Hoorah, there are actual IRL things to do in London this Easter weekend! While restrictions remain in place, outdoor food markets, art trails and Easter egg hunts can take place, but please be mindful of social distancing and Covid-secure safety measures
Lead image: See Through by Morag Myerscough forms part of Mayfair & Belgravia’s Wander art trail (photo: Gareth Gardener)
Who said Easter egg hunts were for kids? Paddington seafood restaurant group London Shell Co is hosting Easter treasure hunts for grown-ups with three £100 dining vouchers up for grabs. Clues as to where to find each message in a bottle will be posted on London Shell Co’s Instagram stories from 2pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (2-4 April), with a voucher to be won each day. Meanwhile, Highbury wine merchants Shop Cuvée is hosting the world’s first natural wine hunt! Taking part in Clissold Park on Easter Sunday, the hunt offers prizes ranging from free merch to in-store discounts, free bottles of wine and Tony’s chocolate. Again, clues will be posted on the Top Cuvée Instagram in the morning, and one lucky hunter will even win a three-month natural wine subscription.
2 Order in Brunch
Drake & Morgan has come to the rescue of dull weekends in lockdown 3.0 with their at-home boxes. First up, the Vegan Brunch kit, made in collaboration with Symplicity Foods’ chef Neil Rankin, feeds two and contains smashed avocado on toast with Symplicity vegan n’duja, feta and pesto, accompanied with a Breakfast Martini and an Elderflower Gin Fizz cocktail (£40 for two). Other brunch boxes are also available. To up your Zoom celebrations, order one of Drake & Morgan’s cocktail boxes, created in collaboration with The London Essence Company. There’s Tales of Tequila, Captain Hook’s Ransacked Rums, Alice in Wonderland’s Gin Cocktails and The Three Wishes of Whiskey. Choose from a six-serve box for £35, or a four-serve kit for £25. Both boxes come with free delivery to London and the home counties. Order online by 11.59pm Wednesday for Friday delivery.
Never in our lives have we been so excited about picnics! From 29 March 2021 the rule of six kicks back in, meaning you can finally meet friends outdoors in groups of up to six, or two households. But with indoor gatherings still restricted and dining alfresco at pubs and restaurants not kicking off 12 April, it’s all about the picnic! Spotting a gap in the market, a rather clever new company called get STUFT has popped up offering on-demand, same-day picnics via Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Plus, high-end delivery app SUPPER London has teamed up with What3Words to offer delivery rom some of the capital’s top restaurants into central London parks. Hello 21st-century picnicking! For more ready-made picnic hampers, click here.
4 Love Wimbledon’s Market on the Piazza
Love Wimbledon’s Local Market on The Piazza returned at the beginning of March. The market is food-only for April, in line with government restrictions, and social distancing will be in place. You’ll find street food from around the world, artisan bread, pastries and a variety of home-baked foods. Look out for Compa Food, which offers fresh made pasta in a Grana Padano cheese wheel, G-Whizz Kitchen’s savoury pies, souvlaki from Little Greece, brownies, banana bread and more from Lukka Boutique Cakery, traditional bratwurst from Smoke House Sausages and New York-style 1/4lb cookies by Monster Cookies. The market is single-use plastic-free, meaning your foodie fix won’t cost the earth (visitors are reminded to take their own bag, too). 11am-6pm.
Until 4 April
In response to a survey that found 54% of Brits have said they’re feeling more optimistic than at any point since the pandemic began 12 months ago, Hyundai has launched the world’s first Tunnel of Light. Created by world renowned light artists Squidsoup, the installation has been designed to recreate the brightness of the sun and offer a burst of optimism for some of those affected by the pandemic, and has been gifted to St Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. Located outside St Guy’s at London Bridge, the nine-metre-long structure is stacked with 160 ‘sun pixel’ lightboxes covering 25m², designed to emulate the sun’s rays and leave visitors feeling invigorated and refreshed. Read more about it here.
