YOUR APRIL AGENDA | Pop Up London 2018
According to science, the two most boring days in history are:
- April 18th 1930, a day when so little took place that the BBC news was replaced with half an hour of piano music.
- April 11th 1954, when the most important thing that happened on the planet was an election. In Belgium.
Basically, it seems that April hasn’t exactly been a firecracker of a month.
Well that ends now.
Because good ol’ London has decided to pack the next 30 days with more pop ups, parties, festivals, fairs, and general excitement that seems fair to other cities. And we’ve pulled together the very best of them for your edification right here…
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POP UP EVENTS (April 2018)
Easter Floating Market
Some companies float themselves on the market. And some markets float their companies on the canal. This is one of the latter. It’s taking place up in the Regent’s canal in north London for a few days at the start of April, and it’ll have boats including a licensed bar, a record shop, a bakery, a vintage clothing store, and more…
Details: 29th March-8th April | City Road Lock, N1 8GJ
Before you go and start calling this event blasphemous, just bear in mind that Jesus turned water into wine. And also, his blood alcohol levels are apparently insane. Because the Christathon is an Easter pub crawl in which the participants dress up as Jesus, then drink in Biblically named pubs. Why? To raise money for charity. Like Jesus would want.
Details: 1st April | Various locations
After a couple of successful events at the end of 2017, Cheese Town is back to terrorise the lactose intolerant with a ton of artisanal cheeses, some interactive cheese stretching, a raclette station, a cheese board shop, poutine stalls, live music, and games. It’ll take place in Flat Iron Square, and run over the Easter weekend.
Details: 30th March-1st April | Flat Iron Square, Borough, SE1 1 | £10
Pickled Egg Eating Competiton
The fact that this competition is taking place on April Fools Day is probably a coincidence… but the general idea is to eat three picked eggs as fast as humanely possible. The winner will get free beer for themselves and five friends for the rest of the day.
Details: 1st April | The Long Arm Pub & Brewery, Worship Street, EC2A 2DX
If you’re a fan of the Netflix show Mindhunter, the movie adaptation of The Road, or plays that have won dozens of awards, then you’re a fan of Joe Penhall. And he’s coming to The Old Vic this Spring with another play, called Mood Music. It’s set in a London recording studio, where a young songwriter, her producer, their lawyers and psychotherapists go to battle over who owns a hit song. And if you use the offer code THENUDGE on The Old Vic website, you’ll get £10 off Band A-C tickets, for performances from 27 Apr – 10 May (excl. 2 May). Book by 15 Apr to claim the discount.
Details: From 21st April (tickets available now) | The Old Vic, The Cut, SE1 8NB | From £12–£65
The Doctor’s Orders
By day, POP Brixton will host a family friendly hip hop party, complete with breakdancing lessons and a gold chain giveaway. By night, it’ll turn into a proper party, with DJs spinning ’til late. Which is also family friendly, if your family are all over 18.
Details: 1st April | POP Brixton, 53 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ | Free
Choose a ticket to Trainspotting Live. Choose to head to The Vaults under Waterloo before the start of June. Choose to immerse yourself in the world of the book/film. Choose a punchy 75 min experience that will see you participating directly in the show. Choose to read any of the 20+ five star reviews it’s had. Choose a play that, despite the name, has no choo-choos in it.
Details: Until 3rd June | The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN | £20-£35
Presumably compensating for the fact that they don’t get all the cool T-Rex skeletons, the Science Museum is launching what may be the best museum exhibition of all time: 180 playable consoles, spanning 40 years of video game history, from Pong to VR headsets. And, once you’ve got a ticket, it’s all free to play for 90 mins a pop.
Details: Now until 15th April | The Science Museum, Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD | £10
Proudly proclaiming itself to be the “future of circus”, CircusFest taking over Camden’s Roundhouse it’ll showcase cutting edge acts like the colourfully named Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine, Natalie Inside Out, Hyena, and Breaking Point.
