21 Things to Do in London this Bank Holiday Weekend: 28-31 August 2020

Notting Hill Carnival goes digital, theatre goes alfresco, quarantine-free Balearic vibes come to Fulham and a drive-thru goes meat-free… it’s August bank holiday weekend, just not as you know it!

Lead image: SMASHED2 by Gandini is part of GDIF (photo: Camilla Greenwell)

1 Notting Hill Carnival
29-31 August
Notting Hill Carnival has gone digital for 2020 – inevitable what with the world insisting on remaining upside down. Instead of traipsing the streets hunting out the best floats, sound systems (and loos), you’ll be granted Access All Areas, with four channels of the most exciting talent from UK radio, educators and MCs. Channel One will deliver Culture (from steelband performances recorded at The Royal Albert Hall & The Theatre Royal Haymarket, to dance competitions and cook-alongs), while on Two it’s Parade (featuring performances from Mas bands, steelbands and Brazilian bands), on Three it’s Sound Systems (with exclusive sets from your favourite Sound Systems) and Channel Four is the Main Stage (presenting performances from around the world, including Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica and Grenada). Plus, Carnival 2020’s official sponsor, Spotify, will host a microsite full of huge dancehall, reggae, soca and afrobeat playlists, podcasts on Carnival history and issues facing the black community, and more.
Register online at nhcarnival.org


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Notting Hill Carnival (@nhcarnivalldn) on

2 Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, various locations
28 August-12 September
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF), the festival of outdoor theatre, is set to be the UK’s first full festival since lockdown. The programme, running across the Royal Borough of Greenwich and east London, features site-responsive theatre, dance and street arts including large-scale installations celebrating the NHS and the environment, a spotlight on black-led artistic work, and a pop-up programme of socially distanced touring performances. This weekend’s highlights include Get Happy, a family show of socially distanced physical comedy, live music and acrobatics (Woolwich Common Estate on 29 Aug & Thamesmead on 30 Aug); SMASHED2, a virtuosic performance from internationally recognised circus ensemble, Gandini (Royal Arsenal Woolwich on 30 Aug & St Alfege Park on 31 Aug); WHY?, an aerial duet performed on a free-standing vertical wall (St Alfege Park, 31 Aug); and Luke Jerram’s new installation In Memoriam, created as a temporary memorial to those we have lost during the Covid-19 pandemic (Woolwich Common, 28-31 Aug). All events will have free, allocated access for local residents, with further free and paid ticketing arrangements to help manage capacity.

3 Tenet at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
26 August-10 September
Riverside Studios in Hammersmith is now fully open to the public following the easing of lockdown restrictions, with a new programme that includes screenings of Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated sci-fi epic, Tenet. The film – one of the first major new releases since lockdown – is breaking new ground opening in territories outside the US. Originally due to launch in July, the film is the follow-up to Nolan’s 2017 war epic Dunkirk and has been called ‘his best movie since Inception’ following secretive press previews. The action-packed time-travel movie stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Michael Caine, John David Washington and Kenneth Branagh. Several screenings daily. See website for times. Tickets from £10.
101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith W6 9BN; riversidestudios.co.uk

4 Covent Garden Cool Down
27-31 August
Covent Garden’s ice cream festival – the Covent Garden Cool Down – returns this August bank holiday weekend with all sorts of gelato, frozen cocktails, coffees and slushies. The festival hub will be located in the alfresco rainbow seating area on the East Piazza with five brands serving frozen treats, from Little Moons’ mochi to Ladurée’s macaron ice cream sandwiches and frozen cocktails from the outdoor bars at Buns and Buns and Dirty Martini. Elsewhere, The Frog By Adam Handling will be serving frozen Espresso Martinis and a meadowsweet parfait ice cream sandwich; Henrietta Bistro will offer St. Germain slushy cocktails on the outdoor terrace; SUSHISAMBA will have Boozy Caipirinha Samba Pops; Bubblewrap will serve up Instagram-worthy waffle cones with bespoke toppings; and Avobar will be offering up their hugely popular Avo soft serve.
For further details of special serves see coventgarden.london/ice-cream-festival

5 Rooftop Comedy Experience at Bussey Rooftop Bar, Peckham
31 August
Bussey Rooftop Bar has launched the Rooftop Comedy Experience, a new series of outdoor comedy nights. Headlining this weekend is lager-guzzling poet and Alan Partridge star Tim Key, with Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner John Kearns and Best Newcomer-nominee Sarah Keyworth. The team at Bussey Rooftop Bar are working in partnership with award-winning production outfit Plosive to bring guests the best comedy alongside panoramic views, pizza and classic cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks. Tickets are £30 for two, £60 for four, or £70 for five (over 18s only, advance bookings only).
133 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST; busseyrooftopbar.com

