Spring’s in full swing and London’s full of life, so make the most of this vibrant time of year by spending a part of the early May bank holiday weekend in London. There are plenty of fun activities, events and outdoor experiences to add to your bucket list.
Many of London’s outdoor attractions, shops and alfresco restaurants and pubs have reopened following the easing of Corona virus restrictions, but indoor attractions and entertainment venues are due to reopen on 17 May at the earliest. (fingers crossed!)
Food & Drink
Throughout the country restaurants, pubs and bars have put in some real effort to make fantastic al fresco dining areas, and have really made the most of the space that they have so we can all enjoy the sun before the inside opens up. (Although would suggest packing some hats and coats this weekend). Here are some of our favourite eating spots across London that you can enjoy this coming bank holiday weekend.
1. Mrs. Foggs Dockside Drinkery & Distillery Brunch on Sunday 2nd May
Kicking off the list is this fantastic bar in Broadgate circle which is the newest addition to Inception Groups ‘Mr Foggs’ group of bars. Starting at 12.01pm, this fantastic brunch features a two-course set menu with all the brunch favourites. For only £38 you can enjoy 90 minutes of free flowing pink prosecco alongside a welcome drink and the food. It is a wonderfully whimsical setting with beautiful outside seating…Not one to miss!
2. Eat your way through London’s newest Italian food hall, ‘Eataly’
After the successful ventures in New York, LA, Chicago alongside Moscow, Tokyo and Munich, this huge italian food market finally opens in London on the 29th of April. We’re talking pasta, cured meats, fabulous cheeses, olive oils, sauces, plus panettone, coffee, ciabatta, ravioli, gelato – and everything else you might need to cook up a tempesta at home. This one is also up in Liverpool street and with over 5000 Italian and local food products you wont be short changed. With cured meat, cheese counters, and Via del Dolce (the Sweet Spot), which will serve fresh-baked Italian cakes, pastries, cannolis, and handmade gelato, you can also expect a pretty serious wine collection. In fact, Eataly is expected to field some 2000 wines, making it the largest Italian wine collection in London.
3. Hackney Vegan Village 1st-2nd May
Hackney Vegan Village returns this bank holiday weekend in collaboration with Plant Based Events. Located at Bohemia Place Markets opposite Hackney Central station, you’ll find some of London’s top vegan street food and artisan traders in sustainably-made clothing, gifts and skincare, as well as craft beer, cocktails, gifts, music and more. Covid-19 health and safety measures in place, the themed bars are open for takeaway and the event is pet and family friendly. 11am-6pm. Entry is free but you’ll need to reserve a ticket (and a £2 donation is welcome).
4. Afternoon Tea Takeaway from Fifty Seven Kitchen + Bar, East Dulwich
Fifty Seven Kitchen + Bar in East Dulwich, by award-winning caterer Suzanne James, is offering afternoon tea takeaways and boozy brunches to go this bank holiday weekend. The Bank Holiday Weekend Afternoon Tea, packed to the brim with hand made delights straight from James’s sustainable and organic-lead kitchen, is available on Saturday 1st May for collection only (from Suzanne James HQ at The Old Bakery, 11b Barry Road SE22 0HX between 9am-10am), priced £75 for two. You can also enjoy an alfresco Bottomless Brunchat Fifty Seven Kitchen + Bar (57 North Cross Road SE22 9ET), where you can enjoy 90 minutes of brunch dishes and bottomless prosecco cocktails blended with the juice of your choice (Sunday 2nd May, 11.30am-1pm), priced £40pp
1. NGS Open Gardens, Muswell Hill, Open Sunday 2nd May
Featured on Channel 4’s All Gardens Great and Small, 5 St Regis Close in Muswell Hill garden is a cornucopia of sensual delights. As well as an Oriental tea house overlooking a wildlife-friendly pond with carp, there’s a baroque temple, pagodas, a Raku-tiled mirrored wall concealing a plant nursery, a pottery and even a ‘Liberace terrace’ complete with candelabra. In terms of flora, you’ll find a beautiful weeping willow and abundant planting including neatly edged borders full of tulips and forget-me-nots, container plants, cotinus coggygria, wisteria and succulents. 2pm-6pm
2. Drive In Cinema at Alexandra Palace & Brent Cross, 1st-3rd May
Rooftop Cinema’s Drive In Cinema is back at Alexandra Palace and on bank holiday weekend the drive-in stalwarts will be showing Black Panther (1st May, 5pm), Fight Club (1st May, 8.30pm) and three dog-friendly screenings on Sunday 2nd May. There’s Scoob at 2pm, Ratatouille at 5pm and Isle of Dogs at 8.15pm. On bank holiday Monday it’s The Lion King at 3.15pm, 10 Things I Hate About You at 6pm and Minari at 8.45pm. Over at their Brent Crosssite, it’s 80s weekend, with screenings of The Princess Bride (1st May, 5pm), Do the Right Thing (1st May, 8pm), An American Tail (2nd May, 2pm), Back to the Future (2nd May, 5pm) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (2nd May, 8pm). On bank holiday Monday it’s The Avengers at 2.30pm, Clueless at 6pm and The Guardians of the Galaxy at 8.30pm.
