Jason Allen 01/06/23
Little known fact: today is the first annual ‘fun popups, parties, and festivals going on in London’ Awareness Day.
And to honour the occasion, we’re making you aware of the fun popups, parties, and festivals going on in London across the month of June, including a chance to see a play set in the Tarantino Cinematic Universe; have a banquet on a lush pastoral farm (that’s somehow on the Tube line); check out one of the most innovative new musical shows you’ll ever see; explore some of the city’s secret & hidden gardens; bathe your senses in an otherworldly display of digital art; eat some of Mexico City’s finest tacos; get dinner made by two of the world’s most legendary chefs; take in the sunshine on a floating pop up bar; and a lot, lot, more…
Skip to: POP UP RESTAURANTS | POP UP BARS
Summer by the River | Free outdoor cinema & live music by Tower Bridge
It’s always nice to spend summer by the river…
…particularly if that river also has food stalls, pop-up bars, live music and outdoor movie screenings.
We don’t claim to be mind readers, but this might have been what the organisers behind Summer by the River were thinking when they set up this free annual festival. They’re back this month to replicate the formula that’s served them so well over the years – bundling up all those beloved outdoor activities and unpacking them across three locations around Tower Bridge (The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and The Pier), for three months over the summer.
Details: Throughout June | Tower Bridge | Free
Romeo + Juliet by Backyard Cinema | Cult Screenings with a live choir
Backyard Cinema’s screenings of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 classic Romeo + Juliet, complete with performances of the soundtrack by a live gospel choir, has been entertaining star-crossed film lovers for the past seven years (excepting the brief hiatus because of that plague upon everyone’s houses). And it’s been so popular, there hasn’t been a single year that it hasn’t sold out completely. So it’s probably pretty good news that it’s now coming to the quite literally palatial grounds of Alexandra Palace for a week of screenings…
Details: 30th May – 4th June | Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY | £34.50
London Design Biennale | See some absurdly cool deign ideas
Okay so, if you’re wondering what a biennale is, it’s a festival that’s held every two years. And in case you’re wondering what a design festival is, it’s basically a showcase of cool ideas and innovation in all their forms – head down to Somerset House and you can “bake bread, witness an AI Robot designing, weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, find inner peace and visit a virtual garden” among many other things.
Details: 1st-25th June | Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA | £23
Open Day At Lambeth Palace Gardens | Wander around an 800 year old garden
Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and has been for the last 8-ish centuries. Presumably, it won’t be long until they pay off the mortgage either, because they’re now opening the venue’s incredible gardens for all on the 2nd of June. Expect tours, crafts, activities, and refreshments of all kinds. Oh, and give the Garden Cafe a visit while you’re there.
Details: 2nd June | Lambeth Palace, SE1 7JU | Free (with a £5 optional donation)
Organoke | Sing-a-long bangers with a twist
Everyone loves a big organ.
And the one in St Giles’ Camberwell is huge.
All the better then to bang out some tunes for a night of Organoke this June. And yes, Organoke is exactly what it sounds like – a portmanteau of ‘organ karaoke’, in which a classically trained organist quite literally pulls out the stops to provide live accompaniment for a raucous evening of sing-a-long bangers, all backed up by a full band, while people sing, dance, drink, and generally soak up the euphoria.
Details: 3rd June | St Giles’, Camberwell Church St, SE5 8RB | £25
Fox Force Five & The Tyranny Of Evil Men | A play set in the Tarantino Cinematic Universe
If you watch the movies of Quentin Tarantino closely, you’ll a) see more bare feet than a workaholic podiatrist and b) notice that they’re all set in the same cinematic universe. Same brands, same characters, same weirdly altered history, and same predilection towards acts of casual bloodshed. So someone had the bright idea of setting a musical in that universe. It opened in LA a couple of years ago, and the reviews were superb. Tarantino himself loved it. And now it’s coming over here…
Details: 6th of June to the 13th of August | Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9BN | £29
The Nudge x The School of Life | An evening dedicated to love as a skill
You’re going to love this.
