This summer has been a scorcher and what better way to cool down than with a refreshing ice-cream. Nothing says summer more than a wafer cone of something creamy and delicious. In London, there’s never a need to stick to the norm and more than enough ice-cream hot spots to choose from. Discover the world’s first ice-cream museum, ice-cream served on candy floss, vegan ice-cream and many more icy delights. Here are our top five picks.
You wouldn’t want anything ordinary from the experiential whizz kids behind Bombas & Parr and this first major exhibition from the British Museum of Food (yes, that exists) will not disappoint. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of an ice cream recipe being printed in a British cook book this multi-sensory exhibition caters to all. Expect to witness ‘ice-cream weather’, eat glow-in-the dark ice cream and come to understand the neuroscience of frozen treats through a collection of ice cream paraphernalia, vintage equipment and original advertising of un-paralleled size. The stuff of both Homer Simpson and Heston Blumenthall’s dreams.
Free lovin’ treats for free lovin’ folks. Finally, there is an ice-cream spot you can visit with your vegan/ intolerance-suffering /nut-phobe friends. Everything in this uber-responsible ice-cream parlour is dairy, gluten, egg, nut and peanut free. This might sound like no fun to some but Yorica definitely know how to make a mean ice-cream. Decadent flavours include gooey-vanilla cookie, banofee and a luminous bubble gum. There’s fro-yo here too, (not real yo, obviously) and saucy shakes which include an irresistible combination of ice-cream flavours. Double-choc cookie ice cream with a healthy topping of choc sauce and brownie bits, yes please! When will you have your Yorica moment?
Sorry, is there something on your ice-cream? Yes, that’s right it’s a cloud of candy floss which can be yours (and your Instagram feed’s) for an extra pound. Get your candy-floss ice-cream from every hipster’s favourite ice-cream parlour, the Milk Train café in Soho. The Milk Train Café has gained a cult following, partly due it’s to its large presence on Instagram, and offers soft-serve ice cream, with a twist. In a cloud of candy floss for example, or covered with sweet, toffee popcorn and a biscuit wafer straw. Traditional flavours, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla etc are given the Milk Train treatment with an array of varied toppings including Oreos, rainbow sesame, black sesame and a waffle cone.
Why have a cone of ice-cream when you could have a roll, or a taco? The guys behind Pan-N-Ice are childhood friends who shared a passion for business and a sweet tooth. After witnessing the different ways in which ice-cream was served while backpacking across Thailand, back home in London they enjoyed several summers in a van on the festival circuit and various pop-ups across the country. Now having finally put down some roots in Shepherd’s Bush they have really found their groove. The menu offers a selection of ice-cream tubs and wafer-tacos each with a cutesy theme, for example, the ‘Matcha doing later’, with Matcha flavoured ice-cream rolls, the Kinky Kinder and the Avo-Laugh (one of their many vegan offerings). Pan-N-Ice still has pop-up shops across London, including Topshop in Oxford Circus. Find your nearest here.
Hugely popular and ubiquitous Italian ice-cream parlour, Grom, has finally reached English shores, setting up shop right on Piccadilly Circus. As you enter you buy your tub or cone and then you are free to sample as many flavours as you like before choosing. Don’t worry, for those of who just can’t choose one, you can have two different scoops, even in a small cup. There are sorbets, shakes, and all ingredients are gluten free and ethically sourced from Italian farms. In typical Italian style, the emphasis is always on quality ingredients. The whole experience, from the immaculately uniformed staff and the slick décor, contributes to the overall feeling of a slice of Italian chicness in ice-cream form.
Where will you be getting your ice-cream fix from this summer? Let us know how you get on in the comments below!
Nestled under Waterloo bridge an expansive new cabaret venue has recently opened its doors. Proud Cabaret, Embankment, now the largest Cabaret venue in Europe promises to be a strong contender for the best West End night around. The restaurant and cocktail bar are top quality making this venue as much about the food and drink as the entertainment. Riffs on traditional cocktails include the Proud Goose and a Cabaret Old Fashioned as well as the delicate Pan Asian cuisine on offer at this opulent venue make this a transformative and intoxicating experience.