It may not be in tents… but it’s still intense.
Details: 3rd April-6th May | The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH | £10+
Vegan Nights will be planting 23 traders at The Old Truman Brewery, including CookDaily, Black Mylk and Pig Out, annnnnnd the SpiceBox will be bringing their vintage caravan along for a Curry-aoke session of singing & Indian food.
Details: 5th April | The Old Truman Brewery, 150 Brick Ln, E1 6QL | £5
Cocktails in the City
Cocktails are better than sex.
At least in the context of things ‘in the City’.
Especially considering Cocktails in the City is a long weekender bringing together over 20 of the best bars in London, plus award-winning bars from Paris, Amsterdam and Florence, inside the vast candlelit hall of One Marylebone. You’ll be able to sip exclusive signature cocktails from each one, try your hand at making a couple in the secret garden bartending workshop, and attend fancy garnishing masterclasses.
Just as a cherry on top.
Details: 5th-7th April | One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, NW1 4AQ | £20 inc. welcome cocktail
Deptford Bites Live
This April famed food critic Grace Dent is going to take a break from tongue-lashings in order to get lashings of good stuff onto people’s tongues, in the form of new street market Depford Bites. Together with food event organiser Kate McKenzie, she’ll be launching the market with a one-day, free to attend, mini festival called Depford Bites Live. READ MORE
Details: 7th April | Deptford Market Yard, Deptford, SE8 4BX | Free Entry (talks £4)
The Hollow Hotel
You’re about to check in to a murder hotel.
The TripAdvisor reviews are not anticipated to be particularly favourable.
And if you’re thinking that it all sounds a bit far-fetched, just know that it’s based on a real place. It was designed by the 19th century serial killer H. H. Holmes, who used its labyrinthine corridors, and booby-trapped rooms to kill his victims. It’s called the Hollow Hotel, and it comes to us from the people at differenceENGINE… READ MORE
Details: Preview start 9th April | The Biscuit Factory, 100 Clements Road, Bermondsey, SE16 4DG | £24 (Nudge-exclusive previews) or £44 (standard)
The London Coffee Festival
Here at The Nudge, we like our festivals like we like our coffee: stimulating, satisfying, and in a very large container. And the LCF is all of those things. You’ll find it at The Old Truman Brewery this month, and they’ve packed it with sensory bars, Espresso Martini parties, latte art competitions, coffee labs, tasting rooms, and coffee art projects.
Details: 12th-15th April | The Old Truman Brewery, 150 Brick Ln, E1 6QL | £17-£45
London’s Pergolas are practically restaurant royalty these days.
But just to make doubly sure, they’ve launched another venue called The Prince.
Having first opened last year in the former Prince of Wales pub in Earl’s Court, they’re closing shop for a few weeks to fix the place up into a veritable avenue of epicurean indulgence for the summer. READ MORE
Details: From 12th April | 14 Lillie Road, Earl’s Court, SW6 1TT
NTV’s Spring Break (Nudge Member Experience Coming Soon…)
If you thought an immersive Peter Pan-themed adult playground would Neverland in London… think again.
Because the people at Shuttlecock Inc are about to launch one. And as with all Peter Pan-related experiences, it has a simple hook: recreating spring break in the late 90s, so you can once again return to your youth in a far off land. It’ll be housed in a the iconic, 10k sq. ft. Park Village film studios, and inside they’ve got Lost Boys taco trucks, Tinkerbells cocktail bar, and Croc’s breakdancing crew, and that’s just for starters…
NOTE: Nudge Members, we have something special for you lined up. Keep an eye on your New Member Experiences…
Details: 19th-21st April | Park Village Studios, NW1 7PX | £35-£65
Depot Open Weekend – London Transport Museum
Ladies and gentlemen.
