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London Survived the Heatwave With Cold Soups, Ice Cream, and Steak Tartare

Sweet, cold, and beefy relief from an impending climate emergency

London’s heatwave inspired restaurants to make incredible cold dishes St. John/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is #sponcon.

News of the week

It was hot, apparently, raising an interesting question: fight fire with fire or fire with ice? Overwhelmingly the latter, it turns out.

Cool behaviour of the week

A day that has now been confirmed as the hottest since records began moved more than the mercury this week, as a series of posts revealed quite how intolerable working conditions in kitchens can be when temperatures start to rise. In a market still struggling to make ends meet, a couple of days of radiant sunshine (and the attendant boost in demand from punters) may have seemed like a godsend, so it’s all the more impressive that some operators took the tough decision to give their team some respite. Even if some motivations weren’t so altruistic…

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Who wants to come cook with me today????

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Pariah of the week

Delete your account like the public expect.

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the compassion for our kitchen team...!

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Entomophobia trigger of the week

The new Pharmakon album cover looks legit.

Shakespearean caption of the week

Love’s Laboured Puns.

Closure of the week

Farewell, Monty’s Deli, home of one of the best sandwiches in London and a Friday night dinner to die for. RIP(ickles).

Haunting still life of the week

Just another beautiful influencer shot, right? WRONG. Look closer: something weird is going on. This is, to put it bluntly, quite a spread: there is certainly enough bread there to feed, oh, at least six people. But there are only two wine glasses, suggesting only two diners. But there are also two full bottles of champagne, which, impressive day drinking for two — unless the other four guests are expected to swill direct from the bottle, in keeping with their broader relegation from the picnic blanket, which has zero space allocated to them. But this is just a minor quibble compared to the burning question surrounding logistics: how on earth does all of that food and those bulky wooden boards fit inside that teensy picnic basket? And, hang on, what about the food offering? Cheese, fine; charcuterie, fine; quiche, seems legit. But are those coronation-chicken-stuffed (?) jacket potatoes with, and just guessing here, a mango chutney dip — and, good lord, are those tomatoes with mayonnaise? And wait — where in the name of all that is holy is the crockery? Did they cut the cheese with the same knife they used to cut the lemon drizzle cake? In which order? WHAT ELSE ARE WE NOT BEING TOLD? Someone get Dan Brown on the line: Coworth Park is hiding some secrets.

Damien Hirst tribute of the week

For the love of hog.

Train picnic of the week

Almost worthy of Hannibal Lecter.

Dish of the week

Weirdly accurate depiction of walking around outside last Thursday.

Shot of the week

Even more accurate depiction of walking around outside last Thursday.