1. Why did you choose Embankment as the location for your new venue?
Owner Alex Proud spent 6 months looking for the right venue and when he viewed Embankment it stole his heart. The standard of the interior, the scale and drama were made for the unique mixture of circus, cabaret and acrobatics that define Proud. It has a capacity of up to 750 people – quite unique for the location and fabulous transport links.
2. What can customers expect from a night at Proud Cabaret?
A night unlike any other in London. Proud Embankment is located between Somerset House and the Savoy Hotel, directly under Waterloo Bridge, in an iconic two-storied building. It is the largest cabaret restaurant of its kind in the UK. Combining design elements from East and West – the gilded opulence of contemporary Singapore and the illicit sensuality of Paris in the 1920s – it boasts an original Art Deco interior with an enormous, grand double-height atrium and sweeping staircase, the space is capable of accommodating spectacular aerial performances and has a first floor mezzanine viewing platform. You have to enter the space to really appreciate just how uniquely beautiful it is.
3. Where do you find your acts and perfromers from?
We source from all over the world and choose the best talent and nurture them when they are first starting out so they grow with us. Robert Pattinson’s girlfriend FKA Twigs is a good example – she first started at Proud.
4. We love the themed drinks, how did you come up with these?
We have an experienced specialist team of mixologists and bar staff who have a passion for curating cocktails that match the elegance and unique style of our venue.
5. The menu looks delicious, who came up with it and has it gone down well?
We were conscious that moving to Proud Embankment placed us on the West End circuit, where the quality of the restaurant offering would be of crucial importance. We made the menu a key priority, and worked with our kitchen to craft something fresh, healthy and contemporary. The Pan Asian menu caters for all dietary requirements – with consideration for vegans and gluten free diets. We have had fantastic reviews and feedback and I’m really proud of the team for upping their game for our new flagship venue.
6. Do you have a typical clientele at Proud, who would they be?
Anybody and everybody is welcome at our venues. Proud has always about inclusivity – but with the aim of making every customer feeling like a VIP – it’s all about having fun, watching our incredibly talented performers and enjoying a moment of pure escapism. If you haven’t been to a Cabaret night, you should seriously give it a try.
7. What acts have you got coming up in the next few months?
Our in-house choreographer, Claira has produced a fabulous new show for Proud Embankment. Exploiting the height of the double atrium to showcase the jaw-dropping talent of our aerial performers, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats with a mixture of acrobatic acts, our signature bathtub burlesque show, and a variety of burlesque and circus acts. Secret Burlesque Society is on every Friday and Saturday night, with new shows being announced from September … watch this space!
8. What makes Proud different from other Cabaret shows in London?
First of all, quality of food and excellent service. We aim to be more like a mainstream restaurant than nightclub and hope guests could eat alone without performance and still have an excellent night. We believe we have a unique show, with a contemporary twist on classic Cabaret and we aim to be the best in London in terms of service, food and performance. Best of all, when the show ends, the tables are removed and the dancing begins. We have London DJs playing every Friday and Saturday night from 11-5am, so no need to wander off into the night in search of a new venue – it’s all under one iconic roof.
9. Do you have plans to expand elsewhere in London?
Not necessarily in London but I’m interested in exploring new cities. Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow are all under consideration over the next three years.
10. Finally, when you’re not entertaining the crowds in Embankment, what are some of your favourite hangouts in London?
Outside of a busy schedule, I spend time with my family or go to local restaurants. I still love Camden, but the opening of Embankment is enticing me to rediscover the West End and the Northbank where we’re based – London is always changing which is what makes it such an exciting city to be a part of. Favourite local hangouts, Regents Park and Albany.
Have you recently been to Proud? Let us know what you thought in the comments below…
Pull out your picnic blanket, grab some snacks and settle in to watch one of many outdoor screenings in London this summer. Whether you’re a sports fan or a film buff, everyone can be a part of an outdoor cinema experience with venues scattered around London and an endless list of films and sports events to choose from. Here’s our top five for the summer. Enjoy!
