Not going to Glastonbury? We’ve taken a look at the best things to do this weekend that will (almost) make you forget all about it. From The reopening of the National Portrait Gallery and Pride exhibitions to new cocktail bars, we’ve ensured you won’t be short on ideas.
Things To Do This Weekend, From The National Portrait Gallery To Pride Exhibitions
Check out the redeveloped National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery, home to the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, is finally open again from June 22nd after a £35m redevelopment.
In honour of re-opening, the gallery is hosting a First Look Festival on 24th June. Featuring a headlining in-conversation event with Paul McCartney and Stanley Tucci, in-conversations with artist Tracey Emin and architect Jamie Fobert, and special conversation with Alex Pascall to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Windrush, this festival is not to be missed.
Also on the agenda are practical workshops, free talks and tours from the gallery’s curators, and live music performances. They’re pulling out all the stops for this one.
WHERE: St. Martin’s Pl, London
Discover this secret new cocktail bar
Wait, there’s more! Not only is the National Portrait Gallery returning, a brand new cocktail bar is opening in the gallery’s vaults. Larry’s, the latest addition to the Daisy Green Collection, is launching, featuring cocktails made from some of London’s best small spirit producers including Highclere Castle gin and Gattertop vodka.
Accessible via a secret entrance on Charing Cross Road, Larry’s walls will be adorned with over 100 portraits handpicked from the National Portrait Gallery’s archive, celebrating West End icons across theatre, film, music, and dance. If there’s a better combination for a date this weekend then the First Look Festival followed by cocktails in the vault at Larry’s, we haven’t heard of it.
When: From 24.06.23
Where: St. Martin’s Pl, London
Channel positive vibes at this immersive beauty pop up
Celebrating the power of positivity, the Rituals Cosmetics summer roadshow lands at Battersea Power Station this weekend before popping up in cities across the UK and Ireland.
Swing by for a chance to win Rituals products on the ‘spin to win’ wheel, enjoy a cooling Araw London ice cream or relax with indulgent free hydrating treatments courtesy of the Rituals team of therapists.
All visitors to the Ritual of Karma Summer Roadshow will receive exclusive brand discounts across the range, including the hydrating lotus-scented SPF and the brand’s iconic foaming shower gel.
When: 14.06.23 – 15.07.23
Where: Various locations across UK & Ireland
Give your dog the night out they deserve (for free)
This Friday marks what is (arguably) the most important date of the year; Bring your dog to work day.
To celebrate, Lily’s Cafe in Covent Garden has teamed up with Hug Pet Food to offer all dogs a free gourmet meal alongside their pet parent’s meal. Give your dog the night out they deserve and let them sample dishes such as Venison with Blackberries, Lamb and Mint, Beef and Sweet Potato, and Chicken with Carrots.
Where: 3 Henrietta St, London
Transport yourself to Italy with this wine festival
Traveling to Italy this summer? Not traveling to Italy this summer but want to imagine you are? Either way, this Vino Festival from Eataly has got you covered.
Running from Thursday 22nd to Saturday 24th June, Eataly is inviting guests to learn from its host of wine experts jetting in from some of Italy’s most picturesque vineyards exclusively for this three-day event. Hosting over ten sparkling wine producers, on offer at the festival is a range of wine tasting packages, where guests can opt to taste either five or ten 75ml servings of sparkling wines
Along the way, tuck in a selection of small, tasty Italian dishes, and enjoy a refreshing Gelato alla vaniglia con glassa di vino e cantucci, a luscious vanilla ice-cream with a red wine glaze and crunchy cantucci biscuit.
When: 22.06.23 – 24.06.23
Where: Eataly London, 135 Bishopsgate
Celebrate Pride with this art exhibition
As the anticipation for London Pride grows, the events are starting to get really good. Sample Proud West End, a ground-breaking audio-visual art exhibition which champions and amplifies the voices and stories of the West End’s LGBTQIA+ community.
Curated by Heard Storytelling in partnership with Oxford Street, this exhibition of ‘Living Portraits’ will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the lived experiences of fifteen individuals who are sharing their true spoken, candid and personal stories of being part of the West End’s LGTBQIA+ community, exploring what “proud” means to them.
The free, on-street exhibition will comprise installations of beautiful, large-scale portraits of storytellers, and their stories will be accessed via scanning a QR code on listeners’ mobile phones located next to the portrait.
When: Until 16.07.23
Where: Old Quebec Street
Hit up a Film Festival
Film buffs rejoice! We have found the perfect solution to tie you over during the excruciating wait before the Barbie and Oppenheimer double bill lands in July.
Kingston Film Festival is offering a 3-day programme of screenings and events that will showcase a selection of feature-length movies, short films and documentaries from independent film talent across the globe, as well as workshops, talks and masterclasses for film fanatics of all ages.
Spread across 6 special venues all over Kingston-upon-Thames, this year also sees the introduction of an open-air screen in Canbury Gardens, which on Saturday 24th will present classic film Bugsy Malone in its definitive version for all the family.
When: 23.06.23 – 25.06.23
Where: Curzon, Odeon, Rose Theatre, Town House
Sample a new cocktail menu up the Shard
Going for cocktails this weekend? Who are we kidding, it’s the summer, of course you are. Aqua Shard has announced the launch of its new British Icons cocktail menu, celebrating some of the UK’s most iconic figures in the creative world.
Divided into four categories – Music, Art, Fashion, and Film – each category honors the creative individuals who shaped the UK’s cultural landscape. Combined with panoramic views of the city, this location will leave no lack of inspiration.
Where: Level 31, The Shard
Visit this one-of-a-kind Windrush commemoration festival
In another celebration of Windush, a one-of-a-kind festival is taking place in Burgess Park. Radiate Festival celebrates the cultural legacy of the Windrush generations on the 24th and 25th of June.
Over the two days, visitors will have access to a culturally diverse combination of different Black communities in the UK, with experiences ranging across music, art, fashion, hair, dance, food and more.
When: 24.06.23 – 25.06.23
Where: Burgess Park
3 Events Worth Travelling For
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Get Inspired by the sea at a Book Festival
Looking to get inspired this weekend? The Brighton Book Festival, after a successful launch last year, is back and bigger than ever in 2023. Over the weekend there will be a series of over 20 events to celebrate the power of books within communities.
Set up by local independent bookstores Afori Books and The Feminist Bookshop. The programme includes activities for children and adults across generations such as a family festival, workshops and poetry night.
When: 20.06.23 – 25.06.23
Where: Various Independent Brighton Bookshops
Get nostalgic at the UK’s most retro rock festival
If the Glastonbury FOMO is starting to get all too much, why not go retro in Edinburgh for this rock festival filled with acts your parents have definitely heard of. Wet Wet Wet, The Farm and Spandeau Ballet’s lead singer Tony Hadley will all be performing on the Scottish leg of the cult touring festival.
Where: Dalkeith Park
Eat your way through the Foodies Festival
Calling all foodies; The Foodies Festival will be continuing its UK tour this weekend in Hylands Park in Chelmsford, offering three days of great food, music and fun.
Bake-off winners Syabira Yusoff, Jeff Glavin and Anurag Aggarwal and Tom Rhodes. With everything from delicious street food to gourmet treats and amazing artisan delicacies, Foodies Festival has everything to whet your appetite. There’s even a Hot Chili Challenge for the bravest (or most foolish) among us.
When: 23.06.23 – 25.06.23
Where: Hylands Park
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