things-to-do-in-august

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49 best things to do in London in August to soak up the last of summer in the city

Making plans through to the Bank Holiday weekend…

Georgia Brown

As Londoners soak up the sweet freedom of having no social restrictions for the first time in over a year, team HELLO! have been busy rounding up the very best things to do in London this August. From the best new hangouts to delicious foodie spots, the ultimate places to picnic and where to indulge in London's luxuries, we've found it all.

DISCOVER: 25 of the best luxury spa breaks in the UK

RELATED: 3 unmissable day trips from London to visit by train

If you're scrambling to arrange plans before the glorious weather disappears, our round up of the best things to do in August is the perfect way to make the most of glorious London this summer.

Best luxury things to do in London

Indulge in a five-star overnight stay at 100 Queen's Gate Hotel

one-night-5-break

For an unforgettable experience complete with five-star luxury, situated in the heart of London's romantic Kensington, you'll love this overnight stay with afternoon tea for two at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton.

With exquisite décor in the deluxe room, plush kingsize beds and glorious views of London's skyline, this hotel stay guarantees relaxation. Just a stone's throw from world-famous attractions such as Kensington Palace, Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall, you'll never be far from things to do with your loved one.

In the afternoon, enjoy a creatively crafted afternoon tea in the hotel’s glass-roofed atrium room, Botanica. Dine like the Queen as you tuck into an array of delicious sweet and savoury treats. In the morning, enjoy a tasty full English breakfast, before enjoying a late checkout.

For just £269, this steal is not one to miss. To book, visit virginexperiencedays.com

Three Course Dinner with Cocktail for Two at The Fortnum & Mason Bar and Restaurant

fm-restaurant

This gift experience is fit for royalty! Treat your loved one (or yourself) like the Queen at The Fortnum & Mason Bar and Restaurant, where you'll take your seats in the al-fresco surroundings of the Royal Exchange's central courtyard. Named the Most Instagrammable Restaurant in London', after you've posed for a photo or two, toast to the weekend and enjoy three exquisite courses from a set seasonal menu. What's more, they are hosting a special Ronnie Scott night at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon all month. 

To book, visit virginexperiencedays.com

MORE: 33 UK hotels you need to visit for a summer weekend getaway

Get a blow dry and bottomless wine with BABE London

BABExBlueTit-Landscape-Square-Tile

Channel your inner city chic and indulge in a seriously babe-ilicious concept - drink wine as you get your hair done! BABE and Blue Tit salons have collaborated to create a bespoke menu of three individual blow-drys and summer styles this August. Inspired by this summer's hottest hair trends, the BABE Blow Out with Blue Tit is priced from £44 (depending on stylist) and will be available in all 10 Blue Tit Salons across London.

The package includes a dazzling blow-dry or braids to help you truly kickstart the summer, unlimited BABE wine, and a luxury goody-bag worth £150 including the ultimate desert island essentials: Organic, Biodynamic Botanical Italian Hair Care Brand - Oway, Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm, Beauty Sheets by The Perfect V, Luminizer by The Perfect V, Rose Gold Shavers from FFS Beauty and of course, multiple cans of BABE, the drink of the summer.

To book, visit www.bluetitlondon.com

Best afternoon teas in London for Afternoon Tea week 

B Bakery Vintage Afternoon Tea bus tour for two

b-bakery-vintage-afternoon

There's nothing that says 'London' quite like afternoon tea. All aboard B Bakery's luxury vintage afternoon tea bus where guests will enjoy a quintessentially British afternoon tea. Treat yourself to a choice of savoury treats, sandwiches and pastries, with a large choice of teas and coffees, while taking in the many sights of London aboard B Bakery’s vintage double decker bus. Tea-riffic!

To book, visit virginexperiencedays.com

Afternoon tea with a view of London

seacrys

Enjoy beautiful afternoon teas in some of the UK’s most unique and historic settings, including the Staycation Afternoon Tea at Europe’s longest Champagne Bar, sky-high tea at The Gherkin, and The Churchill Afternoon Tea at Blenheim Palace. Experts in Champagne, Searcys afternoon teas are always a bubbly affair. The Gherkin puts the ‘high’ in high tea with its stunning 360-degree views across the City of London; and with limitless Moët & Chandon, this afternoon tea is extra special. Enjoy a selection of mini savouries, including a smoked salmon, fennel, and dill roll; Welsh rarebit; and salt beef Reuben brioche buns; as well as a Coronation chicken terrine. Sweet treats include homemade Jersey fruit and plain scones, served with Cornish clotted cream and fruit preserve, followed by three pretty as a picture indulgent pastries.So whether it's an afternoon tea with a view at The Gherkin or taking in the views with a historical afternoon tea at the beautiful Blenheim Palace, Searcys really have got you covered this Afternoon Tea Week. 

To book now, visit searcysatthegherkin.co.uk

Enjoy a Tea Party at The Ivy

alice-in-wonderland-ivy

In celebration of The Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition, ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser,’ The Ivy Kensington Brasserie has introduced a number of new and exciting cocktails alongside an enchanting afternoon tea - fit for any Mad Hatter! Guests will be able to treat themselves to four limited-edition cocktails including the Queen of Hearts, Down The Rabbit Hole, Wonderland Spritz, and finally, Pool of Tears (and we promise they're seriously Instagrammable). For those in search of the mad hatter or white rabbit, they're also offering an Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea, featuring a mix of sweet and savoury treats such as smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread to salted caramel chocolate cups and passion fruit macaroons - because no adventure is complete without tea first, of course...