At the centre of a huge new development around Elephant & Castle Elephant park is a 2-acre leafy green space in which has been lacking a park for the last 70 years. In partnership with Southwark Council, thousands of new homes and businesses have opened up offering affordable living spaces and jobs for the people of Southwark. The park is heavily involved in the local community and as part of their Summer Event series will be holding free screenings of Wimbledon from the 2nd-15th July. In addition, there is a screening of Grease – as chosen by the local community and a host of other films for children and adults. This includes a festival of movies by local film makers. For information on screenings and much more check the events calendar here.
Hackney’s latest outdoor cinema location promises classic movies with a side of delicious street food. In aid of the brilliant local charity Mind, over two nights in July (18-19), London Fields will be screening two classic comedies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Little Miss Sunshine. Bring your picnic rug but leave your sausage rolls at home as an impressive range of street food vendors will be on offer. As if you needed any more convincing all vendors will be donating a portion of the profits to the Mind charity. On the menu will be vegan tacos from Club Mexicana, Neopolitan-style pizza from Fundi, ‘yumplings’ from Yum Bun and local home-made ice-cream Nonna’s Gelato will be on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth. Buy your tickets, here.
Rooftop Film Club Bussey Building, Peckham Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch Roof East, Stratford
Comfy deckchairs, spectacular views and iconic movies, what more could you ask for from a cinema experience? Each venue from the Rooftop Film Club offers panoramic views and the possibility of a gorgeous sunset while you watch one of your favourite films. The program this year includes old favourites such as Back to the Future, Pretty Woman and modern classics, Get Out and Moonlight, amongst others. At Rooftop, they love a theme and this year they’ve selected titles based around the themes, Anniversaries, such as the 60th anniversary of the film Vertigo and Women in Film including I, Tonya and Ladybird. For those who want a more intimate cinema experience, Peckham and Roof East in Stratford offer ‘Love Seats’ for those who want something a little extra-special.
Fancy watching Bram Stoker in a cemetery or Wakanda Forever! surrounded by trees and woodland? The unusual and perfectly placed settings for each film are all part of the unique Nomad experience. Set up in 2010 Nomad has regularly been described as ‘London’s best outdoor cinema’. Nomad is all about community and promotes local traders and ethical organisations at all its events. Each event is catered by an impressive list of London favourite street food, including Scampi Shop and the Meantime Brewing Co. This summer is another eclectic mixture of cult classics, such as The Life Aquatic, Disney’s The Little Mermaid and last summer’s smash blockbuster, Black Panther. Head to the website for your ticket.
Cruise along the Thames at sunset before enjoying an enduringly charming movies ‘Some Like it Hot’,’Jaws’ or ‘Dirty Dancing’. In partnership with Time Out magazine Movies on the River is a Londoner’s experience you don’t want to miss. The cruise takes you down the Thames passing several of the rivers most iconic buildings and an unbeatable view of Southbank. The cost includes the cruise and film. Boats leave five nights a week through the summer until August 18th from Tower Pier at 8pm in the evening. Bag your ticket here. All aboard!
Where will you be watching the big screen this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Taking over eight ex-railway arches under Waterloo Station, the Leake Street Arches is an arts, entertainment and dining venue like no other. Incorporating the famous Graffiti tunnel from the moment you enter the arches you are encouraged to embrace your creativity and ‘leave your mark’. From immersive art spaces and a carefully curated selection of bars and restaurants everything about this expansive space inspires and tantalises. Although parts of the venue are still under construction there is plenty here to enjoy this summer.
