With Notting Hill Carnival rolling into town, August Bank Holiday weekend in London is guaranteed to be a riot of colour. But there are plenty of other delights on offer… The Resident picks out the best things to do in London this August Bank Holiday weekend
Lead image: Beautiful Allotment, Hoxton
1 Notting Hill Carnival
The incomparable Notting Hill Carnival kicks off with the UK National Panorama Steelband Competition on Saturday 25 August, taking place at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park from 6pm-10pm. It’s an early start on Sunday, with J’Ouvert – the ‘opening of the day’ where revellers converge on the streets to dance and get messy with colourful paints and powders (head for Sainsbury’s on Ladbroke Grove from 6am). Then it’s the children’s parade with colourful, family friendly floats, as well as live music and street food in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park and Powis Square. The Grand Finale takes place on Bank Holiday Monday (27 August) with the huge Grand Finale Parade, which starts at 9am on Great Western Road, heading along Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove and then Ladbroke Grove. Check the parade route map for sound systems, loos and stages.
See nhcarnival.org for further information and to download the app
2 Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s Bank Holiday Weekender, Hackney
Number 90 Bar & Kitchen on Hackney canal-side is throwing another Bank Holiday Weekend festival complete with music, art, culture, pop ups and art activations. Kicking things off on Friday is Ray Mang, who will present disco gems from across the globe together with Fernando Pulichino. On Saturday, Number 90 will be host an all-day party with We Are Balearic creating Ibizan vibes on the open air terrazza. On Sunday, early birds can indulge in the Old Blue Beer Brunch before live musicians kick the party back into shape. And finally, Bloody Mondays will serve up 2-4-1 Bloody Mary’s throughout the day while Raw Silk and Michelle Manetti lay down some house beats. The festival marks the official opening of Studio 92/94, Number 90’s neighbouring venue, which will double the size of the outdoor terrace. Free entry.
90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick E9 5LN; number90bar.co.uk
3 Fabulous Brunch Darling: Drag Brunch at 100 Wardour St
100 Wardour St is hosting a Fabulous brunch, darling! special edition – the August Bank Holiday Drag Brunch. The bottomless drag brunch not only includes a three-course brunch with dishes like hash brown with nduja, eggs Benedict and lemon hollandaise plus two hours of bottomless fizz, there’s also drag bingo, live DJs, a dance-troupe and more crazy drag queen antics than you can shake your wig at. 2pm-5pm. £35. For reservations email email@example.com or call 020 7314 4000.
100 Wardour Street, Soho W1F 0TN; danddlondon.com
4 Wimbledon Park Food Festival
The Wimbledon Park Food Festival is back for a fifth year in 2018 during this August’s Bank Holiday. There will things for people of all ages and if you’re looking to stay for a drink, they will have a later closing time this year. There will be over 45 stalls with all sorts of different food items. For the family, there will be a pop-up petting farm, face painting and a kids zone. Tickets are £6 for adults, £3 for kids and 5 and under get in free.
Wimbledon Park SW19 7HX; fantasticbritishfoodfestivals.com
5 The Jungle Book, Greenwich Theatre
Until 26 August
Greenwich Theatre premieres a dynamic adaptation of The Jungle Book, bringing Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale to the stage with thrilling percussion, vibrant puppetry and Kipling’s unforgettable, larger-than-life characters. When the young Mowgli appears in the jungle, and Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Akela the wolf surround him to protect him from the attack of the tiger Shere Khan, none of them can possibly anticipate the series of adventures that lies ahead. Perfect for families and nostalgic grown-ups.
Crooms Hill SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk
6 Silent Disco at Archer Street, Soho
Archer Street is hosting its first Silent Disco in the Antiguan Beach Shack and you get to be the DJ! Flick between three different music genres – Disco Classics, 90s & 00s Pop or Party Anthems – using your wireless headphones as often as you like. You and your friends can groove the night away together, even if you don’t rate their taste in music. It’s the loudest Beach Shack party that nobody ever heard… From 9pm till 2am.
3-4 Archer Street, South Soho W1D 7AP; archerstreet.co.uk
7 Rooftop Film Club, various locations
Rooftop Film Club continues to dominate the alfresco cinema scene with its cool venues and even cooler line-up. This Bank Holiday weekend you can catch Aladdin at the Bussey Building in Peckham or Four Weddings & A Funeral at Roof East in Stratford on 25 August (both 8pm), The Lion King at the Bussey Building on 26 August (8pm) and Cool Runnings at the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch on 27 August (9pm). The season continues until 29 September.
