Category Archives: Festivals

Special events and festivals

Open House London 2019: Tips and highlights of the annual architecture festival

How to make the most of one of London’s most fascinating and photogenic festivals.

View of the City from the Leadenhall Building

Open House London is a must-do for any lovers of architecture, history… or just London really! Whatever your taste in design, you can be guaranteed to find a building that appeals. To those uninitiated, Open House London is a two-day long festival of architecture, when hundreds of buildings open their doors to the public for free. It could be a chance to step inside a government building, a City of London skyscraper, an art deco masterpiece or a brutalist icon – places that would normally be off-limits to visitors.

This year’s Open House London is the 27th and takes place from 21 – 22 September 2019. Over 800 buildings are taking part in the event, with most of these accessible to those who just turn up. However, there are some special buildings – such as 10 Downing Street. the new US Embassy and the BT Tower – which are balloted entry only, so you need to apply before the beginning of September to be in with a chance. There are some other buildings which have limited numbers so offer time slot bookings in advance.

Top 10 tips on making the most of Open House London

  1. Make a list of places you want to visit and also a few back-up options if the queues are too long by searching Open House’s official website. Alternatively, you could buy a hard copy of the guide here or download the free app available on Apple Store or Google Play.
  2. Check out TFL’s website to make sure there are no engineering works affecting your transportation to the sites.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes and check the weather forecast to inspire suitable clothing. You will be walking and standing a lot.
  4. Get up early: Most of the buildings taking part open around 10am or 11am, but some open even earlier. If you get there before they open, you could beat the queues.
  5. Make sure your phone and/or camera are fully charged and bring a portable charger if you have one so you can search online maps and share photos on social media.
  6. Bring ID – some buildings may require ID to enter.
  7. Make sure you don’t carry too much in your bag, as many buildings are subjected to security searches.
  8. Go the toilet whenever you find one. Some of the more unusual buildings may not have any available facilities or you could end up desperate while waiting in a very long queue.
  9. Follow Open House London on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
  10. Share your discoveries on social media with the hashtag #openhouselondon. It’s worth searching this hashtag on Twitter to find out where the long queues are.

Top picks to visit at Open House London 2019

Camden Highline. A tour of the proposed Camden Highline park connecting Camden Town to King’s Cross. Open Saturday and Sunday 9.30am-3.30pm (pre-book only). Camden Gardens, Camden Street, NW1 9PT. Nearest station: Camden Town or Camden Road.

Drapers’ Hall. Livery Hall first built in 1530s, twice rebuilt. Featuring 19th century façade and Victorian interiors. Open Sunday 10am-4pm. Throgmorton Street, City of London, EC2N 2DQ. Nearest station: Bank or Liverpool Street.

Freemasons’ Hall. Art Deco meets classical, built in 1927-33. Open Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. 60 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AZ. Nearest station: Holborn or Covent Garden. Read the rest of this entry

Munch your way around the world at foodie festival Carnaby Eats

Enjoy masterclasses, special menus, cookbook launches and more at this month-long food festival in September 2019.

Wrights Brothers will be taking part in Carnaby Eats

The many eateries of Kingly Court will be taking place

The Carnaby district of Soho is well-known for its wealth of restaurants and bars. So it’s the perfect destination for a month-long foodie festival this September. Throughout the month, the restaurants and cafes will be offering special menus, masterclasses, and cookbook launches.

Budding foodies can take part in free expert masterclasses from Dehesa and Farm Girl, while cocktail aficinoados can enjoy a Pisco Sour masterclass at Señor Ceviche or a mixologist taster class at Jakata. Throughout the month, there will be cookbook launches from Dishoom, Leon and Chai by Mira. Popular eateries Pure, Shoryu Carnaby and Pastaio will be debuting their new autumn menus. Meanwhile, Ugly Dumpling’s executive chef Emilian Craciun will be offering a tasting menu on the first and last Sunday of September.

American diner favourite Dirty Bones will be offering customers the chance to ‘Pimp your Dog’ and customise their signature Yankee Dog. Pizza Pilgrims will be creating a special birthday pizza to mark their 7th year, as well as launching their new 100% biodegradable pasta straws. Meanwhile, Wright Brothers Soho will unveil a new selection of small plates and sustainable dishes, as well as their own gin. You can also head downstairs (and back in time) to 1940s cocktail den Cahoots, who will be entertaining and feeding guests with their ‘Squiffy picnic’ every Saturday.

