25 Great Things to Do in London: April 2021

Of course, most of April will be spent alfresco dining, hanging out in beer gardens or browsing non-essential shops (oh, small pleasures!), but just in case you fancy giving something else a go, The Resident has a few suggestions of things to do in post-lockdown London in April

Lead image courtesy of GoBoat

1 Claude Bosi x BAFTA Virtual Dining Experience
11 April
Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi of the famous Bibendum in Chelsea, has collaborated with S.Pellegrino to bring you a Taste of EE BAFTAs, a free virtual masterclass of fine dining excellence ahead of the live EE BAFTAs. Recreate a dish devised by Claude Bosi – a succulent Cod Grenobloise with sustainably sourced Icelandic Cod Loin (or for vegetarians, with roasted cauliflower steaks) – in a virtual masterclass offering exclusive tips and tricks. A bundle containing all the required ingredients will be available through Waitrose, as well as a step-by-step recipe for those who wish to recreate the recipe at a later date. The cooking masterclass will be streamed on S.Pellegrino’s online food platform Fine Dining Lovers from 5pm-6pm. Ingredients cost £20.10-£24.55, but the masterclass is free. The live EE BAFTAs will stream on YouTube.

2 Grab a Martini to Go, Earl’s Court
Until 11 April
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).

3 Mayfair Art Weekend Gallery HOP!, West End
23 April
London’s West End galleries mark the re-opening of the art world with a special spring edition of the Mayfair Art Weekend Gallery HOP! Over 30 galleries across Mayfair and the surrounding areas of Soho, Fitzrovia, St James’s and Marylebone will open until 8pm on Friday 23rd for visitors to ‘hop’ from gallery to gallery during the evening, re-engaging audiences with art and culture in real life following months of digital fatigue. Mayfair Art Weekend events have been a regular fixture in the art world calendar since 2014 and are enjoyed by art devotees, collectors, students and tourists alike. To join in the post-lockdown Gallery Hop!, just turn up at a participating gallery from 5pm where maps are distributed showing the open venues. Free to attend. Visitors will be asked to wear face coverings and galleries will have maximum capacities to adhere to social distancing rules.

4 Hundreds and Thousands, 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. While there, pop into Icon Outlet at The O2, which reopens on 12 April from 10am, to browse 60 fashion and lifestyle brands, all with up to 70% off RRP all year round.

5 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.

6 Alfresco Cinema Returns!
From 12 April
Adventure Cinema, The Luna Cinema Drive-In, Rooftop Film Club and West End Musical Drive-In have all announced their 2021 return and tickets are on sale now! The first to open will be the drive-ins, with Drive In Cinema returning to Alexandra Palace on 13 April 2021, plus a new gig on a fifth floor rooftop at Brent Cross from 12 April. Its sister operation, Rooftop Film Club, which has sites at the Bussey Building in Peckham and Roof East in Stratford, will open on 18 & 21 May respectively. The Luna Cinema Drive-In, which tours locations across the UK, including London, will also reopen on 12 April, while Adventure Cinema, hits three London venues in summer (Streatham Common from 11-13 June, Osterley Park and House from 2-4 July and Wandle Park, Croydon from 19-20 August). West End Musical Drive-In, the socially distanced musical theatre concert based at The Drive In, Troubadour Meridian Water, has just announced that performances return from 17 April, taking place every Saturday until 29 May, with tickets priced £65 per car.

7 BOXPARK is Back, Shoreditch, Wembley and Croydon
From 12 April
All three BOXPARK venues – Shoreditch, Wembley and Croydon – will reopen with plenty of spaces for outdoor eating and drinking this spring. From 12 April, BOXPARK is back with additional alfresco dining options, offering terrace areas at its Shoreditch and Croydon venues and outside seating along Olympic Way at Wembley. No pre-bookings will be taken so seating will be available on a first-come-first-served basis and all venues will run a full table service for food and drink. There’s a new line-up of traders too, including German Doner Kebab, Smashing Plates, The Clean Kitchen, Sunshine Hummus, and The Dessert Factory in Wembley; new independent lifestyle brands including Berry Blossom, House of Henna, Green Machine CBD and Solid Cologne in Shoreditch; and a new leisure concept in Croydon. BOXPARK venues will comply with the rule of six, face coverings are required except for when seated, and all visitors will need to register with the BOXPARK Black Card.

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.

9 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.

10 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.