How to get there: Buses: 12, 53, 148, 159, 341, 453 Nearest tube: Waterloo and Lambeth North Entrance on York Road, Waterloo Station Approach Road or Lower Marsh
Leake Street is an homage to the street art scene and their commitment to the scene is visible everywhere. The tunnel is a renowned space for street artists worldwide and, in such an atmospheric setting, it’s easy to see why. Keeping the space in tact and encouraging new talent is key to the ethos behind the venue. In the spirit of encouraging graffiti artists to keep contributing to the tunnel, the Leake Street blog interviews various artists about their work in their weekly feature Meet and Graff. The graffitied walls of the arches also form an excellent backdrop to an event. Aures, is a huge seven-metre high exposed brick arch and venue which covers 2000 square feet of floor space providing the perfect location for big events such as the House of Vans takeover back in March and the setting for the immersive theatre company, The Vaults. Their events include such intimate performances as a play set in car park with only six audience members – all sitting in the car with the only performer. Intense. Coming up, on 21st July, is a competitive life drawing event, Kiss My Art. The competition will be accompanied by a DJ backing track and promises to be a London first.
No venue would be complete without offering excellent food and drink and Leake Stree, doesn’t disappoint. The brilliant Ban Bhao brothers have opened up a permanent home under the arches and serve delicious Vietnamese specialities include lotus crisps, spicy wings and pork spring rolls. You can find the Ban Bhao brothers on the edge of the arches, follow the Vietnamese inspired artworks and signs to the Jade Dragon Bar. Great offers include a bucket of beer with a stack of chicken wings. The Rat Bar@26 opened last month and promises all the grime and glamour of the underground scene with art installations dedicated to artists from around the world and suitably themed cocktails, You Dirty Rat and the Double Crossing Rat. The Draughts bar doesn’t mince its words, serving draughts beers and board games to punters. Set in a high-ceiled vault it’s an easy place to lose afew hours.
There’s plenty more still to come from this venue. A huge new performance space with a 1200 capacity is currently under construction and due to open in September. Sign up here to the #LeakeStLive newsletter for all their freshest content, news from the local area and upcoming events.
Will you be checking out the arches this month? Let us know in the comments below!
Take your taste buds on a crazy adventure this summer and visit The Chambers of Flavour
Are you brave enough to report to the mighty machine, for a taste-bud tantalising, out of this world, culinary adventure? You’re in luck – the pioneers of the underground immersive dining experience, Gingerline, are bringing back the third and undoubtedly most ambitious instalment of the flagship multi-dimensional dining project, The Chambers of Flavour.
Chambers of Flavour V3 is the newest imagining of the multi-dimensional dining project and promises to be the most ambitious yet. Following on from 2 solid years of sold out shows, Chambers V3 will take guests on a journey through riotous fusion of absurdist adventure, interactive theatre, multimedia art installation and avant-garde culinary experimentation.
Guests are also granted access to a top secret hidden bar where diners can debrief and drink the night away, with an assorted menu of crazy cocktail concoctions (we can’t disclose what cocktails they have but you’re in for a treat!).
The experience promises to open your eyes and take the bold and brave on a tour through unimaginable dining worlds on a whole new foodie focussed quest. But that’s about all you’ll know. You must trust them because detail of exactly where you’ll go and what you’ll eat won’t be revealed until the mission is underway. And for those who have dietary requirements, don’t worry these will be collected on booking. Precise directions will be texted to you a few hours before on the day of the event.
For those who have never experienced multi-dimensional dining, they advise that you come with an open mind, an empty belly and a bold spirit. For those who have who have already ventured through the machine, be prepared for a flavour balanced pitch perfect crescendo to the Chambers’ story so far.
Ready to embrace the madness? The Gingerline have released the next batch of passes for Chambers on 2nd July – be quick and get yours before the sell out here https://bookings.chambersofflavour.co.uk/. Passes for September 2018 onwards are also available on their website.
London is not just a great place to see old buildings and witness centuries-old traditions (although it’s great for that too) it’s also a fantastic city for trying out all number of weird and wacky activities. Ever wanted to have a drink in a prison bar or have a go at axe-throwing? Prepare to think outside-the-box with your afternoon and throw caution (or an axe) to your morning, here are our city cheats of London’s quirkiest past-times.
