What To Book In London This May

Thanks to the two bank holidays in May, you can use your long weekends to catch up with all the exciting events the capital has to offer. From fitness festivals and craft workshops, to the Chelsea Flower Show and a celebration of cheese, there’s plenty to see and do in if you’re staying in London this month…

GET FIT HERE: Balance Festival

This month, Balance Festival will pop up at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch for a weekend dedicated to wellness. Visitors can expect to workout with leading global fitness experts, sample healthy food, learn from top wellness gurus, discover the latest athleisure labels, test innovative wearable tech and get pampered with natural beauty products. Guests will be able to get stuck into a curated programme of 150+ cutting-edge workouts – some exclusive to the festival – and trial the best of London's boutique fitness studios. On hand there will be leading nutritionists and chefs, world-class trainers and awe-inspiring yogis. Don’t forget your gym kit: there’ll be high-octane workouts from the likes of KXU, BLOK, Another_Space, Third Space, Barry’s Bootcamp, F45 and UNIT.

The Old Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 6QR; 10th-12th May

Visit Balance-Festival.com

GET CRAFTY HERE: Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard is marking London Craft Week with a programme of workshops, installations and experiences to celebrate the makers and crafters of London’s newest creative neighbourhood. To celebrate the occasion, Coal Drops Yard has invited Buaisou, a Japanese artist collective of farmers and dyers, to produce an installation of hand-dyed indigo flags. Alongside the installation, the Buaisou team will host a series of immersive indigo dyeing workshops in Kiosk N1C. Elsewhere, Store Store will present a series of public dyeing workshops by science-inspired Unit Lab, who will teach participants the art of ‘Electro Colour’ (printing with electricity); guests can learn the art of candle making with Earl of East; Kitchen Provisions will host an introduction to knife sharpening; and Botanical Boys will help you build a living terrarium at the Tom Dixon Factory.

Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ; 8th-12th May

Visit CoalDropsYard.com


Returning to the UK for its third year, Feria de Londres will bring its famous Andalusian carnival spirit to London on the last weekend of May. Colourful ‘casetas’ will be popping up in the Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank, serving up Spanish tapas, cocktails, tasting workshops, interactive activities and live Spanish music. Throughout the weekend flamboyant dancers from London’s best flamenco schools will lead Sevillana dance lessons and flamenco rhythm workshops, while children can enjoy face painting, fan making and dance lessons. Elsewhere, Tio Pepe will be hosting a series of sherry tasting masterclasses where guests are able to explore the different styles of Spain’s favourite fino. We like the sound of the ‘Feria’ cocktail – Tio Pepe, lemonade and fresh mint on the rocks.

Bernie Spain Gardens, South Bank, SE1 9PH; 24th-26th May

Visit FeriaDeLondres.com


Restaurant critic, Times columnist, TV presenter and award-winning novelist Giles Coren is just one of this month’s How to Academy events. Coren will be in conversation with LBC’s Matthew Stadlen on the subject of supper in world-class restaurants and his new guide, Truth, Love and Clean Cutlery. Along the way, he’ll reveal his nominations for the most delicious sustainable and ethical dining experiences in the UK – those that go beyond great food and wine in the ethical and sustainable ways with which they run their business. The book will be available to buy on the night, and 10% of the publisher’s revenue from sales go on to benefit the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a not-for-profit social enterprise, which aids food-service businesses to work towards sustainability and guides customers towards more sustainable choices.

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, WC1R 4RL; 7th May

Visit HowToAcademy.com


Greyhound Café is gearing up to host ‘Little Bangkok’: a Thai-style street-food market serving up authentic dishes. Created to celebrate the summer launch of the restaurant’s terrace, the space will be transformed by lights, vibrant ornaments and decorations and a Thai Tuk Tuk. The terrace will play host to Greyhound Café chefs, who will be on hand to dish up street-food favourites such as moo ping (barbecued skewers sold on every street corner in Bangkok), authentic pad thai goong, som tam moo krob (papaya salad with crispy pork) and traditional coconut ice-cream. Chang beer will be on hand with its DIY-style beer towers and Thai Airways International will be creating a celebratory cocktail made with Butterfly Pea tea and violette and lychee liqueurs – as well as giving guests to chance to win flights to Thailand.

37 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3LZ; 9th-12th May

Visit GreyhoundCafe.uk

WATCH THE WRESTLING HERE: The Greatest Show Of Lucha Libre

This May, Mexico’s iconic masked men will return to the UK to star in The Greatest Show of Lucha Libre at the Roundhouse. A Mexican pop-culture phenomenon, Lucha Libre was first introduced in the early 20th century and has since developed into a unique form of professional wrestling characterised by vibrant attire, impressive techniques and high-flying manoeuvres. For one day only, the Roundhouse will be transformed into a Mexican arena, where spectators can immerse themselves in a mythical and ferocious world in which good battles evil through fierce and flamboyant competition. Dressed in outrageous costumes and colourful masks, the Luchadores will perform thrilling acrobatic moves for the cheering crowd. This year's line-up will feature Lucha stars The Silver Masked Man, Laredo Kid, Cassandro El Exótico and Nacho Libre star Ramses. Trust us, it’s a lot of fun.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH; 11th May

Visit Roundhouse.org.uk


Mrs & Mr Bateman is an art, fashion and interior design installation in Notting Hill where the visitors become part of the story. Named I AM BATEMAN: The Relations, in this particular pop-up shoppers will become immersed in the fantastical world of the Batemans, which is comprised of seven vignettes depicting the individual stories and peculiarities of various relations. As the visitor travels through the installation, they’ll be given insight into each persona. The brainchild of vintage dealer Clemmie Myers, artist Selena Beaudry and interior design Natalie Tredgett, everything you see in the space is available to buy, including pieces designed with established and up-and-coming talent including Clio Peppiatt, Zoe Jordan and Natalie Ballout. We imagine there’ll be some eye-catching lamps for sale.

