’s Big Wild Weekend Runs 19th-21st June

www.wildlifetrusts.org

Join In With Canary Wharf’s Virtual Midsummer Festival

Celebrate the beginning of summer with Canary Wharf’s Midsummer Festival. This Saturday, the festival will head into the virtual world for the first time, bringing with it a series of events and activities for all to enjoy and celebrate the return of summer.

Start off your day with a guided dance session from Secret Sunrise London. Originally a silent-disco style session, this guided dance will help you get energised and ready to take whatever the day throws at you. Book your session here. Throughout the rest of the day, there will be different activities from crafts to live music, interactive arts and festival family favourites for all to enjoy.

Running Saturday 20th June, from 9am

Tune in at @canarywharflondon

Mark The Beginning Of Summer At Bamford’s Virtual Wellness Retreat

Mark the beginning of summer with Bamford’s virtual wellness retreat, a celebration of light and life.

Bamford’s expert practitioners will be guiding you on a journey, helping you to reconnect with your body, mind and nature, through a series of motivating workshops spread over Saturday and Sunday. Take part in everything from crystal meditation to alignment workshops, children’s yoga to learning the art and power of fermentation. Both days will then end with a Q&A.

Running Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st, 9am-4pm

Get your ticket here

Stream Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Throughout lockdown Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has been streaming some of their favourite Shakespearean adaptations for all to enjoy while they’re stuck inside, and their take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream couldn’t arrive at a more poignant time. 

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is centred around the longest day of light, the summer solstice. This heartfelt comedy is riddled with some of Shakespeare’s finest poetry. Following two sets of lovers, Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius, who run off to take refuge in the woods as the Duke of Athens tries to marry off Demetrius and Hermia, and find themselves wandering amongst the king and queen of the fairies. Expect bright and beautiful costumes nuzzled amongst the woodland scenes.

Stream on the Globe Theatre’s YouTube channel here

Reconnect with yourself and nature with a full day of yoga

The summer solstice also falls on International Yoga Day, which provides the perfect opportunity to reconnect with both yourself and nature. Once you’ve watched the sunrise over Stonehenge, tune into boutique yoga studio, Flex Chelsea’s yoga series running live all day on their Instagram. From power yoga to slow flow and yin, there’s a class for all to enjoy, stream and reconnect with your body for the week ahead.

Running Sunday 21st June, from 8am

Tune in at @flexchelsea

Celebrate the longest day of the year with a summer solstice inspired cocktail

Grey Goose Buonasola

Ingredients:

25ml Grey Goose Original
20ml Limoncello
20ml MARTINI Bitter
10 Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
75ml Orange Juice
Orange slice to garnish

Method:
1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice
2. Add all ingredients and shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosted & beaded with sweat
3. Strain into a highball glass
5. Garnish with orange slices

The Handbook has teamed up with The Grill at The Dorchester for an exclusive competition. Entrants will have the chance to win a dinner for two at The Grill at The Dorchester when it re-opens! www.dorchestercollection.com