Chelsea Flower Show, Skyline Sketching & More Fun Things To Do In London In May

By Olivia Emily

1 month ago

London is in bloom this month


Gosh, it’s been a drizzly April, hasn’t it? As the sun tentatively peeks from behind the seemingly permanent clouds, we’re ever hopeful things are looking up so we can get firmly stuck into spring (and summer!) at last. Wondering how to spend your sunnier days? We may have found your perfect match. Here are the best things to do in London this month, fair weather sadly not guaranteed.

Best Things To Do In London This Month: May 2024

Scented Styling With Jo Malone London

Head down to Harrods this May for a masterclass in scent-scaping with Jo Malone London. The brand will be teaming up with Country & Town House‘s very own interiors editor, Carole Annett, for an evening of scented inspiration. Here, you’ll find plenty of tips on how to style your home with scent using Jo Malone’s beautiful candles, diffusers and room sprays – and leave your space feeling (and smelling) refreshed for spring.

Details: 6pm on Thursday 2 May 2024 in Harrods’ The Auditorium, Lower Ground Floor (87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL). Tickets are £25 and are redeemable against the purchase of Jo Malone London products on the day; book your tickets here.

Roof East and the London skyline at dusk

Roof East © Owen Billcliffe

Visit A Playground For Grownups

This is how Roof East is best described, featuring vibrant colours and sparkles that really shine when the sun finally shows up. Shoot up the elevator – or climb the many stairs – to the rooftop carpark, transformed into a fun haven featuring a beloved rooftop cinema, street food vendors, a Birdies mini golf course, Sluggers batting cages, Arrows archery and Glitter Bowls. Enjoy ice-cold cocktails, tuck into delicious street food, and challenge your friends to a round of giant jenga before snuggling up with a blanket for a movie.

Details: Roof East is officially open for 2024 at 7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Rd, London E15 1XE. roofeast.com

Doughnuts

Crosstown Celebrates 10 Years With Free Doughnuts

Can you believe it’s already been 10 years since Crosstown came to London? Crosstown first opened its doors on Leather Lane market as a street food stall back in May 2014, and has since grown to include 28 sites across London, plus stores in Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol and Bath and online nationwide ordering. The celebrate its anniversary, the doughnut afficionados have created a brand new baked good: the Peanut Butter Caramel & Banana doughnut. And if that sounds like your treat of choice, you’re in luck – Crosstown will be giving away 800 of the new doughnuts for free across a select number of its London locations.

Details: Visit Crosstown’s Soho, Brick Lane, Battersea Power Station and Canary Wharf stores from 12pm on Friday 3 May 2024, where they will be giving away 800 free doughnuts to the first 200 people. crosstown.co.uk

Glittery Musical Fundraiser

The Magdi Yacoub Institute is hosting a starry musical fundraiser for cardiac research that will enhance the quality of life for those suffering heart disease. You can expect a warm welcome at the reception before heading into the auditorium at the Royal College of Music, where Omar Kamal and his talented musicians will be performing.

Details: 7pm on 16 May 2024 at the Royal College of Music (Prince Consort Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS). Tickets start from £200 and can be purchased here.

 

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Brown’s Afternoon Tea With Lock & Co. Hatters

Celebrate two of London’s oldest and most esteemed family-run businesses in one swoop in May, with the brand new delectable celebration of Lock & Co.’s royal tea party-inspired Spring/Summer ‘24 collection and the timeless tradition of afternoon tea at Brown’s. Take a seat in the Drawing Room and expect to be treated like royalty, soaking up the ambience and the sight of beautiful Lock & Co. hats – before tucking into miniature versions.

Details: Available during May at Brown’s Hotel (33 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BP). roccofortehotels.com

The Embassy Gardens Drive In Cinema in London

Visit A Drive-In Cinema

Classic cars and timeless movies unite at this ultimate drive-in cinema experience in one of London’s chicest new neighbourhoods, Nine Elms. From 10am–10pm, The Embassy Gardens Drive-In Cinema will screen back-to-back blockbuster films, all enjoyed from the comfort of your own car with a wireless speaker provided. Or hire one of their spectacular classic or supercars for an unparalleled experience. Peckish? Delicious food and drink will be served by The Alchemist, from brunch burritos to flatbreads, burgers, snacks and ice cream – all delivered straight to your car. Of course, traditional movie snacks like popcorn and pick ‘n’ mix will be available too.