Over 40 Carnaby restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs have signed up to the new Blue Turtle sustainability scheme in collaboration with ocean conservation organisation Project 0. The scheme aims to reduce consumption of single-use plastic and encourage business owners to embrace more sustainable practises.

  • Carnaby Eats is taking place from 1 – 30 September 2019. At the streets in and around the Carnaby district of Soho. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in August 2019

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital this summer.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

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: info@dinnertimestory.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.

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Celebrate female talent at Devonshire Square’s International Women in Arts Festival

The International Women in Arts Festival at Devonshire Square
© Patrizia Ilaria Sechi

A month-long festival celebrating female talent has kicked off in the capital this month. Running until 26 July, the International Women in Arts Festival is taking place in Devonshire Square. Hosted by WeWork and with donations going to The Pink Ribbon Foundation, the four-week programme will offer Londoners and visitors free entertainment.

Throughout the month there will all-female bands performing a range of musical genres, including jazz, swing, classical and pop. Meanwhile, an array of professional dancers and students from top dance schools and creative companies will be showcasing their dance skills.

Highlights included dance shows choreographed by Artistic Director, former English National Ballet soloist Jenna Lee; performances by Oriental dancer and school founder Fleur Estelle; and award-winning Samba sensation Gladys Cavalcante. Also performing will be professional Javanese and Balinese dancers Andrea Rutkowski accompanied by Artistic Director Ni Made’ Pujawati, who will perform sacred Rejang Sari and traditional Legong Kuntul dances. Gymnasts from Team GB will showcase their ribbon choreography, followed by a high-energy set from an all-female acrobatic trio.

During the festival, WeWork’s Devonshire Square community with be fundraising for the Pink Ribbon Foundation, or guests can donate online. Located in the City of London, just a short walk from Liverpool Street or Spitalfields Market, Devonshire Square is a historic business, dining and entertainment quarter, dating back to the 18th century.

  • The International Women in Arts Festival takes place from 5 – 26 July 2019. Most performances start at 1pm. Free. At Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in July, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in July 2019

Find out what’s on in the capital in July, including Pride Parade, Ealing Summer Festival, Lambeth Country Show and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing. Get ready for one of London’s busiest month as full-blown peak season kicks off when London’s families and tourists will be hitting the streets seeking entertainment. Tennis fans will be enjoying Wimbledon, with Pimm’s and strawberries on cream galore. Of course, the school holidays kick off so plenty of parents and grandparents will be seeking ways to entertain the kids.

For a guide to Wimbledon screenings in London, click here.

  • 2 July : Carmen @ Royal Opera House BP Big Screen

Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of Carmen live on the big screen. From 6.30pm. Free. At Lyric Square (Hammersmith), Trafalgar Square or General Gordon Square (Woolwich). For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 2 – 7 July : RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Raymond Blanc, Martin Ogden, James Golding, Madeleine Shaw, Jose Pizarro, Mark Diacono, Chris Smith, Emily Rae, James Wong, Jasmine Helmsley and many more. Open to RHS members only Tues-Wed, Public entry Mon and Thu-Sun. Advance tickets range from £20 to £37.50 depending on full/half-day and RHS membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • 2 – 14 July : Festibowl @ London Bridge

Festival of lawn bowling sets up camp by the Thames for two weeks. There will also be DJs, street food and cocktails. Times 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets from £15. Festibowl Bowling Green, Potters Field Park, SE1 2AA. Nearest stations: London Bridge. For tickets, visit the Festibowl website.

  • Now until 3 July : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Open Thu, Mon-Wed 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-7pm. Tickets from £38.50. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 3 – 7 July : The Other Art Fair

Art fair with the chance to meet and buy from emerging new talent. As well as the art displays, there will also be workshops, installations, a Sassy Cidre pop-up, tours, kids’ activities, supper clubs and more. Open Thu (private view) 5pm-10pm, Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 11am-7pm and Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £9-£25. West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross, N1C 4BZ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 4 July : Young Marketeers’ Summer Sale @ Borough Market

Borough Market will host 50 stalls from 11 London primary schools in partnership with the School Food Matters charity. The stalls will sell fruit and vegetables grown by the children. 11am-1.30pm. Free entry. Market Hall, Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.

  • 4 July : A Taste of California

Mark the USA’s Independence Day with an evening of California wine tasting. California Wine Tasting Masterclass will be leading the tastings, accompanied by American-style nibbles. Tickets: £35. New Street Wine, 16 New Street, EC2M 4TR. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For booking, visit the New Street Wine website.