The next stop is London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton, and we strongly advise any passengers with a thirst for knowledge, a love of design, or an interest in the interesting to alight here. Because you see, the vast depot – normally closed to the public – will be opening it’s doors for one weekend in April and allowing visitors to browse its 320,000 artefacts, as well as putting on a programme of design-themed talks, tours, interactive displays, and more…
Details: 21st & 22nd April | 118-120 Gunnersbury Ln, Acton Town, W3 9BQ | Adult £12 (concessions £10). Kids Go Free. Tickets valid for one day only
Back To The Future at TT Cinema
TT Liquor have built their very own cinema. They’re calling it TT Cinema. Just don’t say it too fast.
At this cinema they’re holding monthly film nights (and the occasional one-off screening), showing a classic flick and mixing an all-new cocktail based on each one. And this month, it’s Back to the Future, paired with a whisky based concoction. Heavy.
Details: 24th April | TT Liquor, 17b Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | £15pp, or £20 for two
The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories
In what we assume is an attempt by the Illuminati to smear red pilled truth-seekers everywhere, anomalistic psychologist Chris French is going to talk about why people get so obsessively derailed by conspiracy theories. And everyone gets a gin cocktail.
Details: 28th April | Brompton Cemetery Chapel, SW10 9UG | £12 (including a cocktail)
We’ve got a real son of a Pitch for you.
It’s the second incarnation of Pitch Stratford; the killer al fresco drinking/street food-ing terrace tucked a few minutes down the road from Stratford Station that first popped up last year.
It’s re-popping up in April with a lineup of some of London’s best street food, events, and more, including themed film screenings, evening classes, party nights, weekly Friday networking drinks, and Sunday DJ brunches. What else is on offer? Well… READ MORE
Details: Throughout April | Bridge Terrace, Stratford, E15 3PA
Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography
You know Lewis Carroll? Guy who wrote Alice in Wonderland? And who was also a celebrated mathematician, developing new ideas on liner algebra, probability, and geometry? Well, it turns out he also casually helped to invent art photography in his spare time. This exhibition is dedicated to photographers like him, Julia Margaret Cameron, and more.
Details: Until 20th May | National Portrait Gallery, WC2H 0HE | £12
Backyard Cinema’s Mission to Mars
The people at Backyard Cinema are planning to recreate the planet Mars for their latest cinematic theme, only with one very significant difference: there’ll be considerably more atmosphere. And that’s mostly thanks to the cool decor, the space station bar, and the comfy beanbag chairs. They’l be showing sci-fi films all spring including new stuff (The Last Jedi, Blade Runner 2049, etc.), and classics (Flight of the Navigator, Aliens, Fifth Element…).
Details: Throughout April | Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR | From £17
The Winter Games
Head down to West London’s Queens, and you could find yourself as a human curling stone. After playing some actual, traditional curling. And shooting some pucks at ice hockey targets. In a scaled-down version of the Winter Olympics. What’s not to love?
Details: 20th & 27th April | Queens, 17 Queensway, W2 4QP | £35pp
If you like both art and reading (and given that you’re here you clearly enjoy at least one of those things) then you’ll love TYPE; a new exhibition of text-based works from some of the most talented British artists working today. You’ll find never-before seen work by David Shrigley, Banksy, Harland Miller, and The Connor Brothers.
Details: Until 16th May | Hang-Up Gallery, 81 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8AD
It’s Secret CInema’s 10 year anniversary show, and they’re taking you to a dystopian urban landscape being gradually taken over by artificial intelligence.
At least, somewhere in London. It’ll be a secret location (hence the name), and they’ll be transforming it into LA 2019, as envisioned by Ridley Scott in his cyberpunk classic, Blade Runner… READ MORE
Details: Until 10th June | A Secret Location | £45 – £115
Dawn of the Superheroes
DC are taking a comics trip to London’s O2.
You see, they’re launching an entire exhibition devoted to the troupe of classic heroes from the Detective Comics franchise, fresh from its all-conquering debut run in Paris.
