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25 Things to Do in London During May Bank Holiday Weekend

From a party on Peckham Rye to London’s hottest urban beach, check out The Resident’s pick of the best things to do in London over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend from 26-28 May

Lead image: Feria De Londres, Southbank

1 2001: A Space Odyssey at Picturehouse Central
21-28 May
In celebration of the iconic film’s 50th Anniversary, Picturehouse Central is showing 2001: A Space Odyssey from 70mm. With 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick redefined the limits of filmmaking and cemented his legacy as one of the most revolutionary and influential film directors of all time. Originally released in 70mm Cinerama roadshow format on 3 April 1968, the film ignited the imaginations of critics and audiences alike. For the first time since the original release, the 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative – no digital tricks, remastered effects or revisionist edits. Showing exclusively at Picturehouse Central from 21-28 May.
Piccadilly W1D 7DH; picturehouses.com

2 The Engine Room x Lululemon Indoor Rowing Taster Classes
17-31 May

The Engine Room, London’s new, fully integrated rowing boutique and personal training studio, is hosting taster classes in partnership with Lululemon. Rowing delivers a full body workout, with research by British Rowing showing that it utilises 85% of the body’s muscles across nine major muscle groups, running only targets five major muscle groups. Prior to the full studio opening, The Engine Room and Lululemon are running taster classes at Lululemon’s Marylebone High Street store from 17-31 May, with The Engine Room founder Chris Heron and British rower and Olympic gold medallist, Matthew Tarrant. The classes will feature an introductory ‘Rowing 101’ class as well as a preview of the new class formats: Breathe and Beats. Classes are fully interactive, with results shown on a large screen and Tanita body composition scans.
74-75 Marylebone High Street W1U 5JR. To book see facebook.com/events

3 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
22-26 May

The unsurpassable Chelsea Flower Show returns with more than 100 thrilling floral displays. The Great Pavilion, a 12,000 sq ft marquee big enough to park 500 London buses, will again be the jewel in the Chelsea Flower Show crown, featuring the very best from the world’s finest nurseries, growers and florists. This year there will also be health and wellbeing gardens, showing how plants and green spaces can improve lives; Space to Grow Gardens with ideas for smaller, urban gardens; and the Chelsea Late Event on Friday night, giving even more visitors chance to see the show with bands, an artisan food market and wandering artists.
London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea SW3 4SR; rhs.org.uk

4 Bala Baya Nights, Southwark
Friday 25 May
Bala Baya has brought back its infamous Bala Baya Nights, transforming the Old Union Arches in Southwark Tel-Aviv style with a late-night spring menu, flowing cocktails and extending opening hours so you can munch and boogie till 4am. DJs Jesse Rifka and Fake Tan will be spinning the tunes – think Sister Sledge, piano chords and hallelujah hands in the air. Join Head Chef Eran Tibi and the lovely team on the terrace under the arches as they add Israeli flavour to Bankside with good vibes and delicious food. Booking encouraged.
Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union Street SE1 0LR; balabaya.co.uk

5 Feria De Londres, South Bank
25-27 May
Feria De Londres brings the vitality of a traditional Andalucian Feria to the Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank with a vibrant celebration of Spanish culture and cuisine. Inspired by southern Spain’s annual spring fairs, the festival will feature Flamenco dancing shows, interactive workshops and live Spanish music, as well as an array of family-friendly activities including face painting, hair styling, arts and crafts. The South Bank will be lined with colourfully decorated ‘casetas’ serving up delicious Spanish tapas, regional wines and cocktails. Feast on croquetas, Iberico ham, tortillas, pimientos de padron and churros, as well as special tastings from Tio Pepe, Spain’s favourite fino producer, who will be hosting a series of sherry masterclasseses. Free.
Bernie Spain Gardens, Southbank SE1 9PH; feriadelondres.com

6 Missing by Louis Masai at The Crypt Gallery
25-27 May
South London street artist Louis Masai launches his first solo show in London in two years at the Crypt Gallery in Euston this weekend. Missing is an immersive installation of 18 new paintings, a three-part hand-finished print edition, and a three-part bee sculpture edition with Graffiti Prints and a robotic penguin! There will also be a fully immersive installation inspired by the woods, with trees, sounds, smells and an important call to action, as well as a three-part t-shirt launch with premium art-wear brand CMMNTY, so you can wear you art on your sleeve… Louis Masai explores the concept of humans as animals, painting anthropomorphised creatures adorned with sentiment, and has recently started to raise awareness of endangered creatures. Each of his works focusing on endangers animals in specific regions across the globe, from the South African penguin to the threatened British bumble bee.
Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2BA; cryptgallery.org

