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Blooming lovely! A visit to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The joy of vino! London Wine Week returns to the capital

© London Wine Week

Soak up the atmosphere and swill some vino at the London Wine Week hub in Devonshire Square

Vino lovers rejoice, London Wine Week is back. This week – and Bank Holiday Weekend – (23-29 May 2016), the annual celebration of the mighty grape and all its flavours returns to the capital for the third year running. Throughout the week, over 125 venues will be taking part, offering tastings, tours, parties, masterclasses and other wine-related fun. The boozy festival is from the same team behind London Cocktail Week and London Beer Week.

The main festival hub will be the historic Devonshire Square in the heart of the City. Participants can pick up their special wristbands before sampling the drinkable delights from the various pop-ups. The Square will also host the new LWW Banquets, a series of wine-tasting meals in conjunction with the  Disappearing Dining Club.

Your wristband, which costs just £10, means you can join in the special LWW events and try wine flights for just £5 across the venues. Among the highlights is the self-guided wine tasting tour, where you can sample new grapes, varieties and vintages as you hop between bars and restaurants.

In the relaxing surroundings of Devonshire Square, there will be a range of bars and pop-ups, including English sparkling wines on the terrace, the Wines of Portugal Discovery Bar, Vins de Provence Le Beach Bar and the DrinkUp.London Vermouth Bar. The Disappearing Dining Club will be hosting five banquets made to match different wines at the Devonshire Square suite.

Not far away from Devonshire Square, the fun will continue at the rooftop BBQ at the Queen of Hoxton, Franciacorta’s pop-up bar at Andaz Liverpool Street or Aldi’s wine-tasting bar at Boxpark Shoreditch.

  • London Wine Week 2016 takes place from 23 – 29 May at venues across London. Buy a £10 wristband so you can take part in £5 wine taster flights, discounts and deals. The main LWW hub is in Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the London Wine Week website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this week, click here.

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Sail back in time to the Golden Age Of Travel on the SS Atlantica

SS Atlantica © Bourne & Hollingsworth

Set sail back in time on the SS Atlantica
© Bourne & Hollingsworth

Why travel may be cheaper and more accessible these days, you can’t deny it was a lot more glamorous back in the 1930s. This Bank Holiday, why not sail back in time to the Golden Age of Travel on the SS Atlantica? On Saturday 28 May, the Silver Sturgeon will be transformed into a Thirties cruise liner for an evening voyage along the Thames. Hosted by Bourne & Hollingsworth, there will be live bands, cabaret acts, floorshows, dancing and drinks.

SS Atlantica © Bourne & Hollingsworth

Aye aye captain!

Think of Agatha Christie (without the murders!) as you don your finest garbs and quaff a glass of champers on deck as you watch the sun setting and cruise past London’s iconic landmarks. The river yacht will be given a 1931 makeover with curving balustrades, portholes and pristine white tablecloths. There will be three bars, serving classic cocktails and plenty of champagne.

The entertainment will follow a traditional 1930s ship itinerary when the elite would party the night away on the high seas. Guests will take to the dancefloor as live bands and singers bring the music of the era to life. Or step back and watch spectacular floorshows or cabaret acts.

Guests are expected to wear ‘At Sea Formalwear’. Men are encouraged to dress in dinner suits with starched collars, while the women should think of silk, fur and Art Deco jewellery as they recreate the glamour of Thirties screen stars Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn or Vivien Leigh.

  • SS Atlantica sets sail on Saturday 28 May 2016. Embarkation 8pm at The Savoy Pier, cruise departs 9pm. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. Tickets: £35 (general admission) or £40 (general admission and dance class at 7pm). For tickets phone 0207 724 1617 or visit the SS Atlantica website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in May, click here.

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Canalway Cavalcade 2016: A festival on the waterways of Little Venice

Guide to what’s on in London in May 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

London Wonderground returns to the South Bank

The weather is hopefully starting to warm up soon so a lot more festivals and special events are taking place alfresco. With May many people’s favourites months thanks to two bank holidays, there’s a host of things on around town.

For a guide to music festivals in London this summer, click here.

  • Now until 1 May : Made London – Bloomsbury

A new companion show to Made London Marylebone, featuring craft and art from over 100 designers and makers. Open 10am-6pm (29 and 30 Apr), 10am-5pm (1 May). Tickets: £5 (early bird). Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury, WC1H 9SN. Nearest station: Russell Square. For more information, visit the Made London website.

  • 2 May : Gumball 3000 Rally

The Gumball rally rolls into London with Regent Street closed off to non-Gumball traffic for the whole day for a street festival. Including extreme sports demonstrations, live music, celebrity appearances, kids’ zone, car display and more. Noon-5pm: History of the motorcar and entertainment, 5-8pm: Gumball arrivals. Free. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Gumball 3000 website.

  • Now until 2 May : Canalway Cavalcade

A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. 10am-6pm. Free. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to the Cavalcade, click here.