8 Pop Up Screens, Hither Green
Friday 25 until Sunday 27 August
There’s more fabulous alfresco cinema courtesy of Pop Up Screens, which continues its epic summer tour of London with a programme of classic films that includes three screenings in Hither Green’s lovely Manor House Gardens over Bank Holiday Weekend. On Friday 24 August its The Jungle Book, followed by Dirty Dancing on Saturday 25 August and Ghostbusters on Sunday 26 August. Adults £12.50, kids under 10 £7, VIP £20 (includes a chair and a drink). Doors 7pm, film starts 8.30pm.
Manor Lane/Taunton Road, Hither Green SE13 5SU; popupscreens.co.uk
9 The Star by Hackney Downs Summer Fête
The Star by Hackney Downs is throwing another Summer Fête from 12 noon until 8pm on the grounds of the surrounding park. First off there’s a the Pack and Clowder dog show (registration from 12pm on the day), or potter about the plant sale by Hackney Community Gardeners, the vintage market and craft stalls, or simply dive into the street food on offer with everything from vegan eats to ice cream. There will also be lawn games, a sandpit and the Hackney Play Bus for littlies, plus some great Balearic bangers and oddball disco from DJ collective We Are The Sunset and friends.
35 Queensdown Road, Hackney E5 8NN; 020 7458 4481; starbyhackneydowns.co.uk
10 British Fish Craft Championships at Billingsgate Market
The UK’s top fishmongers will be flaunting their fish filleting skills at the 66th annual British Fish Craft Championships, taking place at Billingsgate Market. The judges, experienced fishmongers from across the country, will be awarding points for performance, presentation, hygiene and general appearance with prize money and trophies to be won. The Billingsgate Seafood School, which offers fish cookery and preparation courses, will be celebrating all things seafood with cooking demos, tasters and more over the two days. The event is free and open to all, kicking off on Saturday from 1pm with the competition taking place on Sunday from 9am.
Trafalgar Way, Poplar E14 5ST; fishmongers.info
11 Black Cat: Bohemia, Underbelly Festival Southbank
22 August-30 September
The Black Cat Cabaret has been captivating the city’s audiences with its dark and daring brand of cabaret entertainment for more than a decade. Black Cat: Bohemia, the company’s most ambitious show to date, premières with the company’s first headline run at Underbelly Festival Southbank. Combining high skills acrobatic feats and spectacular ensemble work with comic turns and live music, the show’s 12-strong cast elevate cabaret and circus to new levels of jaw-dropping glamour, perfectly fitting for the 250th anniversary of the world’s first circus. Tickets from £19.
Jubilee Gardens SE1 8XX; theblackcat.info
12 Independent Brands Market at East Village E20
East Village E20 is hosting an independent market to showcase up-and-coming brands, crafts and food on August Bank Holiday weekend. As well as independent clothing brands like Tom + Teddy and AMKI Wear, art and crafts from Amy Grimes, Elle Sorridente and Roo Bannister, East Village’s new pop-up learning hub, launched in partnership with Obby, will be hosting a sewing workshop for beginners taught by East London resident Box and Roll. There will be food stalls too, offering a range of delicious snacks including raw food from Totally Raw, alcoholic ice cream from JW Ice Cream and confetti cupcakes from Romford’s Small Slice Bakery. The Nomad Cinema will be there too, with an outdoor screening of Paddington 2 (kids £5, adults £8).
Victory Park, Celebration Avenue, East Village E20 1DB; eastvillagelondon.co.uk
13 Smithfield 150: London’s biggest birthday party
Culture Mile, together with Museum of London, is taking over the market in Smithfield as well as the surrounding streets, lanes and hidden spaces around Farringdon for a free, fun-filled festival spectacular. Smithfield 150 celebrates the 150th anniversary of Smithfield Market and will showcase the best of London’s vibrant culture and creativity. Have a drink at the Roller Disco, dance at the main stage, be disgusted by London’s gory past with Horrible Histories, watch Stealing Sheep’s all-female percussion procession, invent party drinks with Company Drinks or let little ones chill-out at their own mini-festival hangout. The Smithfield 150 programme extends across six festival zones and two stages, showcasing talent, music, food and entertainments from across the capital set against a Victorian backdrop. 11am-8pm.
Smithfield Market EC1A 9PS; culturemile.london
14 Brunch to the Beat at The Piano Works
Bank Holiday Sundays at The Piano Works are back and better than ever with the addition of Brunch to the Beat. The Any Given Bank Holiday Sunday all day party is back on 26 August. Begin your Sunday at Farringdon’s non-stop audience request live music venue for the loudest brunch in London, from 1pm. Enjoy classic dishes with a twist, bottomless drinks, glitter and temporary tattoo artists and of course non-stop live music from the venue’s house musicians until 1am, followed by a DJ taking your requests till 4am. Choose from one of two Brunch to the Beat menus; brunch drinking (£35pp inlcuding a Breakfast Burrito) or brunch dining (£50pp including a two-course brunch) – both feature two hours of bottomless prosecco, Bloody Marys, or mocktails, as well as unlimited soft drinks.