Axe-throwing Arch 25
Handel Business Centre
Nearest tube: Vauxhall
Yes, this really is exactly what it sounds like. After a thorough safety briefing, instructors teach you how throw like a boss and then you are free to chuck axes at a target to heart’s content. Axe-throwing is a head-to-head game and so your booking includes as many as 4 lanes with a maximum of 3 people in each so you compete against your friends. The venue has non-alcoholic drinks and crisps available but there are plenty of places to have something to eat or an alcoholic drink after (definitely, after!). Embrace your inner lumberjack and try axe-throwing for an adrenaline-filled, unusual and exciting afternoon.
Welcome to the Shoreditch version of infamous island-prison, Alcatraz. Don’t expect a drinks menu, this is prison, where everything is DIY and nothing is beyond the watchful gaze of the prison warden. Prepare to play along with the prison guards (all actors) who pretend to look for your contraband booze when really, they’re the experts at keeping it safe. For the price of the evening, and if you manage to sneak your bottle in past the guards, you’ll don an orange onesie, enjoy delicious hand-crafted cocktails and be fully immersed in the prison experience. Expect to be quoted the bible at and told to hand over your illegal liquor (don’t worry you won’t really have to) while you sit in a cell with your other ‘inmates’. It might sound gimmicky but the expert cocktail-making skills of the barmen and the fun environment created by the actors make this an oddly enjoyable evening.
After a hugely successful series of pop-ups in the Truman Brewery the London Shuffle Board Club has found a permanent home in Shoreditch. Opening today (4th July) the shuffle board movement has been described as both ‘horribly addictive’ and ‘highly competitive’. A hybrid between curling and bowling, shuffle board is one of the oldest and most underrated nights out there is. At this trendy East London location you can enjoy street-food from pizza-joint Voodoo Rays, falafel from Falafelicious, retro cocktails, craft beers and a good-old game of shuffle. Book a board and you’ll be given the option of playing with a classic or a snap-back version. You can also book a floor, a new updated version of the traditional board game. And with an outdoor terrace it’s the perfect spot for a summer evening, with a difference.
Start the fans and engage your brain, this is Crystal Maze, live! With a team of friends, colleagues or complete strangers you can be part of that epic 90s cult TV show. All the hallmarks of the much-loved show are there to enjoy, (except unfortunately, the original host Richard O’Brien). The experience lasts just over an hour and includes four themed zones of mental and physical challenges, Industrial, Aztec, Medieval and Futuristic. If you succeed in these tasks you’ll be taken to, drumroll, the Crystal Dome, where you’ll be grabbing gold tokens (not money) in the final round. Booking is essential and can be done through their website, here.
Two ‘mysterious’ locations in Shadwell and Shepherd’s Bush
Escape London hosts escape events across two London locations with varying themes. Harry Potter fan? You’ll love immersing yourself in the school of witchcraft and wizardry. Try to escape the evil professor and graduate with distinction by completing challenges, performing spells and playing some tricks!
If you’re after something a little more ‘Taken’ and a little less ‘Harry Potter’ try out the Taken room, also in Shadwell. Imagine your friend has been kidnapped and has been missing for days. You attempt to find the missing CCTV, discover the secret lair of the captors and potentially, much worse. This one is not for the faint-hearted, or the Under 18s!
Planning another night in the beer garden now? Surely not! Let us know what you’ve tried out this month in the comments below!
The recently opened Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden promises to bring the fun, festivities and cheeky Italian charm of their sister location, the much-loved Battersea bar and pizzeria. The new venue based in the West End is a mash-up of the glamour and attitude of its theatrical home with the food and fun of London’s favourite Italian party spot.
First off, we’re dying to know, what is a Disaronno boat?
The Disaronno boat is Bunga Bunga Covent Garden’s Italian speedboat. The Disaronno, sits up to eight passengers, who are invited to become part of the show, while enjoying drinks and dinner right next to the stage.
How did you come up with the idea of ‘Bunga the musical’?
Located in the West End, ‘Bunga The Musical’ seemed like the perfect fit for a show. It offers everyone the chance to experience some of the most popular shows in town, all on one night.
Where does the name Bunga Bunga come from?