6 Oyster & Fizz Brunch at Vinegar Yard, London Bridge
28-31 August
Vinegar Yard, the huge beer garden and street food hub in London Bridge, has teamed up with Oyster Boy Events to run its very first Oyster and Fizz brunch this bank holiday weekend. Expert shuckers from Oyster Boy Events will be prepping premium West Mersea oysters at guests’ tables, with a selection of signature dressings such as home-made Bloody Mary, a classic Mignonette and a spicy hot sauce. Special oyster and drinks packages featuring prosecco and Bloody Marys start from just £25 for six oysters and two glasses of prosecco. The event is ticketed-only so book in advance here. 12pm-3pm Friday to Monday. The weekly Flea Market runs every Saturday and Sunday, too.
72-82 St Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 3QU; vinegaryard.london

7 The Sunday Art Club, Shoreditch
30 August
Following a successful debut in July, multi-disciplinary arts and culture pop-up festival The Sunday Art Club returns with another free outdoor spectacular this bank holiday weekend. Hosted by Voxonica, line-up highlights include a live mural painting by contemporary artist Aurelie Freoua, who creates rhythm and harmony through contrasting colours and light in her paintings; a live set from emerging DJs influenced by jazz, reggae, house and hip-hop; live music from Jazz on the Rox showcasing a blend of romantic and seductive jazz classics; an installation by abstract urban artist Christian Asare; and a short film from NatWest and BP Award-winning director, choreographer and performance-art artist Greta Mendez. The Sunday Art Club is free to attend both in person and online, with donations encouraged to support the artists and creatives involved. The event will return on 27 September 2020.
Voxonica, Crooked Billet Yard, Kingsland Road E2 8AF. For tickets see eventbrite.co.uk

8 Fulham Comedy Club Official Launch Show, Fulham
29 August
The new Fulham Comedy Club launches on Saturday 29 August with pro comedians as seen on shows like The Stand Up Sketch Show and Live At The Apollo. Taking place on the roof terrace at Broadway Bar And Grill in Fulham, the socially distanced event will feature some of the best club and TV comedians on the comedy circuit. The shows runs from 7pm-9pm but you can stay until 2am for the after party. Tickets from £30 for two people. To book see facebook.com/events
474-476 Fulham Road SW6 1EY; facebook.com/Fulham-Comedy-Club

9 Summer Showtime on The Coaling Jetty, Battersea
21 August-20 September
Summer Showtime at The Coaling Jetty’s is a series of open-air theatre performances and cinema screenings from local companies Archlight Cinema and The Turbine Theatre. The historic Grade II* listed Coaling Jetty has incredible views of the river, making it a great spot for a late-summer evening al fresco. On the big screen this weekend, you can see Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (Fri 28 Aug, 7.30pm), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Sat 29 Aug, 5.30pm), Joker (Sat 29 Aug, 8.30pm), Frozen (Sun 30 Aug, 4.30pm) and A Star is Born (Sun 30 Aug, 8pm); while the theatre is offering up Horrible Histories (Fri 28 Aug, 11am & 2pm + Sat 29 Aug, 12.30pm & 2.30pm), One Duck Down (Sun 30 Aug, 2pm), The Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (Mon 31 Aug, 8pm). You can also enjoy special pre-theatre menus, picnic boxes and takeaways from local retailers including Megan’s, Vagabond Wines, Fiume and Battersea Brewery. Cinema tickets are £30 for two seats  or £50 for four seats).

10 Chiswick Festival at Chiswick House & Gardens
21 August-6 September
A team of local event organisers have come together to put on a festival to help Chiswick House & Gardens get back on its feet after having to cancel all of its events due to coronavirus. Kicking off in the gardens on 21 August, there will be 20 days of live, alfresco, socially distanced acts – one per evening – from big-name comedy to local bands and classical performances, as well as inspirational speakers and daytime fitness classes. Highlights include stand-up with Dara Ó Briain, Suzi Ruffell and Nathan Caton on 4 September, the razor-sharp acerbic wit of Tom Allen on 26 August, comedy bingo game-show with Bogan Bingo on 27 Aug & 3 Sept, and Queen Tribute Band The Bohemians on 29 August. The festival will help to cross-promote Chiswick House & Gardens own fundraising initiatives, while running their own fundraisers and sharing some of the revenue from ticket sales. Times and ticket prices vary.