6 Mayfair & Belgravia’s Wander Art Trail
Immerse yourself in art and design simply by wandering the streets of Mayfair & Belgravia. The area’s outdoor gallery trail, Wander Art, is home to creations from some of the world’s most exciting artists. Hosted by Landlord Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and curated by Alter-Projects, the bespoke walking trail features 12 artworks in a range of distinctive striking and colourful styles, from sculptures and installations to murals. In Mayfair, you’ll find Yinka Ilori on Mount Street, Margaux Carpentier in Brown Hart Gardens and Fernando Laposse on Mercato Metropolitano. In Belgravia, there’s Craig & Karl in Eccleston Yards, Kinska on Pimlico Road, Emily Forgot on Elizabeth Street and Jordan Söderberg Mills in Halkin Arcade. The new commissions add to existing artworks, including Camille Walala’s hugely popular Walala Lounge on South Molton Street and Neil French’s Three Figures in Bourdon Place. Find the art trail map via the link below.
I’m just going to come right out and say it – I have not baked a single loaf of bread during lockdown. Cooking, sure, but baking, well that’s just an unnecessary stress, isn’t it? You guys never heard of Gail’s? All that may change, this Easter weekend, however, with Haya’s Easter Baking Kit. The Notting Hill-based Mediterranean/Israeli restaurant has created a kit featuring a traditional Easter bread – a slightly sweet east-leavened baked treat similar to Challah bread – that comes with chocolate Easter eggs and sprinkles. You can even add on extras like white chocolate and rose petals, orange crumble and sugar syrup. Priced £19 (add-ons 32 each).
8 The Online Immersive Sherlock Holmes Adventure
Until 14 April
The Case of the Hung Parliament is a new immersive Sherlock experience that blurs the lines between theatre, gaming, escape room and board game. The online adventure was created by Les Enfant Terribles, the Olivier-nominated creators of Alice’s Adventures Underground, together with virtual reality company LIVR. Suitable for ages 12+, the online ‘whodunnit’ invites audiences to follow in the footsteps of the great detective himself alongside live actors and 360°, multi-sensory technology. The Home Secretary, The Foreign Secretary and the Lord Chamberlain, have all been found hanging. Each victim died on their birthday, and each received a card with a mysterious quote written in it. Can you solve the case before the murderer strikes again? Public shows £15pp, private shows £90 for up to six players.
Until we can enjoy afternoon tea alfresco (from 12 April) or indoors at your favourite restaurant (from 17 May), you can still get the indulgent treat delivered to your door. From afternoon teas based around nostalgic sweets (hello Reece’s peanut butter cup and Liquorice Allsorts) to spring and Easter-themed afternoon teas, London’s hotels and restaurants, as ever, spoil us for choice. And with Sketch the latest to join the delivery run, sending out glorious, pastel-hued cakes and treats to those missing the Mayfair venue’s playfully pink Gallery restaurant, Easter weekend is the time to indulge, if you haven’t already. Check out our pick of the best afternoon teas for delivery in London here.
10 Oxford Bach Soloist Easter Festival 2021
Oxford Bach Soloist hosts its first ever Easter Festival on Easter Weekend. Featuring five hours of brand-new musical recordings and taking place in the most beautiful locations Oxford has to offer – Christ Church Cathedral and New College Chapel – the weekend promises a 360-degree experience of the music of Bach through brand-new staging. Led by artistic director and conductor Tom Hammond-Davies, alongside director Thomas Guthrie, the talented ensemble will perform St John Passion, Easter Oratorio and Easter Cantatas. Broadcasters start at 3pm on each day. Tickets £10 a day or £35 for the full four-day festival pass. Performances will be available to view on demand until 11pm on 30 April.
Who doesn’t love a garden centre? Allowed to stay open during the later iterations of lockdown, they have been one of the only things to keep us sane. And we all know, being confined to our homes for so long, how important nature is to our mental health. Look up the opening hours of your nearest garden centre and spend Easter weekend getting your garden or balcony in order. No outdoor space? Then just enjoy the stroll, grab a slice of cake and take the opportunity to bolster your houseplant collection.