113-117 Farringdon Road EC1R 3BX; pianoworks.bar
15 The Monster at Alexandra Palace
The world’s biggest inflatable obstacle course, The Monster will land at Alexandra Palace this Bank Holiday weekend. Bounce, jump, slide and dance your way around the 300 metre course and unleash your inner child on 42 brand new obstacles including the 18m Mega Slide, the Tunnel of Love and The Bouncy Cage of Doom. The party doesn’t stop once you’ve taken on The Monster, each day-long bonanza boasts street food from the likes of Bodean’s, hamburger experts Backstreet Diner, Peruvian sandwich pros Sangucheria and The Waffle Box. Drinks will be available from pop-up bars serving craft beers, cocktails and everything in between, which you can enjoy on Ally Pally’s sunny terrace. Then, head for the glitter stations before you hit the huge dance floor. Open 10am-11am for kids aged 11-15 and 11am-11.30pm for adults.
16 La Tomatina Festival at aqua nueva, Regent Street
Contemporary Spanish restaurant aqua nueva is bringing La Tomatina Festival, the famous tomato-throwing riot hosted in Spain every August, to London on Saturday 25 August. The event begins with a civilized Ketel One cocktail, shot of gazpacho and tomato-based tapas menu, before descending into a messy tomato fight! Choose three dishes from a tapas-style menu including Iberian ham croquettes, crispy pork skins and marinated mackerel with aubergine & tomato pisto. Following lunch, you’ll make your way to nearby Downstairs at Carousel in Marylebone for a Bloody Mary masterclass followed by the hour-long tomato-fuelled tussle (you’ll be given an aqua nueva x Ketel One poncho and can tag in and out of the fight). Tickets £49. From 12.30pm.
5th Floor, 240 Regent Street W1F 7EB. To book see designmynight.com
17 Canopy Market x Made in Arts London, King’s Cross
Canopy Market, the weekly independent market in the heart of King’s Cross, is celebrating the best of London’s trailblazing design scene with a weekend dedicated to up-and-coming artists and makers. The market is teaming up with Made in Arts London (MiAL), a non-profit initiative supporting new creative talent in arts and design, to host 10 cutting-edge artists and designers alongside street food stalls and a craft beer bar. From jewellery to ceramics, stationary to prints, you can browse creations by a roster of student and alumni artists from the six University of the Arts London colleges. 12pm-10pm (till 6pm on Sunday).
West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross N1C; kingscross.co.uk
18 Month of Sundays Finale at POW Brixton
POW Brixton’s Month of Sundays programme comes to an end on Bank Holiday weekend. The Sunday celebration, this year championing disco music, has invited DJ Crazy P to host the party on Brixton’s famous two-tier rooftop. Those looking to wind down for the weekend can kick back with a cocktail and soak up the summer vibes, while those unwilling to put an end to the weekend can get down to the best disco sounds all day and night. You can also enjoy amazing burgers from National Burger Award finalists Goneburger, rum-soaked cocktails from the Wray & Nephew Rum Shack, deck chairs, games and incredible views. 2pm-midnight. Tickets from £5.
467- 469 Brixton Road SW9 8HH; pow-london.com
19 KERB Launches KERB X in Crouch End
Street food pioneer KERB is launching a brand new market, KERB X, aimed at powering local markets and showcasing local talent. Expanding on the Farmers’ Market concept, KERB X fuses food and local creative talent, launching in Crouch End on 25 August and Peckham on 1 September. The first KERB X is set in front of the iconic Hornsey Town Hall, working alongside the Crouch End community to ensure that local businesses benefit from the newly enlivened space, which is currently undergoing a huge transformation. The second KERB X will operate within the amazing archways shared with Peckham Springs, Brick Brewery and Little Bird Gin underneath Peckham Rye station. The best of KERB’s fleet of traders and local craft and produce will be on rotation across the market every Saturday.
kerbfood.com/kerb-x-hornsey / kerbfood.com/kerb-x-peckham
20 MAKEMORE Festival, Victoria Park
London’s first maker festival, MAKEMORE, is giving independent artists a platform to promote their craftmanship and encourage people to learn crafts at risk of extinction in the digital age. MAKEMORE encompasses the traditional party atmosphere of a festival with music, comedy, bars, street food stalls and a funfair, but also includes an element of immersive creativity. Makers such as Aardman, Barn the Spoon and Turning Earth will be hosting workshops and demos, and you can learn the likes of weaving with Whelans Weaving, paper marbling with Paperwilds and furniture making with the Goldfinger Factory. The festival will also feature demonstrations from acclaimed chefs like Dhruv Baker, stand-up comedy with acts such as Shappi Khorsandi and Simon Brodkin, live music programmed by Nest Collective and Continental Drifts, plus children’s entertainment.