And we say that with a hawkish confidence because at the start of this month we’re partnering with The School of Life to host an evening exploring the ingredients of love itself. The evening we’re working with them on is going to be held in the bright, plant-laden Peckham Arches, which just so happens to have its own cocktail bar, all tucked away under the railway arches of Peckham Rye. You’ll get a welcome cocktail of choice included in your ticket, mingle a little, and the evening will begin. And today, you’ll be learning about Love As A Skill. Because, the fact is that the vast majority of us will all at one point or another be consumed by love, and may even have our lives defined by it. Yet love is commonly misunderstood as being some supernatural force, or some hard-wired evolutionary impulse. It is not. It’s a skill. And like any skill, it requires practice.
Details: 7th June | Peckham Arches, Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QN | £25 (incl. welcome cocktail of choice)
At Home Farm | Woodland gigs & banquets at the end of the Jubilee line
Old McDonald’s farm had a lot going on.
If reports are to believed, there was everywhere a quack quack.
And yet however bountiful his menagerie, it pales in comparison to Home Farm, an oasis just at the end of the tube map which – aside from being a proper farm growing grains & cereal crops across its 150 acres of beautiful pastoral landscape – is once more staging a magical series of events and residencies this summer, including woodland gigs, a nostalgic summer circus, and outdoor banquets with some of the city’s top chefs. And after two sell-out years, this time they’ve really brought in the cream of the crop.
Details: 7th June – 12th September | Aldenham Road, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3AZ
Pub in the Park | Tom Kerridge’s music & food festival
Pub in the Park is actually quite a great idea. It’s a festival of music and food, only with the quality dials jammed right up to eleven. It’s been around since 2017 (after god cancelled 2020, organiser Tom Kerridge decided to follow suit with his festival) so this will be its sixth year. If it’s anything like the last couple, it’ll see 120,000 revellers drinking & dancing their way around the eight locations they have lined up, including visits to Wimbledon, Dulwich, Chiswick, and St Albans.
Details: 9th-11th June | Dulwich Park | £49+
Philosophy Slam | Chat with brilliant minds at a Soho private members’ club
What is a philosophy slam? What is anything? Well, to answer those one at a time, a philosophy slam is an evening in which a couple of extremely knowledgeable speakers discuss literally anything that the audience cares to ask about over dinner at a private members’ club. They are a Fellow from All Souls College Oxford & a former Church of England priest (Mark Vernon & Robert Rowland Smith respectively). And in case you aren’t au fait with the Oxford University houses, All Souls is by far the hardest to get into, producing some of the world’s most brilliant thinkers. Anyway, it’ll be a wide-ranging discussion covering anything the audience cares to ask about.
And as for the second question? Eh, it’s probably nothing.
Details: 9th June | The Century Club, Soho, W1 | £15
Zoo Nights | See what the animals get up to after dark
Zoo Nights are back this month. So not only can you meet some of the 15k animals currently housed in London Zoo – from pygmy hippos to Galapagos tortoises to chinstrap penguins – but the late-opening evenings are also filled with street food, cocktails, and sleepovers at the lion enclosure.
Details: 9th June – 28th July | ZSL Zoo, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY | £21.50
Meltdown Festival 2023 | A ten day festival at Southbank Centre
Christine & The Queens is having a meltdown… the good kind of Meltdown. The ten-night-long annual Meltdown Festival is returning to the Southbank Centre this month (from 9-18 June) with the French pop sensation chosen to hand-pick another formidable lineup. Expect gigs, parties and more, much of which will be completely free.
Details: 9th-18th June | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Free (mostly, with some ticketed events)
Off The Rails W12 | Live electronica gigs in churches & theatres
Next Door Records are going Off The Rails, and we couldn’t be happier for them.
See, this month the vinyl aficionados are staging their very first local arts festival this June, bringing together dozens of artists to bridge the gap between live music and electronica. You’ll be able to catch gigs, DJs and more across 8 stages hosted in a cluster of venues around their Shepherd’s Bush home, from their own shop, to the Bush Theatre, the atmospheric St. Stephen’s Church, and the quietly grand Bush Hall next door to Next Door Records.
