Designed by the Eden Project and run by Company of Cooks, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the place to be on a summer's evening for stunning sundown views over the Thames. On the roof of Queen Elizabeth Hall, next to the Hayward Gallery and in the shadow of A Room for London, the garden bar has the same appeal as New York's High Line - wild flowers, graffiti and a seat on the grass in the middle of the concrete brutalism of the Southbank Centre. Come for pre- or post-theatre drink, visit the Hayward's Alternative Guide to the Universe or just enjoy a Pimm's as the sun sets. It's what summer in London is all about.
London Summer Pop-Ups and Events
Stunning sundown views over the Thames and London.
Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX
Two months of comedy, cabaret and theatre from around the globe.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX
Dates: 07th April - 17th July 2016
Look out for an upside-down purple cow as you're crossing over the Golden Jubilee footbridge to the Southbank Centre from mid-April - failing that, just listen out for the belly laughs - and you'll find your way to London's funniest summer event. The colourful, comic, curvaceous cow marks the spot of the Udderbelly - a two-month festival of comedy, cabaret and theatre from around the globe. This year you can see funny man David Morgan performing his show Blammo! And America's Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin with an evening of hilarious ventriloquism and hi-jinks. Further acts are yet to be announced but you can expect a packed programme of quality entertainment.
Five months of feasting every Friday and Saturday night at Dalston Yard.
Dalston Yard, Hartwell Street, Islington, London, E8 3DU
Dates: 29th April - 24th September 2016
Street Feast returns to Dalston Yard in May 2016 for another summer of Friday and Saturday night feasts. The gastronomic event provides Londoners with five months of weekly night markets, bringing together food, booze and music. The Gin Store, a specialist indoor cocktail bar with bookable tables and 20 specialist gins (plus plenty of other drinks), is back, and hungry visitors will be able to choose from a number of well-known traders and guest traders, who will debut new menus for the occasion. With eight bars and 20 traders, the choices include Bleecker Burger, Rola Wala, Slider Bar, Yum Bun and Breddos Tacos who return with their Taco Shack. After becoming London's first full weekly night market in 2012, Street Feast offers interesting, delicious and high-quality food at an affordable price.
The golf club moves from underground to rooftop.
Roof East, Level 8 Stratford Multi-storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London, E15 1XE
Tube: Stratford Station
Dates: 03rd May - 28th August 2016
From the team who brought you the Rooftop Film Club Birdies crazy golf club comes to Roof East on Level 8 of a multi-storey car park in Stratford. Visited by more than 15,000 people when it was at the Vaults under Waterloo last winter, the 9-hole crazy golf course, with a challenging 5ft drop onto the sixth hole, makes a triumphant return to the lofty greens of Roof East, high above the streets of Stratford. Get swinging with cocktails from mixology masters Spirited Mixers, food from RockaDollar Dogs and DJ tunes under the east London summer sky. Open from 2pm at weekends until 10pm, it's ideal for families, early birdies and night owls.
The craziest crazy golf you'll ever play.
The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Tube: Aldgate East Station
Dates: 12th May 2016 to 31st December 2017
It's official: golf is the new clubbing. First we had Swingers, which went from pop-up to permanent with Swingers opening in the City on 27th May 2016. But pipping them to the post, Junkyard Golf Club takes over the Old Truman Brewery from 12th May for three months this summer. Crazier than the craziest golf you've ever played, the course includes odd obstacles like jacuzzis, speed boats, cows and treadmillsplus a UV neon section. Choose to play one of three courses 'Frank' (Putt Up Or Shut Up), 'Pedro' (Polluted Paradise), or Helga (In Da Club) - each has a nine hole course made up of washing machines and gym weights against a backdrop of graffiti scrawled walls. Four bars serve cocktails with puntastic names like the Golf Lundgren or Who's Your Caddy and street traders Barts Dog Kart and Big Grillie Style do the food.
A subterranean cocktail bar inspired by Sailor Jerry.
The Well, 180 St John Street, London, EC1V 4JY
Tube: Farringdon Station
Dates: 20th May - 30th September 2016
If you're all rooftopped out, get yourself to The Well this summer for the Sailor Jerry Hotel Street pop-up, which takes its name from the infamous red light district in Honolulu where legendary tattooist Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins mastered his skills. A rebellious Hawaiian hideaway, the subterranean cocktail bar has been transformed into a Sailor Jerry themed parlour with pin-up posters, neon lights and illuminated bottles of rum. The real thing will also be flowing, with a number of nautical tipples such as the Hearts and Daggers, made with Sailor Jerry, Galliano, Cointreau, lime and blackberries, and the Nautical Star, with Sailor Jerry, cranberry juice, passionfruit and strawberry puree. Snacks, meanwhile, include crab and sorrel croquettes, chilli salt squid with sweet chilli sauce and fish fingers with tartare sauce.