The whole installation promises to transport you chronologically from the inception of Superman almost a century ago, to the modern feature releases, with the, er, incredible bulk of rooms soundtracked by original music from the films… READ MORE
Details: Throughout April | The O2, SE10 0DX | £9 and up
Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK
North Koreans are no slouches when it comes to drawing a straight line. It’s probably because of their supreme ruler. And they apparently excel at other forms of graphic design, too, as is evidenced by the stunning exhibition going up at the House of Illustration this weekend. Drawn from a collection NK expert Nicholas Bonner has been amassing for over 20 years, it’ll feature Sweet wrappers, posters, stamps, packaging, labels, and more…
Details: Until May 13 2018 | House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, N1C 4BH | £7.50
Rent a Hot Tug
Why this has taken so long to happen, we’ll never know. But finally, someone’s had the bright idea of bringing a motorised hot tub boat to the canals of London, where you’ll be able to embark on a 90 minute trip along the waterways from the comfort of your own, self-driven bubbling jacuzzi – they even offer sailor hats in their upgrade package. Which you’ll probably need. You don’t want to look amateurish, after all.
Details: Throughout April | Islington | £220 per trip
Hit the Theatre
Ever since the dawn of time, human beings have gazed at the stars in awe and asked themselves “Where can I get a list of only the absolute best theatre shows playing in London right now – divided into musical, comedy, drama, and immersive categories – in which I can also discover a heap of nearby bars and restaurants to help me make a night of it?”
Well the answer is… right here… READ MORE
POP UP RESTAURANTS (April 2018)
While he refurbishes his restaurant, Tom Sellers will be holding an immersive popup called Merry Men (to reflect the upbringing he had in Nottingham, and his understandable love of Robin Hood). It’ll be held nearby in a three-story former Victorian tannery, that they’ve transformed into a verdant Sherwood forest-style hall complete with vine-covered ceilings, and candle-lit feasting tables. Tickets have sold fast, but there’s a 40 seater woodland bar that’s walk-in only… READ MORE
Details: 4th-22nd April | 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU | £65
Ramen. It’s not just what Scooby Doo says when he finishes praying. It’s also the main focus of the new Wes Anderson-themed restaurant that’s popping up in honour of his new movie, Isle of Dogs… READ MORE
Details: Until 5th April | 180 Strand, Embankment, WC2R 1EA
Downward Dog and Dine
The people at OballYoga are demonstrating their extreme flexibility this April by partnering up with N5 Kitchen to create a yoga class supperclub. It’ll be in the beautifl Dalston Heights, and will see a vinyasa flow yoga class followed on immediately by a three-course Southern Indian vegetarian supper. With cocktails.
Details: 5th April | Dalston Heights, 230 Dalston Lane, E8 1LA | £36
Flaming Flamingo X Boring Kitchen
The Flaming Flamingo has put its foot down… and demanded to hold a one-night pop up restaurant in collaboration with Som Saa chef Shaun Beagley (aka Boring kitchen). It’ll take place near Aldgate on April 6th, and will have an all-veg, 4-course menu with Thai dishes like geng gari curry; beet poke with lightly pickled kohlrabi; and spiked rhubarb with kaffir lime scented coconut.
Details: 6th April | Benk + Bo, 4-6 Gravel Ln, E1 7AW | £35
Jacob the Angel Dinner Series
Jacob the Angel have decided start a series of supper clubs, and are kicking things off by ruthlessly exploiting their connection to the award-winning restaurant next door, The Barbary. Because they’re both owned by the same people. So this April, head chef Nacho Pinilla will be dropping in to cook up a one-off, four course feast including a springtime fattoush salad, a Moroccan goat tagine, and some hash cakes (calm down, they’re made with pistachio).
Details: 11th-13th April | 16½ Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP | £45
Girl on Girl
GoG is, essentially, an all female comedy-paired feast raising money for the Refugee Women’s Centre. Head down to Oval Space, ad you’ll get three courses served up by 2017 MasterChef Finalists Three Girls Cook, with each course being partnered up with a female comedy act. There’ll be booze, raffles, and an after party until 2am…
Details: 12th April | Oval Space, 29–32 The Oval, E2 9DT | £40 dinner & after party or £5 just for the after party.