Details: 10th June | Across Shepherd’s Bush, W12 | £40
World Naked Bike Ride | Saving the environment. With nudity.
If the phrase ‘naked uncle’ strikes fear into your heart, and you happen to have an older male relative with a bicycle, then we suggest you avoid central London on the 10th of this month. Because that’s when the World Naked Bike Ride is wending its way through town, simultaneously celebrating the human form, protesting car-filled streets, promoting healthy & environmentally friendly transport, and generally freaking people out as they streak through the city.
Details: 10th June | Across London
Open Gardens Weekend | Access hidden gardens, secret rooftops, and historic green spaces
The London Open Gardens weekend is essentially a chance to take a peek in some of the city’s otherwise hidden green spaces, historic gardens, exclusive rooftop greenery, and private community enclosures. Tickets will net you entry to about 100 gardens throughout the weekend, which will turn the city into an all-you-can-stroll buffet…
Details: 10th & 11th June | Across London | £20
Bittersuite | Prepare to be blindfolded & immersed in music
So, this is a bit of a weird one.
Bittersuite is hitting the Southbank Centre this month, and the idea is quite ambitious: to take a classical concert, and give each audience member the experience of synaesthesia. That takes a moment to explain, but the short version is that you’ll get a one-on-one guide (usually a dancer) who’ll blindfold you, then take you through the concert space as the music plays. They’ll release scents beneath your nose, feed you with interesting tidbits of flavour, tap rhythms on your skin, dance with you, and more, all to mark moments in the music, and pull you deeper into it. You’ll hear violins played inches from your ears and feel the thrum of the bass notes in your chest. It’s truly active listening done in a way you’ve never seen before…
Details: 11th, 12th, 14th, and 18th of June | Southbank Centre | Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | £16.50
Boulepark | Boules & cocktails on the Southbank
Launching this month, Boulepark is a basically, well, a boule park. Only, as well as having 8 dedicated lanes, you’ll also find beer, cocktails and Jäegerbombs at their dedicated bar, plus a trio of street food vendors (burgers from Nanny Bill’s, Lebanese from Lil’ Watan, and Mexico-eats from Rico Burrito). They’ve already run a couple of test pop up events, and they went down pretty well, so this one looks like it could be great.
Details: Launching 15th June | 101 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP | £25
DEBUT at the Brunel Museum | Classical concerts in unusual spaces
DEBUT first debuted back in 2015.
They’re a group of extremely talented classical musicians who decided to band together in order to play accessible, fun concerts in interesting & unusual spaces. Since then, they’ve put on hundreds of shows in places like lighthouses, ancient operating theatres and Victorian merchant ships, becoming magnets for effusively acclamatory reviews along the way. And the Thames Tunnel Shaft at the Brunel Museum is both very interesting and highly unusual…
Details: 15th June | The Brunel Museum | Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £28
A Pinch of VAULT | 4 weeks and 60 shows of comedy and theatre
So, the VAULT Festival has been kicked out of the vaults under Waterloo, which is sort of like kicking the Edinburgh Fringe out of Edinburgh, but no-one is safe from the scourge of London property prices. And instead of whining about it, they’re launching a mini-festival right next door. Called A Pinch Of VAULT, it’ll take place in their above-ground cafe & performance space The Glitch. Expect the likes of improv, works-in-progress, and an interactive game of Dungeons ‘n’ Bastards…
Details: Until 18th Jun | The Glitch, 134 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, SE1 7AE | £5+
Lates at Somerset House | Free Shindigs in an 18th Century Palace
The Lates at Somerset House, which kicked off last year, are back for round two. Occurring triannually, these grand events span the entire venue, featuring exhibitions-inspired activities, artist-led workshops, curator-guided talks, and tours. Between soaking up art and knowledge, you can score an array of street food, pop-up bars, and DJs. These not-to-miss cultural feasts offer unique insights, food, music, and most importantly, a whole ton of art.