Street food, music, art and crazy golf.
Red Market, 288-299 Old Street, London, EC1V 9DP
Tube: Old Street Station
Dates: 25th May - 17th September 2016
The much-loved Red Market is back for its sixth year in 2016, returning to Shoreditch for possibly the last time. With the site due to be home to a new luxury, five-star hotel, the Red Market will be celebrating the Last Days of Shoreditch with three months of street food, art and music, as well as a crazy golf course from the team behind the Junkyard Golf Club. A pun-filled nod to Ibiza, the nine-hole golf course, titled Café Del Par, will include shots dubbed Carl Crocs and It's All Gone Pete Thong. Food will be served by the likes of Le Bao, Yeah Burger, Crabbie Shack and more in a rotating line-up while a collaboration with the nearby Red Gallery will see numerous art installations from Gavin Turk, Ben Eine and others. The Red Market will also screen sporting events throughout the summer, including the Euro Championship, Wimbledon final, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics.
A covered, rooftop food court set under a canopy of flowers.
Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London, W12 7RJ
Dates: 3rd May to 1st October 2017
A covered, rooftop food court set under a canopy of flowers and on the roof of the BBC Television Centre, Pergola on the Roof brings four well known London restaurants to W12. White City will look more like the Mediterranean as people dine under the ivy, wisteria and bougainvillea, choosing from bespoke menus by Rabbit, Salt Yard, Patty & Bun and Le Coq. Affordable plates of spatchcock chicken, brioche buns, pork rib, beef burgers, scallops, veal, rabbit, plaice and grilled lamb start from £6 and nothing is more than £13. Set 170 feet up, the scene is a relaxed one with a self-serve policy, well stocked bar, drinks trolley, five giant beds that seat up to ten people and white washed walls covered with murals. Perfect for summer.
Free live music, post-work DJ sessions, fitness and dance classes all summer long.
London Bridge, 203 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2JX
Tube: London Bridge Station
Dates: 01st June - 31st October 2016
London's largest free festival, the London Bridge City Summer Festival transforms the iconic riverside location into a summer hub of live entertainment, food and drink. Running from June through to October, the summer-long festival presents free live music five nights a week, post-work DJ sessions, fitness and dance classes, street performances, live theatre, film screenings and the showings of the summer's biggest sporting events. There will also be pop-up food and drink experience, London Riviera.
The rooftop bar is given a makeover for summer.
Skylounge, Tower of , 7 Pepys Street, London, EC3N 4AF
Dates: 01st June - 30th September 2016
Following on from last year's Nantucket Beach Club, the SkyLounge presents another summer residency in 2016, this time taking inspiration from Santa Monica. The stylish rooftop bar will offer a taste of laid-back Santa Monica living, with a beachside décor, frozen margaritas and bespoke cocktails. With views of the Gherkin, Tower of London and The Shard, guests will be able to look over the City while enjoying the benefits of a relaxed summer getaway. Specially created margaritas include grapefruit & jalapeno and strawberry and basil, while pineapple mimosas fresh fruit sangria, and a selection of Californian wines and beers will also be on offer. Embracing the Santa Monica way of life, food will be fresh and healthy, with salmon maki rolls, fish tacos, octopus skewers and cauliflower tostadas among the options. For those who want some indulgence, however, there will be churros with salted caramel sauce and deep filled doughnuts.
A family-friendly after hours event at the zoo.
ZSL London Zoo, Regent's Park Outer Circle, London, NW1 4RY
Tube: Chalk Farm Station
Dates: 03rd June - 15th July 2016
Replacing the ZSL London Zoo raucous Friday Lates, the Sunset Safari is a new family-friendly after-hours event. Visitors will be able to glimpse a tiger prowling at twilight and the giraffes settling down at dusk, as well as embark on self-guided safari trails and enjoy a packed programme of animal feeds and talks. There will also be animal themed acrobats, face painting, smooth jazz, acoustic performances and tempting food from more than 15 of London's independent vendors. For those who don't want to leave when the sun goes down, there will also be a late night Conservation Comedy event, with the likes of Rufus Hound, Katy Brand, Stewart Lee and Robin Ince performing.
Play petanque while sipping on a cocktail - you won't believe you're in Piccadilly.
