5 ways to spend the bank holiday weekend in London
The long weekend is almost upon us, so here are some food- and drink-filled suggestions for how to make the most of it in the capital
Some people plan their weekends down to the second, executing every social gathering with somewhat enviable, somewhat scary military-style precision. These kind of people are the type to have a contingency plan in place for everything and anything. Oh, and they're probably the sort who bring snacks, too. Amen to them.
Others (hi there) leave everything to last minute and can be found frantically texting everyone in their address book at 5:27 pm on a Friday, attempting to arrange some last minute meetups whilst running out of the office. It'll always work out, but there will be a bit of a madness about it. And if we're being honest here, their snack offering – if there is any at all – is likely to be in the form of a two-week-old crushed granola bar that they've just dug up out of the bottom of their bag. Nice...
Whatever camp you fall in, we're not judging, but one thing for sure is that bank holiday weekends in the capital are wicked and you'd be a fool to spend them cooped up on the sofa.
To help you make the most of it, we've put together a five-point guide to the best places to visit, the best things to eat and the best spots to grab a drink this early May bank holiday. We can't guarantee good weather (this is England, after all), but we can guarantee a good time…
Crunchy fried chicken at Summer of Sound On The Roof
Oxford Street has a secret. Well... a badly kept secret, but a secret nonetheless: on top of the oft-glittering department store that is John Lewis is a hidden rooftop garden, open kitchen and bar. It's a year-round events space, but this week sees the launch of The John Lewis Garden Society's Summer of Sound On The Roof, an immersive music venue curated by Sonos, Ruark Audio and Naim. Playing host to a series of live gigs and DJ sets from now until… well, the end of summer, Summer of Sound is the perfect place to waste away an afternoon this early May bank holiday weekend. And, we're not just saying that because you can sip on Fever-Tree and Sipsmith gin and tonics whilst listening to acoustic beats: as it turns out, ethical fried chicken sandwich shop Butchies will be joining you on the roof, too. Yes. Please. And. More.
John Lewis, 300 Oxford St, W1C 1DX; johnlewis.com
Tacos at Corazón
On a taco tour around some of Soho's most talked about taco joints with Mexican restaurant and bar Corazón, you'll visit Temper, El Camion and posh kebab restaurant Le Bab. What's the occasion, you ask? The restaurant is throwing a tongue-in-cheek, weekend-long celebration of Mexican-American culture, all built around the theme of “Make margaritas, not war // Build tacos, not walls”. Sounds great, right? Now, what are you waiting for? Time to make the most of the long weekend and load up on all the tacos your waistband can muster, plus a couple of 'imPEACHment margaritas' and 'there will be hell toupee' cocktails, too. Book now.
29 Poland Street, W1F 8QR; corazonlondon.co.uk
£5 cocktails at Wahaca
Did you know that this early May bank holiday weekend just so happens to coincide with Mexico's Cinco de Mayo fiesta – an annual celebration, which always falls on the fifth day of the fifth month? Yup, 'tis true. To celebrate this double whammy, Mexican street-food specialists Wahaca will be serving up £5 mojitos and freshly shaken margaritas on Saturday and Sunday across all its sites. Now those are the kind of bank holiday weekend plans we can raise a glass (or three) to. Cheers.
Various locations; wahaca.co.uk
Fun and games at Neverland London's Fulham Beach Club
Got some fierce wanderlust, but not the bank account to match? Don't worry, Neverland is back just in time for the long weekend and it's bringing the beach to you. This sandy setup will be packed out with beach beds to lounge out on while chowing down delicious food and grabbing drinks from two separate bars. Worth the schlep over to West London? We reckon so.
Albert Wharf, SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com
A slice of culture at the British Library
If (like us) food is the lens through which you view the world, then you can't miss Food Season at the British Library. Curated by food historian and British Library curator Polly Russell, Food Season is a series of talks and events held from now until the start of June. The series is entirely dedicated to food and how it has influenced tastes and traditions, been a catalyst for trade and travel, and is used as a measure of health and prosperity. The line-up includes food writers (such as Samin Nosrat – writer of Ingredients: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – and Francisco Migoya, author of Modernist Bread), Michelin-starred chefs, seasoned food campaigners and expert food makers. If you're feeling particularly cultural, it's the place to be this early May bank holiday weekend.
96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB; bl.uk/events