The best things to do in London over the August bank Holiday Weekend.
Swim in Hyde Park,The Serpentine
If it’s a hot one this bank holiday weekend, don your cozzie and cool off in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lido (outdoor swimming pool). Inflatable lilos optional.
Until September 12, 10am-6pm. £4
Why leave London for a festival when Shoreditch is having its very own street party? Courtesy of The Book Club, there’ll be art installations, dressing up, live bands and DJ sets from the likes of vintage-modern spinners The Correspondents and pop icon Little Boots. There’ll also be all kinds of food from healthy Japanese to good old-fashioned meat, courtesy of The Meat Wagon. And once you’ve stuffed your face and danced your feet off, play musical bingo, check out an exhibition on the tragic muse – think Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot – before playing your own tunes (bring your own CDs) at the Bring & Share DIY disco.
Sunday August 28, 12pm-9pm. Free
Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
Tube: Old Street
Shoulder Pads Sunday, Maggie’s Club
Serving Slush Puppie cocktails and decked out with Rubik’s cube tables and Sonic The Hedgehog murals, Maggie’s nightclub in Fulham is all about bringing back the 1980s. True to form, this Bank Holiday, they’re celebrating power dressing with a shoulder pads party, and if yours are the biggest, you’ll win a mystery 80s prize.
Sunday August 28, 10.30pm-3.30am. £15
328 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL
Tube: Fulham Broadway
Clubbing in Paradise, Kensal Green
Wander over bleary-eyed from the carnival to catch Stereo MCs, Jack Beats, Ms Dynamite and Ayah Marar playing live.
Sunday 28 August, 5pm-3am. £15
19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE
Tube: Kensal Green
London’s Fringe, Camden
Missing the Edinburgh Fringe this month? Catch the last weekend of Camden’s hilarious version of the Scottish festie, with comedy, theatre and dance acts across the area. Highlights are Guardian Reader at The Camden Head and violent granny shocker Bye Bye Bernie at Etcetera Theatre.
Until August 28. £5+
Tube: Camden Town
Party with Whiskey Tears, Angel
The Aussie bloggers and promoters are presenting a DJ set from a secret guest who shared the bill with Pulp at Wireless.
Friday August 26, 9pm-2am. £4
44 Essex Road, N1 8LN
Venture beyond the Moulin Rouge, Strand
A series of posters by iconic French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec of 1890s Moulin Rouge star Jane Avril. The on-and-off-stage images explore all aspects of her life as an embodiment of bohemian Paris.
Until September 18. £6
Somerset House, WC2R 0RN
Buy affordable vintage
For all your retro homeware, vintage clothes and vinyl needs – plus cabaret, burlesque and vaudeville – hit Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Spitalfields. There’ll be 1940s style cupcakes and tea plus independent sellers and fashion experts touting vintage, re-worked and handmade clothes. While you won’t find the clothes on the high street, you also won’t find the prices there either. Organisers pledge that customers will pay up to 75 per cent less.
Sunday August 29, 10am-6pm. Free
The Old Spitalfields Market,
16 Horner Street, EC1 6EW
Tube: Liverpool Street
Party at the beach
Didn’t book that beach getaway? Party with Caribbean sand between your toes just around the corner from Oxford Circus at Zebrano’s Love Island – because they’ve shipped in five tonnes of the stuff to make the place look like a tropical island. There’ll also be a BBQ and bucket cocktails aplenty.
August 26-29, 11am-3am. Free
12-14 Ganton Street
Tube: Oxford Circus
Pub quiz, Angel
Brush up on your pop culture and end the bank holiday on a high note by winning the Rough Trade pub quiz at The Lexington.
Monday August 29, 8pm-10pm. £6
96-98 Pentonville Road
Brazil Rocks, West End
If you like South American partying but fancy something different, as an alternative to the crowds of Notting Hill Carnival, celebrate the Brazilian contingent in the West End. With breathtaking circus performers and some of South America and Europe’s leading live music artists and DJs (DJ D.Vyzor, Paraisso and DJ T), this is set to be a great big Brazilian-flavoured evening. Also catch some spectacular Capoeira – a martial arts influenced dance form known for its power kicks and fast leg sweeps. Tickets are usually a tenner but if you arrive before 8pm, entry is free. Now that’s something to shake your tail feather to.
Saturday August 27. £10
Parker Street, Corner of Drury Lane, WC2B 5PW
Late night art, V&A
Friday nights are late nights at the V&A, so not only will you be able to check out the exhibitions without pushing through the daytime crowds, you can do it with a drink in your hand. This Friday, the people at Bombay Sapphire are bringing their imagination bar, serving creative gin cocktails with ingredients like foam and almonds.
Friday August 26, 6.30pm-10pm. Free
Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Tube: South Kensington
Summer festival, Peckham
Watch or get involved in workshops outside The South London Gallery, with improvised performances inspired by architecture, dance and film.
Saturday August 27, 12-5pm. Free
65 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH
Train: Peckham Rye
Hypercolour house and techno,Stoke Newington
Dance until dawn with US duo The Martinez Brothers, spinning house and techno alongside Alex Jones and Cedric Maison, brought to you by London label, Hypercolour.
Friday August 26, 10pm-4am. £5
26-44 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ
Train: Dalston Kingsland
Around the world in 80 days, London Bridge
Phil Willmott’s catchy musical adaptation of Phileas Fogg’s journey around the globe.
Until September 4. Free
The Scoop, More London Riverside, SE1 2DB
Tube: London Bridge
Buckingham Palace summer opening, The Mall
See where the Queen chills out, with a sneak peek into The State Rooms. You’ll see some seriously lavish furniture, priceless paintings and exquisite sculpture, plus Kate’s much-hyped wedding dress up close.
Until October 3. £17.50
Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA
Tube: Green Park
Secret Sundaze 10th birthday weekender
House and techno fans won’t want to be left out of this one – held in a secret location (duh), Secretsundaze will dish out their brand of beats on both Saturday and Sunday, to celebrate 10 years of their legendary London parties. The line-up includes Underground Resistance veteran Rolando and Detroit’s Moodyman. Who said you had to wait until nighttime to dance?
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August, 2pm-10.30pm. £35
The Thames on a speed boat
In what might be the last glimmer of sunshine this summer, hurtle down the Thames James Bond-style on a speedboat. Boats leave hourly, seven days a week and comedian guides provide the banter as you speed past MI5, down to Canary Wharf and back, spotting the big landmarks. This has to be the best way to travel on The Thames.
Millennium Pier, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. £32.50