London, remain calm, but we’re on the cusp of a Bank Holiday weekend. We’re not entirely sure why being allotted an extra 24-hours of personal time tricks our brains into the kind of feral excitement only a vacation in the Bahamas should illicit, but whatever, we’re hyped. And we’re guessing you’re pretty hyped too. Now all you need to do is plan exactly what you’re going to do with all that extra free time. This guide will help with that. It’s packed full of fun ideas for the weekend that don’t require the emotional upheaval of finding a booking, and we’ve even got you literally covered with rainproof suggestions. Enjoy.
Experience A Rainproof St. John BBQ
Offal legends - yes, we said ‘offal legends’ - St. John are once again bringing their nose-to-tail dining to covered outdoor space, 40FT Brewery in Dalston this weekend. Although they haven’t released this Sunday’s menu just yet, they’ve previously served things like a jambon beurre baguette and quail with aioli. Whilst you’re there, you can also check out 40FT’s new wine bar neighbour, Slurp, who will be pouring out some St. John classics like their Bordeaux Blanc. FYI it’s walk-in only and operating on a first-come, first-served basis, so aim to be there for 4pm.
Try One Of London’s New Outdoor Drinking Spaces
Nothing, absolutely nothing, feels as scandalous as several pints on a Sunday. Joke’s on you hangover, we’ve got Monday off. Dalston wine bar Slurp (see above), is just one of the new open-air spots you can get merry at this weekend. You can also check out Varanda, a huge outdoor cocktail spot in Crystal Palace that opened last November and still has plenty of reservations available this weekend. Meanwhile, over in Hackney, there’s a new craft beer pub with a big garden - aptly called Hackney Tap - or you can listen to underground DJs and drink strong cocktails at HWK’s rebranded outdoor terrace, The Lot.
Hit Up Manteca’s Hot Dog Pop-Up
There really aren’t enough good hot dogs in London. Sausage dogs? Everywhere, praise be. But quality hot dogs? There’s an absolute drought. Luckily, Manteca are on a mission to remedy this travesty with their pop-up that starts this weekend. They’ll be firing up the BBQ at Two Tribes Campfire in King’s Cross, crafting their ‘Della Dogs’ - homemade mortadella mix hot dogs cooked over a wooden fire with Italian toppings. Kicking off on Sunday at 12pm, you can find all the details on their Instagram.
Do A Fuss-Free Napoli Gang Picnic
London has got some Big Italian energy going on this weekend, with the recent opening of Eataly - a massive Italian food hall near Liverpool Street station, that we’re calling Burrata Disneyland. We have a feeling it’ll be completely packed this weekend so we reckon it’s better to save your visit for the next stormy day and get an Italian picnic delivered instead. Napoli Gang, the delivery operation from the people behind Circolo Popolare and Gloria, are doing ‘the dolce vita of picnics’ with everything from antipasti nibbles to truffle-topped pizzas available. They’re delivering to several green spaces across London, including Victoria Park, Hampstead Heath, Finsbury Park, Wimbledon Common, and Wandsworth Common. Don’t forget your speaker so you can casually blast Napoli Gang’s built-in QR code party playlist.
Drink Merlot & Watch Promising Young Woman
If all of this year’s Oscars buzz passed you by because you were too busy, I don’t know, living through a global pandemic, then now is the time to watch some of the winners. We’re entirely obsessed with Promising Young Woman, a tale of revenge involving Carey Mulligan, a killer soundtrack, and the world’s most aesthetically pleasing plait. The film won best original screenplay and with some iconic one-liners, you’ll totally understand why. But with all the twists, turns, and some arguably deeply harrowing moments, an excellent bottle of merlot won’t go amiss. Use same-day citywide delivery app, Drop Wines from the people behind Covent Garden’s The 10 Cases. They’ve got everything from great bargain wines to special occasion bottles, and seeing as they’re delivering across London, it’s worth keeping the app to hand if you’re planning any last minute picnics or BBQs too.
Watch Isle Of Dogs at Alexandra Palace’s Drive-In Cinema
After bank holidays, dogs are the best thing to ever happen to the human race. Celebrate both with a Sunday night viewing of this canine-classic from Wes Anderson. Drive In Film Club has returned to Alexandra Palace for the bank holiday weekend, and if sweet boy-goes-on-hunt-for-beloved-pet-dog stories aren’t your thing - do you even have a heart? - they’re also showing Labyrinth, Black Panther, Ratatouille, and Fight Club this weekend. Tickets are £31.50 per car and in keeping with the theme, you’re encouraged to dress your pup up and collect the free dog treats on offer from The Barking Bakery. The Hoomans can also get involved in popcorn, hot dogs, and alcoholic bevs’. Don’t have a car? Time to reach out to your new best friend, Randomer From Uni Who Has A Vauxhall Corsa.
Make A Day Of It In Richmond ft. Plants!
If you’re not quite ready to move on from your lockdown plant mom phase, then you’ll be happy to hear that Kew Gardens’ new summer experience kicks off on Saturday. There are still plenty of tickets available and the new immersive exhibition will include plantscapes and - deep breath people - tree listening. They have suspended sound domes and everything. Once you’ve really taken in all that Lucombe oak has got to say, head to Flavourtown Bakery. One for all the sugar heads out there, this bakery opened their second branch in Richmond Quadrant a couple months back and trust us when we say their creative cupcakes are not to be missed.
Eat Bao On The Canal
Whilst 90% of Londoners scramble for a last-minute reservation and contemplate whether they’re baller enough to pull off slipping a maître d a tenner for a table, we bring you the ultimate alternative. The bench. Or better yet, the bench’s sexier cousin, the low brick wall. In case you missed it, London’s coolest Taiwanese mini-chain Bao opened a casual café in King’s Cross last year where you can swing by and pick up all of their signature classics. Yes, that includes their braised pork and peanut powder bao, as well as lots of molten custard sweet treats. Whilst the sun is shining head down to the canal and eat them alongside a pouch of negroni. If any last-minute April showers strike, know that you can take shelter in Coal Drops Yard. Plus, there are plenty of public toilets around and zero ‘we need this table back in an hour’ demands.
Check Out Cue Point At Chiswick Pavillion
We will not shut up about Cue Point. We raved about their nacho-cum-taco kits - known as ‘nacos’ by the fans - throughout lockdown. We spoke to their director about being one of The ‘Bossy’ Badass Women Leading The London Restaurant Industry a couple months back. And now we’re shouting from the metaphorical rooftops about their residency at the Chiswick Pavillion. A British meets Afghan BBQ catering company, everything from their 16-hour smoked brisket to their tangy buffalo wings should be on your order. Find them at the pavilion throughout the weekend.
Have A Lobster Roll In Green Park
Hide, the huge high-end restaurant that’s home to one of London’s best fine dining experiences, has only gone and opened a more casual café called Hideaway on Mayfair’s Mount Street. Please note: when we say ‘more casual’ we mean truffle and caviar at the till and Lambos parked out front. Hideaway also happens to serve a soft, sweet, winning lobster roll that you can takeaway to eat in the park. We did this a couple weeks back and let’s just say, we felt like royalty. Royalty who captivated all the attention of intrigued local dogs. If lobster rolls aren’t your thing, you can also pick-up a picnic box directly from Hide for £28 per person. You’ll find the picnic menu here and the best part is you can even hire picnic blankets and glassware too.