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 a Spanish festival to barbecuing up a storm, here’s how to spend your valuable time off without leaving the comfort of the capital.
Feria de Londres
Every spring, all across Spain people take part in a traditional week-long feria, or fair. But you don’t need to book a last minute flight – the celebrations are also coming to London this bank holiday, and setting up camp on the Southbank for a weekend of flamenco dancing, tapas eating and sherry drinking. The atmosphere will be set with regular live performances from musicians, singers and dancers, as well as food stalls from some of London’s top Spanish restaurants, including Brindisa and Camino.
24-26 May, Bernie Spain Gardens, South Bank, London SE1 9PH, feriadelondres.com
Jerk & Beyond Festival
If Caribbean food is your thing, then Jerk & Beyond Festival is the place to head this weekend. Hosted in Old Spitalfields Market, the festival is an opportunity to experience new dishes from across the region, cocktails from Plantation Rum, and rum tasting sessions.
25-27 May, 107B Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London E1 6BG, jerkandbeyond.com
Mare St Market and Ridgeview garden terrace
Bank holiday Monday handily marks the start of English Wine Week, meaning there’s no better excuse to spend your day off sipping wine in the sun. Make Mare Street Market your destination for just that, as it’s opened a garden terrace with Ridgeview, the Sussex vineyard specialising in English sparkling wine. The team will be on hand to pour glasses of fizz between midday and 7pm over the weekend, with the option of pairing each wine with a specially crafted food dish from the BBQ.
25-27 May, 117 Mare Street, London E8 4RU, marestreetmarket.com
Bank holiday brunch at Roast
Take your bank holiday brunch up a notch. Borough Market stalwart Roast will be serving an all-day brunch menu on Monday, featuring souped-up classics like truffled Eggs Benedict, or buckwheat pancakes with smoked salmon, egg, shallots and capers. But if you’re after something heartier to beat the bank holiday hangover, never fear: the restaurant’s name-sake roasts will also be available, including pork belly and 48-day dry aged roast beef. Wash all that down with a cocktail from its enticing drinks menu, and you’ll be right as rain.
27 May, The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL, roast-restaurant.com
Summer sessions at The Spread Eagle
This bank holiday marks the kick off of The Spread Eagle’s Sunday Sessions summer events. Over the weekend the vegan pub will be hosting reggae tunes from DJ James Suckling, alongside a plant-based ‘Ribs and Roots’ BBQ menu that includes sticky glazed jackfruit ‘ribs’ made with jackfruit, corn with coriander butter, mustard potato salad, and lashings of hot sauce. Held in The Spread Eagle’s spacious beer garden, it’s a great way to mark the start of summer.
26 May, 224 Homerton High St, Homerton, London E9 6AS, thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk
Grilling up a storm at Chotto Matte
Speaking of BBQ, Monday also marks the start of National BBQ Week, which sees Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte launching an outdoor grill on Frith Street in Soho for the week. The BBQ will cook up three dishes for hungry passersby: halloumi teriyaki, courgette and eryngii mushroom and pollo den miso. Each will be served with a plateful of spring salad, sweet potato and rice. And for those who have a little more time, the restaurant will also offer a sit-down BBQ platter, including teriyaki short rib beef, chorizo and lamb chops.
27 May, 11-13 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4RB, chotto-matte.com