Details: 21st June | Lates at Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA | Free
Illusionaries | A mind-blowing feast of otherworldly digital art
Just reading the ‘about’ part of the Illusionaries website is a pretty transcendent experience. You’ll be promised that you’ll get to navigate “the enchanted nexus of art and illusion”, and in doing so “prepare to be left breathless by dazzling, thought-provoking illusions that challenge your perception of reality.”
So, basically, you’re going to see some mind-blowing sh*t.
And in fairness to the creators, you need to sell a show like this as a transformative experience because A) it helps to build expectation and anticipation in an interesting way without spoiling it by telling everyone precisely what’s in store, and B) it sounds cool. So with that in mind, what is in store? Well, it all sounds rather fun…
Details: 22nd June – 24th September | Crossrail Pl, Canary Wharf, E14 5AR | £38
London Action Festival | Finally, a festival dedicated to action films
It seems weird that it’s taken this long to get a festival dedicated to action films, but one finally exploded onto the scene last year, and generally kicked a lot of asses. So now it’s back for the sequel. Expect screenings of The Raid 2 with director Garth Evans, a look into the villains of John Wick with Scott Adkins, an Impossible Action Film Quiz, and a chat with The Bodyguard showrunner Jed Mercurio…
Details: 24th & 25th June | Various Locations | £27+
ARGComFest | London’s answer to Edinburgh Fringe
When the organisers behind ARGComFest dubbed it ‘London’s greatest comedy festival’, they weren’t joking…
Year after year, without fail (besides those 2020-2021 years…), the festival conveniently brings the laughs from Edinburgh Fringe down to us; a mix of the biggest standups in the game and those rising up the ranks, in what sort of serves as an entree to Scotland’s main course. 2023’s edition is back at its usual stomping ground, Shoreditch Town Hall, from 30th June until 2nd July, with the force of over 60 comedians hurling stand-up at you from across three stages as they fine-tune their methods before the Fringe…
Details: 30th June – 2nd July | Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT | £20-£52
The BBC Earth Experience | Immerse yourself in an Attenborough documentary
If you head to Earl’s Court this month, you’ll get to witness the sheer majesty of one of our planet’s most precious resources: David Attenborough.
He’s provided his velvety, highly informed, and hypnotically engaging voice to the BBC Earth Experience, which is an extremely ambitious affair to say the least: it’s all housed in a new, massive, purpose-built venue in West London into which they’ve stuffed some vast, 360-degree, multi-angle digital screens for you to submerge yourself into the natural world…
Details: Until 31st July | The Daikin Centre, Earl’s Court, Empress Place, SW6 1TW | £28.50
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre | Balmy evening shows
Here’s some dramatic news: the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is back open for business. Surprisingly for its size – it seats a cool 1,253 (capacity was increased by 53 seats over winter) – it’s a place you wouldn’t really stumble across unless you knew it was there. Hidden away in a grassy corner of Regent’s Park, it’s a sprawling outdoor stage surrounded by a canopy of trees and rows of amphitheatre-style seating, that all allows for the kind of mind-blowing staging that’s hard to get inside…
Details: Until 3rd September | Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU | £25
Classical Concerts in A Car Park | Highly creative shows in a Peckham multi-storey
London proudly boasts some of the world’s greatest concert halls: the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre, the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican… and a multi-storey carpark in Peckham. The unlikely pairing is part of not-for-profit organisation Bold Tendencies’ annual summer programme, where they’ve transformed an abandoned multi-storey car park from a place where people leave their vehicles and loiter late at night, to a cultural hub of sculpture art, literature and music, with a rooftop bar thrown in for good measure.
Details: Until 16th September | Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | £6+
Go see a movie outdoors
This list is absolutely roofless.
The weather has messed us with temperatures balmy enough to while away an evening outdoors in front of a big screen. There are free film festivals, floating cinemas, rooftop cinemas, arty cinemas, canalside cinemas, and luxurious pop ups – and you can check out the main players here, in our guide to London’s outdoor cinemas. Orrr, see every outdoor screening in London this summer listed by date…
Eat in the Sunshine
We’ve never met this guy Al Fresco…
…but we like the way he thinks about outdoor dining.