7 MCM London Comic Con, ExCel London
25-27 May
MCM Comic Con, the UK’s largest organiser of pop culture events is gearing up for the return of its flagship London show, with bigger guests, exclusive products and more explosive and interactive content. Celebrating the latest and greatest in geeky goodness for fans, MCM London Comic Con will bring an action-packed weekend of pop culture to ExCeL London, featuring everything from comics, movies, games and sci-fi to cosplay, anime, steampunk and online video. The huge line-up will include Letitia Wright, who has recently made her name as Shuri in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War; Deadpool’s Brianna Hildebrand and Tom Ellis from Lucifer. Tickets from £17.
mcmcomiccon.com

8 tokyobike x Ace London Cycleography Rides, Shoreditch
26 May
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch’s annual summer rides in collaboration with tokyobike are back for a 15-20-mile ride along East London’s Waterways. The ride will allow you to explore the urban environment via cycle paths, towpaths, backroads and green spaces. The ride will begin and end at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch and weave a path towards the Thames via Regent’s Canal, the River Lea and Limehouse Cut, passing a number of picturesque parks and places of historic interest. The pace will be leisurely and relaxed. You’ll have the option of using a tokyobike for the duration of the ride or your own, and a mechanic will accompany the ride for any basic maintenance needs. 10am-3pm. Departing from Bulldog Edition at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. £25 including a morning coffee and light packed lunch.
To book see eventbrite.co.uk

9 Bank Holiday Beach Party at Fulham Beach Club 
26-27 May
London’s only Thameside beach is hosting a Bank Holiday Beach Party by the Thames with a BBQ on the beach and live entertainment from a world-renowned DJ. There’ll be yoga on the Saturday, and you can enjoy a complimentary frozen Margarita before 2pm on both days. The chic beach-club paradise has two bespoke bars serving up cocktails, beer and bottomless brunch, Cabana’s, daybeds, Jimmy Garcia’s pop-up restaurant and games like putting pong (think beer-pong-meets-golf) and shuffle board. Open 12pm-11pm on Saturday and 12pm-9pm on Sunday. Entry £10.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

10 Street League Skateboarding Pro Open, Stratford
26-27 May
The world’s most prestigious skateboarding competition will make its London debut at The Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 26-27 May, as SLS and World Skate prepare street skateboarding for its inaugural appearance in the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020. Athletes will battle it out in a custom-built concrete skate plaza, designed to inspire innovative tricks and take skateboarding to new heights. The competition features an exciting easy-to-follow format, anchored by instant scoring, and sees the expansion of the Women’s division with an additional Women’s Qualifier event taking place on Saturday 26 May to help set the stage for the new SLS Women’s World Championship in October.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford E20 3HB; streetleague.com

11 The London Cheese Project, Hoxton
26-28 May
The London Cheese Project returns to Hoxton with a huge celebration of all things cheese. Over 30 British cheesemakers and mongers, artisan producers and street food traders will set up camp in the beautiful grounds of the Geffrye Museum, hosting free talks, demos and plentiful tastings across the Bank Holiday weekend. Tuck into limited-edition cheeses and one-off street food specials, developed especially for the festival, like Paxton & Whitfield’s triple cream Wild Garlic Brillat-Savarin. You can also take a series of ticketed masterclasses on topics such as cheese and beer matching and creating the perfect cheeseboard. Tickets £5. 10.30am-8.30pm (till 5pm Sunday).
Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road E2 8EA; thecheeseproject.com

12 Tom’s Kitchen Bottomless Bank Holiday Brunch
26-28 May
Enjoy a hearty brunch and unlimited prosecco at the recently relaunched Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea. Designed by the renowned chef Tom Aikens, the menu includes savoury classics such as Eggs Royale, Eggs Benedict and Tom’s Breakfast Grill as well as some more unusual options like Tom’s Shaksouka Eggs with Caklebean eggs, tomato and aubergine and a decadent Brioche French Toast with caramelised apples and cinnamon cream. Available from 10am-4pm. You can also enjoy an unlimited supply of prosecco for just £15pp extra when dining from the brunch menu.
27 Cale Street, Chelsea SW3 3QP; tomskitchen.co.uk