11 Get Afternoon Tea Delivered
Any time
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.

12 Reacquaint Yourself with Borough Market
From 12 April

Borough Market is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike, but when was the last time you visited? The market has been quietly innovating throughout its 1,000 year history, and post lockdown it’s a brilliant place to hang out either to shop for fresh, sustainable produce, or to eat and drink it. Borough Market is reopening from 12 April with an expanded alfresco dining offering from the likes of 26 Grains, Applebees, Elliot’s, Bao, Arabica, Rabot 1745 and Padella (which will still be welcoming walk-ins). From May, the market will also extend its trading hours into Sunday, selling fresh produce from 10am-3pm daily (10am-2pm on Sundays). Please note that hot food and drink will not be served by traders on Sundays.

13 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.

14 Have a Picnic
Any time

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.

15 Making Paradise at Aga Khan Centre, King’s Cross
29 April-30 September
Making Paradise is a new group exhibition exploring the concept of Eden through Islamic garden design at the Aga Khan Centre. The show brings together 19 international multimedia artists, each of whom will present an interpretation of the concept of Al-Jannah – the Garden of Eden, or Paradise in Islam –  and will feature digital reproductions of classical miniature paintings from Aga Khan Museum’s permanent collection alongside other depictions of elements associated with Paradise. The walls of the gallery will be transformed into the four symbolic quadrants of the Chahar Bagh, based on the ‘four gardens’ of Paradise in the Qur’an. The central focus of the show is a silent fountain, designed by renowned Islamic garden designer Emma Clark. From this will spring a bespoke paper-cut installation of organic forms, created by American artist Clare Celeste Börsch. The exhibition will also feature an installation of birdsong and nature sounds.
10 Handyside Street, King’s Cross N1C 4DN; agakhancentre.org.uk

16 The Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle, Peckham
22-25 April
The Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle returns to Copeland Gallery at Copeland Park & Bussey Building in Peckham this month. Bergamotte’s urban greenhouse will move into the gallery with a selection of plants of the hanging, exotic, graphic or prickly variety, as well as a selection of accessories to pair with your new plants. It’s the perfect opportunity to boost your houseplant collection (and add a spot of greenery to your home office), but the supply of beautiful and exclusive plants is limited, so visit early for the best selection. Visitors will need to book a time slot (free of charge) to visit the pop up, to help with social distancing measures. Each ticket is only valid for one person. 11am-7pm (8pm on Sunday).
Copeland Road, Peckham SE15 4UJ; copelandpark.com

17 Dennis & Gnasher’s Big Bonanza at Kew, Richmond
Until 18 April
There will be as many pranks as plants at Dennis & Gnasher’s Big Bonanza at Kew this Easter weekend.  Celebrating Dennis’ birthday with Gnasher and all their Beanotown friends with a brand-new comic strip created especially for Kew and an interactive story trail around the world-famous botanical gardens. Along the way, there will be jokes and activities to learn about some of the plant kingdom’s cleverest tricks, including their slimy, sticky, smelly and deceptive powers. Plus, little ones can join the ‘banana bunch’ on a mission to protect bananas from evil Dr Gloom, save them from extinction and rescue the fruit-powered superhero Bananaman from capture. Admission is included with entry (children from £5, adults from £15). Timed entry slots are in operation so you’ll need to book ahead.
Kew, Richmond TW9 3AE; kew.org

18 Limin’ Beach Club, South Bank
From 12 April
A slice of Caribbean sunshine and sandy vibes reopens on the South Bank this summer. Limin’ Beach Club, which first opened its sandy doors in Gabriel’s Wharf last summer, will offer three outdoor beaches, rum punch, a BBQ and soca beats from 12 April, with further offerings from 17 May once lockdown restrictions ease further. Caribbean dishes, fresh off the grill, include the likes of succulent jerk chicken, soft shell crab and roasted vegetable salad, as well as Trinidadian street food dishes such as doubles, aloo pies and pholourie. From 17 May, an extended menu will be available, including champagne and oysters on weekends, and a range of events are planned for the summer. A section of the beach club will also always be available for walk-ins but you can reserve a spot online.
Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PP; limin.co.uk

19 Virtual Charity Cook-along with Cyrus Todiwala
22 April
Celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala, who has appeared on TV cookery shows including BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen and has cooked for the Queen, is hosting a virtual cook-along to help raise funds for St John’s Hospice in St John’s Wood. Chef Todiwala will guide keen cooks through making three Indian vegetarian dishes from his latest cookbook, Simple Spice Vegetarian. The live online event will be hosted from the hospice kitchen from 7pm-8pm. Tickets are £50 per household (click here to book) and include a goody bag, which will be sent to participants on registration, along with the ingredients list. All money raised will go towards the of catering for complex palliative diets for hospice patients.
Book via eventbrite.co.uk

