From outdoor cinemas to outdoor theatre, gin masterclasses to rooftop fitness it's time to get outside...
No city celebrates summer quite like London. With outdoor cinemas on riverbanks and river boats, park theatre shows, outdoor gin masterclasses and even outdoor fitness, we sure know how to make the most of the short-lived sunshine.
This summer there’s so much going on it’s easy to lose track of it all. The city has clearly fallen head over heels for Frida Kahlo‘s colourful Mexican style, with a Mexican pop-up and even festival in town, plus lots of other stylish outdoor terraces popping up and a few food festivals thrown in the mix for good measure. Here are 17 of our favourites…
FLOATING OPEN AIR CINEMA
City Cruises has partnered with Time Out to once again host London’s only open-air floating cinema. The season started on 13 June with the showing of Romeo + Juliet and Oscar-winner The Shape of Water on 14 June and will roll on until end of August.
It tall takes place on the Thames, starting with a sunset cruise from Tower Bridge, past the Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Southbank, before returning east to dock and watch the movie.
The line-up is chosen from recent blockbusters such as Get Out, Baby Driver, The Greatest Showman The Shape of Water and Dunkirk, as well as romantic and comedy classics such as Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, Some Like It Hot, Grease, Mean Girls, Clueless, Notting Hill and Ghostbusters.
Nevermind Neverland (okay, not really – that’s still one of West London’s best beaches), Kensington is the latest borough to open its own pop-up ‘beach’.
Kensington’s Crowne Plaza hotel has launched the Kens Bar & Garden Secret Beach, furnished with a mix of sun loungers, cosy cabanas and patch of sand with ‘beach boys’ on hand to provide visitors with essentials such as beach towels, flip flops and sun cream.
The beach is open all week from 11am till Sunset.
KAYAK ON THE THAMES
Ever wanted to kayak along the Thames? Talisker Whisky and Secret Adventures have come together to help inspire Londoners to get out of their offices and take part in a kayak adventure, with a whiskey cocktail to warm you up at the end. The two ticket options include: Night Kayak to Greenwich or a Night Kayak Across London, which features paddling under the iconic Tower Bridge.
Tickets are available for £59 per person and the sessions will be running until October.
FLOATING FILM FESTIVAL AT ST KATHERINE DOCKS
St Katharine Docks welcomes back its Summer Screen on the floating pontoon at London’s only central marina.
The vibrant and picturesque Docks is once again hosting its renowned Floating Film Festival, with a line-up ranging from new films Baby Driver, The Post, Dunkirk and The Greatest Showman to cult classics like The Beach, Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Back To The Future and Breakfast Club.
Film showings start at 7pm as well as two family screenings on Saturday and Sunday starting at 2pm.
Pull up a deck chair, snuggle down in a bean bag and watch some all-time favourites complete with snacks, cool craft beer and cocktails. Tickets are £12.
SUMMER LOVE FILM FESTIVAL AT KINGS CROSS
King’s Cross is teaming up with Everyman Cinema to bring you the Summer Love Film Festival from Wednesday 27th June 2018 – Sunday 15th July 2018. The open air cinema on the banks of Regent’s Canal will be screening the tennis from Wimbledon in the daytime, and a selection of films at lunchtime and in the evening. The free screenings will take place on the canalside steps in Granary Square, featuring one of London’s biggest and best-quality outdoor screens this summer.
Highlights include Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet on 28th June, The Graduate on 10th July and The Wizard of Oz on 11th July. One of the first pop-up performances in London of Marvel’s Black Panther will also be showing at 8pm on 6th and 13th July.
And while you’re in the Kings Cross area, it’s worth checking out nearby Physic Garden Terrace at the Granary Square Brasserie
Taking inspiration from traditional physic gardens, the terrace is tropically themed and offers a new, botanical cocktail menu. Moreover, they’re launching the House of Apothecary, a series of curated gin blending dinners for those who want to try their hand at creating their very own Mother’s Ruin.
For a £90 ticket you’ll enjoy a three-course dinner along with the gin masterclass.
The House of Apothecary events will be available to book via www.granarysquarebrasserie.com, with five sessions available from May to August.
The gin blending dinner costs £90 per person and includes a G&T on arrival, a gin school blending experience, bespoke 500ml bottle of gin to take home and a goody bag, plus a three-course set-menu dinner.
The dinners take place on the 18th July and the 18th August.
CARNABY STREET EAT
The free-entry street food festival is back on Saturday 11th August, from 12-6pm, for its biggest year yet
Experience Carnaby’s vibrant restaurants, bars and coolest cafés alfresco for a Carnaby summer street party. Taste affordable signature dishes and cocktails for one day only, at food stalls serving exclusive £5 taster dishes.