Londoners were spoilt for choice when it came to fine dining options, but there weren’t enough fun and lively alternatives. Our answer, Bunga Bunga – an Englishman’s Italian where guests can eat, drink and be entertained under one roof from the early evening until the early morning. While it originally came from Silvio’s antics, it has now become known for another reason, everyone has heard of Bunga Bunga and especially the bottomless brunch. It’s tongue in cheek, it’s about being a little cheeky rather than downright naughty.
Bunga-oke sounds fun, how does it work using a live band for karaoke?
Bunga-oke originated at Bunga Bunga Battersea and has always been extremely popular. At Bunga Bunga Covent Garden we introduced the live band where guests sing along with the house band karaoke style.
What can customers expect from the matinee Saturday brunch, apart from lots of prosecco!?
In keeping with Bunga Bunga’s infamous style, guests can expect the most immersive bottomless brunch Londoners have ever seen. Guests are taken on a journey to the back streets of the Italian underworld.
Your Covent Garden venue has a huge range of entertaining acts, where did you find them and how have you given the shows that ‘Bunga feel’?
The talent that performs in our shows at Covent Garden have been supplied by Silvio back in Italy and our American gangster cousins in Chicago – but also from all around the world. All our shows are very unique to us, there are many burlesque shows in London and they are all quite similar but Burlesquoni has that Bunga humour and narrative to it, it’s tongue in cheek again and you can’t fail to be entertained. This is the same with our musical night on a Wednesday and Italian Circus on a Friday, not your typical musical or circus by any means! Humour and experience are both words synonymous with Bunga.
You’ve had huge success with your venues in Battersea and Bungatini in Drury Lane, why did you choose Covent Garden for your new, larger venue?
The large venue in Covent Garden offered enough space to create the immersive and experiential venue we wanted to provide our customers with. At Bunga Bunga Covent Garden we can take guests on a journey to two very different enjoyable experiences.
Each venue has its own themed bars, what’s special about the bars in Covent Garden?
Bunga Bunga Covent Garden and BungaTINI takes guests on a journey to two very different but equally enjoyable experiences. BungaTINI on the ground floor is an authentic all-day family friendly Italian pizzeria and bar. However, look again and located in the far corner is a secret door to the meat locker. Those brave enough to venture beyond the meat locker will find themselves in Bunga Bunga Covent Garden where an underworld brimming with old school Italian glamour awaits.
Sounds like so much fun, we can’t wait to go! Thank you to Bunga Bunga Covent Garden for being our London Grilling this month.
July is a busy month, with festivals, sporting events and immersive food experiences to be enjoyed, it can be difficult deciding what to do. So, we’ve made it easier for you and picked out a range of this month’s events and experiences to keep you entertained. There might not be a Glastonbury this summer but don’t worry there’s plenty more to get your music festival fix. Here’s our July line-up.
Summer Series at Somerset House Nearest stations: Temple
Dates: Various throughout July for the full line-up look here.
This season’s mix of old and new school dance, electro and hip-hop artists includes legendary names De La Soul and the Roots, as well exciting acts from Metronomy, Flight Facilities and more. It’s a month long not-to-be-missed series of live acts. The picturesque setting of the Edward J Safra square and Somerset House are one of the best in London to see live music. Make sure to enjoy a pre-gig drink on the terrace overlooking the Thames and across the water on Southbank. Tickets are almost sold out for several events but hurry and you might be lucky to snap up the last few.
Another event at Somerset House to look out for this summer are the live cinema screenings hosted by Film Four Summer Screen. Find out more here.
Art Night Locations across South London
Date: 7th July
One night, sixty locations and over a hundred artists showcase their works in this unmissable South London event. The weird, wonderful and extreme of the art world are all here. Highlights for this year are likely to include; haunting HD projections in the Old Paradise grounds – a former burial ground, live puppet animation from Cecile B. Evans and a blue caravan suspended 30 feet above the ground from Italian artist, Lara Favoretto. Don’t expect to be bored, in fact don’t expect anything because you won’t be able to predict it! Events and installations are set up all along the river from Southbank to Battersea taking in some of the most iconic London river views and locations. Don’t miss out on a thing and make sure you plan your night with a festival map here.