Especially when the weather gods see fit to bless London with some decent weather – and that’s where these restaurants with outdoor seating come in to play. The city’s overflowing with sun-drenched terraces, riverside dining, rooftops, balconies, and hidden courtyards – as long as you know where to find them. And to ensure you do, we’ve put together your ultimate al fresco dining guide. See the best London al fresco restaurants…
Check out an Exhibition
One of the great advantages of living in London is that you have access to more culture than a librarian face-planting into a petri dish. And we’ve collated the best places to go in our guide to… the best exhibitions on in London.
Go To The Theatre
You may laugh. You may cry. You may throw up, or potentially do all three. See The Best Shows On At The Theatre Now
Cariñito Tacos x Oranj | Mexico City tacos in a Shoreditch natural wine bar
Natural wine haven Oranj is absolutely nailing their kitchen residencies, and this month is no exception: they’re enlisting Mexico City darlings Cariñito Tacos to bring some of their creative, wine-friendly bites to town. There’ll be a quartet of tacos on offer, ranging from aubergine confit, to Thai-style pulled pork; cauliflower with citrus aromatics; and 8-spice pork confit.
Details: Until 29th July | Oranj, 14 Bacon Street, E1 6LF
Monkey 47 Presents The Wundersarnie | Partner Content
This month is kicking off in style with unveiling of Monkey 47 gin and Max Halley’s Wundersarnie, one of the greatest sandwiches in all the land.
It’s been lovingly created after days of prolific experimentation (and sandwich eating) by all involved in the Black Forest (home to Monkey 47’s Schwarzwald gin). And the wurst-laden treat, über-charged with Monkey 47’s secret botanical spice mix, is going to be yours for the princely sum of nada at an oompah-fuelled pop-up happening at Waterloo’s Leake Street Arches, from 4pm-8pm (alongside refreshing Monkey 47 G&Ts, too).
And if you can’t make it? Fear not. You can head down to Max’s Sandwich Shop 1st-15th June and delight in the specially created wurst (as well as a Monkey 47 tipple) there instead.
Details: 1st June (at Leake Street), 2nd-15th June (at Max’s Sandwich Shop) | Leake Street Arches, Waterloo, SE1 7NN
Chelsea Physic Garden Supperclub | Masterchef: The Professionals winner cooks in a botanical garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden has been around for the past 300 years, and now it has fiiiiiinally come into its own with a series of supperclubs taking advantage of all the goodness they grown there. And this month, they’re bussing in Masterchef: The Professionals winner Nikita Pathakji to liberally pluck from the garden and create a feast with what she finds…
Details: 4th June | Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Rd, SW3 4HS | £85
Invasive Species | A tasting menu of Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed is a bastard. It outcompetes native vegetation, damages buildings, and creates flood risks. The solution? Eat it. In Japan it’s considered something of a delicacy, so pioneering zero-waste chefs Matt Orlando (Amass) and Douglas McMaster (Silo) are teaming up to create a six-course tasting menu centred around the stuff.
Details: 6th June | Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN | £95
Selin Kiazim at The Sea The Sea | Turkish seafood at its finest
Selin Kiazim is one of the best Turkish chefs not currently residing in Turkey. Her restaurants like Oklava & Kyseri were legendary. And now she’s showing offer her seafood prowess at The Sea The Sea in Hackney. She’ll be taking over the spaceship-style chef’s counter for two days to serve up oyster bostana, cuttlefish sucuk, crab borek, trout & sour salad, John Dory, and a lot more…
Details: 6th & 7th June | The Sea, The Sea Hackney, 337 Acton Mews, E8 4EA | £125
Alain Ducasse & Wolfgang Puck @ 45 Park Lane | Two legendary chefs team up
The dream team of legendary chefs Alain Ducasse (three Michelin Stars) and Wolfgang Puck (name-dropped in Die Hard) is coming to 45 Park Lane this month for a one-off dinner of staggering decadence, and a commensurately staggering price tag. Expect six courses of scallops with Kristal caviar, Cornish turbot, Wagyu beef, and Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse.