  • 4 July : 4th July party @ The Gallery

Celebrate US Independence Day with a whisky-fuelled bash. Expect classic American whiskies, Mint Juleps, American food, special brewery colloborations and boilermakers. Free entry or £10 ticket for a whisky tasting session, 1 Mint Julep and 1/3 pint of a special collaboration brew. The Gallery, 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 3AY. Nearest station: West Hampstead. Tickets can be bought from the bar. For more information, visit The Gallery website.

  • 5 – 7 July : Carters Steam Fair @ Hornsey

The vintage travelling funfair sets up camp in Hornsey, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open Fri 3pm-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-8pm. Free admission. Priory Park, Hornsey, N8 8QR. Nearest station: Hornsey. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • 5 – 7 July : Just V Show

Lifestyle festival for vegans, vegetarians or those who want to live a more plant-based diet. Featuring vegan and vegetarian brands, cooking demos, talks, Veggie speed dating, and advice. Open 10am-5pm. Free tickets if you register online (also includes entry to Love Natural Love You and The Allergy & Free From Show). London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Just V Show website.

  • 5 – 26 July : The International Women in Arts Festival

Devonshire Square’s WeWorks hosts a festival of female talent. Featuring live music, dance, acrobatics and more. Most performances start at 1pm. Free. At Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For the schedule, visit the Devonshire Square website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.

  • 6 July : Stockwell Festival

A celebration of the unique creativity and diversity of Stockwell. Featuring live music, street food, children’s entertainment, rides, sport, dance and a Community Action Zone. 1pm-7pm. Free entry. Larkhall Park, Stockwell, SW8 2PX. Nearest station: Stockwell or Wandsworth Road. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • Now until 6 July : Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Two and a half week celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website.

  • Now until 6 July : Pride London

Festival celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. This year marks the 50th anniversary since Stonewall. Featuring music, talks, screenings, walks and performances. The highlight is the Free parade on 6 July from Portland Place (Regent Street) 1pm to Whitehall (ending approx. 4.30pm). For more information, visit the Pride London website.

  • 7 July : Greenford Carnival

Kick starting the Ealing Summer Festival is the Greenford Carnival. Expect dance, music, food, funfair, sports, arts and crafts and more. 12pm-6.30pm. Free entry. Ravenor Park, Greenford, UB6 9LB. Nearest station: Greenford. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festival website.

  • Now until 7 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (7 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are Free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.

  • 8 – 12 July : Summer In The Square

Five-day festival in Portman Square, featuring street food, badminton, garden games, Wimbledon screenings, licensed bar, tipi retreat featuring fitness and wellness activities. 11.30am-8pm. Free entry. Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 6LW. Nearest station: Bond Street or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. Read the rest of this entry

Gaze up at the ‘Lunch Break’ angels for the London Festival of Architecture

Portman Square Garden Party: Step inside one of London’s most exclusive squares

The Portman Square Garden Party takes place on 19 June

Portman Square is one of the capital’s most exclusive squares. Located a short walk from Oxford Street, the green space was established in Marylebone in the 18th century. Usually closed to the public, the gates will be open for one day only for the Portman Square Garden Party on 19 June 2019.

The special event will be a modern-day village fete with money raised going to the Greenhouse Sports Charity. Your entry ticket includes unlimited five-star food and drink, live music and entertainment and the chance to play classic games. Throughout the evening, there will a fundraising raffle with fabulous prizes donated by local businesses. All visitors will leave the Garden Party with a goodie bag full of treats.

Among the food and drink on offer includes the Home House Bar (welcome Prosecco, red and white wine and soft drinks); Marylebone Gin Bar (gin and tonics); and the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill (eight food stations including afternoon tea, British cheese and biscuits, and fish and chips).

This year’s bash aims to raise funds for Greenhouse Sports, a charity providing sports coaching and mentoring to young people from disadvantaged communities. Last year’s event raised nearly £20,000.

  • Portman Square Garden Party takes place on Wednesday 19 June 2019. 6pm-9pm. Tickets: £45.00 pp. At Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 6LW. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For more information and tickets, visit the Portman Square Garden Party website.

For the latest what’s on guide in London, click here.

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Soho Music Month 2019: Alfresco gigs, in-store DJs, panel talks and more

Highlights of this year’s Soho Music Month.

Soho Music Month © Carnaby London

Soho Music Months returns to the West End in June

Soho is the capital of London’s nightlife, dating back to the 1950s and beyond. So where better to celebrate the district’s rich musical heritage with a month long series of events and gigs. Soho Music Month 2019 runs throughtout June, bringing a mix of established and rising artists to various venues across W1.