2 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 1NN; until 12th May

Visit MrsAndMrBateman.com

FEEL FLORAL HERE: Chelsea Flower Show

Spring is officially here, and that means it’s almost time for the Chelsea Flower Show. Comprised of ten show gardens and 16 smaller gardens, the show (also known as the Great Spring Show) is the jewel in the Royal Horticultural Society’s events calendar. Back for 2019 is the late-night viewing on the Friday night, when the gardens will be open until 10pm – a perfect way to kick-start your weekend. Away from the flowers, Raymond Blanc will be delivering a world-class menu in his pop-up Jardin Blanc restaurant and – for the first time – Ollie Dabbous will open a pop-up kitchen. Named Chelsea Barracks, the site is a short walk from the show and will be serving Michelin-worthy meals from brunch through til dinner.

Royal Hospital Chelsea, Chelsea, SW3 4SR; 21st-25th May

Visit RHS.org.uk

EAT ALL THINGS CHEESE HERE: Battersea Power Station

We Love Cheese is a free festival for fromage fans, bringing together the diverse world of cheese: from traditional curds to the likes of Mac To The Future’s signature mac ’n’ cheese and The Toasty Badger’s oozy toasties. Throughout the weekend, guests can head to the ‘Battersea Bites’ tent for a programme of talks and masterclasses including cheeses and wines or beer pairings. Meanwhile, the country’s best cheese producers and importers, such as Capo Caccia, Une Normande à Londres, Alsop & Walker, L'Ubriaco and Bath Soft Cheese, will battle it out to win the coveted ‘We Love Cheese’ cup. Away from the cheese, expect live performances, a craft area for kids and the return of the ‘Wheel of Cheese’ which dishes out prizes. This year’s event also sees the introduction of a wine fair led by Battersea Power Station’s resident urban winery and kitchen, Vagabond.

Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW11 8AX; 11th-12th May

Visit WeLoveCheeseFest.co.uk

BE CHARITABLE HERE: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics’ ‘Bold is Beautiful’ campaign is back for May, raising donations to support women’s organisations. This year’s partners are Look Good Feel Better, a charity which helps cancer victims with the illness’s visible side effects, and women’s shelter charity Refuge. There are three ways people can support the scheme: by getting a brow wax (Benefit will donate 100% of profits from every Benefit brow wax to the two charities); by buying one of the brand’s signature £12 pink mirrors, where 100% of profits will go to the charities; or by purchasing Benefit’s 3D Browtones Eyebrow Enhancer in magenta online or in store, where all profits made year-round go on to aid women and girls in 21 different countries. A worthy cause.

Various locations; 1st May-1st June

Visit UK.BoldIsBeautiful.com


Private members workspace and wellbeing destination Mortimer House is getting ready to open its doors to a new guest chef series, debuting with renowned chef Elizabeth Haigh of Kaizen House. Launching on 2nd May, Elizabeth – who previously garnered a Michelin star at Pidgen in Hackney and was named ‘One to watch’ by Observer Food Monthly – will kick-start the series with an eight-week residency. Drawing inspiration from her British and Singaporean heritage, Elizabeth’s food combines her love of wood-fired cooking, subtle detail and bold. Her a la carte menu, exclusively created for the residency, will feature dishes such as ox cheek rendang buns with fermented sambal; udon vongole with pickled wild garlic; barbecue aged beef with black sesame béarnaise; and miso and kaya ‘toast’ caramel ice-cream. Located in the Living Room & Den, 24 guests per night will be seated across four communal dining tables. Guests are invited to arrive early to enjoy a drink at the cosy bar – usually reserved for members.

37 Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3JH; every Thursday-Saturday from 2nd May

Visit MortimerHouse.com


Over May’s first bank holiday weekend, lifestyle brand Toast will host its first ever 'creative residency' at Paper Mills Studio. Inspired by its SS collection ‘The Unknown Path’, the three-day residency will offer a programme of creative activities, encouraging women to try their hand at something new. Workshops include natural dyeing and potting with Christine Lewis; block printing with Georgia Dorey; a weaving workshop led by Sue Lawty (who previously held the role of textile resident at the V&A); a canapé and tablescape class with supper club host and author Alexandra Dudley; and mindful creative writing with Elaine Knight. Throughout the weekend Molly Martin will be on hand to show you myriad ways in which to give your garments a new lease of life and there’ll be a café for refreshments.

Paper Mill Studios, 9 City Garden Row, Islington, N1 8DW; 4th-6th May

Visit Toa.st/uk

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