We’ve got two, yes two, long weekends this May. Two bank holidays, two Mondays off work, two extra days to spend however we please. And if you’re in the capital, there’s a lot that’ll please you.
We’ve compiled the crème de la crème of what to do this Early May Bank Holiday and a feel-good playlist to get you in the mood (find it at the bottom).
The sky is the limit
A taste sensation
Lahpet has just opened its doors a two-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street Station. Decked out with comfy booths and inspired by Shan State in Myanmar, feast on delicious ‘street’ style plates like Yellow Pea Paratha and Balachaung Dumplings washed down with ‘indigenous’ cocktails expertly devised by the in-house mixologist. Book your table here.
The girl’s got soul
Get your groove on over at The Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch, where the DJ will be belting out tunes from our favourite women in soul. Leave your inhibitions at the door and be ready to pay your R-E-S-P-E-C-Ts. 8pm ‘til late. Tickets £5.
Who runs the world? Girls, obvs.
Mooch over to Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club for DJs, glitter and Drag Queens galore. Girl Power London is held on the first Friday of every month, expect the best female and LGBTQ lineups playing tracks from the queens of R’n’B, Pop, and Hip-Hop. Doors open at 9pm, dance ’til the wee hours. Tickets are £5, get yours here.
A secret gem
After all of that dancing and wine, mix up your early morning feasting and head to Billingsgate Fish Market. A scallop and bacon roll for £3 from Piggy’s Cafe is the absolute dream. Tuesday – Saturday, 4am – 9:30am.
Eat, drink and be merry
There’s nothing better than a languorous brunch to make you feel the bank holiday vibes. Anyone who tells you that hair of the dog doesn’t work – get rid of them – you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Jones & Sons’ bottomless brunch is £38 if you’re ‘Off the wagon’, or £29 if you’re on. We’ll be chowing down on French toast, crispy bacon, maple syrup and spicy Bloody Marys. Book your table here.
Be a culture vulture
The Fashioned from Nature exhibition at the V&A traces the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world since the 1600s. From whalebone corsets to Vivienne Westwood’s slogan tees, ‘conscious’ high-street hits and that ‘plastic’ trouser/cape combo designed by Calvin Klein and Eco-age that Emma Watson wore to the 2016 MET gala. Tickets £12. Also, well worth checking out is the Sister Brother exhibition at the V&A’s Childhood Museum, it explores the influence our siblings on our identity and it’s free.
Serious home goals
Brockwell’s Lido is the perfect space to cool off on a hot day and on Friday 4th – Saturday 5th from 10am – 4:30pm the lovely Lido is hosting The Modern Movement, a 20th-century design fair. Bag yourself a design classic and be the envy of all of your house guests.
Head to South London’s Mercato Metropolitano, ‘The first sustainable and inclusive community market space with an Italian soul’ for the Crafty Fox Market, a line-up of over 30 traders and workshops (happens every month). From ceramics and jewellery to fashion and art – make, buy, enjoy. 11am – 5pm.
Here come the girls
The Women’s FA Cup final kicks off at 5:30pm, head down to The Cornershop Bar and follow the bars commandments ‘We shalt honour every major sporting event’, and ‘Thou shalt have a double’. Cheers to that Cornershop. Or get yourself to the actual match at Wembley, tickets are just £15.
Marvel at nature
Kew Gardens are reopening their Temperate House after a five-year renovation. Head down to the opening and tantalise your senses with an abundance of rare plants, Victorian architecture, decadent cocktails and food. Previews are available on 4th May, 6pm or 7:30pm and 5th May, 7pm or 8pm, tickets £16.
All the Lolz
Bitches Ain’t Funny. Well, actually, they are. And we’ve got just the event to prove it. Bitches Ain’t Funny is an all-female comedy night held on a converted canal boat from 6pm-9pm, with booze and vegan street food, tickets are a mere three quid.
The sun is ‘supposedly’ out en-force, so grab your friends and head to East London Funk & Soul Special at Oval space for a disco-all-dayer. World-class DJs and live acts will be bringing the festival vibes from 6pm – 12. Grab your ticket here.
Have a Fiesta
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. If you fancy necking back some Tequila and wearing a sombrero, Sanctum Soho Hotel’s restaurant Wild Heart is offering an extended happy hour, a live set from DJ Ray Noir, plus some delectable extras with your ticket, for £20. Sounds like a victory to us.
Cocktails in the clouds
Fat Buddha’s Sunday Rehab Yoga at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch is just what the doctor ordered after a weekend of indulgence. Starting at 2pm it also allows for a good lie-in. Get your downward dog out and feel the ommms. Namastay to that. Tickets £12.
Get your game face on
Pep-up your party face with one of London’s best facials. Nataliya Robinson offers signature vegan facials and ‘City Recovery Therapy’ at her secret location in Chelsea. With her bespoke product line, Nataliya claims to be able to solve all of our modern day skin problems. Makeyour appointment here.
Take a walk on the wild side
Get outside and explore London’s lush green bits with Wild London. From the ancient forests of north London to the east’s abandoned sewage works, south London’s commons and the west’s roaming deer, this handy pocket-guide will help you find green among the grey. See where you can get your own copy right here.
Taste the sunshine
After a morning of exercise, hit up Barrafina, Soho, for Spanish tapas and wine. Because being wine drunk with croquetas and the freshest catch of the day prepared right before your eyes, is you living your best life. Or there’s Sager + Wilde, where you can try ‘orange wine’ and indulge in fluffy Italian carbs. Or Market Cafe on Broadway Market, offering up all day brunch options and so much more.
Secret club scene
If you are eating/hanging/people watching on Broadway Market make sure you find its well kept secret Kansas Smitty’s. Kourosh Kanani brings his chilled guitar sounds to the Sunday Wind Up. Doors open at 7pm, music starts at 830pm. Get your tickets here.
Dance, dance, dance
If you’re keen to look a little more lively on Sunday night, the cool events space Pop Brixton are bringing ‘dynamite flavours’ to their dancefloor with big booty Afrobeat sounds, 8pm – 12, free entry. For the Bowie lovers, the Blues Kitchen, Brixton is holding a Starman Special – ‘Let all the children boogie’, 9pm – 2am, tickets are £5.
South Asia comes to the Southbank
Head down to The Southbank Centre for The Alchemy Festival, a whole weekend of dance, comedy, music, and literature, celebrating South Asian culture. Take a Bollywood class at 2pm, watch a Bollywood performance at 7pm, and for the hours in between? Fill up on delicious food from KERB, who are bringing 29-traders to the Southbank for your culinary enjoyment.
Get your friends together and hire your very own boat. Leave Merchant Square and sail up to Little Venice, along the Regent’s canal and right up to Camden Lock. Indulge in an al fresco picnic, drink fine wine and take in the sunny sights. Prices start at £65 for one hour for up to 8 people. Book here.
To round off the perfect long weekend, Rooftop Film Club is screening The Hangover at the Queen of Hoxton. Get your tickets and connect with Alan and the gang on an emotional level.