Details: Saturday 11 May 2024 at Embassy Gardens (3 Viaduct Gdns, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AY). The cinema comes from Duke of London, a family-run classic and supercar hub based in West London. Tickets start from £7.50, with bring your own blanket and deckchair options also available; click here to purchase yours.

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Spring 2024; artworks from Studio84 West.

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Spring 2024; artworks from Studio84 West.

Affordable Art Fair

Affordable Art Fair is back in Hampstead for its spring affair, running from 8–12 May at Hampstead Heath. Expect world-class contemporary art showcased by over 100 galleries from the UK and across the globe, all available to purchase to kick start your burgeoning art collection. Better still, the Fair will host the Heath’s only rooftop bar. In between browsing artworks, sip champagne and gaze across the sprawling expanse of the Heath as it comes to life. Daily wine tasting class en-plein-air will also be on offer.

Details: 8–12 May 2024 at Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site, Hampstead Heath, London NW3 1TH). Tickets from £10 per person. Find out more and book at affordableartfair.com

These Are The Best London Art Shows & Decorative Fairs Still To Come In 2024

Field of Dreams 2024 by MTArt Artist Claire Luxton commissioned by Battersea Power Station, London

Field of Dreams 2024 by MTArt Artist Claire Luxton commissioned by Battersea Power Station.

Experience Claire Luxton’s Field Of Dreams

Cast your mind back to summer 2023, and you might recall our gorgeous July/August cover designed by Claire Luxton. This month, MTArt Agency and Battersea Power Station are giving people the chance to step into one of Claire’s artworks with a brand new immersive, botanical inspired art installation conceived by Claire. From 29 April, Field of Dreams will be unveiled, suspended from the ceiling inside the Power Station’s Art Deco Turbine Hall A. A 12 metre structure with 33 layers of digitally printed fabric, Field of Dreams explores the intrinsic connection between nature, mental health and self-awareness, with luxury florist Moyses Stevens supplying all of the botanicals. Meanwhile, for a limited time, visitors can enjoy the ‘Botanical Atelier’ embroidery pop-up where shoppers can personalise new purchases with floral and botanical designs inspired by Claire Luxton.

Details: See Field of Dreams from 29 April 2024 at Battersea Power Station (Circus Rd W, Nine Elms, London SW11 8DD). Botanical Atelier runs 4–6 and 9–12 May 2024. batterseapowerstation.co.uk

An array of dishes of food on a table

Try mallow’s New Spring Menu

It may be drizzly outside, but step inside mallow and it’s everything’s rosy. This iconic plant-based restaurant from the team that brought us Mildred’s has venues in Borough Market and Canary Wharf – and there’s a brand new bold and beautiful spring menu to enjoy this season. Crafted by the brand’s director of food, Sarah Wasserman, expect a vibrant selection drawing inspiration from across the world, rustled up using the best plant-based ingredients mother earth has to offer. Think Nasu Dengaku confit aubergine with miso sticky sesame glaze, Courgette Samphire Carpaccio with zingy whipped mascarpone, and warming lahpet pilau – stir-fried coconut pandan rice with fermented tea and packed with green veggies. You must, however, start with the decadent makhani mille feuille: five irresistibly crunchy layered potato cubes drizzled with a moreish cashew makhani sauce. Divine. (Coffee lovers must also finish with the carajillo cocktail, made with liqueur 43, tia maria, coffee and indulgent date molasses.)

Details: The Spring Menu is available now in both mallow branches: Canary Wharf (12 Park Dr, London E14 9ZW) and Borough Market (1 Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE). mallowlondon.com

Queen Camilla visits Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Queen Camilla visits Chelsea Flower Show 2023. © Oliver Dixon/RHS

Visit Chelsea Flower Show

Get ready for blissfully scented blooms and cutting edge bio-design at this the most prestigious affair in the gardening calendar: Chelsea Flower Show. There’s plenty in the works for 2024, and we can’t wait to soak it all up, from The Boodles National Gallery Garden to The Newt’s Roman garden, to the fantastic outfits everyone will rock up in. (If you miss out on tickets, Chelsea in Bloom and Belgravia in Bloom will be bringing the floral fun out into the streets, too.)

Details: The 2024 edition of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will take place from Tuesday 21–Saturday 26 May at The Royal Hospital Chelsea (London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR). Click here for our full guide to the action.

