Things to do in London this bank holiday weekend (May 26 — 29)
Another bumper bank holiday weekend is upon us and once again London calls us out for more. More eating, more drinking, more music, more art, in short, more of what we love; revelling.
This week’s guide looks not only at the best of what’s on over the long weekend, but at a handful of tickets to bag this week before they sell out.
The new(ish) opening: Giacco’s
There are some things which make us disproportionately happy. A cold pint on a warm day. A sandwich that hits just right. Or a cosy neighbourhood joint that looks to be doing everything properly. The latter is true of Giacco’s near Finsbury Park, who quietly opened ten weeks ago to deeply happy punters. The wines are natty and the plates are Italian (and, importantly, affordable). Pleasingly straightforward salame cacciatore and mortadella con pistachio are £5 a plateful and the wines begin at about £7 a glass. The bottles are perhaps a touch punchy, starting as they do upwards of £30, but simply bowls of artichoke hearts and pasta will quickly assuage. Buon appetito.
176 Blackstock Road, N5 1HA, giaccos.bar
The bar collaboration: Coral Room x Limantour Licorería
There might be few better drinking dens than the elegant Coral Room housed in the Bloomsbury hotel, which hums joyfully under the gaze of the talented Giovanni Spezziga. This week it begins hosting a two-week residency in partnership with Licorería Limantour, a renowned cocktail bar in Mexico City regarded by many (read: World’s 50 Best) as one of the top bars in the world. The residency kicked off on World Paloma Day (who knew) and lasts until June 4 with a special menu focusing on this heroic, often overlooked cocktail. Tequila arrives via Mijenta Tequila, a highly prized liquor sourced from the highlands of Jalisco. For lovers of this fresh summer-ready cocktail, this one’s not to miss.
16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN, thecoralroom.co.uk
The headline London show: RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Occasionally a big headline exhibition lives up to expectations and for green-fingered lovers of all that grows, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one such occasion. An event which for many marks the start of London’s summer season, this year’s show is set to be something special. Dense planting of Korean-origin herbs and shrubs, uprooted trees nestled amongst carefully designed topiary and tranquil water features surrounding set stone cairns are amongst the myriad expected show gardens for which RHS has become globally renowned.
May 23-27, Tickets from £65, Royal Hospital Chelsea, SW3 4SR, rhs.org.uk
The Sunday night special: Cross the Tracks
It should come to no surprise to readers of reveller that we love live music and this summer, the capital has some of the most diverse performances around. A lot seems to be kicking off this weekend but Cross the Tracks, a south London celebration of all things jazz, funk and soul caught our eye. Son Little, Yazmin Lacey and American super duo NxWorries (Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge) all feature in a sparkling Sunday line up. On from midday in Brockwell park, this one is a must for music fans.
May 28, from midday, Brockwell Park, SE24 9BJ, xthetracks.com
The Party Bus: Be At One’s 90’s-inspired tour bus
Famed for its two-for-one happy hour deals, many a night out in London either begins or ends on the small dancefloors of Be at One, belting out Rihanna’s ‘We found Love’ whilst debating an order of two more 1am mojito’s. This Friday though, it’s not the dancefloor but rather the streets that the party is at, with Be at One rolling out a massive nineties inspired party-bus. From lunch till 6pm, the celebration marks 25 years of Be at One with cocktails, music and late nineties nostalgia, parked at Victoria Station. Dubbed the ‘Vengabus’ (I know…) it’s a birthday bash not to be missed.
Friday 26 until 6pm, London Victoria Station, SW1W 9TP
The ticket to food discovery: African Caribbean Food Ways Day
The British Library is something of an under-utilised resource but the fantastic array of food talks, seminars, courses and events they put on deserves recognition. This week, as a key part of the 2023 Food Season, the African Caribbean Food Ways Day celebrates the food, culture and politics of some of the world’s best-loved cuisine. The days talks feature chefs including Adejoke Bakare of Chishuru, Tatale’s Akwasi Brenya-Mensa and the Evening Standard’s chief restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa. With both in person and online tickets available from just £6, this one is not to be missed.
May 27, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB, bl.uk/events/food-season
The show to book now: The No Jiggery Pokery Comedy Show by Cawston Press
London loves a comedy show, and one that also contributes to a good cause? Sign us up. Next month Cawston Press (unlikely suspects for a comedy gig, granted) are laying on the event at the Clapham Grand which has a stellar reputation for live comedy south of the river. The line up of comics include Lou Sanders, Pierre Novellie, Ahir Shah and Glenn Moore, who are set to join together for a night of stand-up in support of Fareshare, a leading UK charity which combats hunger and food waste in Britain. Comedy and a good cause; sounds a winner to us.
June 8, Clapham Grand, cawstonpress.com
The dinner ticket to book now: Farokh Engineer at Kutir
The ICC World Test Championship final starts on the June 7 and for cricket afficionados to get into the swing (sorry) of things, chef Rohit Ghai’s acclaimed Kutir restaurant is hosting cricketing legend Farokh Engineer for a sweeping (so sorry) Indian menu. Five courses will be served over (again, sorry) an evening replete with cricket history, fabulous food and an auction of one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Fans of a paneer timur, prawn masala and a lamb roganjosh should come for the food, fans of the sport should stay for the Q&A.
June 5, Tickets £75, 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS , kutir.vouchable.co.uk