12 606 Virtual Jazz Club
Fulham’s 606 Club is keeping audiences entertained during lockdown with 606 Online Live, a series of pay-to-view live music streams running on Saturday and/or Sunday nights. Over Easter weekend, you can enjoy music from the award-winning Alan Barnes, a virtuosic sax and clarinet player, composer, arranger and bandleader who has received more than 30 British Jazz Awards. Alan will be livestreaming from 606 Club on Saturday 3 April with his quartet featuring Robin Aspland on piano, Andrew Cleyndert on bass and Alphonso Vitale on drums. Lily Dior takes to the stage on Easter Sunday. The Australian expat ‘can belt out a song [and] dramatize a lyric’ (ABC) and is recognized as one of Australia’s foremost vocalists. The evening will feature some new material plus arrangements of songs from the classic American Songbook with a ‘groove’ twist. Both from 8pm priced £5.95 (registration required to view).
13 Set Sail with GoBoat, Paddington & Kingston
Eco-friendly boat company GoBoat is welcoming customers back for a self-drive electric boating experience on Regent’s Canal. With groups of six able to meet following the relaxing of the ‘stay home’ message, friends and families can reunite to explore the capital’s waterways. Pack up a picnic, grab a bottle of prosecco and take to the open water to enjoy your new-found freedom! To help keep people safe, every GoBoat is sanitized in-between trips, a distanced queuing system is in operation, and both check-in and payment are contact-free. GoBoat also operates in Kingston and from 18 May boats will be able to take up to eight passengers.
14 Grab a Martini to Go, Earl’s Court
To stop the gap before pubs reopen, Black Cow and Over Under are delivering cocktails to aid outdoor socialising this bank holiday weekend. Over Under will be hopping on its Espresso Martini bike to deliver Black Cow cocktails to consumers within a two-mile radius of its Earls Court site to provide a cocktail bar experience to those catching up with friends outdoors. Book online for an Espresso Martini made using Over Under Coffee, Black Cow vodka (an innovative vodka made in West Dorset from the milk of grass-grazed cows) and maple syrup (£8).
15 UN Women UK A Safe Space Now Virtual Exhibition
From 2 April
UN Women UK recently released data showing that over seven in 10 women in the UK are sexually harassed, and only 3% of 18-24 year olds are not, joining a necessary nationwide conversation about the safety of women. Of the women surveyed, 95% did not report their experiences of harassment – many because they did not think it would change anything. As part of its Safe Spaces Now project, UN Women UK is launching a virtual exhibition of mixed media artworks this Easter weekend, reimagining a world where women, girls and marginalised people are safe and free in public spaces. The creative works represent – and were inspired by – the voices, stories and ideas of thousands of women, with everything from photography to protest banners and slam poetry. Free Entry. Optional donation to UN Women UK.
16 Street Theatre’s Doorstep Performances, various locations
From 29 March
Street Theatre is a new performing arts offering bringing some of London’s most talented performers to your doorstep. Created in response to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the performing arts industry, Street Theatre is offering accessible performances of classical music, dance and theatre on Londoners doorsteps. Choose from a range of performances to transport you back to live West End experiences, from classical ballet to contemporary dance and opera, as well as performances for children. £30 per performance.
17 Kaleidoscopic Outdoor Art, Greenwich Peninsula
Until 31 May
The Tide on Greenwich Peninsula, London’s first linear park, has scored itself another great new art installation in situ – Hundreds and Thousands by Liz West. The kaleidoscopic outdoor work features a spectrum of vibrantly-coloured ribbons, installed on the glass balustrades of The Tide’s elevated walkway to offer waves of undulating colour that change by the hour as the sun rises and falls. Greenwich Peninsula is also home to two sculptures from iconic British artist Damien Hirst (Hydra and Kali, 2015, and Mermaid, 2014), Head in the Wind by British pop-artist Allen Jones, Siblings by Morag Myerscough and Quantum Cloud by Antony Gormley, which forms part of The Line, London’s first dedicated public art walk.
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