Nearest Tube: Trafalgar Square/Oxford Circus
Date: 7th July
London Pride is this city’s chance to celebrate, support and champion the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, Pride is supported by the Mayor of London’s office and has stages across Central London locations. Be sure to check out the Women’s stage in Leicester Square for a whole day and night of ‘Pride’s Got Talent’ in association with DIVA magazine. Dean street in the heart of Soho is the perfect setting for the Cabaret stage. Expect colourful and entertaining acts including Busty & Ginger, winners of last year’s Pride’s Got Talent. Visit the Community village in Soho Square where stalls for all the charities involved in raising awareness LGBTQ+ community will offer information and the opportunity to get involved in their work. If you’re with the kids, head to the Family stage for karaoke and a bedtime story from Pop and Olly. The parade, the part of the day Pride is best known for, kicks off at 12pm – check here for the route map so you can plan ahead.
Events in celebration of Pride run throughout July and, to find out what’s going on in the coming weeks check out the event list here. Remember to tweet your progress following this year’s hashtag #PrideMatters.
Kaleidoscope Festival Alexandra Palace
Nearest station: Wood Green/Alexandra Palace
Date: 21st July
The iconic setting of Ally Pally is perfect for this eccentric festival. A light, art and music festival, this one day extravaganza over-looks a stunning view of the London skyline. The programme includes a range of music, art and events, promising surprises at every turn, as well as an exciting range of food and drink. Tuck in to fried chicken from the Mother Clucker, fried perfection from the Arancini Brothers, and delicious wraps the geniuses at the Halloumi Guys. Comedy acts feature the likes of Katherine Ryan and Mark Watson, music is provided by the Flaming Lips, (always a spectacular show), Ghost Poet, the Mystery Jets and Beth Orton. There’ll be theatrical performances from the Rift Theatre and more party tunes from DJs the 2 Bears and Norman Jay.
What says summer more than a refreshing, fruity cocktail? A long, cooling glass of something delicious (and alcohol based) whilst sitting in a spot of sunshine is what makes summer, summer, for many of us. London is a different city from May until September, the (slightly) warmer weather means that suddenly, we want to meet our friends and not hibernate at home or quaff red wine in a darkened room. So, with that in mind, we’ve come up with our five favourite summer cocktail bars. Cheers!
Blixen 65A Brushfield Street
Nearest stations: Liverpool Street
On the edge of Old Spitalfields market, Blixen is a popular cocktail bar and well-renowned restaurant situated in an old bank. Head straight for the charming conservatory which overlooks the bustling market for the perfect escape from the urban jungle with a slice of the actual jungle. The charming outdoor area is full of luxurious, tropical plants. The cocktail list offers an eclectic mix of the classics including a rhubarb and pink pepper G & T and a spritz served with rose. Despite being a fabulous spot for a drink, Blixen also has great food. The menu is a crowd-pleasing mixture of dainty small plates and substantial mains including burgers and bowls of pasta. The perfect place for a long, lazy lunch, brunch or just a drink. Sit back, relax and allow your cares to melt away in this tranquil spot.
In the picturesque Clapham Old Town, a stone’s throw from leafy Clapham Common No. 32 Old Town is a classy establishment amongst the plethora of (not always so classy) bars on the Clapham High Road. Cocktails are divided between long & fresh and short & to the point. We like the sound of the short Chilli Margarita and the long Elderflower Paloma. Whatever your tipple, grab yours and head out to the terrace to enjoy the view of the sunshine and dog-walkers across the common. The food menu is standard gastro-pub affair but of a high quality, while the weekend’s bottomless brunch attracts the crowds.
Bar Elba Rootop, Mercury House
109-117 Waterloo Road
Nearest tube: Waterloo
The latest opening from the people behind Adventure Bar in Clapham, Bar Elba, in Waterloo offers a spectacular view over the London skyline and a host of summery cocktails to wade through. The menu includes all of your favourites, Spritz, Porn Star Martini and the option to order by the pitcher, if you’re especially thirsty. It’s not your typically sophisticated London rooftop bar but what it lacks in class it makes up for in fun (and reasonable prices). Attracting a young crowd with its drinks deals and good DJs, Elba also serves food, to soak up all those pitchers. The menu is traditional bar snack fare with large portions and sharing plates amongst its most popular choices.
