Ideally, we’d all be escaping on a city break or making a quick dash to the countryside this bank holiday weekend. But, if you can’t quite fit those in, there’s still plenty of brilliant reasons to stay in London for the whole three days. From watching the Ashes while enjoying an Indian feast, to discovering the UK’s most accomplished abstract expressionist, here’s everything you need to know about how to spend the bank holiday in London.
Head to Brigadiers for a cricket-inspired feast
Test three of the Ashes is this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend the whole bank holiday in front of the TV. Brigadiers, the Indian army mess-inspired restaurant, is serving its all-day cricket feast alongside a live feed of all the action straight from The Oval. Washing down the five-course menu is the restaurant’s selection of cocktails with twist, like the Brigadiers Dark & Stormy, with Ron Zacapa 23, lime and ginger and coriander seed soda.
£80 per person, 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR, brigadierslondon.com
Discover John Hoyland at Tate Britain
This bank holiday weekend marks the opening of a dedicated exhibition of John Hoyland’s work at Tate Britain, as part of its Spotlight series. The foremost British abstract expressionist artist of the twentieth century, Hoyland is know for his dramatic canvases, and how he pushed the boundaries of painting with his bold use of colour and ever-changing interpretation of what an abstract painting could be. For the Spotlight series, curator Andrew Wilson has selected six of his works to display, showcasing Hoyland’s artistic arc from his huge colour-stained canvases of the 1960s, to his semi-figurative work of the 1990s.
From 26 August, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG, tate.org.uk
Go carnival crazy at Pergola Paddington
Of course, if you’re staying in London this bank holiday there’s a high chance you’ll be heading to Notting Hill for carnival. Get yourself ready to party with a stop off at Pergola Paddington first. This weekend it will have live DJs on the decks, as well as two special carnival-inspired cocktails: the Jamaican Duppy Share Rum with ginger beer, ginger rum, ginger, lime and mint, and the Carnival Spritz with Aperol, prosecco, grapefruit juice and soda. To fuel up, check out the food stands’ one-off carnival specials, like the jerk lamb schwarma with chilli lime Bajan slaw from Babek Brothers, and An Choi’s bao buns with jerk chicken.
4 Kingdom Street, London W2 6PY, pergolalondon.com
Covent Garden Cool Down
This weekend’s going to be scorcher. Make the heat that much more bearable with a visit to Covent Garden Cool Down, a five-day ice cream festival showcasing the best makers London has to offer. Serving over fifty flavours of ice cream across the event, the festival will be scooping up everything from artisanal gelato to macaron ice cream sandwiches. Plus, there’ll be frozen cocktails to wash it all down with.
The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RA, coventgarden.london
Edgelands: Architecture At The City’s Limits walking tour
Join The London Ambler, aka Mike Althorpe, an urban historian and architectural researcher, for a fascinating tour around the ancient borders of the City of London. Following a route first defined by the Romans 2,000 years ago, it explores the buildings, streets and spaces that have grown up in the shadow of the financial heart of the city. From medieval sanctuaries to modernist utopias, this is for anyone who fancies a little light education alongside their bank holiday fun.
£12, 10.30AM-12.30PM, 24 August, departs from Trinity Square Gardens, London EC3N 4D, eventbrite.co.uk