Stunning sundown views over the Thames and London.
Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
Designed by the Eden Project and run by Company of Cooks, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening for stunning sundown views over the Thames. On the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall, next to the Hayward Gallery and in the shadow of A Room for London, the garden bar has the same appeal as New York's High Line - wild flowers, graffiti and a seat on the grass in the middle of the concrete brutalism of the Southbank Centre. Come for pre- or post-theatre drink, visit the Hayward's Alternative Guide to the Universe or just enjoy a Pimm's as the sun sets. It's what summer in London is all about.
Kew Green, Kew, London, TW9 3AA
Tube: Kew Gardens Station
Dates: 21st June 2014
When the sun's out, there are few more idyllic village settings in London than Kew, which hosts its annual midsummer fete on Saturday 21st June 2014. Kew Green is a sight to behold even on a regular weekend, when local cricket teams leisurely battle it out on the square as people watch from the sidelines, a pint in hand. But for the Kew Fete, the whole place comes to life as 7,000 people or so flock to the green to take in the vintage fairground, live music, dog show and 100 stalls selling everything from cards to chutney. There are some delicious offerings from Spanish paella to English hog roast, cream teas to crepes as well as a beer tent, and a wine and Pimm's bar. Throw in some jazz, funk and blues from local bands, and a charity raffle, and you get one big village fete a stone's throw from central London.
A bespoke woodland bar with a programme of live music and club nights.
Abbot Street Car Park, Fitzroy House Abbot Street, London, E8 3DP
Dates: 02nd July - 03rd August 2014
After the success of their winter forest bar last year, Kopparberg are hosting a summer version this July, the Urban Forest in Dalston. The bespoke woodland bar, inspired by the Swedish pine forest just above the brewery in the small town of Kopparberg, will be open for five weeks and will offer a programme of live music, street art and tempting food. The bar will obviously be serving a range of Kopparberg flavours, ranging from the recognised Strawberry & Lime and Mixed Fruits to the lesser-known Cloudberry and Elderflower & Lime. Plus, there will be a rarely seen selection of beers from the Kopparberg Bryggeri and a menu of cocktails. Swedish bar and kitchen Fika will be serving traditional Swedish meatballs and herring while Buffalo Joe's and Mama's Jerk Station will offer Buffalo wings, pulled pork burgers and Jerk chicken wraps. Each night will see different artists and DJs take to the stage, including Scandinavian acts such as Little Dragon, Francobello and Karin Park - visit the official Urban Forest website for the complete line-up.
Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Place, Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town, London, NW1 8AF
Dates: 11th July 2014
After a successful launch in 2013, Camden Lock Live returns this summer for another day of live music and street food. The one-day boutique festival will host live performances across three stages, a programme of street entertainment and a hip hop dance workshops, providing the chance to learn hip hop moves to use in social situations. Performers include new talent Whinnie Williams, singer-songwriter Jake Isaac, rapper and singer Tigger Da Author, and guitar duo Youth Club. There will also be independent artisan shopping, art and craft designer stalls and street food from the likes of Mama's Jerk, Chick n Run, Pop Dogs, Smoke n Roll and Dutch Pancakes. BrewDog are the official beer partner and will be serving drinks from their bespoke bar by the waterside.
Bedford Square Gardens, Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BL
Dates: 12th July 2014
Not so much a sporting occasion as a celebration of buffoonery and ineptitude, orchestrated by The Chap magazine for gentlemen (and gentlewomen) of good taste, The Chap Olympiad is a spiffing non-sporting event. Bedford Square Gardens, centred on one of the best preserved set pieces of Georgian architecture in London, is a fitting backdrop for such a distinguished gathering. All events can all be entered by members of the public - as long as they're not sporting sportswear. The Chap Olympiad celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2014 and will include all the usual zany showdowns, including Umbrella Jousting, using bicycles and brollies instead of horses and lances, and the Tug of Hair in which a rope is substituted for a lengthy handlebar moustache. Yikes! There will of course also be sandwiches and lashings of Pimm's.
Borough Market, Southwark Street, Bankside, London, SE1 1TL
Dates: 13th July 2014
Bastille Day, 14th July, falls on a Monday this year so London celebrates France's national day with a free festival on Sunday 13th. Taking place at Borough Market and the surrounding streets, the Bastille Day Festival, a celebration of all things French, gives us Londoners an excuse to enjoy the culinary heritage of our French friends (yum) through tastings and a French themed demonstration kitchen. A fun filled programme of activities includes street entertainment, a traditional 14th July Waiters' Race, Petanque, an artisan craft market selling gifts and books, creative workshops, party games, bi-lingual storytelling, face painting and (back to what the French do best) gastronomic film screenings, from the Kings of Pastry to Ratatouille. The party continues into the night with live music, DJs, theatricalities, dancing and singing until 10pm.
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Tube: Chalk Farm Station
Dates: 26th July - 23rd August 2014
Camden's seaside resort returns to the Roundhouse terrace, ideal for Londoners who like nothing better than a staycation. The Camden Beach is made up of 150 tonnes of sand, a tiki hut, pork BBQ bar, pop up fish restaurant, rooftop garden, swimming pool, ping-pong and much more, bringing the beach to London for the summer.