Dandelyan Bar Mondarin Hotel
20 Upper Ground
Nearest tube: Blackfriars
With panoramic views of the South Bank, original designs by Tom Dixon and a menu from the ‘World’s Best Barman’ Ryan Chetiyawardan (A.K.A Mr Lyan), Dandelyan was always destined for great things. And it doesn’t disappoint. The current drinks menu, Modern Botany, is extensive and suitably botanical. The drinks are arranged according to botanical base, e.g. grape, mint or hop. Each comes with a helpful recommendation of when they are best enjoyed. The Koji Hardshake for example is an ‘uplifting pick-me-up for early evening’. To compliment the outstanding cocktail list there is an eclectic variety of DJs to entertain you throughout the evening. No surprises then that Dandelyan was awarded ‘Best Bar in the world 2017’. Go there for the Whylde tea, a booze-centric afternoon tea featuring exclusive cocktails and playful takes on finger sandwiches and retro cakes. As Mr Lyan himself explains it’s ‘very easy to be here from midday until early in the morning’.
NOLA 107 Roman Road E2 0QN Nearest tube: Bethnal Green
NOLA was created as the founder J Triffo’s, ‘love letter to the most exciting and vibrant city on earth’. Of course, he’s talking about New Orleans. The Big Easy, is world-famous for exceptionally strong cocktails, creole cuisine and the hot, boozy evenings these entail. Prepare to enter a small slice of that city in Bethnal Green. The cocktails are just as they should be, huge, rich and dangerously moreish. Try a hurricane cocktail for a taste of vintage New Orleans but beware, they pack a serious punch! The kitchen has recently opened and is currently testing out recipes such as spicy jambalaya and beef rib po’boys. Awarded the Seal of the Sazerac last year, it’s the only bar outside of the US to have done so, NOLA is guaranteed to give you a real flavour of the Deep South. And having recently opened a roof terrace NOLA is also an ideal spot to enjoy a cocktail al-fresco, you could almost imagine you’re in the Big Easy itself.
Where will you be sinking a cocktail or twelve this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Have you tried the South American Salsa? Or tasted an arepa, a delicious hot, cornbread snack from Columbia? Well, now is your chance. This year, the taste, sound and spirit of Latin America is coming to the Bermondsey Carnival. Plaza Latina festival, the largest Latin American festival in the UK, attracts over 10,000 people and is organised every year by the dedicated staff at Carnaval del Pueblo, a community group based in Elephant & Castle. And this year, from midday on the 30th June, this Latin cultural extravaganza is coming to Southwark. Expect entertainment from Latin American singing stars, piñata-making, delicious Columbian coffee and much, much more.
The Bermondsey Carnival has been a part of the Southwark community calendar for nearly 150 years. Throughout two world wars and innumerable changes in culture and landscape, this annual event has been a source of local pride and popular showcase for the spirit of the Bermondsey community. With an ever increasing and varied Latin American population in South London the Plaza Latina is a colourful representation of this portion of the community. With street-food (comida), from Columbia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru you won’t leave the festival hungry. On stage there will be a host of Latin American singers and DJs playing iconic salsa and tropical tunes. You’ll be able to have a go yourself, with demonstrations of traditional Latin dance and workshops to make sure you can enjoy the fiesta in true Latin American style. And if you really want to get into the spirit of things, costumes are encouraged!
The Carnaval del Pueblo centre in Elephant & Castle operates as a hub of Latin American culture and inclusion. The centre is involved in promoting the community with workshops and public appearances as well offering inclusion services and support to Latin American migrants. Nuala Ridell-Morales, Director of Carnaval del Pueblo, had this to say,
“We are excited and honoured to return to the original birth place of Carnaval del Pueblo, at Bermondsey Carnival with a 2018 Plaza Latina. We look forward to sharing the very best of our Latin American cultural heritage”