My Perfect Summer Weekend: Lottie Murphy
My Perfect Summer Weekend: Lottie Murphy

My Perfect Summer Weekend: Lottie Murphy

Lighter evenings, rosé at the pub and trips to the park – we love summer, so we’ve asked a handful of our favourite women to share what they’re most excited about this season. First up, Pilates instructor Lottie Murphy talks us through what a perfect weekend in south-east London looks like to her.
By Heather Steele



I’ve lived in south-east London my whole life. I love it so much – the greenery, the sense of community and the fact it’s remained very independent. Our shops, cafés and restaurants are mostly independently run, and we often get to know the owners. I know the people who own my local coffee shop, bar and gastro pub. We aren’t far from Peckham, which is just a must-visit for any foodies. I’d recommend starting a Friday evening sipping on a negroni at Forza Wine Rooftop overlooking London before enjoying the meal of your life at Kudu, an African-inspired restaurant.

Everyone and everything comes alive in the summer. I love the busy parks and long light evenings, and how everyone seems more themselves when the sun is shining. I even enjoy the birds waking us up at 4am. It feels as though there is more life to live and more opportunity – as if anything could happen.

In an ideal world, I’d take Friday afternoon off to prepare for friends coming over. We would eat outside, so I’d set the table with candles and seasonal flowers. I’d also have Motown on the record player and put a glass of something delicious in their hand before the meal. If I’m drinking, my favourite wine for summer is Quinta do Embrizio Chin Chin. It goes with everything and is bone dry – just how I like it. I also love the ready-made cocktail brand Black Lines, especially the spicy margarita. I think everything in moderation is the best approach. Lots of people assume I am all about green juices and avocado smoothies because I’m a Pilates teacher, but I love a glass of something good.

I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine – and summer is the perfect time to enjoy those dishes. Simple fresh tomatoes on sourdough with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or a Greek salad with big chunks of feta from my local food market. I love to make sharing platters for friends, which are usually accompanied by a swirling bowl of bejewelled humous with pomegranates and pistachios. Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour is my go-to cookbook. I use the recipes for dinner parties, weekend feasting and even mid-week meals. I’ve bought the cookbook for so many friends too as they all love the food I make from there. My favourites are an eastern prawn linguine, sticky aubergines and a peach polenta cake. After dinner, we usually end up dancing and playing board games into the early hours.



On a Saturday morning, I teach Pilates. Teaching is one of my life joys and I love seeing my friendly and vibrant community practising with me. I’m technically still on maternity leave, however I’ve been back filming for my Pilates platform and am launching my first Pilates mat in collaboration with Yogi Bare. As things have been a bit busier than I expected recently, it’s important for me to maintain a balance, so I try to also fill my weekend with calming activities. I’ve been going to baby cinema, which is basically like the normal cinema but everyone brings a baby with them. It’s very cute. So far I’ve watched Rye Lane and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Both were so heart-warming and the perfect way to cuddle Sebby and switch off. 

Next, we’ll head to Nola for a coffee and a scrambled egg bagel to takeaway before strolling around Peckham Rye park and mooching along Bellenden Road for a spot of shopping. I always pop into Lamp London, and Review is a book shop I could curl up on the floor in for hours. We don’t live far from Beckenham Place Park – it has a forest and a big open green and they also host vintage markets most weekends. It’s a hub for the community: you can swim in the lake, eat pizza, volunteer to plant flowers and take care of the gardens. I love the summer months as they have outdoor cinema screenings. I have an eight-month-old puppy, Lenny, so the mornings are all about taking him on a walk.

We are so lucky to have a vibrant local food market near us every Saturday. I love to pick up our fruit and veg, meat, fish, cheese and bread for the week, and there are stalls that sell olives, tapenade, cinnamon rolls and fresh filled pasta. It’s a dream if the sun is shining and you can grab an iced coffee as you browse. We’ve been going every week with the puppy and baby, and it’s becoming a very cute family ritual to start our weekends. We bump into friends or meet my parents there and it’s my favourite time of the week.

At this time of year, I find dressing so easy. I feel like I can be a bit more fun with colours and patterns, and I love clashing prints. I love to throw on a midi dress and my favourites are from Réalisation Par, paired with some Birkenstocks or trainers, a cross-body bag, sunnies and maybe a vintage denim jacket on cooler evenings.


I tend to go make-up free all year round, and in the summer even more so. A skincare routine is key for helping me feel confident without make-up and of course I don’t ever skip SPF. I love a multipurpose product and use the Nuxe Multi Purpose oil on my face, body and hair at this time of year. The scent is irresistible and it sinks into the skin really well. If I am going to wear make-up, then a slick of mascara, a bit of bronzer and highlighter, and a brush upwards on my brows is my go-to look. I’ve also only just discovered lip liner – yes, I’m late to the party – but I’ve recently been loving browner shades if I want to amp my look up for the evening.

The best thing about summer is meeting up with your friends for a picnic in the park. Everyone brings some food and drink, and you pile it all in the middle of the blankets and share. We chat and play games like Kubb, a Swedish game involving throwing wooden blocks. But I love that you also can just lie down on the picnic blanket in silence and rest knowing you are in the company of good friends. I like a crisp glass of wine as the sun is setting, although that’s usually about 5pm now as I’m home for bath and bedtime and usually in bed with a book before the sun sets. Otherwise, Sam and I cosy up to watch a film in the evening.


I love a rainy day, even in the summer, so I wouldn’t mind if it was a grey Sunday – it means we have an excuse to stay cosy and read inside. I’ve recently got back into journalling and Sunday is the perfect day to reset your intentions for the week ahead. I’d flick through magazines and maybe even do some crafting like making birthday cards or crocheting. I love attending crafting workshops and recently went to one with Kim Rana, who is passionate about teaching others how to crochet and encourages slow fashion. I also run my own Pilates and crafting workshops and we have a few coming up focusing on embroidery and vintage collaging.



We’d end the day outside reading and eating tapas-style food like olives and cheese. Last year in Mallorca, my husband and I stumbled across a small wine bar that served small plates. We had toast topped with burrata, anchovies and grated lemon zest, and I’ve not stopped making it since. I’ve continued to eat anchovies and use them in dishes a lot more. Sam is Swedish so we also make a Swedish potato recipe called Jansson’s frestelse – it has anchovies in it as well as a lot of cream, butter and onions, and it’s baked in the oven. I highly recommend giving it a go. Another Sunday-night favourite is this simple spaghetti dish by Anna Jones with lemon, tomatoes, kale and heaps of parmesan. You make it all in one pot. Perfection.

I’ve always been a book worm. Reading is like breathing to me and you’ll rarely find me without a book in my bag. I thought that since having a baby I’d find less time to read, but in fact it’s my favourite thing to do once I’ve put him down to sleep or nap as it helps me unwind. I just read the new Curtis Sittenfeld book, Romantic Comedy, which was the ultimate escapism. Right now, I’m reading a book for my book club called The Home Child. It’s a novel but written as a series of poems.

For more, follow Lottie at @LottieMurphy_

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