Throughout the month, visitors will be entertained by a range of musical genres, as well as collections, promotions and exclusive activations in shops and restaurants. There will be live sets by indie king Baxter Dury at Moscot eyewear; Lilllördag music evenings at Swedish café Söderberg; and DJ Trey Rodriguez hitting the decks at menswear brand Oi Polloi. Underground drinking destination Cahoots will be taking guests back in time with Auntie Maureen and her 1930s gramophone, theatrical DJ duo The Roustabouts and Tom Carradine’s Cockney sing-along. There will also be live music at stores such as Paul Smith (Beak Street), Dr Martens (Carnaby Street) and Levi’s Vintage Clothing and Laurel Wreath by Fred Perry (Newburgh Street).

On Saturday 8 June (12pm-6pm), ocean conservation organisation Project 0 will co-host a joint celebration of World Oceans’ Day. Pull up a bean bag on the pop-up lawn on Ganton Street and listen to the sounds of world music collective Lokkhi Terra, Delilah Holliday, St Martiins and Ese & The Vooduu People, Vista Kicks and Allthingsmata.

During Soho Music Month, there will be a Platform LDN hub and exhibition space at 3 Carnaby Street, run by the Creative Media Network. Music aficionados can enjoy DJ residencies, live music broadcasts, creative workshops and panel talks. The space will play host to hip-hop duo Run The Jewels with their first ever UK gallery exhibition, RTJ UK, to showcase UK artists and creatives. Panellists appearing at the hub include Not For The Radio presenter Duane Jones (AA Vis) and actor and filmmaker Femi Oyeniran. There will also be curated events hosted by Beats 1 radio presenter Julie Adenuga, TV and radio personality Maya Jama and DIY Generation presenter Jamz Supernova.

Meanwhile, Londoners will be able to delve deeper in Soho’s music history with free music-themed walking tours, visiting sites linked to Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West and Mos Def. The tours takes place at 6.15pm on 4, 6, 11 and 13 June and start at Cahoots for a complimentary cocktail. Register here for a place on one of the tours.

  • Soho Music Month takes place from 1 – 30 June 2019. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit Carnaby website.

To find out what else is on in London in June 2019, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in June 2019

Find out what’s happening in London, including festivals, gin and Pride.

Summer is here at last! Expect to see plenty of outdoor festivals, with Pride, World Gin Day and the month-long London Festival of Architecture among the highlights of June. If you’re short on cash, there’s plenty of free events, including Soho Music Month’s free gigs and London Seafood Festival.

For a guide to Wimbledon screenings in London, click here.

For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

Here’s Metro Girl’s round-up of the best London events on in June.

  • Now until 1 June : Herne Hill Free Film Festival

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the seventh year. Films include Black Panther, Mary Poppins Returns, The Babadook, American Animals, Wreck It Ralph 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, Isle Of Dogs and more. Venues include The Lido Café, Station Hall, Prince Regent pub, Brockwell Lido, The Half Moon, Herne Hill Velodrome and more. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 30 June : London Festival Of Architecture

A month-long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘boundaries’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debate, conferences and the ‘Lunch Break’ installation. At various venues around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.

  • 1 – 30 June : Soho Music Month

A month-long series of events celebrating the cultural heritage of Soho. Featuring DJ sessions, panel discussions, free gigs, special food and drink menus and more. At venues around Soho, including Carnaby and Newburgh Quarter. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit Carnaby website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event.

  • 2 June : London Pizza Festival

Help find the world’s best pizza as six pizzerias battle to be crowned the winner. Sample different slices, while enjoying a beer and listening to a DJ. 12pm-6pm (entrance at timed slots). Tickets: £28 (inc 6 quarter slices of pizza, 1 beer or soft drink and entrance to the festival). Borough Market (Green Market), Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Young & Foodish website.

  • Now until 2 June : Swinging Sixties exhibition

New exhibition celebrates the fashion, textiles, homewares and furniture of the Swinging Sixties. Including vintage designs by Mary Quant, Laura Ashley and Terence Conran. Open Tues-Sat 11am–6pm, Thurs 11am-8pm, Sun 11am–5pm. Tickets: £9.90. Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the museum website.

  • Now until 2 June : Sundance Film Festival – London

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, comes to London to showcase the best of independent movies, featuring UK and International feature film premieres, shorts and special events. Tickets prices vary. Picturehouse Central, corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, W1D 7DH. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Picturehouse website.