Puzzle Projects have cooked in some pretty amazing locations: Coachella festival in LA, on an open-top bus driving around London, a gathering on the Norwegian fjords… and now a three storey former Victorian police station in Shoreditch. Run by ex-Fat Duck chef Ben Spalding, they’re going to be putting together a five course feast at TT Liquor this month, complete with paired cocktails and several “surprises”. Which sound puzzling.
Details: 27th April | TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | £65
The Yucatán region of Mexico is deep in the south of the country, meaning that it’s got a tropical climate – and some of Mexico’s most interesting cuisine. Their pork al pastor is roasted with pineapple; their fried tortillas are stuffed with refried beans; and their sorbets come in flavours like watermelon & habanero. And you can eat it all at the Rose & Crown until the end fo May.
Details: Until end of May | The Rose & Crown, 71-73 Torriano Avenue, NW5 2SG
Bar Termini X Fat Tony’s
Bar Termini is a cozy little Italian nook selling delicious Italian beverages, so it stands to reason that they’d be happy to host a pop up restaurant serving the best thing Italians eat: fresh, hand made pasta. Like pappardelle with longhorn shin ragu, or ricotta & parmesan torteloni with sage butter.
Details: Until the end of April | Bar Termini Centrale, 31 Duke Street, W1U 1LG
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
There’s an easy pun to be made here.
But we’re not Ghana lower ourselves.
Instead, allow us to tell you about the next chef to grace the residency platform at The Institute of Light. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen has been bringing contemporary West African comfort food to the masses since 2010, stunning with dishes like pork ribs in sticky plantain sauce, Jollof Fried Chicken, and Grilled Lamb Cutlets with Spiced Peanut Sauce.
Details: Throughout April | Institute of Light, Arch 376, 10 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB
It’s probably wise to book in to Plates immediately…
At least, before they smash it.
Coming to you from chef Kirk Haworth and his 15 years of kitchen experience at spots like The French Laundry and Restaurant Sat Bains, it’s a nutrition-focussed, plant-based, pop-up eatery where you’ll be able to score a five course set menu, with dishes like beetroot tartare with fermented berries and fennel pollen; shiitake broth with baked celeriac; and coconut yoghurt with sour apples and cocoa.
Details: Weekends throughout April | Secret location | £35
Once a (Michelin-starred) London fixture, the Chinese restaurant is being revived by the founder’s daughter, Amy Poon, for 3 months – where they’ll be serving classic dishes alongside new additions based on family recipes; including claypot rice with wind-dried bacon; Hakka pork belly; plus DIY hotpots on Sundays.
Details: Thoroughout April | 131 – 133 Central Street, EC1V 8AP
Le Petit Chef
Tiny chefs don’t often find work. The steaks are just too high. But this particular hyper-diminutive food-smith has no such problem, mostly thanks to the augmented reality 3D projection that’s bringing him to life… READ MORE
Details: Throughout April | TT Liquor, 17b Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | £95
London Shell Co. Cruises
Unlike their dishes, the London Shell Co. aren’t shellfish. Which is why they’re kindly inviting you to join them aboard their romantic, flower-garlanded canal boat for a series of seafood-laden dinner cruises along the Regent’s Canal, powered with English natural wines and cocktails made with spirits distilled in Britain.
Details: Throughout April | Departs from Paddington Central, Sheldon Square, W2 6EP | £45
Korean BBQ cooking.
It’s hot right now.
And just the thing you want to be chowing down on in these wintry months – so it’s a good thing that Shuang Shuang have filled their first floor pop up space with Mookrata, a mini eatery inspired by both Thai and Korean cooking. You’ll sit down to tables kitted out with their very own barbecue plate within a hotpot, so that you can allow prime morsels of meat to sizzle on the former, while you let chopped up veg simmer away in the pot below, before combining it all with spicy Thai dipping sauces.