Details: 7th June | 45 Park Ln, W1K 1PN | £633 (optional £230 wine pairing)
Soho Food Feast | The ultimate London restaurant crawl is back
Back for its 11th year, the Soho Food Feast returns this month in order to feed both your belly & soul, by raising money for the Soho Parish Primary school. It does this using the age-old method of packing some of the best restaurant talent in the city into one lush garden, and getting them to serve up snack-sized portions of their signature dishes. We’re taking Rochelle Canteen, Kricket, St. John, Brat, Bar Crispin, Norma, Caravel, Nessa and Bao, to name a just a few. And this year, for the first time there’ll be a special preview dinner in the gardens of St Anne’s Churchyard on Wardour Street, to kick off the proceedings in style…
Details: 9th-11th June |St Anne’s Gardens, Wardour Street, W1D 6QZ | £15 (preview dinner £120)
Family dinners at Caravel | A floating supperclub in Islington
Caravel, the floating restaurant from the Spiteri brothers, is now home to a series of supperclubs they’re calling Family Dinners. The fact that every evening meal made by the Spiteri Brothers is technically a family dinner is apparently neither here no there – instead they’re inviting in a series of excellent chefs to recreate meals from their own childhoods. This month will see Cynthia Shanmugalingam, hot off the launch of there excellent debut restaurant Rambutan, to bring some fiery Sri Lankan nostalgia to the table…
Details: 13th June | Caravel, 172 Shepherdess Walk, N1 7JL | £40
Outcrop | Secret Cinema team-members open a popup restaurant
Outcrop definitely registers about a 9.0 on the exiting-new-things-o-meter.
The talent behind it alone is enough to drive some wide-eyed wonder as to what they have in store: it’ll see a trio of Secret Cinema team members (former, current, and freelance) teaming up with the guys from Michelin Star winning Luca, and the duo behind the excellent AngloThai. And then as a kind of concrete cherry, they’re moving into the gorgeously Brutalist space at 180 Strand for a three month residency to take their ideas for a spin…
Details: 23rd June – end of September | 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA
Joké & Friends | West African dishes in Borough
If you don’t know Adejoké Bakare, she ran Chishuru, which was one of Brixton’s best restaurants – that blew everyone away with terrific West African dishes – until it closed last year. The great news is that she’s found a new home already (Fitzrovia), the not-so-great news is that it still won’t open for a while (hopefully towards in the end of summer) and swinging wildly back to great news is the fact that she’s found a temporary home at the Globe Tavern to pass the time and fill the void until then.
Details: Until 1st July 2023 | The Globe Tavern, 8 Bedale St, SE1 9AL | £30 (lunch) £45 (dinner)
Philli Armitage-Mattin x Kebab Queen | Masterchef finalist takes over a hidden restaurant
Kebab Queen doesn’t have a chef. He’s going on a sabbatical to spend time with family. So the talented Philli Armitage-Mattin is filling in, and making the place her own personal fiefdom for the three-month stretch. You may have seen her in the finals of MasterChef: The Professionals, but she’s had a hell of a career besides that, training under Gordon Ramsay, cutting her teeth at two Michelin-starred Den in Tokyo, and running her own lauded residency at Number One Park Lane…
Details: Until 17th September | Downstairs at Maison Bab, Mercer’s Walk, WC2H 9QE | £120
KERB presents: The Table | A 70m long table on the Southbank
KERB are opening a summer market outside the National Theatre, and it’s going to pack in eight street food traders, a couple of bars, and precisely one table. Yes, one. It’ll be 70 meters long, with space for 200 people. So, the salt & pepper shakers will probably be in different postcodes, but it’ll look amazing. And the food will be pretty decent too, spanning Lucky’s Hot Chicken, Sicilian-style deep pan from Bad Boy Pizza Society, and chocolate orange negroni flavour Big Kid Ice Cream.