  • Now until early June : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019

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 City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2017/2018 exhibition.

  • 3 – 9 June : Pittsburgh Art on the Bank

Pop-up art exhibition comes to the South Bank for one week only, featuring pieces from Pittsburgh’s established and emerging artists. Visitors can also enter a competition to win a trip to Pittsburgh with British Airways by snapping a selfie with their favourite piece. South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Visit Pittsburgh website.

  • 5 – 6 June : Beating Retreat

An evening pageant of music, horses, cannons and fireworks against the backdrop of St James’s Park and Horse Guards Parade. A military precision drill from the Household Division in the week preceding Trooping The Colour. 8pm. Tickets from £20. Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Household Division’s website.

  • 5 – 9 June : World Gin Day Festival

Four day festival celebrating ‘mother’s ruin’ from Drink Up London – the people behind London Cocktail Week. Some of London’s best bars will be offering special £6 gin cocktails to those with a festival pass. There will also be a World Gin Day Festival hub in Devonshire Square. Bars include Basement Sate, Two One Four, Bluebird Chelsea, Flight Club, Graphic, Le Pont de la Tour, Nine Lives, Oriole, The Little Yellow Door, The Ned and many more. Festival pass: £10 on the Drink Up London app (valid for four days). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.

  • 6 – 7 June : Poetry & Lyrics Festival

Versatile music and poetry festiva, covering jazz, neo-soul, punk, and disco. Headliners include Lavinia Greenlaw, Village Hall Disco, Belinda Zhawi and members of Steam Down Collective. King’s Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For tickets, visit the King’s Place website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Imagine you’re in the country at Polo In The Park

  • 7 – 9 June : Polo In The Park

Bringing polo from the country estates into London. As well as watching the polo, there is plenty of entertainment and food and drink venues, including The Grazing Paddock (restaurants and street food), Champagne Lanson Garden, Mahiki and Polo Bars, Slingsby Cocktail Bar, PIMM’s Bus, Fever-Tree Bar and Garden, Luxury Shopping Village and Little Hooves Kids’ Club. Tickets start from £15.20 (adults), £10 (children). Hurlingham Park, Fulham, SW6 3RH. Nearest station: Putney Bridge or Parson’s Green. For more information and tickets, visit Chestertons Polo In The Park’s website.

  • 7 – 9 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Annual literary festival returns to various venues around Stoke Newington. Tickets range from free to £8. Venues include Abney Hall, Stoke Newington Town Hall, St Paul’s Church Hall, Unitarian Chapel, Ryan’s Bar, Mascara Bar and William Patten School. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.

  • 7 – 9 June : Carters Steam Fair @ Walthamstow

The vintage travelling fun fair sets up camp in East London, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open Fri 4-10pm; Sat 12-10pm and Sun 12-8pm. Free admission. Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4PP. Nearest station: Walthamstow Central. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • 7 – 28 June : Zoo Nights @ London Zoo

London Zoo are hosting late summer evening openings for adults-only on Fridays through June. As well as checking out the animals, you can follow a trail, listen to music, enjoy a drink and feast at the world food market. 6pm-10pm. Tickets: £19.95. London Zoo, Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest stations: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and booking, visit the Zoological Society London website. Read the rest of this entry

London Hong Kong Dragon Boat returns to the Thames for 2019

The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Docklands in June
© London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

One of the country’s most exciting sporting competitions is returning to the capital this summer. The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is back at the London Regatta Centre on Sunday 30 June 2019. Around 10,000 visitors from the UK and internationally will be heading to the banks of the Thames for a free family-friendly celebration of sport and culture.

The annual LHKDB Festival offers the chance to experience Chinese culture in London. Over 40 competing club, corporate and amateur teams will be battling it out on the river. Novices will be bravely taking on some of the UK’s most experienced paddlers in the bid to win one of the six cups.

Meanwhile, on dry land, visitors can sample some of the culinary delights at a South East Asian food festival while being entertained by live music, martial art displays and traditional Chinese lion dancing on the East West Festival stage.

Dragon boat festivals date back to the banks of the Yangtze River in ancient southern China around 2,5000 years ago. The 2019 festival is the 24th in London and is organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club and is supported by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, The Hong Kong Executives Club and The London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre.

  • London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Sunday 30 June 2019 from 10am-6pm. Free entry. At Royal Docks Adventure/London Regatta Centre, Dockside Road, Docklands, E16 2QT. Nearest station: Royal Albert or Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the Dragon Boat Festival website.

For the latest what’s on guide in London in June, click here.

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