Le Meridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BH
Dates: 21st June - 20th September 2016
Escape to the French Riviera without leaving London at Le Meridien Piccadilly whose Terrace Grill & Bar - one of the few outdoor spaces in this part of town - becomes a traditional village square complete with petanque ground for three months of the summer. Summer Soirees, put together by pop-up specialists Shuttlecock, brings a boardwalk, lined with deckchairs, parasols and Mediterranean vistas to the Le Meridien. Guests can try their hand at the quintessentially French game of petanque while listening to laid-back beats from French band Nouvelle Vague. Outside, enjoy balmy summer evenings amongst shady palms and colourful bougainvillea while sipping on a refreshing sparkling cocktail and enjoying a menu of antipasti.
Release your inner child and take a slide down the ArcelorMittal Orbit this summer.
ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Park, Stratford, London, E20 2ST
Tube: Stratford Station
Dates: 24th June 2016 to 1st May 2017
ArcelorMittal Orbit designer Anish Kapoor has collaborated with Belgian artist Carsten Holler, who gave us the big slide outside the Hayward Gallery in summer 2015, to create a giant slide down the side of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park landmark. When it opens in May 2016, the slide will be the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide, measuring approximately 178m long and will be 76m high. The descent will take about 40 seconds with sliders averaging a speed of six metres a second, or around 15mph. There are transparent sections on the slide so you can marvel at the view on the way down.
The popular month-long event returns this July.
Regent Street, Regent Street, London, W1B 5SJ
Tube: Oxford Circus Station
Dates: 03rd - 31st July 2016
Every Sunday in July Regent Street is banning traffic for the popular Summer Streets series. The month-long event will see every Sunday take on a different theme, including transporting, health and leisure, garden party, and fashion, with a huge range of activities to ensure everyone and all tastes are catered to. Transported By Design (3rd July) presents an extraordinary on-street showcase of transport design through the ages; Health and Lifestyle (10th July) invites an array of wellbeing experts to host a fun day of fun, fitness and leisure; Garden Party (17th July) fills the street with British food and music for the ultimate garden party; and Fashion with Magnum (24th July) sees a 16 station ice cream dipping bar descend on the street.
A brand new comedy festival with Jim Jefferies and Eddie the Eagle.
Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
Tube: Russell Square Station
Dates: 13th - 24th July 2016
From the creators of the world's largest multi-venue comedy festival, Just For Laughs in Montreal, Just For Laughs London is a brand new experience coming to Russell Square this summer. The eleven-day festival brings together street performers, stand-up comedians, cabaret, magicians and art installations. Cult comedian Jim Jefferies headlines while further acts on the line-up include British sporting hero Eddie the Eagle, Bethnal Green's very own Gina Yashere and spectacular illusion show the Champions of Magic. Further highlights include a world exclusive from Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Colin Mochrie, intriguing hypnosis show Hyprov and music from The Church.
The premium gin brand partners with one of London's top bars this summer.
SushiSamba, Heron Tower, 38th Floor, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
Dates: 21st July - 31st August 2016
In keeping with the current gin resurgence, premium gin brand Bombay Sapphire has partnered with SUSHISAMBA to create the Artistry in Alchemy terrace for summer 2016. Designed to celebrate the artful creation of Bombay Sapphire and its vapour infused 10 botanicals, the urban garden pop-up will invite guests to discover a new menu of alchemistic serves created by legendary bartender Rich Woods. It will see Bombay Sapphire fused with unusual ingredients from around the world, including matcha green tea, yuzu juice, kaffir lime leaf and coffee infused aromatised wine.
1,000 tons of sand, a cooling paddling pool, funfair rides and beach bars.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST
Dates: 23rd July - 04th September 2016
Over one thousand tons of sand has been deposited at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to create BeachEast, the UK's largest urban beach. Overlooking the canal, stadium and beautiful parklands, it's an ideal spot to while away the summer days. A paddling pool and funfair rides are ideal for keeping children entertained while two beach bars - Pub Tropicana and Coconut Joe's - sporting activities and live music are a tempting attraction for the grown-ups. There will also be BeachFeast, with fixed, permanent and changing food outlets providing a wide range of cuisines. So, forget overcrowded trains to the south coast and hop on the tube to east London instead.
Embrace the staycation with the return of this popular summer feature.