Details: Until 23rd September | The National Theatre, SE1 9PX
The BBQ Club | Pop up ‘cueing by the river
Jimmy Garcia, prince of pop ups, tycoon of temporary restaurants, baron of BBQs …is back.
His BBQ Club has sold out bewilderingly quickly every year, and because he’s not a total idiot, he’s brought it back. He’s returning to his tried & tested spot on the Southbank, where the Thames-side venue will be split into two distinct areas: a sit down restaurant overlooking the river, and a street food space downstairs…
Details: Throughout June | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Experimental Sandwich Shop | American-style subs in Southwark
The Experimental Sandwich Shop isn’t so much ‘experimental’ as it is ‘tried-and-tested by millions of New Yorkers over the decades’. Because it’s a subway sandwich shop, directly inspired by the Big Apple’s own plethora of them. Expect gigantic meatball subs and aubergine parms…
Details: Throughout June | St.Thomas Street, Southwark
Crunch | Excellent brioche sandos in a pub
Fancy an experimental brioche sandwich from a popup in East London but not sure where to go? It’s Crunch time. That’s the name of this particular temporary eatery, who’ve settled into the Prince Arthur pub for the foreseeable with their bread-wrapped menu. Expect the likes of flat iron steak with torched provolone & chimichurri, Southern fried chicken with baby pickles & allioli, and za’atar roasted aubergine with harissa hummus.
Details: Throughout June | Prince Arthur, 49 Brunswick Pl, N1 6EB
Tiella at the Compton Arms | Italian food in a classic North London boozer
The Compton Arms always gets in great residencies. The last two – Four Legs and BELLY – have both impressed massively, so they’re taking a slight risk with Tiella because a) it’s not named after a body part which seems to be the theme here, and b) it’s the debut of Italian chef Dara Klein, who has not yet helmed her own restaurant. But luckily, it turns out that she almost literally grew up in her family’s restaurant kitchen, and soaked up experience the whole time, then worked her way up through the ranks at places like Brawn, Trullo, and Sager + Wilde.
So it’ll probably work out alright.
Details: Throughout June | Compton Arms, 4 Compton Avenue, London, N1 2XD
esti | Australian-Greek fusion in a cocktail bar
If you’ve never had Australian-Greek fusion food before – and we’ll take a wild, stab-in-the-dark guess here and say no, you probably haven’t – then get ready to say an Aegean g’day to the latest popup to hit TT Liquor. It’s called esti (the lower case is intentional), and it’s the work of head chef Sal Galasso, who’s spend the last decade working at some of Oz’s finest restaurants. Now, he’ll be cooking up ‘straight-off-the-coals’ pork souvlaki, twice-cooked lamb ribs with Australian ‘desert dust’ spice mix, and smokey aubergine with brown butter & fried peanuts. It’s due to stick around for six months… but that’s just an esti, mate.
Details: Until September | TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Rd, E2 8AA
Whole Beast at The Fat Walrus | Nose-to-tail in Lewisham
Whole Beast, as the name somewhat suggests, specialise in nose-to-tail cooking. That means an ever-changing menu of extremely fresh, and frequently inventive dishes, which they’ll be serving up to punters at The Fat Walrus for the foreseeable. Expect the likes of green chorizo tacos, pork chops with apple ketchup, burnt hispi with pork fat, and more…
Details: Throughout June | The Fat Walrus, 44 Lewisham Way, SE14 6NP
Little Bao Boy | Bao buns in Soho
Despite only launching in 2016, Little Bao Boy already has half a dozen locations across the UK making it a not quite so little – and it’s gotten larger still, thanks to a long term residency at the Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho. Expect a concise menu of half a dozen bao (beef brisket, chilli salt tofu, Korean fried chicken, etc) plus pulled pork fried, veg gyozas, and – prepare yourself – deep fried sweet bao covered in cinnamon sugar, berry compote, and condensed milk.