THE CHAMPAGNE SUN DECK
Laurent Perrier’s Champagne Deck has opened on The Sunborn London, serving champagne cocktails and canapés on the top deck of Sunborn’s yacht, overlooking the city skyline.
Moored in the Royal Victoria Docks, the yacht offers views across the London cityscape, while a prohibition-era inspired Laurent-Perrier champagne deck promises a more French Riviera vibe.
The pop-up will run from 27th April – 3rd September 2018 and will be open daily from noon-10pm,.
THE TEQUILA FESTIVAL
Returning for a second year, The Tequila Festival will take over Acklam Village on the 4thAugust from 12.30pm until 10.30pm, bringing over 30 tequilas, cocktails, street food, mariachis, processions and piñatas and Mexican dancing to West London.
THE HACIENDA COURTYARD
Meanwhile, Hush in Mayfair is celebrating their new Mexican inspired Hacienda courtyard.
Here you’ll find an array of brilliantly decorated fans with a picture-worthy entrance archway that leads into an abundant canopy of bougainvillea. The edges of the canopy will be festooned with vibrantly coloured pompom garlands whilst guests are surrounded by lush green ferns, bright bursts of blooms, and more cactus plants than you can shake a sombrero at.
To celebrate, there will be an acoustic guitarist playing from Tuesday 26th June to Friday 29th June for a one hour set, 5:15pm-7:00pm.
JUST EAT FOOD FEST
On from 20th – 22nd July 2018, Just Eat Food Fest: Fantasy Fusions will transport guests to an insta-worthy world of playfulness, complete with slides, photobooths and ball pits, bringing feel good vibes to the heart of. Shoreditch. The street food festival will offer live music, cocktails, and cool food pop-ups and will serve some of the nation’s most loved takeaway dishes with a fantastical twist.
The event takes place at Last Days of Shoreditch, 288 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LA and is free for all.
FILM4 SUMMER SCREEN
Film4 Summer Screen is back, bringing the best of classic, cult and contemporary cinema to Somerset House’s stunning neoclassical courtyard in central London.
Films include Inception, Being John Malkovich, Call Me By Your Name, Total Recall, Labyrinth and The Wizard Of Oz, all shown under the night sky on London’s largest state-of-the-art outdoor screen with full surround sound.
Doors open 6:30pm, films start at dusk at 9pm. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic.
Take a break from sweaty gyms this summer and venture outdoors to Aviary’s stunning rooftop terrace for the new wellness pop-up series – RooFIT – on selected Thursday and Fridays throughout the summer.
Located between the City and Shoreditch, Aviary is on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square. Soak up killer panoramic views, whilst shaping up with one of three workouts from world-class fitness brands: triyoga, BXR and En Avant Ballet.
COVENT GARDEN’S OUTDOOR THEATRE
For something cultural, head over to Iris Theatre’s outdoor theatre by St. Paul’s Church in the middle of Covent Garden.
The theatre series runs from 20th June to Sunday 2nd September.
Inspired by the courtly royal masques of the 17th century and the designs of Inigo Jones, The Tempest will present evenings of pomp, magic and illusion.
TWELVE WEEKS OF ART
The Television Centre, former home of the BBC, is showing showing sports programming on giant outdoor screens and launching twelve-weeks of art. Swing by to watch Wimbledon on their outdoor screens, and grab a bite from the various food pop-up stalls.
The free events will run until Sunday 2 September 2018.
LISBOA JARDIM’S TASTE OF PORTUGAL
Soak up a little bit of Portugal on the streets of Marylebone.
Lisboa Jardin is the hotly anticipated pop-up inspired by Lisbon’s exhilarating vibe and the bold colours of Portugal. The pop-up has a fresh and relaxed vibe where you can expect everything from carefully crafted cocktails served in tuna cans (try before you judge, we’ve been told), to some of Portugal’s finest local delicacies.
Lisboa Jardim is located at The Terrace, 22 Portman Square W1H 7BG and runs from 7th June through until the end of September.
CHARLOTTE STREET APERITIVO TERRACE
The Aperitivo Terrace launches at Charlotte Street Hotel on 3rdJuly, celebrating European street café society. The adjoining Oscar Bar will also host a monthly masterclass series – enjoy a cocktail on arrival with a sharing platter on the private terrace, followed by a one-hour masterclass to sample The Low-groni, a twist on the classic Negroni.
Masterclasses will take place on 16th July, 13th August and 10th September. Tickets cost £65 including the aperitif masterclass, welcome cocktail and sharing board, followed by a three course dinner.
OUT OF TOWN
Itching to get out of London? Daylesford Organic Summer Picnic on the 14thJuly might be just the thing to tempt you out of town.
Dine under the trees at the long banquet table, with sharing platters straight from Daylesford’s organic farm. They promise an evening of seasonal home-grown food, music and games.