There’s a whole host of exciting things to do in London this Bank Holiday weekend, so make the most of it! With so much on offer, we’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best things for the ultimate weekend jam packed with food, fun and culture. Take your pick, or do ’em all…
The 10 Best Things to do this Bank Holiday Weekend
The advantage of Carnival being so hectic is that the rest of London is left a veritable playground. Here are the best things to do this Bank Holiday weekend to ensure you make the most of it…
1. Cabaret Brunch at The Ivy
The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s façade will be beautifully dressed in a wall of glittering sequins, mirror balls, copper roses and flowers, all inspired by Soho’s glamourous heritage as London’s party quarter and Absolut Elyx’s unique copper distillation process. Ensuring diners can socialise and unwind in style, Absolut Elyx and The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s bar team have also concocted two exclusive cocktails. The ‘Absolut 29’ (£9.95) features Absolut Elyx Vodka, Cointreau, a juicy mix of pineapple, berries and lime, topped with prosecco and served in a copper martini glass, whilst the glittering ‘Red Elyxir’ (£8.95) incorporates Absolut Elyx Vodka, infused red fruit tea, Earl Grey tincture, lime, agave and soda. The Ivy Soho Brasserie, 26-28 Broadwick Street, London W1F 8JB
2. Canopy Market
From 24th – 26th August Canopy Market, the weekly independent market in the heart of King’s Cross, is celebrating the very best of London’s trailblazing design scene with a weekend dedicated to up-and-coming artists and makers from all over the city. 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 ten cutting edge artists and designers alongside street food stalls and a craft beer bar. From jewellery to ceramics, stationary to prints, design lovers can take their pick of creations by a roster of student and alumni artists from the six colleges included in University of the Arts London.
3. Tanlines: Swing Ting X Hipsters Don’t Dance
Bringing carnival vibes to Shoreditch ahead of the festivities in Notting Hill on Sunday, and will be teaming up for a special daytime dance for all dancehall kings and queens on Ace Hotel London’s rooftop – think whistles, horns and a hell of a lot of dancing! The party will see legendary performers such as globetrotting DJ Florentino, who will be dropping by for an extra special set as well as Fox holding mic on the night, Kazabon & Hootie Who flying the Hipsters Don’t Dance banner and Joey B aka Joey Bashment representing the Swing Ting club and label alongside DJ duo Platt and Samrai. Rooftop Bar and Terrance, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, Saturday 25th August 5pm,
4. Carnival Spirit at Pop Brixton
Pop Brixton is getting in the carnival spirit this Bank Holiday, bringing the celebrations South of the river with a series of late night parties. Live sets from the likes of the Just Vibez crew and Manu & Ando will set the carnival vibe on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th August, with the celebratory atmosphere continuing with a hip-winding after-party on Sunday 26th August. Across the weekend guests can fuel up at one of Pop’s many resident street food traders, with Mama’s Jerk bringing the heat of the Caribbean to Brixton with their homemade Jamaican fare, whilst Pop’s resident bars will be serving up drinks to keep the party going.
5. Immersive Experiences
Taking place at , and , these immersive experiences are the perfect way for Londoners to go out and make the most of a work-free Monday, and all are complete with delicious cocktails and exciting entertainment. Cahoots, a 1940’s-themed speakeasy located in Kingly Court, offers a complete spin on the standard, often predictable, afternoon tea spreads Londoners are used to. The underground-inspired speakeasy in the heart of Soho also provides live swing entertainment, complete with polka dots and old classics, as part of the experience. Meanwhile, Uncle Barts is a massive fan of fancy dress, and this August Bank Holiday Sunday, he is transforming his apartment into a Jungle Jamboree. Turn up at Maggies this Bank Holiday Sunday, to celebrate the end of the Bank Holiday Weekend and make the most of ‘no school Monday’ at Maggie’s ‘School of Disco’.
6. La Tomatina
On 25th August, Spanish restaurant will be bringing the famous tomato-throwing La Tomatina festival to London straight from Spain. Festivities will begin in aqua nueva restaurant where they will serve a tomato-based menu. Guests will then make their way to nearby Downstairs at Carousel in Marylebone for the main event. The event will kick-off with a masterclass on how to make the perfect Bloody Mary, followed by a Ketel One Bloody Mary. Large buckets of ‘ugly’ tomatoes will be stationed around the fighting area, where participants will each receive a special aqua nueva x Ketel One poncho to wear for the duration of the tomato-fuelled tussle. Tickets for the event are £49 and include a welcome cocktail, lunch at aqua nueva and a Bloody Mary at Downstairs at Carousel.
7. Beautiful Allotment
Now running until Saturday 1st September, this living, organic outdoor space for feasting, drinking and socialising will also be open for ALL of 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 long and languid bank holiday 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, whilst indulging in wholesome vegan, fish and meat BBQ platters. The closing week finale will be the last chance to soak up the last of the summer rays, all in the stunning surroundings of Beautiful Allotment.
8. Dine Alfresco
The weather man tells us that there will be sun all weekend (finger’s crossed!), so catch the last of the summer rays at some of the best alfresco dining spots that London has to offer. Try Hush Mayfair’s veranda pop-up for oysters, lobsters and champagne before it closes, or head to and while they’re a bit quieter than usual. also has a fab roof terrace currently housing a Michelin-star pop-up, or stick with a classic and head to for a long lunch overlooking the Thames.
9. The Bank Holiday Matinee Brunch at Bunga Bunga Covent Garden
The long weekend means one thing, Bunga Bunga’s Bank Holiday Matinee Brunch is back! On Sunday 26th August, Bunga Bunga Covent Garden will be hosting their ultimate party brunch for a whole weekend of celebrations. Prepare to be fully immersed in live entertainment with some of the most notorious characters Italy has ever seen. With a three course menu, delve into Bunga Bunga’s freshly-made, oven-baked pizzas with a variety of toppings including, Italian sausage, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and pancetta or a Frank’s Capra with goat’s cheese, caramelised red onion, fresh thyme and toasted pine nuts. With two hours of frizzante and bellinis, sit back and celebrate the holiday weekend in true Italian style. Sunday 26th August 2018, 11.30am – 2pm, £46pp.
10. Charlotte Mensah Braid Bar
The amazing will be running a braid bar outside her salon for Notting Hill Carnival go-ers this weekend! The Braid Bar menu will have 5 styles to choose from, each costing £10. The styles on offer include Rope Twists: Flat twist along hairline into a two-strand twist, The Undercut: Cornrowed on the side to give the illusion of an undercut, Bantu Knots: Cornrowed up to crown and pin into knots, Cherokee: Hair parted at the side and braided into extra-large cornrows and Threading: Protective hair threading using coloured thread.