13 POW Brixton’s Rooftop Bottomless Brunch
27 May
POW is bringing an incredible bottomless brunch to its famous two-tier roof terrace in celebration of all things disco. As well as incredible DJ sets, the chance to soak up the sun and POW’s very own Disco Rum Punch, GoneBurger will be serving up their amazing burgers, including The Wreckless, stacked with jerk chicken and pineapple, plus homemade brownies with ice cream. Continue the celebrations right through to midnight and, between the boogying, showcase your talents with Disco Karaoke, chill out on the rooftop’s deckchairs and play games. 12pm-midnight. Bottomless brunch from £30 for a two-hour slot, with two hours of bottomless disco rum and frozen G&Ts, two courses from GoneBurger and disco diva karaoke). If you can’t make brunch, grab a £10 ticket for an evening of discoing across the POW club and rooftop from 5pm-midnight.
467-469 Brixton Road SW9 8HH; pow-london.com

14 Big Chill Brick Lane Presents ‘The Girls’
27 May
Big Chill Brick Lane has Bank Holiday Sunday-funday covered with ‘The Girls’, a late-night fiesta championing female DJs with Fuzi Fresh, Sash Dixon and Abs hitting the decks for a 10-hour party. Kicking off at 3pm, the trio will be playing a sublime amalgamation of genres from disco to hip-hop and afrobeat to house, plus everything in between. 3pm-1am.  Free entry. Should you find yourdelf in need of some RnR on Monday, there will be Bloody Marys available from 3pm as well as Henry W-P gently spinning some head-soothing soul and funk tunes.
Big Chill Brick Lane, Dray Walk E1 6QL; bigchillbar.com

15 Jam on the Rye, Peckham
28 May
Kerb presents Jam on the Rye on Bank Holiday Monday, a brand new one-day celebration of sound system culture and the best of London street food on Peckham Rye. Expect a mix of reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz across three stages. The Main Stage will be presented by Reggae Roast and headlined by David Rodigan, Horace Andy (Live) and Mungo’s HiFi; the second stage will be hosted by south London promoters Wormfood; and the third will play host to KERB’s second KERB Talks, a panel discussion on London’s sounds system culture and local talent.  The street food line up will include Breddos, White Men Can’t Jerk and Only Jerkin’, and like all KERB events, this one’s for everyone from Baby Boomers to boom-boxers. 11.30am-10.30pm. Tickets from £20.
Strakers Road SE15 3UA; kerbfood.com/jamonrye

16 All Points Equal, Victoria Park
28 May
All Points Equal is a day of free activities to celebrate the 100 years of votes for (some) women and 90 years of equal voting rights for women and men. Taking place in Victoria Park, the end destination of Sylvia Pankhurst’s 1913 and 1914 processions, there will be a family-friendly banner-making workshops and football workshops; children’s theatre; aerial circus performance workshops; outdoor screenings of Moana (12noon), Suffragette (3.30pm) and Made in Dagenham (7pm); a fully immersive, participatory performance Suffragette rally with the Museum of London (3pm); live music with Global Local from midday to 9.30pm featuring Hackney Colliery Band and all-female brass band Break Out Brass; street food Market curated by Sourced Market, pop-up bars and more. The event is part of All Points East in the neighbourhood, a four-day festival of free activities running 28-31 May.
Victoria Park E3; allpointseastfestival.com

17 Early Man Family Fun Day, Museum of London
28 May
The Museum of London is heading back to the Stone Age on Bank Holiday Monday with free screenings of Aardman’s latest film, Early Man, plus a range of drop-in family-friendly activities. Journey back to the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth and courageous caveman hero, Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) and tribe unite against the mighty Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City to save their home. Film screenings take place at 11am and 2pm. Kids can also learn the art of flint-making using soap, hold real prehistoric artefacts, and much more in drop-in activities. Tickets are free but should be booked in advance from Wednesday 23 May (pre-register your interest here).
150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk

18 Pizza Brunch at Radici
28 May
Francesco Mazzei’s trattoria Radici is serving up a Pizza Brunch this Bank Holiday Monday, with classic Italian dishes alongside some fun twists on London favourites. Feast on must-try dishes like the Brunch Pinsa for two to share, topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg and avocado, plus prosciutto and mushroom. Further brunch dishes, inspired by the warm climate and wonderful ingredients of Francesco’s Calabrian home region, include Eggs Calabrese with pappa pomodoro, burrata and anchovy; plus Cannellini bean stew with poached eggs and sausage. Two courses £15, three courses £20. Add bottomless prosecco for £15 over two hours. Available from 11am-4pm.
30 Almeida Street, Islington N1 1AD; radici.uk

19 MoreYoga Workshops at All Points East
28-31 May
All Points East: In The Neighbourhood is a fab community festival taking place in Victoria Park this Bank Holiday and half term week. This year, MoreYoga will be treating festival-goers to a series of free open-air yoga classes throughout the event, with special sessions and workshops daily from 12pm to 8.30pm. Classes include everything from the classic Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga practices to the quirkier HIIT Hop Yoga and Funky Festival Flow. For parents who are keen to find a bit of zen in the madness, there will also be daily Kids Yoga and Family Yoga classes. ON 28 May, Om & Bass Festival will be on hand to give All Points East a Chakra Shakedown yoga rave that harmoniously intertwines the moves with meditation and conscious dance.
moreyoga.co.uk