Details: Throughout June | Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NG
Bar Night at Novelty Automation | Pop up bar in a surreal arcade
Novelty Automation has some truly weird arcades. There’s a Money Laundering cash drop, an ‘Auto Frisker’ that will pat you down like a mechanical bouncer, and a ‘Small Hadron Collider’ among many others. It’s like satire meets surrealism meets stainless steel. And for one night a month, there’s a pop up bar there too.
Details: 1st June | 1a Princeton St, Holborn, WC1R 4AX | 5pm-9pm
The Floating Bar | Buoyant booze in Paddington
Bobbing up and down in the canal by Merchant Square, the Floating Bar will be providing cocktails, street food, and live DJs all summer. It’s mostly just a place to sit, with the drinks provided by next-door bar The Lockhouse, but in this weather, we’re not complaining.
Details: 1st June – 26th July | Floating Pocket Park, Merchant Square, Paddington, W2 1JX
LOAH Taproom | Low-&-no alcohol bar in Hackney
LOAH are a non-alcoholic beer brand. Not a beer brand who happen to make a couple of low-percentage numbers, but a dedicated, hangover-free company. And they’re launching what they claim to be the nation’s first completely non-alcoholic taproom in Hackney Downs this month, featuring an in-store record shop, a rotating gallery and exhibition space, and plans for movie nights & supperclubs too…
Details: Opens 3rd June | Arch D, Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
La Piñata | A massive tequila & mezcal festival
Tequila is gradually taking over the world. It just took over vodka as the best selling liquor in the US last year, and it’s making headway in Europe now. And part of that headway is La Piñata, a massive festival of cactus-hooch featuring 20 producers & a whole bunch of street food to soak it up.
Details: 9th-10th June | Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF | £26.80
Junipalooza | A gigantic celebration of gin
This one isn’t complicated. If you like gin, you’ll like Junipalooza. If you love gin, you’ll love Junipalooza. Because this booxzefest is going to amass dozens of the finest bathtub-wielding distillers in the game, then throw in some masterclasses, food stalls, cocktail bars, music, and entertainment.
Details: 10th-11th June | Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF | £15-£30
Midnight Apothecary | Botanical cocktails on a rooftop
It’s gotten juuuust warm enough for Midnight Apothecary to reopen their botanical rooftop bar. You’ll start your evening in their charming fairylit urban garden, complete with salvaged garden furniture, firepits, and thriving vegetable and herb patches, before descending down for a tour of the Brunel Tunnel shaft too.
Details: Fridays & Saturdays in June | Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £8
Oriole | Excellent cocktails in Southwark
Oriole is back. The globe-hopping cocktail bar, whose excellent menu jumped from continent to continent, sadly had to close due to the redevelopment of the Smithfield Market area. Well, now it’s doing a little hopping of its own, landing temporarily in the Hoxton Hotel down in Southwark until it can find a new permanent home. Expect their usual blend of live music, delicious cocktails, and exotic bric-a-brac from across the planet…
Details: Until 1st July | Albie, 40 Blackfriars Rd, SE1 8NY
Amie Wine Studio | Rose in Eccleston Yards
Eccleston Yards is a lovely place at any time of year, and when the sun comes out and the rosé wine bottles pop themselves, it’s even better. We only mention it because it happens to be home to the first ever pop up from Aime Wine Studio, who’ve gone all-out on their debut with something that’s part bar, part wine shop, and part gallery…
Details: Throughout June | Eccleston Yards, SW1W
Adam’s | LGBTQ+ friendly pop up bar
So far, Dalston café Snackbar has been great on the snacks, and a little lighter on the bar. But that’s changed now that Adam Caddy (ex-Quo Vadis and Brasserie Zedel) has taken over on Thursday-Saturday evenings with his pop-up bar, Adam’s. Created in response to the loss of LGBTQ+ spaces in the city, it’s an inclusive bar serving up classic cocktails, Two Tribes brews and a short-but-sweet wine list across the minimalist café spaces and the leafy, fairy-lit garden.
Details: Thursday – Saturday evenings throughout June | Snackbar, 20 Dalston Lane, E8 3AZ
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