Guide to what’s on in London in August 2019
Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital this summer.
Summer is here! The schools are out, the tourists are in town and (hopefully) the weather is glorious. As you would expect, there’s more events and festivals than ever taking place in the great outdoors. If you’re a parent or grandparent looking to entertain the kids during the school holidays, there’s plenty going on – with many events even free! There’s also plenty on around the August Bank Holiday, including the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
Here’s a round-up of the best events on in the London this August.
For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 3 August : International Scottish Gin Day @ Mr Fogg’s
Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour will be serving a special cocktail menu celebrating Scottish gin for one-day only. Expect concoctions such as a Scots Seaside Martini, Scottish Spice and a Hendricks in the Highlands. 1pm-12am. 1 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Mr Fogg’s website.
- 3 – 4 August : London Halal Food Festival
The UK’s only food festival dedicated to Halal. Featuring over 150 food & drink stalls, cookery theatre, The Souq market, kids zone, Halal Eat Offs, chill out lounge, live music and more. N.B. All vendors will be cash only and there are no cash machines are venue. Tickets: Adults £10-£30, Under 10s free. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit the London Halal Food Festival website.
- 3 – 4 August : Prudential RideLondon
The annual cycling festival returns to London. Eight miles of road in central London will be closed to cars so people can experience cycling on safe and clear roads. Anyone is welcome to take part in the FreeCycle on Saturday 3, while more serious cyclists will be passing through London on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4. Other events for spectators include the Brompton World Championship and RideLondon Classique. To register, visit the Ride London website.
- 3 – 11 August : Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown Festival
This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by Nile Rodgers. Acts include Jungle, Johnny Marr, Kero Kero Bonito, Thundercat, Yael Naim, CHIC, anais, Durand Jones & The Indications, and more. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 4 August : Island Love Brunch @ Skylight
Celebrate the end of another red hot summer with an alfresco brunch with views of the city. Expect food and drink from Skylight, Yiro and Flipside along with summer club anthem hits, live performances and games inspired by the hit show Love Island. Over 18s only. 12pm-3pm. Tickets: £10-£45. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.
- 6 August : Taste of Puglia Supper Club
The second of Bottles wine bar ‘Taste of…’ supper club, this month exploring the Italian region of Puglia. Guests can enjoy three courses alongside wine tastings from Puglia. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £35. Bottles, 67 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA. Neatest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit DesignMyNight.
- 6 – 10 August : Great British Beer Festival
Over 1,000 of British and international real ales, ciders, perries and beers with be available to try, along with the new wine and gin bar. Also including live entertainment and street food. Tickets £9-£11 (advance), £14 (on the door). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.
- 7 – 11 August : Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest
Fans of the Espresso Martini will love this three-day festival, from Drink Up London (London Cocktail Week, London Beer Week, London Wine Week). Over 50 bars across London will be offering £6 Espresso Martinis and other Mr Black cocktails. Wristbands: £10 (includes access to £6 cocktails, entry to Mr Black’s Church of Coffee pop-up (@ Truman Brewery) and access to 1,000 free Espresso Martinis on 16 Aug). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.
- 7 – 30 August : Fentimans Secret Spritz Garden
Pop-up cocktail garden in leafy Clerkwenwell, featuring refreshing cocktails and workshops in a secret garden. Opening hours: Wed-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm and Bank Holiday Sunday 12pm-11pm. Nearest station: Farringdon (5 min walk). For the location, visit the Secret Spritz Garden website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 7 August – 2 September : Summer By The River – Outdoor Theatre
Watch a live outdoor performance of The Sea Queen or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by the Thames. Performances from Wed-Sat at 6pm, Sun at 4pm. Free entry. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, London Bridge, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
- Now until 7 August : Banquet of Hoshena
Dinner Time Story brings their new immersive dining experience to London. Diners will be treated to a projector-lead dining concept using 3D visual technology, image mapping and experiential props. Tickets: £85/£95/£110. Westfield, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: White City. Pre-booking requests: email@example.com or tel: 07510 204 003. Visit Banquet of Hoshena on Instagram. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 9 – 11 August : London Craft Beer Festival
Over 100 breweries from London, the UK, Europe and USA will be showing off 100s of beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs from Friendly Fires, Zombie Disco Squad, Kaiser Chiefs, Jack Stevens, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and more. Times vary. Tickets: £40-£79.96 (includes all your beer, tasting glass and programme. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.