3. London Original Print Week, Various locations 1st-3rd May
London Original Print Week offers a Print Tour across London galleries and studio over the bank holiday and following week. In Mayfair and St James’s, you’ll find a Robert Rauschenberg show at Bastian Gallery, a Matisse exhibition at Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Georg Baselitz at Cristea Roberts, Lucy Sparrow at Lyndsey Ingram and mixed shows at Marlborough Graphics. Elsewhere, Paupers Press in Shoreditch is teaming up with Pratt Contemporary to hold an open studio showing the print presses in action; Advanced Graphics in Kennington welcome visitors to view Anthony Frost’s new prints; King’s Cross Pangolin London celebrates its new representation of the estate of St Ives artist Breon O’Casey; and Karsten Schubert in Soho is showing Bridget Riley and Alison Wilding.
1. West End Musical Drive In, Enfield, 1st May
West End Musical Drive In – West End stars, direct to your cars – takes place every Saturday this spring. The perfect pitstop on the roadmap out of lockdown, it’s a great experience for theatre fans, where you can sing and dance along with your favourite stage stars as they belt their way through the musical canon. Previous Drive In performers include Kerry Ellis, Rachel Tucker, John Owen-Jones and Layton Williams. Contact-free delivery services will be available for food and drink. Tickets from £65 per car. Doors open at 1.45pm. Starts at 2.30pm.
2. Seven Dials Unplugged, 1st May
Seven Dials Unplugged launched on 17 April for seven weeks of live music on Saturdays. Seven up-and-coming UK-based artists will play acoustic sets in the area’s iconic streets in an initiative to support performers heavily affected by COVID-19. Discover the pop-up performances in the West End village during select Saturdays between 2pm and 7pm up until 26th June. Performances will take place simultaneously in a number of different outdoor locations throughout the intertwined streets, encouraging music fans to move about rather than crowd around one performer. Each set will last 15 minutes. Timed road closures and additional outdoor seating for many restaurants and cafes mean that the iconic Seven Dials district will make a great alfresco destination this spring/summer.
The Great Outdoors
1. Roof East, Stratford
London’s biggest outdoor playground – the 30,000sq ft Roof East in Stratford – is back for summer. Located atop a Stratford multi-storey car park (like all the best bars!), you can play bowls at the new East London Bowls Club, mini-golf on the new-look Birdies course and practice your swing in the Sluggers Batting Cages. The bar serves wine, craft beers, softies and specially crafted cocktails (it’s a great spot for sundowners), as well as street food from the vendors – Cheeky Burger and East Side Pizza (from 12th April) and Kolkati (opening in May). Throughout the summer, Roof East will announce even more games and events, including Rooftop Yoga and Rooftop Film Club from May. Walk-ins accepted but as capacity is limited you’re advised to book. Open until the end of September 2021 from Thurs-Sun (currently), then Tues-Sun from 17th May.
2. Take a Day Trip to the Beach
Head slightly further afield this weekend (but pack your wellies!) and walk down the wonderful british coastline! There are some fantastic restaurants that have amazing outside seating with the beach classics like Fish & Chips and (if you can bare it in the cold), Ice Cream!
Check out Secret London’s top 15 beautiful coastal destinations near London to visit this bank Holiday weekend HERE.
3. Take a dip in one of London’s amazing heated Lidos
Outdoor pools are back, and these lovely London lidos are perfect for an invigorating dip or just a relaxing soak in the warm water. It might still be a bit cold out for a day at the unheated pool (although ice baths are a thing, right?), but until summer comes to full fruition, the city’s heated lidos are a nice alternative.
There are literally thousands of things to do this weekend (despite the gloomy looking weather forecast), and now that London and the rest of the UK is starting to open up, its looking like its going to be a great three days! Remember to still stick to the current Corona Virus rules…and remember we are here to answer your calls right the way through!
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