20 The Bloom Rooms at D&D, various locations
21 May-30 June
Popping up across terraces in London are D&D’s Bloom Rooms. Sponsored by Moët & Chandon, the floral domes are part of the wider Blossom City initiative in partnership with Lady Garden Campaign and in support of The Gynaecological Cancer Fund. The curved wooden structures have been decorated with fresh flowers and winding ivy to resemble an English garden in full bloom. No need for reserved tables and long bar queues, just sit back, relax and treat yourselves to a glass of Champagne under a beautiful floral canopé. Available for booking this bank holiday weekend. Find them at Coq d’Argent, South Place Hotel’s Secret Garden and Plateau.
thedishdanddlondon.com

21 Séance at The London Dungeon
26 May-3 June 

The London Dungeon’s scariest show yet, Séance, is making a nail biting return to South Bank this half term for one week only. Step back to the 1870s with legendary psychic Agnes Guppy, famously known for her levitations and transportations during séances, as she attempts to resolve unfinished business and contact the afterlife in this spine-tingling experience, asking, ‘Is anybody there?’. Witness first hand if Guppy’s extraordinary psychic abilities are real during a live Séance and be prepared for a hair-raising experience, as strange goings-on begin to take place in the psychic parlour… will you leave with your soul intact? Adults £30, kids £24 on the door (book in advance online to save up to 30%).
Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; thedungeons.com

22 Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross – Dressers Exhibition, Soho 
Now until 3 June
Drawn from the extensive personal archives of filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, this exhibition of amateur ‘found’ photographs from Europe and the US explores gender non-conformity and cross-dressing. Dating from 1880 onwards, the photos are mostly of unnamed and unknown figures and as such offer an unauthorised view into the worlds of individuals and groups choosing to defy gender conventions. Lifshitz’s initial collecting impulse was a fascination with the vernacular documentation of cross-dressing; his criteria to accumulate photographs, which showed men dressing as women and vice versa. Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers celebrates the collective inventiveness and liberation that the seemingly simple act of dressing differently provides.
16-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW; thephotographersgallery.org.uk

23 Deluge: A solo show by Bobbie Russon at bo.lee gallery 
25 May-23 June
Bobbie Russon’s paintings speak to the turbulent yet contemplative and solitary place in all of us. Just as gravity compels the tides, so the works exhibited in Deluge capture the outer forces provoking inner turmoils. Overwhelmed, figures stand subjected to the storm, desperately trying to keep their heads above water. The comforts that the inhabitants of Russon’s paintings had been clinging to have been discarded, revealing a conflict between a sense of insecurity and independence. Painted during the winter months, Russon’s surroundings become metaphorical in this series and her previous symbols of hostility are replaced with a sense of defencelessness; of being washed away. Russon’s work speaks to us on an emotional level, a whisper rather than a cry, it gives us time to stand still, time to reflect on what it means to be human.
222 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4NL; bo-lee.co.uk

24 Linda Kitson: iPad Drawings at The City Centre Gallery
Until 11 August
Best known for her work as an official war artist during the Falklands conflict, Linda Kitson has created a vivid collection of iPad drawings capturing the Square Mile’s dynamic skyline as part of the London Festival of Architecture. The exhibition captures the dramatic change the City is undergoing, exploring the development of key sites across the eastern city cluster including Bishopsgate, Leadenhall, Liverpool Street, Lime Street, St Mary Axe and Broadgate. Up to 50 works set to be displayed in full technicolour, with 18 core works backlit in bespoke lightboxes alongside an additional 20-30 preparatory works displayed alongside in print form.
80 Basinghall Street EC2V 5AR; thecitycentre.london

25 The Great British Seaside at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Now until 30 September
On 23 March the National Maritime Museum opens a major photography exhibition celebrating the nation’s love affair with the seaside. Featuring over 100 works by four of Britain’s most celebrated photographers – Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts – The Great British Seaside: Photography from the 1960s to the present, explores our changing relationship with the seaside over the last six decades. The Great British Seaside documents a quintessentially British experience. It covers the country’s beaches from Brighton to Blackpool and captures the traditions, customs and eccentricities associated with them. Through the work of some of Britain’s most celebrated photographers, the exhibition will showcase photography from their archive collections, as well as negative contact sheets and footage.
Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk



 

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