Pop-up is definitely starting to feel like a very over-used term but who cares when there are some absolute gems out there waiting to be discovered. Traditionally the reserve of hipster hangouts like Dalston and Shoreditch, the pop-up is becoming increasingly popular across our glorious capital. Whether you’re looking for seafood on a boat, an inner-city Eden or the chance to brush up on your DIY while sipping a Pilsner, we’ve got the definitive guide to some of London’s very best pop-ups.
The Secret Garden
Tucked away behind the Kingsland Shopping Centre is Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, a little piece of heaven hidden away in Hackney. Open until late throughout the summer months and serving some of the best pizzas east of Little Italy, it’s the perfect spot to unwind with a good book or a paper after a long-day. Every Tuesday, they host the “Woodburner”, a live music night featuring local acts performing by candlelight. (Trust us on this one, it’s the perfect date night!) They’ve even got a bike rack out front so visiting hipsters can lock up their fixed gears.
Where: 13 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
A Parking Lot Paradise
For pop-ups, Dalston is clearly the place to be. This summer, Street Feast have turned an old car park in Shoreditch into a mecca for foodies. Featuring 15 different food vendors, 6 bars and a dance floor, it’s guaranteed to have something you’ll enjoy. Our personal favourite vendor is Grill My Cheese, the legendary cheese toastie merchant that invented the Baby Got Mac, a mind-blowing sandwich loaded with macaroni, pulled pork and their secret blend of cheeses.
Where: Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, E8 3DU
Seafood at sea (sort of)
London Shell Company is a new pop-up for 2015, serving seafood on an old cruiser moored near Angel. The chefs come from a variety of backgrounds so it’s sure to make for a very interesting menu. The price tag may seem a little steep (£50 for 4 courses plus paired wines!) but only 12 guests are allowed aboard per night meaning that you’ll be treated to a highly exclusive dining experience.
Where: The Peagreen, moored on the tow path near Camden Lock at the bottom of Gloucester Avenue, NW1
A Pop-up Party
Night Tales first exploded onto the London club scene last winter, offering experimental cocktails, street food and DJ’s spinning dancefloor classics (we’re talking proper old school classics, not that cheesy early 2000s rubbish). Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until winter to get your groove on again as Night Tales is back for 15 weekends this summer (we use the word ‘summer’ lightly). This year, there’s a jungle theme which means that you can frolic in hammocks, swing on a rope swing and soak up some rays on the 20m terrace.
Where: 288-299 Old Street, EC2A
Balmy but brilliant
If you’re a fan of DIY and Pilsner then Hammerschlagen (great name, right?) is the pop up for you. This particular pop-up involves hammering nails into a tree trunk in as few hits as possible. If you manage not to smack a rusty nail into your hand and beat the bartender then your bar bill will be reduced. Disclaimer: don’t be THAT GUY who yells ‘nailed it!’ if you win.
Where: 79 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB
A delicious fundraiser
On Thursday 10 September, make a beeline for Islington Metalworks for Burmese Nights, a pop-up fundraiser in aid of the Angus McDonald Trust to support Burmese flood victims. Guests will be treated to a Pegu Club cocktail and Burmese canapés on arrival and then a veritable banquet of exotic Burmese curries, noodles and puddings. For a truly unforgettable evening, there’ll also be live and music and dancing.
Where: Islington Metalworks, 7 Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ
M-24 Bags, British-made bags made from recycled truck tarpaulins, has opened a pop-up shop at Embankment Station. Open until early October, it includes a wide collection of the companies bags, including messenger bags, duffels, rucksacks and washbags – the perfect, alternative gift if you’re starting your Christmas shopping early this year! The best thing about this pop-up? Mat Dusting, the founder of M-24, is usually on site to meet and greet customers and explain his weird and wonderful designs.
Where: Embankment Station