- 9 – 11 August : Summer In The City
The UK’s largest online video and YouTube event featuring discussion panels, workshops and live performances and meet and greets. Guests include Ricky Dillon, Touchdalight, Brizzy Voices, Nathan Zed, Bambino Becky, Mikey Pearce, Elmofilms, Lucy Moon, Miniminter, Macdoesit and many, many more. 11am-9pm. Tickets: £15-£60. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House or Prince Regent (DLR). For tickets, visit the Summer In The City website.
- 10 August : EVE – Fights and False Lashes
EVE’s Riot Grrrls of Wrestling bring their feminist-punk-rock wrestling to east London. Over 18s only. 7.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £25 + booking fee. Resistance Gallery, 265 Poyser Street, Bethnal Green, E2 9RF. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green or Cambridge Heath. For more information and tickets, visit the EVE Wrestling website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 12 August : Summer Exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts
An eclectic exhibition of 1,500 pieces of art submitted by professionals to unknown artists. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £18. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Royal Academy of Arts website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s exhibition.
- 14 August : V&A mushroom pop-up @ Borough Market
Borough Market trader Turnips Borough will create a special sustainable dish using oyster mushrooms grown in the V&A Museum’s current FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate exhibition. These special mushrooms have been grown in the museum gallery from bags filled with used coffee grounds from the V&A café. They will be used in a mushroom and spelt risotto, with 10% of proceeds from the sales going to food waste charity Plan Zheroes. Open 10am-5pm. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
- 15 August – 26 October : Chihuly Nights @ Kew
Late night openings of Kew Gardens to see Dale Chiluly’s art glassworks illuminated after sunset, accompanied by music. Open Thu, Fri and Sat 7.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets: Adults £18. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 17 August : The Great Fete
One day festival comes to Ally Pally, featuring live entertainment, silent disco, cinema screenings in the theatre, children’s play zone, theatre tours, workshops, food and drink stalls and more. 12pm-10pm. Free entry. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest stations: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Alexandra Palace website.
- 17 – 18 August : The London Dessert Festival
A brand new dessert festival for sweet toothed foodies everywhere. Featuring dessert brands offering samples, installations, Sundae School workshops and demos, tastings, drinks and more. 10.30am-6.30pm. Tickets: £21.95-£50 (timed slots). Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit the London Dessert Festival website.
- Now until 17 August : Mind-Scape V @ 3812 Gallery
Annual exhibition of contemporary Chinese artists. Open Mon–Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-2pm. 3812 Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6PX. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the 3812 Gallery website.
- 21 August : Rum Off @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in the first quarter-final of the Rum Off 2019. Sixteen leading rum brands will compete for the title, with cocktail making, with you getting to vote for your favourite. This quarter-final will see Westerhall Estate vs Cargo Cult vs Plantation vs Doorly’s competing. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £9 (inc entry and 4 cocktails). Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 22 – 26 August : Covent Garden Cool Down
Five-day festival of ice cream, including Avobar’s Avo Soft Serve, Morelli’s Aperol Sorbet, Ladurée’s Iced Macarons and more. 12pm-8pm. Free. East Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Holborn or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Covent Garden website.
- 22 – 26 August : Frightfest
Five day film festival featuring scary thrillers, fantasy and horror films. Ticket prices vary. At Cineworld Leicester Square and Prince Charles Cinema, WC2H. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.
- 23 – 26 August : English Wine Fair
A celebration of English wine, which if you haven’t heard, is actually pretty good and is giving our European neighbours a run for their money! Featuring 10 English wine-makers, an English wine bar, tutored wine tastings, a live vineyard plant installation, scheduled tours to vineyards in the home countries and more. Free entry. Canopy Market, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.