20 Raine Storey at The Gallery at Chameleon, Marylebone
17-30 April
Canadian-born artist Raine Storey is set to exhibit her artwork at London’s highly anticipated new venue, Chameleon. The Gallery at Chameleon is a new multi-experiential space set in one of London’s most dramatic venues, the Grade I listed, One Marylebone. Storey is a visual artist who has been developing a new body of artwork using oil and canvas since 2017, when open-heart surgery forced her to explore the blank walls of King’s College Hospital and her first apartment in London, where she spent significant time in convalescence. Her longing for escape after months of medical confinement – a sense we can now all understand – led her to create a series that fused colour and natural forms. Book your visit in advance via art@chameleon.london.
1 Marylebone Road NW1 4AQ; chameleon.london

21 The Silk Road: A Living History, King’s Cross
8 April-16 June
The Silk Road: A Living History is an open-air photography exhibition by travel photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer. The exhibition documents Wilton-Steer’s journey along the historic trade route undertaken in 2019. Over a period of four months, he travelled 40,000km, traversing 16 countries by car, bus, train, ferry, horse and camel, from London’s King’s Cross London to Beijing. The exhibition’s linear design, around Granary Square, creates a physical route for the viewer offering them the chance to travel by proxy via more than 160 photographs capturing the places, people and cultures along the ancient trade route. Presented by The Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with King’s Cross.
Granary Square, King’s Cross N1; akf.org.uk

22 TOGETHER at Square Gallery, Battersea
From 15 April
TOGETHER is demonstration of artistic triumph over adversity, featuring over 30 artworks showing the grit, determination and sheer talent of young creatives impacted by the pandemic. Young artists have been required to pay tuition fees in full, with no access to materials, studios, and in most part, their tutors. This multi-media exhibition, presented by fynn studio – curators behind Saatchi Gallery’s 2019 hit exhibition Sweet Harmony – also launches the Modern Faces Collective, formed by Slade School Of Fine Art students Shaqúelle Whyte and Lawrence Perry to promote young creatives. With his statement-making large-scale canvases, 20-year-old Whyte has been hailed by Kate Bryan, curator at Soho House, as one of seven artists to watch in 2021, while Perry created a stir with his Brexit portraits. The exhibition is supported by an exclusive music track composed by Jimothy Lacoste and culminates in an interplanetary darkroom experience.
9b Battersea Square SW11 3RA; squaregallerylondon.com

23 West End Musical Drive In, Enfield
17 April-29 May
West End Musical Drive In – West End stars, direct to your cars – returns for live performances this April. Following an acclaimed summer and winter season, the stage is set for another fantastic celebration of musical theatre, taking place every Saturday from 17 April. 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.
The Drive In, Troubadour Meridian Water, Harbet Road N18 3QQ; westendmusicaldrivein.co.uk

24 Spring Plant Fair at the Garden Museum
25 April
The Garden Museum’s annual Spring Plant Fair returns this month, gathering expert plant growers and specialist nurseries from across the country to offer Londoners the UK’s best plants for one day only. The plant fair, which has been held at the Museum for over 40 years (bar 2020, due to the national lockdown), marks the beginning of the gardener’s spring/summer calendar and is the perfect time to bring home some unique plants – from shade specialists to plants for pollinators. You can also meet the growers and pick their brains on what will flourish in your garden, balcony or allotment. This year the fair will be held outside in the museum gardens, in line with Covid safety guidelines. The award-winning Garden Café will be open. 10.30am-5pm. Tickets £5.
Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7LB; gardenmuseum.org.uk

25 National Open Garden Scheme
Throughout April
The National Garden Scheme’s open gardens event is back! Following the relaxation of the government’s Stay at Home rule from 29 March, many gardens across London are now more accessible. Around 20 gardens across London have signed up. Highlights include 39 Wood Vale in Forest Hill, a diverse garden dominated by a gigantic perry pear forming part of the East Dulwich orchards; Hyde Park Estate Gardens, comprised of five gardens, each planted sympathetically to reflect the surroundings and only open to the public through the NGS; Edwardes Square in Kensington, one of London’s prettiest secluded garden squares with serpentine paths by Agostino Agliothe. Booking required.


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