Details: Until June 2018 | 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 6LU
Rotunda Rum Garden
Canalside restaurant Rotunda over in King’s Cross have decided to throw their hats over the wall, and launch a summery, Caribbean-inspired rum garden bar. In April. Love the enthusiasm.
Details: From 9th April | Rotunda Bar & Restaurant, 90 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 9AG
The London Craft Beer Cruise
The London Craft Beer Cruise pretty much does exactly what is says on the can. That is, it’s basically like a mini, floating beer festival that takes place in the presence of some of London’s finest scenery. It’ll depart from the docks at Westminster Pier on the Embankment at noon on Saturday the 14th of April, and spend a good four hours boating down the river. On board, you’ll find over a dozen or so breweries repped, including Beavertown, CRATE, Gipsy Hill, The Kernel, Weird Beard, and more… READ MORE
Details: 14th April | Departing from Westminster Pier | £39
The Espresso Martini Society
Want to hear a joke about strong booze? That’s the spirit. And that spirit, specifically, is vodka (along with a plethora of liqueurs) going into the various takes on the Espresso Martini that you’ll find at London’s next great pop up speakeasy, which promises to feature the world’s largest Espresso Martini menu. READ MORE
Details: 20th April-27th May | Moor St, Soho, W1D 5NG | £10
The History of Gin According to Cocktails
Head down to Bourne and Hollingsworth later this month, and you can take in a history of gin cocktails, from the early days of punch right through to the modern moleculars. By drinking them. Then you can head to the bar for a little, ugh, revision.
Details: 21st April | Bourne and Hollingsworth, 28 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JF | £10
Pitch Black – the pop up bar that takes place entirely in the dark – is back. Aiming to steer attention away from showy cocktail presentation to focus back on flavour, your 90 minute gustatory journey will involve bubbles, cocktails, wine, and amouse bouche.
It’s the perfect place for a blind date.
Details: Various dates throughout April | A Secret Location | £39
Officially, this place (from the team behind The Bletchley and ABQ) has nothing to do with Harry Potter, or his best friend. Which is a strange coincidence, given that they’re both cauldron. But it’s still insanely magical, and involves floating candles, moving photograph, flaming cocktails, and more… READ MORE
Details: Until the end of June | 5d Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8BH, UK | £30
The Midnight Apothecary
Why go to the Midnight Apothecary?
1) It’s in the rooftop garden of the Brunel Museum
2) You get award-winning botanical cocktails, with ingredients grown in the garden itself by ‘The Cocktail Gardener’
3) You’ll get a tour of The Grand Entrance Hall to Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, which is an underground chamber half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe
4) Tickets are a fiver. Tops.
Details: April 20th, 21st, 27th & 28th | The Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £4-£5
The Candlelight Club
How to create a great pop-up bar – secret location? Check. Completely lit by candles? Check. 20s theme? Check. Live jazz bands? Check. Burlesque acts? Check. Bar bites like langoustine cocktail and raised game pie? Check.
Details: 7th April | A Secret Location | £25-£130 HERE
It’s not often that the person serving behind the bar is literally serving behind bars. But that’s precisely the idea at Alcotraz – a prison-themed pop up bar that’s currently doing time in London.
Tucked behind a shuttered, nondescript building on Brick Lane, it promises to replicate the ‘eerie atmosphere’ of America’s most infamous prison – only with more margaritas. You’ll smuggle in a bottle of your own particular poison past the prison guards, before finding a host of expert mixologists ready to knock up four bespoke cocktails for you… READ MORE
Details: Throughout April | 212 Brick Lane, E1 6RL | £33.99 (including your jumpsuit and 4 cocktails made with whichever spirit you bring)
Main image: Cocktails in the City
The Nudge: The Best Of What’s On In London.
We publish new listings about the best pop-up bars, restaurants and events in London every month. To be the first to hear about the brand new openings, just sign up at the top of this page…