- 23 – 28 August : The Monster
If you’re up to the challenge, take on The Monster, one of the world’s largest inflatable obstacle courses. Min age 11 (limited time slots available for 11-15 year olds). Tickets from £19.80. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Alexandra Palace website.
- 24 August : Victorian Vauxhall
The inner London district of Vauxhall celebrates its Victorian heyday with a family day of activities. Go back in time with circus acts, ice cream, live music, vintage games and more. 3pm-7pm. Free. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (Spring Gardens), Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the BeInVauxhall website.
- 24 – 26 August : HRP Food Festival – Hampton Court Palace
Food festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace over the Bank Holiday weekend. Featuring celebrity chefs and cooks. Tickets: Adults £21.30, Children £10.70. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For more information, visit the HRP Food Festivals website.
- 25 August : Smithfield Street Party – A Beastly Adventure
Annual festival from Culture Mile, featuring animal-inspired music, circus performances, beastly workshops, games, marching bands, parades, history tours, funfair, craft and zine-making workshops, storytelling, animal tea party. Dogs welcome. 11am-7pm. Free. Smithfield Market, Farringdon, EC1A 9PS. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the CultureMile website.
- 25 August : Contemporary Cask Fest
A modern cask beer festival at the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, where you can also drink in an old Victoria line tube carriage. As well as plenty of beer, there will also be posh cheese toasties from Wine ‘n’ Rind and pub snacks. (Well-behaved) dogs and children welcome. 12pm-8pm. Tickets: £5pp (inc festival pint glass and guide). Two free bar tokens if you buy in advance. Walthamstow Pump House Museum, 10 South Access Road, Walthamstow, E17 8AX. Nearest station: St James Street. For more information, visit the E17 Beer Festival website.
- 25 – 26 August : Notting Hill Carnival
Long-running institution returns to the streets of West London. Plenty of soundstages will be dotted around featuring a wide range of music. Then of course there’s the carnival itself. Sunday is more geared towards children, while Monday is the adults’ day. Free. Check the TFL website for transport information because many stations nearby will be closed. For more information, visit the Notting Hill Carnival website.
- Now until 25 August : Camden Fringe
The Camden Fringe returns for its 14th year, bringing over 300 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 22 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre, Etcetera Theatre, The London Irish Centre, The Phoenix Arts Club and the Hen And Chickens, among others. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.
- Now until 26 August : AI – More Than Human
A new interactive exhibition showcasing the latest in artificial intelligence. Open: Sat-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm. Tickets: £15-£17. Barbican Centre, Beech Street, City of London, EC2Y 8AE. Nearest station: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information and tickets, visit the Barbican Centre website.
- 29 August – 15 September : Portobello Film Festival
Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the KPH, Pop Up Cinema in Acklam Road and the Muse Gallery. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.
- 30 August – 1 September : Meatopia
Weekend of meat, drink, music and fire. Featuring chefs from Smokestak, B’s Cracklin Atlanta, Gunpowder, Cabrito, Blacklock, Sausage Commitment, Brigade, Hangfire, Belzan, Hawksmoor and many more. Music from Olugbenga (Metronomy), Das Brass, Huey Morgan, Izo Fitzroy, King Brasstards and more. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £23-94 (depending on admission day and package). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For information and booking, visit the Meatopia website.
- 31 August : Camberwell Fair
A long tradition of the Camberwell Fair continues, stemming back to the 13th century. Featuring market, games, two live music stages, food, drink and community events. 12pm-9pm. Free. entry. Camberwell Green, Camberwell, SE5 7AF. Nearest station: Denmark Hill or Oval. For more information, visit the Camberwell Fair website.
- 31 August – 1 September : Zee London Mela
Family festival inspired by the rich culture and flavours of South Asia, featuring live Bollywood, traditional and urban music, performers, food, drink, fashion, sports, kids area, funfair, fireworks finale and more. Open Sat 31 1pm-8pm and Sun 1 1pm-9pm. Southall Park, Uxbridge Road, Southall, UB1 3BT. Nearest station: Southall. For more information, visit the London Mela website.
