London’s risqué circus tent returns to the South Bank for its 5th year with the best in cabaret, circus, comedy and music. Topping the bill this year is Canada’s Cirque Alfonse with a show called Barbu. Imagine if clowns met hipsters and this is what you’d get – acrobats with groomed beards! A few years ago I was lucky enough to catch Briefs which stars a hilarious bunch of Aussies gallivanting around in their pants, performing tricks and entertaining the crowds. They’re back with a new show this year, so grab a ticket while you can!
I you’re partial to a pint, then this is the festival for you. This year is the 200th anniversary of the Brixton Windmill, so what better way to celebrate than to team up with Brixton Brewery to host Brixton’s first Beer and Bread Festival. It’s taking place on bank holiday Monday and is free to go along… plus there will be plenty of goodies to sample. Local breweries and bakeries are all getting involved, including Brixton Brewery, Canopy Beer Company, Clarkshaws Brewery, London Beer Lab and Old Post Office Bakery… all to the soundtrack of some great live music.
The biggest talents from the worlds of jewellery, art, calligraphy, pottery and more will be showing off their skills during London Craft Week. 20,000 people attended the 70 events last year, and this year is already looking bigger and better with 130 events taking place across the city. Highlights include the launch of a new Mulberry collection, perfume making, and a chance to see how costumes are made for TV and film with costumiers from Game of Thrones.
At the end of May, green fingered enthusiasts will be gathering to check out the incredible array of flora on display in upmarket Chelsea. Boasting over 500 exhibitors, highlights this year include a floral arch made to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, a 60-foot carriage from Belmond British Pullman which will be housed in the Great Pavilion, and an acoustic garden which will play music to visitors!
If the Brixton Beer Festival isn’t quite your thing, then get ready for London Wine Week! Back for its third year, the capital will be hosting masterclasses, tasting sessions, pop ups and supper clubs. All you need to do is grab a wristband for £10 and then check out the program here. With over 100 top bars participating, it could make for quite a boozy week!
New musicals don’t launch in London very often… especially not ones with this much hype! Already a huge success on Broadway, this Disney musical has hit written all over it. Along with all the classic songs (A Whole New World anyone?!) there will be plenty of special effects and a flying carpet or two!
There are so many lovely traditions in London, and the Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival is one of them! It kicks off with a grand procession through Covent Garden, and culminates with a birthday toast to Mr Punch, who was first seen by Samuel Pepys 354 years ago on this day. Along with the puppets there will be a carnival atmosphere with maypole dancing, clowns, live music and food.
8. Live Music
It’s another big month for music in the capital with Radiohead, Bryan Adams, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Anastasia, Klingande, James, We Are Scientists, Il Divo, Busted, Jamie Woon and Katy B all performing live. While the weather isn’t showing much sign of perking up, we’re still preparing for summer festival season. At the start of the month the streets of Notting Hill will come to life for Portobello Live, with top live music, spoken word and delicious street food. At the end of the month, the biggest names in house and dance music including Fatboy Slim, Steve Angello, DJ Fresh, Sigma and DJ Snake will be taking to the decks at We Are Fstvl.
Gather a group of mates and head to Birdies in Stratford for a fun afternoon or evening of crazy golf. 15,000 people (including me) checked it out when it was housed in the Vaults under Waterloo, but now the 9-hole course is s moving to the dizzy heights of a car park in Stratford! More than just a round of golf, there’s street food, DJs and even film screenings – well worth checking out!
10. Alchemy 2016
Expect art, dance, music, film and plenty of colourful culture as the South Asian festival returns to London for its 7th year. From reworkings of Shakespeare in Urdu, to Asian fashion shows, and music from Asian Dub Foundation, there’s something for everyone. After enjoying the festival, be sure to head outside where KERB, (one of my favourite food markets in London) will be serving up Pakistani, Afghani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Indian cuisine.
Chloe Gunning – http://www.wanderlustchloe.com