11 M*** F*** Drive Thru, Shoreditch
26-31 August
British meat-alternative brand Meatless Farm is launching the plant-based drive thru over August bank holiday weekend to show that fast food can be better for you, better for the planet and still taste incredible. Taking over the American Car Wash in Shoreditch, the six-day pop-up will also have a dedicated walk-thru lane for cyclists and pedestrians, and those who pull up in an electric car, or on a bike or e-scooter, will get 50% off. Street-food maestro Mother Flipper has collaborated on the menu to create meat-free dirty burgers that are packed full of flavour, texture and juicy brilliance. Try Meatless Farm’s much talked about McBluffin, a plant-based take on the world’s favourite fast food breakfast, as well as the Mother Flipper x Meatless Farm Cheeseburger and The Greta (served with aubergine candy bacon). All burgers will be served veggie as standard, with vegan versions also available. Open 11am-3pm.
35 Great Eastern Street, Hackney EC2A 3ER; @meatlessfarm

12 Dinosaur World Live at Troubadour Meridian Water, Enfield
Until 30 August 
Dinosaur World Live, the interactive children’s theatre show that brings dinosaurs to life on stage, is now on at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water. Using stunning puppetry to bring life-like dinosaurs to the stage, Dinosaur World Live presents a host of impressive pre-historic creatures including the Microraptor, Segnosaurus, Triceratops and, every child’s favourite, the giant, flesh-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex. Performances will take place in a raised central location, giving everyone a great view wherever they park up, and the majestic roars of Dinosaur World Live will be played direct to your vehicle’s FM radio. Snacks and drinks are available to order via your mobile and delivered to your car. Suitable for all ages 3+. Tickets from £40 per car.
Harbet Road, Enfield N18 3QQ; dinosaurworldlive.com

13 Hip Hop Kitchen 48 Hour Popup, Notting Hill
28-29 August
Hip Hop LDN, the curators of Hip Hop Brunch and Garage Brunch, are taking over Lawlow, Notting Hill’s premier members’ club, for a bank holiday bonanza in ode to Notting Hill Carnival. The one-off pop-up weekender will feature a sumptuous two or five-course menu, cocktail shakers & makers, DJs spinning Reggae / Dub / Hip Hop and RnB, plus surprise performances. The menu – available in three sittings on both days (one brunch and two dinner sittings) – will be designed by internationally acclaimed chef Collin Brown, voted Caribbean Chef of the Year three times over (private chef to the likes of Usain Bolt, P. Diddy and Beyonce, no less). Tickets are £25 for brunch (two courses with a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic smoothie cocktail), or £50 for dinner (five course tasting menu).
10 Golborne Road, Notting Hill W10 5PE; hiphopkitchen.co.uk

14 The Luna Cinema at Royal Hospital Chelsea
25 August-8 September

Following a stint of drive-in screenings in Hendon and Rotherhithe, The Luna Cinema is back in its original, cinema-under-the-stars format. Or as close as is possible while physically distancing… The open-air cinema experience will now involve a number of pitches, pre-laid out for groups of two-to-four with chairs set up ready for you. Following visits to Hampton Court Palace, the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Chiswick House, The Luna Cinema is spending bank holiday weekend at Royal Hospital Chelsea (25 August-8 September), with stops at Dulwich Park (16-20 September) and Wimbledon Park (29 September-4 October) still to come.

15 Bottomless Brunch at 100 Wardour St and Quaglino’s
Newly reopened D&D London venues, 100 Wardour St in Soho and Quaglino’s in St James’s, are hosting their weekly Saturday bottomless brunches with live DJs once again. This bank holiday weekend, why not try the Rhythm & Brunch at 100 Wardour St (1pm-5pm with brunch from £34 for two courses, plus £25 for unlimited prosecco), or Q Brunch at Quaglino’s (11.30am-2.30pm from £33 for two courses, plus £25 for bottomless bubbles).
100 Wardour Street, Soho W1F 0TN; 100wardourst.com
16 Bury Street, St. James’s SW1Y 6AJ; quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk