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Tube: Chalk Farm Station
Dates: 29th July - 29th August 2016
Championing the staycation since 2012, Camden Beach returns to the Roundhouse once again this year. Bringing practically everything associated with a beach holiday in England to central London, the terrace will be filled with sand, pop-up restaurants, bars, deckchairs, beach huts, beach games and much more. Partnering with Virgin Holidays, this year's event brings a slice of the Caribbean to London with a beach BBQ, Mount Gay Black Barrel cocktails and Caribbean-themed events. Kopparberg will once again be on hand to serve ice-cold fruit ciders, Lavazza will liven things up with their coffee and there will be a Coca Cola photobooth to capture all the fun. A series of live music events will also take place throughout the summer.
A huge pizza festival, with food, competitions, games and music.
Wembley Park, , London, HA9 0WS
Tube: Wembley Park Station
Dates: 30th July 2016
Pizza fans rejoice, a mega pizza festival is coming to London this summer, inviting everyone to join in on the cheese and tomato action. MySliceFest at Wembley Park will be serving up pizza cones, pizza waffles, pizza popcorn and, of course, good old fashioned pizza. And if that's not enough - we're sold already - there will also be beer pong, giant Connect Four, tomato throwing competitions and a soundtrack provided by the likes of Guy D'Angelo, DJ Luck & MC Neat, Off Colour, and Sammy Porter.
A celebration of our national drink, with over 900 beverages.
Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX
Dates: 09th - 13th August 2016
Over 66,000 people flock to this massive celebration of our national drink, which features over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and beers from around the world. There are over 350 different British breweries featured at the Great British Beer Festival and with the brewery boom across the country, and in London in particular, being chosen for the festival is a real privilege. Although it sounds like a fun event, don't be surprised to see a lot of very serious faces and concentration; some real ale experts are genuinely obsessive - and for them this isn't merely an occasion to get sozzled. Tutored tastings are on offer for anyone who wants to learn the subtleties of what makes a great beer. For the rest of us, though, this is a jolly day out with some delicious brewed drinks. Besides the amber nectar, there's a load of activities to keep you interested, including traditional pub games, live music and, to soak it all up, some hearty traditional pub snacks.
Eighteen world-class craft brewers showcase 60 superb beers.
Shoreditch Electric Light Station, Coronet Street, Hackney, London, N1 6HW
Tube: Old Street Station
Dates: 4th, 5th and 6th August 2017
Eighteen world-class craft brewers will be bringing 60 superb beers to the Oval Space in Bethnal Green this August. In recognition of so much great beer being made in the UK - much of which doesn't get the recognition it deserves - the London Craft Beer Festival brings brewers from the UK and Europe together under one roof - including breweries like the The Kernel Brewery, Camden Town Brewery, BrewDog and Redchurch Brewery from right here in London. Visitors are given information on each brewery and encouraged to sample small glasses to experience as much as possible. Street food is supplied by local companies like the Ginger Pig, E5 Bakehouse and Gelupo with dishes inspired by the beers. Bands and DJs provide the soundtrack, all to be enjoyed on the large Oval Space terraces overlooking the Bethnal Green gas works. Tickets are expected to go quickly.
Originally a pop-up, Swingers gets a new permanent home in 2016.
Brown's Buildings, Bury Street, London, EC3A 4AF
It started out in 2015 as a pop-up in Shoreditch but a year later Swingers gets a permanent bigger and better home at Brown's Buildings, between St Mary Axe and Bury Street, in a former WWII bunker in the City. Ideal for those who fancy a bit of a competitive sports while they socialise, Swingers combines two crazy golf courses with a two-storey clubhouse. There's excellent street food from some of London's best vendors, including Patty and Bun and Pizza Pilgrims, and not one but five bars, each with its own speciality cocktails. Want to keep scores and order food while you're on the course? There's an app for that.
Watch water-inspired movies from a floating pontoon.
St Katharine Docks, Tower Bridge Approach, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1LA
Tube: Tower Hill Station
Dates: 22nd - 28th August 2016
St Katharine Docks plays host to the Floating Cinema this August, with a week of water-inspired classics being shown on the big screen. Visitors to the floating pontoon will be able to watch The Beach, The Impossible, Jaws, Pirates of the Caribbean and Mamma Mia as well as kid-friendly options like The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo and Splash. Craft beer, cocktails and burgers will be on the menu, bean bags will be available to snuggle up on and blankets will be provided to ensure you stay warm after the sun goes down.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden
Street Feast London
Birdies Crazy Golf Club
Junkyard Golf Club
Sailor Jerry Hotel Street
The Last Days of Shoreditch
Pergola on the Roof
London Bridge City Summer Festival
Santa Monica at Skylounge
Le Meridien Piccadilly Summer Soirees
Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit
Just For Laughs London
Bombay Sapphire: Artistry in Alchemy
The Great British Beer Festival
London Craft Beer Festival
Summer in London
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