Victoria Park E8; makemore.art
21 The Tusk Rhino Trail, various locations
Until 22 September
The Tusk Rhino Trail has landed! The London-wide art installation, curated for wildlife welfare charity Tusk by Chris Westbrook, celebrates the magnificence of the rhino and highlights the severe threat of poaching to their survival. Each rhino has been specially designed, decorated and embellished by internationally renowned artists, including The Chapman Brothers, Ronnie Wood, Eileen Cooper and Axel Scheffler. The unique works of art are on display at iconic London sites until World Rhino Day on 22 September 2018, before being auctioned at Christie’s on 9 October 2018. The funds raised will support Tusk’s work to protect rhino and other iconic African species.
22 Made in Croydon Craft Market, Boxpark Croydon
The popular Made in Croydon Craft Market makes its highly anticipated return to Boxpark Croydon on Bank Holiday Monday. The local collective made, up of hundreds of artists, designers and innovators, will showcase exclusive prints, clothes, homeware, jewellery and more. Made in Croydon is a not-for-profit community interest company that aims to highlight local creatives. 10am-5pm. Boxpark Croydon is also launching free Monday Night Movies on the big screen, kicking off with iconic romcom Notting Hill in homage to Carnival. Other films confirmed for the series include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Romeo & Juliet. 7.30pm-9.30pm.
99 George Street, Croydon CR0 1LD; boxpark.co.uk
23 Last Chance to Visit Beautiful Allotment, Hoxton
Until 1 September
Due to popular demand, Beautiful Allotment has extended its summer pop-up duration for an extra week. Now running until Saturday 1 September, the living, organic outdoor space is perfect for feasting, drinking and socialising, and will be open for all Bank Holiday weekend – including the Monday. A casual alternative to the hustle of Notting Hill Carnival, the allotment is an idyllic place to enjoy a languid long weekend. Recline on a day bed and sip on botanical cocktails made from ingredients grown on the grounds, such as the elderflower based St Germain Spritz or dandelion infused Nettle Gimlet made with Oxley Gin, while indulging in wholesome vegan, fish and meat BBQ platters. Open 4pm-11pm.
Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton E2 8EA; beautifulallotment.com
24 Neverland Carnival Closing Party, Fulham
Neverland is throwing a Carnival Closing Party this Bank Holiday weekend, bursting with Carnival festivities yet safely removed from the Notting Hill crowds. Instead, head for Fulham Beach Club and feel the sand between your toes as you enjoy cocktails, street food (Ping Pong Dim Sum will be hosting their first ever pop-up Kitchen), Carnival-style acts, a renowned line-up of DJs and glitter face painting. There’s even free entry for the most outrageous outfits. Open Friday 4pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-11pm and Sunday 12pm-11pm (closed Monday).
Wandsworth Bridge Road SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com
25 Swing Dance Sunday at Cahoots, Soho
Cahoots, a 1940s-themed speakeasy in Kingly Court, hosts live swing entertainment, complete with polka dots and old classics, on Sunday evenings. From 5pm-7pm, there are dance lessons hosted by the incredible Big Papa Mac, for those keen to get into the swing of things, then from 7pm, the doors open to everyone, with a swing dance show and DJ set from Big Papa Mac. Later, the Hotsie Totsies from across the pond will take the stage to perform classic songs at 8.30pm. Throughout the evening, Belvedere ‘Espresso yourself on the dance floor’ Martinis will be served to keep everyone energised. £20 for dance lessons and after party, table bookings £25pp minimum spend. From 7pm onwards its £10 entry on the door.
13 Kingly Street, Carnaby W1B 5PG; cahoots-london.com
- 15 Things to Do in London This Weekend
- 18 Fun Places to Be a ‘Kidult’ in London
- 9 Interactive Exhibitions & Activities for Kids in London
- 55 Things to Do in London: August 2018
- 15 Fun Activities for a Rainy Day in London
- Where to See London’s Best Alfresco Theatre
- 15 Great Places to Visit in London with Children
- 27 Summer Holiday Activities for London Families