The last bank holiday before Christmas has arrived, bringing with it an exciting mix of activities, pop-ups and summer cocktails. Read on to find out more about Patrón Paloma Week, boozy brunches and where you can play a game of croquet in the city.

Take part in Patrón Paloma Week

This is the summer of the Paloma cocktail! And, by happy coincidence, we are in Patrón Paloma Week, the week when London hails this classic tequila cocktail. Ever since it was created by Don Javier Delgado Corona in the 1930s this has been Mexico’s favourite drink, and now it’s ours, declared the trendiest cocktail of 2021.

Celebrate by heading to one of the bars celebrating the week and enjoy the classic Patrón Paloma version or a creative twist prepared by one of the capital’s best mixologists and paired with a tasty dish. Or why not make the serve at home with Patrón Reposado tequila, Two Keys Pink Grapefruit Mixer and a pinch of salt (see here for some inspiration and a bit of history).

Grab some new fits at this fashion pop-up

This bank holiday weekend sees all of your favourite fashion and lifestyle brands come together for a mega pop-up. 

Running Friday through to Monday, Stories Behind Things will bring the biggest and best names in sustainable fashion, including Free People, Monki and Joseph, alongside a roster of exciting homeware and accessories brands to South Molton Street.

Alongside flitting through rails of clothes and products, the pop-up will also be hosting events across the four days, including The Big Clothes Switch, which’ll see brands donate dead stock that goers can exchange or swap with items they donate. Expect live panel discussions and workshops to be going on around you too. 

When: Friday 28th- Monday 30th August
Where: 19 South Molton Street, W1K 5QX
Website: www.storiesbehindthings.com

Sip cocktails at Balthazar 

Celebrate Joie De Vivre this summer at Balthazar, the restaurant helping to bring a little touch of French sophistication to Covent Garden. 

Balthazar is hosting weekly live nautical themed entertainment evenings throughout August and September. Created in partnership with Grey Goose Vodka and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, you’re invited to sip on limited edition cocktails while seeing live performances unfold in front of you. 

Cocktails include the Le Piquant, a mix of Grey Goose Vodka, Piment d’Esplette Liqueur, lemon juice, sugar syrup, Angostura, foam and chilli flakes; and St Germain Spritz, featuring St Germain, soda and sparkling wine.

When: Live weekly entertainment runs Thursday – Saturday evenings, live jazz from 11am-2pm Saturday – Sunday
Where: 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
Website: www.balthazarlondon.com

Enjoy a ‘spritz in the sky’

While we’re receiving the last few rays of sunshine that we’re likely to see this summer, soak it up to its fullest and quench your thirst with a refreshing spritz at Fever-Tree’s exciting Sky Garden pop-up. 

Running until 6th September, the Fever-Tree pop-up will offer three simple, yet moreish gin and tonics and a floral gin spritz range. Spritz include the Sunset in the Sky, a blend of Belvedere Lemon and Basil Vodka, topped with Fever-Tree Italian Blood Organ soda and Limoncello, and the City Garden Spritz, featuring grapefruit juice, Fever-Tree Premium Soda and Plymouth Gin. 

Enjoy these while looking out over London’s stunning skyline at the ever-popular Sky Garden.

When: Running until 6th September
Where: Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF
Website: www.skygarden.london

Challenge your pals to a game of croquet 

If you’re scratching your head, scrambling for things to do with your friends who are visiting this weekend, why not challenge them to a game of croquet atop of Skylight’s rooftop. 

The popular rooftop bar, located in Tobacco Dock, is home to soaring views over the city, endless cocktails and fun garden games. Grab a drink, pair up and thrash your competitors as you play the classic French village game Pétanque or go traditional with a few games of croquet.

There are also table tennis and shuffleboarding games you can play too once you’ve finished your round of tapping. 

Where: Skylight Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF
Website: www.skylightbars.com

Boogie and brunch at The Piano Works 

What’s brunch without a few cocktails thrown in for good measure? The Piano Works is putting on quite the show this bank holiday weekend with their brunch bonanza party. Expect two hours of bottomless Prosecco, beers and selected cocktails, two brunch courses and non-stop live music. 

Brunch dishes include vegan pancakes topped with berry compote, maple syrup and icing sugar; portobello mushrooms stuffed with diced mushroom, spinach and roasted pepper served on granary sourdough and topped with avocado hollandaise sauce; smoked salmon and grilled asparagus with crumbled goats cheese and charred vine cherry toms on top of granary sourdough; and black pudding stacks and poached egg on top of an English muffin with bacon and hollandaise sauce. 

From chocolate brownies to banoffee pie, make sure you save room for pud too.

When: Sunday 29th August
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3BX
Website: www.pianoworks.bar

Dance into the night at All Points East 

Get your festival on this weekend at All Points East. The East London favourite is returning to Victoria Park for another instalment of big acts, giant tunes, street food and good vibes. 

