Your Summer Starts Here: Things To Do In London This Summer
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Your Summer Starts Here: Things To Do In London This Summer

The Capital in the summer? Bliss

By Olivia Emily & Tessa Dunthorne | 7 months ago

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No need to jet-set this summer – a glorious spread of events is winging its way towards us, and we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to the best things to do in London this summer right here. Cram these dates into your diary, say Tessa Dunthorne & Olivia Emily.

The Best Things To Do In London This Summer

Visit An Adult Playground

Roof East in Stratford reopened in April, and will stay open all summer long. Entry is free.

London’s favourite adult playground is back for summer 2023, transforming over 30,000 square feet of former shopping centre car park into a rooftop bar with ideal summery festival vibes. Think fresh street food vendors, new and signature games, an open-air cinema, and picturesque skyline views to top it all off. roofeast.com

Dance At A Day Festival

Throughout summer, across London

Battersea Park in Concert lineup

London is alive with the sound of music: summer day festivals are back with a bang, with the likes of All Points East, Wireless and BST Hyde Park firmly on the roster for 2023. Why not boogie to Two Door Cinema Club and scream along to The Wombats at Community Presents on 7 July? Or perhaps an open air picnic concert is more your speed? If so, head to Battersea Park in Concert this August. Plus, there are plenty of open-air, festival-like performances throughout summer from the likes of The 1975, Jamie T and The Lumineers to enjoy.

Discover more amazing London festivals here

Attend A Beekeeping Masterclass

Dates from 20 May–26 August 2023 at St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster

Beekeeping at St Ermin's Hotel

Busy bees underpin our ecosystem, so it’s important to learn how to help them. Why not join queen bee Esther Coles for a beekeeping masterclass this summer at St Ermin’s Hotel? From learning all about bees to bee friendly planting to ‘products of the hive’, guests can experience an up close encounter with the hotel’s 350,000 resident bees. Conclude your visit with a sparkling afternoon tea or cocktails on the summer terrace. sterminshotel.co.uk

Try Hyper-Fresh Ceviche In Seven Dials

New Opening: Crudo Cevicheria (36 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9HA)

Crudo Cevicheria, Monmouth Street

A brand-new, fourth Crudo venue opened at the end of May on Monmouth Street, bringing hyper-fresh ceviche to Seven Dials. Having gained a cult following for their customisable ceviche bowls, Crudo has recently elevated its offering for the evening with small plates, wine and pisco sours. Start with a hefty bowl of moreish, zesty guacamole with black corn tortilla chips while sipping a classic marg, before entering fish-ville wholeheartedly. There’s the classic ceviche bowls with the likes of sweet potato, avocado, cherry tomatoes and burnt corn (don’t miss the prawn bowl with mexicana leche de tigre and jalapeños for a fresh kick). But there are also more delicate small plates, crunchy ceviche tostadas, and spicy tiraditos. Perfect for elevating a gathering over sharing plates.

If you don’t make it down mid-week, make sure you visit for daily oyster happy hour: get fresh Rock and Native oysters for £1.50, Dressed oysters for £5, or 3 oysters with a pisco sour for £16, from 3–5pm Monday to Friday. eatcrudo.com

Idiots Assemble: Spitting Image The Musical

24 May–26 August 2023 at The Phoenix Theatre

King Charles and Paddington Bear puppets on stage for Spitting Image

(Image by Mark S)

It’s belly ache laughs at the critically acclaimed Spitting Image, which is making its West End debut this summer. Written by a tour de force comedy team – Al Murray, Matt Forde, and Sean Foley – it’s not to be missed. spittingimagethemusical.com

Explore An Exhibition About Ancient Luxury

Luxury and Power: Persia to Greece, 4 May–13 August 2023 at The British Museum 

Persian exhibition at the British Museum

Exquisite luxury, ancient Iranian opulence, and glittering, glinting gold – this exhibition by the British Museum invites you to step into the culture clash between Persia and Greece in the sixth century BC. Explore this beautiful collection of material wonders from Alexander the Great’s empire. britishmuseum.org

Discover more of London’s top exhibitions here

Or A Fashion Exhibition

Diva, 24 June 2023–7 April 2024 at the V&A; The Offbeat Sari, 19 May–17 September 2023 at the Design Museum.

Exhibition fashion image from the Offbeat Sari

OTT is in this summer – the V&A explores the fashion, power and sparkling creativity of the divas of music and film who have defined pop culture since the 19th century. From Marilyn to Elton, this exhibition will be an unapologetic love letter to star power. £20, vam.ac.uk

Or undress the contemporary sari – the Design Museum’s visually glorious exhibition explores the changing design of India’s everyday wear. £12.60, designmuseum.org

Discover more fashion exhibitions here

Celebrate Pride

Pride Month throughout June, and London Pride Parade on 1 July 2023

(c) NIM, Unsplash

Big gay celebrations – the summer marks the return of the Prides across the country. From kaleidoscopic parades to Soho after-hours, it’s just the tonic for joyful things to do in London this summer. prideinlondon.com

Kensington + Chelsea Art Trail

Throughout June, July and August 2023

West London has a secret: there’s an artistic heritage hidden just below the surface, waiting to be unearthed. The art trail, now on its sixth edition, returns – touring you from South Ken’s museum quarter through to the bustle of King’s Road. kcaw.co.uk

