What To Book Around The UK This May

From a festival that brings together the Kaiser Chiefs and a field full of dogs through to a royal wedding package up in St Andrews, there’s plenty to see you through not one, but two bank holiday weekends this month.

GET A BOOZY MANICURE HERE: The Little Retreat, Nottingham

This month, celebrated rural day spa The Little Retreat has launched its Gin Parlour. This new beauty room offers clients the ultimate indulgence: to enjoy being pampered with manicure and pedicure treatments by leading beauty experts, whilst sipping on a gin creation from the bespoke Burleigh’s Gin menu. We can’t think of a better way to kick-start a weekend.

Colston Bassett Lane, Owthorpe, Nottinghamshire NG12 3SF

Visit TheLittleRetreatNottingham.co.uk

CHECK OUT THIS NEW BAR: The Florist, Liverpool

Liverpool has a brand new bar, and it’s certain to be a head-turner. The Florist is an all-day and night hangout which offers a vibrant food menu, an extensive cocktail list, plus nightly DJs and saxophonists. Set in the former Royal School for the Blind, the building’s Grade II-listed interiors have been filled with floral installations, vases of fresh flowers and two trees, which flank the entrance. It certainly lives up to its name.

Hardman St, Liverpool L1 9AX

Visit TheFlorist.uk.com

GET STUFFED HERE: Bristol Foodies Festival, Bristol

This South West food festival brings together Michelin-starred chefs such as Joshua Eggleton and Richard Bainbridge and mixes them with 30 street food stalls, kid’s cookery classes and foodie masterclasses (we like the sound of the parmesan tasting). New for 2018 is the Musicians Against Homelessness stage, which will host performances from the likes of the Hoosiers and Toploader.

Durham Downs, Bristol BS9 1FG; 11th-13th May; £24

Visit FoodiesFestival.com 


As part of the Glasgow International festival, Citizen M hotel is hosting an interactive exhibition curated by local artists Cause + Effect. In addition to the exhibition, there are a number of artist talks and workshops taking place at the hotel which are open to the public, as well as to hotel guests. On 3rd May, Glasgow International will host a roundtable discussion, exploring topics ranging from international partnerships to sustainability and connectedness in the visual arts.

60 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2 3BW; until 7th May

Visit CitizenM.com

BANK HOLIDAY IN STYLE HERE: Life & Style Weekender, Edinburgh

Following a sell-out debut last year, Life & Style is back in Edinburgh for the first bank holiday weekend in May. Bringing together shops, bars, brands and beauty gurus, the event encompasses fashion, beauty, wellness and trend talks as well as interiors inspiration. Away from the catwalk, a series of hands-on workshops will be on offer for anything from calligraphy to tea tasting.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PQ; 5-6 May; £10

Visit EdinLifestyle.co.uk


Come 19th May, Fairmont in St Andrews is promising a day to remember – and not just for Harry and Meghan. The five-star hotel will be hosting a royal afternoon tea and a live screening of the wedding in its Atrium Lounge. The centrepiece of the occasion will be an oversized wedding cake flavoured with lemon and elderflower, the same as the royal couple. We predict plenty of champagne.

St Andrews, KY16 8PN

Visit Fairmont.com 


This Welsh literary festival is one of our favourites. In the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, guests can peruse pop-up bookstores, watch acts such as Jake Bugg and Russell Kane and practice yoga. There's also opportunities to attend creative writing workshops and listen to talks by the likes of Robert Webb, Helen Pankhurst, David Walliams and Margaret Attwood. What a lineup.

The Drill Hall, 25 Lion St, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD; 24th May-3rd June

Visit HayFestival.com

GIVE NETFLIX A REST HERE: Southend Film Festival, Essex

This Essex film festival is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, the festival will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Lindsay Anderson’s Cannes Palm D’Or-winning film If…. with a gala screening attended by cast and crew members. Elsewhere, attendees will be able to go to numerous screenings, including Loving Vincent, Murder on the Orient Express and A Man Called Ove, and attend talks by directors, writers and actors.

Various venues across Southend-on-Sea; 24th-28th May

Visit SouthendFilmFestival.com


Luna Cinema is back, with a whopping 175 screenings on the cards. Popping up all over the country, highlights for this month include Notting Hill at Windsor Racecourse and The Greatest Showman on Harpenden Common on 18th May, and Pretty Woman at Danson House in Kent on 31st May. New for 2018 is a Wimbledon pop-up on Brighton beach and open-air cinemas just for kids in Hertfordshire, Cheshire and Manchester. Watch this space.

Various venues across the UK

Visit TheLunaCinema.com

TREAT YOUR DOG HERE: PDSA Petlife Festival, Cheltenham

The UK’s largest animal wellbeing charity is throwing a one-day dog-friendly music festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on 6th May. Away from the expected dog displays, pet Q&A areas and 2k and 5k dog walks, Jessie J, Kaiser Chiefs and The Vamps will perform across the event.

Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham GL50 4SH; 6th May; £38pp

Visit Petlife.org.uk


Devised for the new galleries and spaces at Kettle’s Yard, Antony Gormley: SUBJECT highlights many of the artist’s interests, including how sculpture can activate both the space that it occupies and the body of the viewer. The exhibition offers a series of physical and metaphysical encounters, exploring our relationship to space and our sense of self.

Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ; from 22nd May

Visit KettlesYard.co.uk


This musical festival is celebrating its tenth birthday this year. An event that dedicates itself to unsigned and up-and-coming bands from the UK and overseas, the weekend is always a great opportunity to discover your new favourite band. New for this year is its 2,000-capacity pavilion on the beach, which will host two stages, pop-up performances, food stalls and bars.

Various venues across Brighton; 17th-19th May

Visit GreatEscapeFestival.com

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