Three months of feasting every Friday and Saturday night at Dalston Yard.
Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, Islington, London, E8 3DU
Dates: 16th May - 27th September 2014
Running from 16th May until 27th September, Street Feast's gastronomic event will provide Londoners with three months of feasts every Friday and Saturday night. Taking over Dalston Yard, this weekly night market will house The Gin Store, a specialist indoor cocktail bar with bookable tables and 20 specialist gins (plus plenty of other drinks), an outdoor bar and lounge, and a raised dining terrace overlooking the yard. Within the yard hungry visitors will be able to choose from a number of well-known traders and guest traders, who will debut new menus for the occasion. The offerings include Pizza Pilgrims, B.O.B's Lobster, Yum Bun, Smokestak who'll be parking up their custom-built 4.5 tonne BBQ Smoke Train, and Breddos Tacos who return with their Taco Shack. After becoming London's first full weekly night market in 2012, Street Feast strives to offer interesting, delicious and high quality food at an affordable price.
A three-day festival that showcases Hackney's thriving art scene.
Hackney Wick, White Post Lane, London, E9 5EN
Dates: 01st - 03rd August 2014
Art festival Hackney WickED is back and is opening up artists' studios in east London for one weekend in August, showcasing the thriving East End art scene. The three-day festival showcases work from local and international artists through a variety of galleries, open studios, temporary exhibitions, pop up spaces, site-specific installations and events throughout the Hackney Wick area. As well as open studios and pop up art events there will be a market selling art installations and a Fringe Festival with artists, studios, galleries and venues across Hackney Wick and Fish Island where venues involved include Bridget Riley Studios, Britannia Works, and the Elevator Gallery which hosts 'The Tomorrow People', an exhibition featuring a handpicked selection of emerging artists.
A celebration of our national drink, with over 700 beverages.
Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX
Dates: 12th - 16th August 2014
Over 66,000 people flock to this massive celebration of our national drink, which features over 700 real ales, ciders, perries and beers from around the world. Although the Great British Beer Festival sounds like a fun event, don't be surprised to see a lot of very serious faces and concentration; some real ale experts are genuinely obsessive - and for them this isn't merely an occasion to get sozzled. Tutored tastings are on offer for anyone who wants to learn the subtleties of what makes a great beer. For the rest of us, though, this is a jolly day out with some delicious brewed drinks. Besides the amber nectar, there's a load of activities to keep you interested, including traditional pub games, live music and, to soak it all up, some hearty traditional pub snacks.
A night of literary sparring.
York Hall Leisure Centre, 5-15 Old Ford Road, London, E2 9PJ
Tube: Bethnal Green Station
Dates: 12th August 2014
Book Slam, London's best literary nightclub, heads to iconic East London boxing venue, York Hall, for a night of literary sparring refereed by Irvine Welsh, the man behind 'Trainspotting', 'Porno' and, most recently, 'The Sex Lives Of Siamese Twins'. He'll be ensuring it's a fair fight between Bill Hillmann who presents his debut novel 'The Old Neighborhood', and guitarist from The Slits, Viv Albertine whose memoir, 'Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.' reveals what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk. Warming up the crowd is Doc Brown, while Kate Tempest returns to Book Slam for the first time since winning her Ted Hughes Award.
Carnaval del Pueblo
A loud, colourful celebration of all things Latin America.
The loud, colourful Carnaval del Pueblo fiesta of all things Latin American is a celebration of their roots for expat communities in the capital, and a massive party for the rest of us. This year the festival returns to its usual home in the newly-refurbished Burgess Park, Southwark on 21st of September 2014. Details have yet to be announced but proceedings usually kick off at noon when a procession of brightly-coloured floats wind their way from London City Hall down to Burgess Park, taking in Tooley Street, Borough High Street and Elephant and Castle along the way. Once at the park, revellers can enjoy regionally-themed food, drink, live music and, of course, dance late into the night. There are a number of different stages offering everything from traditional music to the freshest reggaeton and Latin hip-hop.
Vista hosts a tranquil pop up with ten specially created gin cocktails.
Vista, The Trafalgar, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS
Dates: 16th July - 04th October 2014
This summer, Tanqueray No. TEN are transforming the back bar at Vista into an inviting Citrus Garden to celebrate their new art deco inspired bottle. Located in Trafalgar Square, Vista provides beautiful views across central London and the Citrus Garden, decorated with an assortment of botanical grapefruit, lemon and orange trees, is a quiet sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle below. The 'Perfect Ten' Tanqueray cocktails have been created for the pop up, including Through The Looking Glass, with green chartreuse, dry vermouth and rosemary; Tiny Ten Collins, made from apricot liqueur, lemon juice, gomme syrup, cocchi Americano and orange bitters; and the Tiny Ten Martini, with pink grapefruit juice and sugar syrup. Every Wednesday the garden will also play host to intimate cocktail sessions that provide the chance to learn about the rich history of gin, the distinct flavours of Tanqueray No. TEN and, of course, the art of making the perfect gin-infused cocktails.