16 Rooftop Film Club Drive In, Alexandra Palace
Until 9 September
Rooftop Film Club, which has hosted alfresco film screenings on London rooftops from the Bussey Building in Peckham to Stratford’s Roof East and The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, has set up shop at Alexandra Palace with a summer of safely socially distanced drive-in movies. Rooftop Film Club’s previous drive-in cinema, which visited Sandown Park and Brent Cross, as well as Ally Pally, won awards, so these guys have got previous in roller-skating popcorn right to your parking spot. You can take your own snacks and drinks, or order concessions like popcorn and chocolate, Popdogs hot dogs and drinks online. Classics screening this weekend include Risky Business, Dirty Dancing and Fight Club, as well as family fun with Up and Dolittle. Tickets £27.50-£29.50 per car.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; rooftopfilmclub.com

17 Fulham Beach Club’s Ibiza White Party, Fulham
29, 30 & 31 August
It’ll be a total white out at Fulham Beach Club this bank holiday weekend as the Ibiza White Party returns. London’s only Thameside beach club will be hosting guest DJs from Ibiza for this wear-only-white party, with sun (hopefully), sea (well, the Thames), sand (legit), cocktails and quarantine-free Balearic vibes! Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday sessions have sadly sold out, but you can still get your hands on the Monday Chill Out Session from 12.30pm-6pm. Tickets from £12pp.
Wandsworth Bridge Road SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

18 Sophie Cundale: The Near Room at South London Gallery, Camberwell
Until 13 September
The South London Gallery reopened both its main building and the Fire Station on 15 August, with new opening hours of Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm. The galleries reopen with four exhibitions: Sophie Cundale: The Near Room in the Main Gallery, Abbas Zahedi: How to Make a How from a Why? and Working Progress, both in the Fire Station Galleries, and The Rita Keegan Archive (Project) in the Archive Room – all running until 13 Sept. The Near Room sees artist Sophie Cundale present a new film, supernatural melodrama following the journey of a professional boxer after a near-fatal knockout. The title, The Near Room, is taken from the boxer Muhammad Ali’s description of a vivid, hallucinatory space he would enter when in the depths of a fight. Entry is free but you’ll need to book a timed entry slot online in advance (small number of walk-up tickets will be made available daily). Face coverings required.
65-67 Peckham Road SE5 8UH & 82 Peckham Road SE15 5LQ; southlondongallery.org

19 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Until 13 September
The National Maritime Museum is celebrating its reopening by offering free access to the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition. In 2019 the competition attracted 4,602 entries from 90 different countries, with just over 100 awe-inspiring images making the cut to feature in the exhibition. From spellbinding skyscapes and galaxies to extraordinary photographs of aurorae, the exhibition showcases the world’s greatest space photography, including the winners and runners up of each of the eight different competition categories. On display in the National Maritime Museum’s dedicated photography gallery until 13 September 2020. Book in advance to visit. Open 10.30am-4pm. The 2020 competition shortlist has also been revealed, click here to see this year’s entries.
Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

20 Wight Spirit 1968-70 at Masterpiece Art, Holland Park
Until 5 September
Wight Spirit 1968-70 is a landmark exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the seminal Isle of Wight Festival. When Isle of Wight began in 1968, 10,000 people attended the event, but by 1970, with a line-up including Jimi Hendrix and The Who, the crowds had swelled to 600,000. A landmark in Britain’s cultural history, the festival formed the blueprint for now legendary open-air festivals like Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds. The exhibition features new sculptures by Guy Portelli, including a large-scale glass mosaic panel featuring the hand prints of more than 80 festival performers; a selection of photographs taken by the late Charles Everest, who had unparalleled access to the performances on stage; and a feature-length documentary.
Masterpiece Art, 3 Norland Place, Holland Park W11 4QG; masterpieceart.co.uk

21 Canopy Market & Alfresco Art at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross
Until 6 September
The ever-popular Canopy Market is moving to Coal Drop’s Yard for the summer to create a canal-side open-air shopping experience. The area, known for its independent craftspeople and brands, has undergone a huge regeneration in recent years to combine Victorian heritage and contemporary architecture to dramatic effect. The market is free to attend and will trade Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Coal Drop’s Yard has become quite the alfresco district of late, with outdoor exhibitions, installations and FRAME’s outdoor workouts. Check out Games We Play, a new exhibition from The Photographers’ Gallery capturing the joys of summer through a subversive lens; Pools by German artist Stephan Zirwes’ is a striking installation of two ‘pools’ in Granary Square that take the place of the fountains for the summer; and the Lollypop Lounge on the Canalside Steps, where 12 giant ice lollies ‘melt’ into the grass among stripey, socially distanced deckchairs.
King’s Cross N1C 4DQ; coaldropsyard.com