It’s the only place you’ll want to spend your bank holiday weekend. Choose the day that’s packed with your favourite artists and you could be dancing into the night to Jamie XX, Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club, Korja Smith, London Grammar and Kano.

When: Friday 28th – Monday 30th August
Where: Victoria Park
Website: www.allpointseastfestival.com

Celebrate 125 years of J Sheekey

Whether you’re after somewhere for a bite to eat before seeing a West End show, you need a pick-me-up after a day of shopping or you just fancy treating yourself to some of the best seafood in the city, J Sheekey holds the key to Covent Garden dining. 

This year sees the iconic eatery celebrate its 125 anniversary with a stellar new refurbishment and a limited-edition 125 platter. Diners are invited to enjoy the J. Sheekey 125 Platter, featuring a dozen mixed oysters, 20g platinum caviar and two glasses of Champagne.

Where:28-32 St Martin’s Court, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AL
Website: www.j-sheekey.co.uk

Book a ‘flight’ to Tuscany at Frescobaldi 

If you’re missing out on your wine tasting trip across Tuscany with the girls this summer, we’ve found somewhere that’s offering an affordable alternative right here in London. Mayfair’s Ristorante Frescobaldi has a special experience through their ‘flights’ offering, a fun way to experience the magic of wine tasting at home. 

Led by their sommelier’s, journey through Tuscany from afar as you sample Frescobaldi’s 12 estates in Tuscany. With 700 years of history behind them, the Frescobaldi’s are one of Italy’s oldest and most respected wine dynasties.

Where: Frescobaldi, 15 New Burlington Place, Mayfair, W1S 2HX
Website: www.frescobaldi.london

Celebrate Notting Hill Carnival with this rum brunch 

Carnival might be cancelled but it doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the best of the festivities across the city, including Burlock’s Mount Gay Rum Carnival Brunch. 

Burlock, in partnership with Mount Gay Rum, is hosting a brunch that’s packed with dancing, bottomless bowls of rum punch and tasty dishes to keep you going through the afternoon. Enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless rum punch or Prosecco punch, along with crispy chicken (or cauli wings) and fries – yum. 

For other carnival plans, check out our article here. 

When: Every Saturday
Where: Burlock, 31 Duke Street, W1U 1LG
Website: www.burlocklondon.co.uk

Knock it out for a six at Sixes Cricket Club

For the sporty types, look to Sixes Cricket Club for a fun-filled afternoon playing cricket. 

Co-founded by Mac and Wild’s Andy Waugh and Calum Mackinnon, Sixes Cricket Club has recently launched, bringing the world of cricket and dining to London. Expect hearty gastro-pub inspired dishes, perfect for dad, such as Sixes Sausage Roll, classic Prawn cocktail cups with king prawn, baby gem and avocado; Dorset cider steamed mussels creamed with shallots, leeks and herbs; and lemon fried chicken with kiev butter dip.

Where: 18 FARM LANE, FULHAM, SW6 1PP
Website: www.sixescricket.com

See out the weekend with a riverside staycation 

Bank holidays are all about relaxation and let’s face it, you can’t do that very well in your tiny apartment when there’s rowdy noise coming from the bar across the road and sirens blaring in the background. Switch up the scenario this weekend and venture out of the city to The Swan at Streatley for a staycation with a difference. 

Located right on the river, you’ll be able to cosy up for a weekend along the Thames. Rooms with balconies lookout over the peaceful gardens, you can partake in paddleboarding along the river and tuck into a feast at their onsite Coppa Club restaurant. The restaurant is a sight for sore eyes, with cosy coral banquette seating and stunning big windows looking out to the canal boats.

Where: High Street, Streatley-on-Thames, Reading, RG8 9HR
Website: www.theswanatstreatley.com

Take your bank holiday to new heights with Aqua Shard

Kick off your bank holiday weekend in style with Aqua Shard’s delicious brunch offering. Make your way up to level 31 of The Shard, looking out over London’s skyline as you dine your way through their three-course brunch menu. 

Choose from brunch favourites including Eggs Benedict and Butter Waffles, before making your way to their mains of Maple cured free range pork rib eye or the Shard breakfast, their hefty take on the classic. Finish it off with a light lemon and bergamot posset.

When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2:30pm
Where: Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Website: www.aquashard.co.uk

Check out Maddox Gallery’s Summer Contemporary exhibition 

Don’t miss your chance to catch the last few days of Maddox Gallery’s Summer Contemporary exhibition. Running until Monday 30th August, the exhibit brings to life a bold range of multi-media artworks, including Hollywood scenes immortalised by Terry O’Neill and Harland Miller’s witty book covers.

When: Running until 30th August
Where: 112 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU
Website: www.maddoxgallery.com

Dive into burgers for National Burger Day

As well as leading into the bank holiday weekend, this Thursday falls on National Burger Day! To help you choose through the thousands of burgers on offer in the city, we’ve whittled down our tried and tested favourites, from rich cheeseburgers through to veggie and vegan meat alternatives.


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