- Now until 1 September : Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams @ V&A
Exhibition of Christian Dior designs, from 1947 to the present day. Featuring over 200 garments and hundreds of accessories, photographs, videos, sketches and more. Exhibition hours opening vary (timed entry). Tickets: £20-£24. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition.
- Now until 15 September : Applebee’s Fish pop-up
Borough Market establishment Applebee’s are setting up a summer pop-up on the South Bank, featuring fresh seafood, craft beer, cocktails, live entertainment and lawn games. Queen’s Walk (under Hungerford Bridge), Lambeth, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Applebee’s Fish website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
- Now until 22 September : Dulwich Pavilion 2019 – The Colour Palace
Check out the summer pavilion in the grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery. This year’s structure has been designed by Pricegore architects and Yinka Ilori. Throughout the summer, there will be a series of events at the pavilion, as well as monthly late-night openings. Free. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, SE21 7AD. Nearest station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s pavilion.
- 23 – 25 August : The Gin & Rum Festival
Sample up to 60 gins and 60 rums, enjoy themed bars, live entertainment and DJs, along with talks and masterclasses from gin and rum producers. Open Fri 6.30pm-11pm, Sat 12.30pm-11pm (2 sessions), Sun 12.30pm-11pm (2 sessions). Tickets: £15 (inc free bag and glass). The Oval, Kennington Oval, SE11 5SS. Nearest station: Oval. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- Now until 8 September : Regents Park Music Festival
Music throughout the summer at the Regents Park bandstand. The varied programme includes local concert bands, jazz big bands, small groups, and choirs. Performances on Sundays 12.30pm-5.30pm. free. Bandstand, Holme Green, Regents Park, NW1 4NT. Nearest stations: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Regents Park Music Festival website.
- Now until 29 September : Underbelly Festival
Summer-long arts festival on the South Bank, featuring comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in the inflatable upside down cow venue, international street food, open-air bar. Festival grounds open daily until 11pm. Ticket prices for show vary, but a majority are between £10-£20, free entry to festival grounds. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Underbelly Festival website.
- Now until 29 September : Roof Fest London
John Lewis & Partners Gardening Society hosts one of the largest rooftop destinations in the capital of the top of John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship. Expect cocktails, street food and BBQ, DJs, live entertainment, fitness, massage, meditation and more. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm. Sun 12pm-9pm. Free entry. John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, WC1 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Bond Street. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- Now until 29 September : Fulham Beach @ Neverland
The popular Neverland has had a summer makeover, featuring day beds, private beach huts and cabanas, two bars, live DJs, croquet, beer pong, shuffleboard and ping pong. They also host special events include bottomless brunches, yoga classes, fancy dress parties and sports screenings. Open Wed-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm. Entrance starts from £5 (free to SW6 residents all days except Sat). Neverland, 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For more information, visit the Neverland London website.
- Now until (TBA) September : Skylight London
Rooftop bar Skylight London returns to Wapping with city views, cocktails, street food, lawn games, World Cup and Wimbledon screenings and more. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Croquet: Indoor £25, Outdoor £35 (45 min game), Petanque: £15 (2-4 players). Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Skylight London website. Read Metro Girl’s review of this summer’s Skylight experience.
- Now until 6 October : Serpentine Pavilion
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami. Free to visit, but also contains a pop-up café inside. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s pavilion.
- Now until 31 October : Under Ground London exhibition
Exhibition of subterranean London, featuring images, maps and plans of tunnels, lost rivers, sewers, deep shelters and underground railways. Open during office hours. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 13 November : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience
A new immersive experience from DotDotLondon. Inspired by the classic story, travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Times vary. Tickets: £39.50-£84.50. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit DotDotLondon. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the DotDotLondon’s previous experience Somnai.
- Now until 1 December : Architecture of London
Exhibition of 400 years of London architecture. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 12pm-4pm. Tickets: Adults £10, concs £7. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website.
- Now until June 2020 : Sculpture In The City 2019/2020
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. Free. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the Sculpture in the City website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2019/2020 exhibition.