Lab Tonica sleep retreat

Embark On A Sleep Retreat

Lab Tonica is hosting its first ever Sleep Retreat this month in London, taking over Green Place Studios on 16 May, a newly restored Victorian warehouse in Hackney. Visitors can expect to enjoy a workshop on natural remedies for calming the mind, create personalised sleep infusions and wind down with a one-hour candlelit sound bath led by the ethereal sound healer Ruth Hoey from Re Nurture. Plus, you’ll take home a fab Lab Tonica goody bag packed with products, worth over £50 total. On hosting Lab Tonica for the studio’s first event, Green Place’s founders Jay and Annika said: ‘We set out with a goal to champion fantastic local independent brands, creators and coaches with our events, so it’s great to be achieving that already with our first one. We’re also very excited to get a great night’s sleep after the past six months of work renovating and starting the business!’

Details: 6.35–9.30pm 16 May at Green Place Studios, Hackney. Tickets are £49.50 and can be purchased here. Early birds can get 15 percent off with the code Sleep15.

Archie Backhouse and Letty Thomas in Miriam Battye’s Strategic Love Play

© Pamela Raith Photography

Catch Miriam Battye’s Strategic Love Play

Fancy a hot date with the theatre this month? Don’t miss playwright Miriam Battye’s hit play Strategic Love Play, which will return to Soho Theatre for a limited run this month, following sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and at Soho in 2023. Directed by Katie Posner, Strategic Love Play takes place on an awkward first date, speaking uncomfortable truths about modern dating and romance with acid wit.

Details: Strategic Love Play runs 23 May–15 June 2024 at Soho Theatre. Tickets start from £12 and can be booked at sohotheatre.com

© Dale Chihuly

Get Creative At London Craft Week

Craft Week is an annual London festival celebrating all things creativity, design and exceptional craftsmanship, showcasing the work of over 750 established and emerging makers, designers, artists and luxury brands across a curated program of events, exhibitions, workshops and demonstrations. Better still, 2024 is the fair’s tenth anniversary special, so expect everything to be ramped up a notch. We’re excited for:

  • The Fife Arms’ Craft in Context talk, exploring How Landscape and Identity Inspire Scottish Craft
  • The curated RESELFRIDGES edit at Selfridges
  • The ever-fantastic Pimlico Road series

Details: London Craft Week returns to London from 13–19 May 2024. Click here for our full guide to the action.

Sketch London - Mayfair in Bloom 2024

Sketch In Bloom

London’s hallmark Instagrammable spot is celebrating 200 years of The National Gallery with a landmark floral exhibition this month. The iconic sketch will play host to an immersive blooming homage to seminal artists throughout May, which will change throughout the month with different flowers at their best. Throughout the month, guests can also enjoy bespoke workshops, living portraits, and more.

Details: 1–27 May 2024 at sketch (9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG). sketch.london

A table full of plates of food

Tuck Into James Sharp’s Pop Up

Fans of MasterChef: The Professionals should head down to Hithe + Seek this month, where former contestant James Sharp will be celebrating bold and flavourful ingredients with a limited-time menu. Having co-founded Palette Dining and Hash Hut London, James has teamed up with Hithe + Seek’s Head Chef Fabio De Paolis to curate a flavourful menu featuring the likes of elevated hash browns infused with brown butter and beef tartar, seared Queen scallops and poached oysters, and a mini-venison saddle wellington.

Details: Available 7–11 May 2024 at Hithe + Seek. Book your table at hitheandseek.com

Lift 109 Skyline Sketching

Sketch In The Sky

Battersea Power Station’s ever-thrilling Lift 109 is launching a new edition to its ‘Lates’ series this month: Skyline Sketching. Guests will experience a unique glass elevator ascent up Battersea Power Station’s northwest chimney before they immerse themselves in panoramic views of the London skyline from 109 metres high while sketching iconic landmarks under the guidance of professional tutors from London Fine Art Studios. If that isn’t inspiration, I don’t know what is.

Details: Skyline Sketching will take place in Lift 109 from 6–7pm or 7–8pm 1, 8, 16 & 23 May 2024. Tickets are £45 including all materials and a glass of champagne and can be booked at lift109.co.uk

Spring Wellness At Lanserhof At The Arts Club

Wondering where to go for a spot of pampering this month? There’s nowhere more luxurious than Lanserhof at The Arts Club, London’s leading private wellness clinic – and you can now enjoy a special ‘Spring Duet’ offering in collaboration with iconic skincare brand Augustinus Bader. Choose between either Infusion Therapy and Augustinus Bader’s Visia Skin Analysis plus a Spring Glow Facial, or Cryotherapy and Augustinus Bader’s Body Detox Experience (including a Lanserhof Salt Foot Bath and Face Sheet Mask).

Details: To find out more about the Spring Duet package, visit lhtac.com