If you’re finding it baffling how it has managed to rain pretty much non-stop for the past week, you’re not alone. Unfortunately it shows no signs of stopping so you could move all your weekend plans indoors (indoor barbecue anyone?) but it’s not quite the same, so get yourself a plastic poncho and prepare to sing along to West End hits in Trafalgar Square, sip on Caipirinhas on a man-made beach and take part in a giant picnic in one of London’s most iconic courtyards. How very British.
Giant Picnic at Somerset House
It’s National Picnic Week, but if sitting on sodden grass in a plastic poncho as you bite into a soggy sandwich isn’t your idea of a particularly enjoyable meal then trade it in for a giant picnic at Somerset House. Book a slot online and either pack your own picnic or opt for food by Tom’s Kitchen for a day of activities and entertainment.
Where: The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House
Cowboys and Gold... in Vauxhall
Django Bango launches this weekend – the brilliantly named Gold Rush themed pop-up in the not so wild South London. Street food and live music return as the immersive event settles in to it’s new home (previously Shoreditch) down the cobbled streets of Vauxhall. A Gold Rush wouldn’t be a Gold Rush without real gold so look out for gold coins (OK, not real gold) hidden around the mine and in your food in exchange for prizes.
Where: The Yard, 4 Durham Street, Vauxhall, SE11 5JA
Flowers, Champagne and Shoes
Veuve Cliquot Rich is fast proving to be the drink of the summer. Pairing up with the equally glamorous shoe designer Charlotte Olympia and South Kensington restaurant, Daphne’s, it’s flowers galore at the Tropical Botanica bar but this is the last weekend so go whilst you can. Charlotte has designed a cocktail of the same name, which includes Amaretto, lime and apple juice, passion fruit syrup and Veuve Cliquot Rich. Pop next door afterwards for a browse in Charlotte Olympia’s gorgeous shoe shop.
Where: 112 Draycott Avenue, London, SW3 3AE, United Kingdom
Nearest station: South Kensington (0.4 miles)
The World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival
‘The World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival’ is finally taking place this weekend in Regent’s Park. Sample sized-down versions of signature dishes from top London restaurants including Duck & Waffle, Roka and Sea Containers and see world-famous chefs cooking up a storm in the demo kitchen.
Where: Regent’s Park, Albany Street, NW1 4NR
Mayfair Summer Street Party
Asian/Italian restaurant Novikov is taking over Mayfair Place this weekend for a summer street market, following on from the success of their Christmas version. Closing the area off to traffic, street food, cocktails, DJs and a pop up beach will help you forget you’re in London at all and the best bit? Entry is free.
Where: Mayfair Place, Mayfair, W1J
Brazillian Beach on the South Bank
It’s got off to a wet start, but CopaCabana Beach on the South Bank are optimistic in bringing a bit of Brasilian heat to London. 85 tonnes of sand, cocktails in fresh coconuts and South American food served from a ‘Bonde’ food tram will get us in the carnival spirit, in time for Rio 2016 which kicks off on the 5th August.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Walk, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX
Giant Bee Hive
There’s a lot of hype around the Hive, Kew Garden’s new structure/installation/scientific experiment – whatever you want to call it. Created by a British-based artist, the award-winning 17 metre aluminium structure lights up in response to actual activity from a nearby beehive and opens this Saturday. Reached through a meadow of wild flowers, in addition to being great to look at, talks, tours and activites will all help to promote awareness of the dangers bees face and the value they play in our lives.
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Kew, TW9 3AE
The West End Goes Al Fresco
Jazz hands at the ready, the West End is coming to you live from Trafalgar Square. Think of any big show and they are taking part with snippets being performed and begging to be sung along to – that includes Matilda, The Lion King, Wicked and Les Miserables with appearances from Pixie Lott, Beverley Knight and Matt Cardle. The event is free but be prepared to queue.
Where: Trafalgar Square, WC2 5DS