  • Now until 2 MayMorden Hall Country Show

Country show in the grounds of Morden Hall, featuring The Sheep Show, Terrier Racing, The Goat Show, birds of prey, Devilstick Peat children’s entertainment plus Circus Workshop, Historical Re-enactment with the Company of 1415 with static & arena displays, Ferret Racing, Morris Dancing, Brass Bands and arts, crafts, gifts and food marquees. Scale steam engines. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £7.50, Children age 5-16 £3, Under 5s free. Morden Hall Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (tram). For more information, visit the Oakleigh Fairs website. For Metro Girl’s post on Morden Hall Park, click here.

  • Now until 2 MayPick Me Up

Graphic arts festival at Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries, showcasing and selling original graphic art, design and illustration. Daily 10am-6pm, late nights on Wed and Thurs until 10pm. Tickets: £10, concessions £8. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, visit the Pick Me Up website.

  • 3 – 7 MayLondon Craft Week

Following the inaugural event last year, LCW returns, celebrating craftsmanship, featuring workshops, exhibitions, open studios, galleries and shops. Various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.

  • Now until 3 May : New Cross & Deptford Film Festival

A free film festival run and staffed by volunteers offering free screenings in venues around New Cross and Deptford. Classics will be screened alongside independent films by new and local talent, including Withnail & I, The Lion King, Julius Caesar, Spice World The Movie, Romeo + Juliet and a bike-powered screening of Labyrinth. At various venues including the Golden Anchor, Deptford Lounge, Telegraph Hill Upper Park and more. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 4 – 18 May : Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival

The only UK festival dedicated to pan-Asian writing, featuring book launches, talks and discussions. Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain will open this year’s festival in conversation with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, while further events will include Dutch historian Frank Dikötter, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mei Fong, Turkish author Elif Şafak and best-selling crime writer Boris Akunin. Ticket prices vary. Most events take place at Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, W1G 7LP. Nearest station: Regents’ Park, Oxford Circus or Great Portland Street. For more information, visit the Asia House website.

  • 5 May : Carnaby Style Night

A shopping extravaganza where over 100 shops, restaurants and bars will be offering 20% off. There will also be GQ Style Panel, freebies, activities and prizes. Register online for your free ticket. 5-9pm. Carnaby, Soho,. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website. For Metro Girl’s blog on Carnaby Style Night, click here.

  • 5 May – 25 September : London Wonderground

The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a fifth year – an entertainment extravaganza in Jubilee Gardens, near the foot of the London Eye and by the Southbank Centre. It includes cabaret, children’s show, comedy, burlesque and alfresco drinking. Open daily until 11pm. Free to get in, but tickets required for shows. Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The Dulwich Festival returns to SE21 and SE22

  • 6 – 15 May : Dulwich Festival

This historic London suburb hosts its 23rd festival, featuring talks, gigs, dance, fairs, concerts, workshops, artists’ open houses and more across East and West Dulwich and Dulwich Village. Includes the Dulwich Park Fair on 15 May. Nearest stations: West Dulwich, East Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Dulwich Festival website. Read about Metro Girl’s visit in 2013 here.

  • 6 – 22 May : Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe

Two week festival in the borough of Wandsworth featuring theatre, dance, art, music, comedy, poetry, workshops, talks, markets and more. Highlights include The Ladykillers, Big Art Picnic, Lady Chastity’s Reserve immersive team game, Pop Up A Capella and The Vagina Monologues. For more information, visit the Wandsworth Art Festival website.

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Fashion talks: Discounts, freebies, shopping and more as Carnaby Style Night returns

Carnaby Panel

Panel discussions on fashion will be among the special events at the Carnaby Style Night

Love fashion? Prefer a more boutique-shopping experience to the mega malls? Well, just metres away from the hectic retail thoroughfare of Oxford Circus is a rather more chilled and relaxing shopping experience to be had in the Carnaby London district. Comprising Carnaby Street and the surrounding streets, there’s a host of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars in this Soho enclave.

Returning this May, is the annual Carnaby Style Night. The businesses of the area have teamed up with GQ magazine for an evening of discounts, freebies, competitions, special events… and of course, shopping! On Thursday 5 May between 5 and 9pm, over 100 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes will be offering 20% off.

When you fancy a break from retail therapy, there will be plenty of special events on the night, including live music on the main stage, from artists including Sinead Harnett and Croox. The Carnaby Style Panel is back so budding fashionistas can get insider knowledge from Carnaby’s Creative Brand Directors and experts. Many of the stores, such as Levi’s and Cubitts will be offering drinks while you shop, while some boutiques will be hosting in-store DJs to get you in the party mood. Dirty Bones will be hosting a pop-up bar on Ganton Street, offering an exclusive complimentary cocktail.

To register for a free ticket to get your 20% off, visit the Carnaby London website. You’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw to win £500 worth of shopping vouchers plus a year’s subscription to GQ magazine.

  • The Carnaby Style Night takes place on Thursday 5 May from 5-9pm at the Carnaby London district. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information and to register for your 20% off discount, visit the Carnaby London website.

For a guide to what else is on in London right now, click here.

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