Seafood & Sangria Brunch

Cavo at Tottenham Court Road (The Now Building, Outernet, Denmark Street, London WC2H 0LA)

Cavo terrace overlooking London

Love a rooftop terrace? Sangria? Seafood? Head to Mediterranean restaurant Cavo to enjoy its new Seafood and Sangria brunch from its suntrap terrace; only the sweeping views of London will remind you you’re not in the Med. With a set menu at £65 per person – including a jug of bubbly white sangria each – expect to tuck into spicy mussels in choux pastry, moreish beetroot hummus and refreshing mackerel carpaccio ahead of the main event: a warm seafood platter of langoustine, lobster tail, oysters, razor clams, Mazara prawns and mussels. A summery delight. cavorestaurant.com

Sing Your Heart Out At An Open Air, Sing Along Cinema

Lower Marsh Lates… At The Movies at Waterloo Lower Marsh on the last Thursday of June, July, August and September 2023

From 5.30–8.30pm on the last Thursday of June, July, August and September 2023, head down to Waterloo Lower Marsh and get ready for a belter. This free, open-air, sing-along cinema is sure to attract a crowd with its stellar line up of musical favourites. Plus, find delicious food and great drinks deals at Lower Marsh Market. wearewaterloo.co.uk

Or Visit One Of London’s Lovely Open Air Cinemas

14 July–3 September, Everyman Secret Garden Cinema at The Grove

Everyman Secret Garden cinema at the Grove

Fancy a journey slightly out of the city? Hop on a 20 minute train from Euston to Watford Junction, hail a cab and check into the idyllic countryside haven that is The Grove hotel. The hidden gem is the Walled Garden, where the Everyman Secret Garden cinema hides, complete with a pop-up bar, tasty treats, soft blankets, and rows of colourful beanbags lined up for duty. everymancinema.com

Find more open air cinemas in and around London here

Visit The All New Young V&A

From 1 July

View across the Town Square at Young V&A

The Town Square at Young V&A. Image by Picture Plane © Victoria and Albert Museum London

It’s been closed for three years, but it’s back (baby). The Young V&A reopens its doors for a summer of art and design with over 2,000 works and tactile, interactive exhibitions to explore. vam.ac.uk

Vintage Collage Workshops

23 July, 3 August, and 3, 14 and 24 September 2023 at Native Bankside, 1 Bear Gardens, London SE1 9ED

Make art from old, used and vintage paper in the surroundings of a revived warehouse with Goose Glitters. Plus, learn how to construct a collage into a cohesive piece of art and spice it up with glitter. Tickets are £49.10 per person via eventbrite.

King’s Cross Summer Sounds

9–20 August 2023 at Coal Drops Yard

London Community Gospel Choir performing at King's Cross Summer Sounds Family Sunday, Coal Drops Yard

London Community Gospel Choir performing at King’s Cross Summer Sounds Family Sunday, Coal Drops Yard

Summer Sounds returns to London with 12 days of music, dance and performance from across the globe. With live concerts every evening from 6.30–8.30pm (plus from 1–6pm on ‘Family Sundays’), expect a heady mix of folk, jazz, classical and experimental music, alongside an array of dancers and sensational local talent. See the full line up at kingscross.co.uk

Battersea Park In Concert

26–28 August 2023

Battersea Park In Concert

Bank holiday weekend blues be banished: the inaugural Battersea Park in Concert trots out an incredible line-up of London’s best classical, soul and jazz performers. Highlights will include the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars. Pre-order a picnic and don’t forget the fizz. From £32.32, batterseaparkinconcert.com

Catch A Show At The Globe

All summer from £5 at Shakespeare’s Globe (21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT)

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

The world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe is best enjoyed when the sun is shining. This summer, visitors can enjoy Macbeth (21 July–28 October), As You Like It (18 August–29 October) and The Comedy of Errors (until 29 July) in the unique wooden ‘O’ theatre, with tickets starting at £5, and with plenty available for £10, too. shakespearesglobe.com

Celebrate Three Years Of Turnips Restaurant

New fine-dining menu from 25 July–5 August at Turnips Restaurant (43 Borough Market, London SE1 9AH)

Turnips is a Borough Market stalwart, a greengrocer stall stretching five generations – but the onsite fine dining restaurant, led by Tomas Lidakvicious, is a fledgling three years old. Championing world-class fresh fruit and veg, the restaurant thrives on surplus produce, using pickling, preserving and distillations to extend the life of ingredients through all seasons. Celebrate the restaurant’s birthday with a special menu for two weeks from 25 July–5 August. Don’t worry if you can’t make the dates: from then on, there will be a new permanent tasting menu to sample on your next visit. restaurant.turnipsboroughmarket.com

Read Turnips’ story here

Visit Chelsea Physic Garden

Events throughout summer at Chelsea Physic Garden (66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS)

Celebrating 350 years, Chelsea Physic Garden is hosting a summer of music, food, wellbeing and family fun this year, centred around three key themes: ‘Horticulture for humankind’, ‘Unlocking our collections’ and ‘A physic garden for the future’. Think musical lawn sessions, morning yoga, sound baths and family theatre. See the full line up at chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

Featured image: Pub In The Park.