Until Thursday 2nd September. Information and booking: theivykensingtonbrasserie.com

Celebrate National Afternoon Tea Week in the comfort of your own home

afternoon-tea

Get ready to spread the strawberry jam, dollop that clotted cream onto freshly baked scones and raise your teacup, in the comfort of your own home, with a delivery from leading artisan French bakery, PAUL, directly to your door. Lovingly handcrafted by the master bakers at PAUL, the new Afternoon Tea Selection (£29.95 for two) is available online for next day delivery if ordered before 12pm, across select London and Oxford postcodes. What’s more, from 9th – 15th August, there will be free delivery of the Afternoon Tea, with the code FREEDELIVERY.

Order here: www.paul-uk.com/afternoon-tea

Treat yourself to afternoon tea at a private members' club

afternoon-tea-allbright-members-club

Just in time for Afternoon Tea Week starting on 9 August, female co-founded Perrier-Jouët Champagne and AllBright Members Club, created by women for women, are continuing their successful partnership with the ultimate Afternoon Tea experience, treating members and guests to a spectacular al-fresco dining escapade, in the heart of Mayfair. Non-members will be able to enjoy a tea with a special French twist for one week only, Monday to Friday from 3 to 5pm. 

Best foodie things to do in London 

Visit the newest celebrity hangout

gino-me-london

Located at the ME London hotel on The Strand (336-337), Gino D'Acampo's new restaurant, Luciano, is set to be popular among his celebrity friends! The stunning place offers an impressive à-la-carte menu, designed by the famous TV chef and Executive Head Chef Lorenzo Minini. Signature dishes include braised beef cannelloni, spaghetti lobster and rose veal cutlet Milanese. An extensive dessert (dolci) menu provides the perfect finish, including Gino's own personal favourite, tiramisù. The result? Every dish we tried was absolutely sensational. This new restaurant is well worth your time and money.  

Book a table here, lucianobyginodacampo.com

 

Dine near the Queen at The Bailiwick

bailiwick

If you fancy escaping the hubbub of central London, hop on a train from Waterloo to nearby Windsor for supper at the  Bailiwick Freehouse, nestled on the edge of Great Windsor Park. It's a charming countryside spot, with the most welcoming staff and not far from the home of Her Majesty the Queen!

The Bailiwick has recently opened and serves produce from the local area. In fact, the Head Gamekeeper at The Royal Farm and Windsor Great Park supplies much of the game to the restaurant (that's right, he supplies the Queen her venison too – wow). Head Chef Steven Ellis has some impressive credentials, having trained under the tutelage of Clare Smyth MBE at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, so expect sophisticated dishes such as Smoked Haddock Scotch Egg and Windsor Great Park Roe Deer. The Summer Truffle Mac & Cheese side is highly recommended.

The desserts are to die for – try the Custard Tartlet, Lemon Parfait with Burnt Meringue or Chocolate Delice. We were particularly taken with the après-dessert chocolate serving that came with its own mini wooden hammer to gently smash at the table. A lovely touch.

Find out more here thebailiwick.co.uk

 

Dine at Vinegar Yard's stunning sun-soaked terrace

vinger-yard

Make the most of the breakthrough sunshine and enjoy some al fresco dining in the centre of London at Vinegar Yard. It's also the best spot for a birthday party or big family get together, as they take bookings for all party sizes from 2 to 300! It's a really fun venue to relax in the sun for a whole afternoon or evening, but also great for a delicious pitt stop for lunch or dinner if you're having a busy day in the city. Top of our list for food was Nik's Kitchen's Traditional Laksa and Nanny Bill's burgers, chicken sticks and mac'n'cheese croquettes. All washed down with a jug of Pimm's. Perfect!

To book, visit www.vinegaryard.london

Try one of the best roasts south of the river

jolly-gardeners

Now this is a story we can get behind. Five friends missed each other, and the pub, so much during lockdown that they decided to open their own as soon as restrictions lifted. Say HELLO! to The Jolly Gardeners in Vauxhall – a 19th century pub that has been completely refurbished and restored to its former glory. The friendly establishment is the perfect place to while away an evening or a Sunday with its light-flooded interior, hanging foliage, stunning original timber bar and its secret suntrap terrace for warmer days.

The owners, whose collective experience include the likes of Oblix, Polpo, and The Delaunay, have a simple focus: to serve proper, quality food – and that they do excel at. When we visited for Sunday lunch, the roast was hands-down one of the best you'll find south of the river. Pick from the lamb, pork or beef sourced from Lyons Hill Farm in Dorset, or Hasselback butternut squash for the non-meat eaters, and enjoy your main with family-style sharing sides including cauliflower cheese, cumin carrots, garlic buttered greens and of course, roasties. The gastropub also isn't shy about serving extra jugs of their 48-hour gravy, and we love them for it. The whole meal was perfection and felt like a big old hug, and is perfect if you just want some good old-fashioned comfort food.

Make sure you also try their creative and original starters. The samphire and green onion bhaji was subliminal and although it says it's to share, you won't have any problems finishing the whole plate to yourself.

To book a table, visit thejollygardeners.co.uk

Indulge in a meat lover's feast at The Coal Shed

coal-shed-meat-feast

Indulgence really is the only word to describe The Coal Shed's latest offering, the BBQ Butcher's Feast. Every Friday and Saturday throughout August and September, the Tower Bridge-based restaurant will serve its new banquet of perfectly flame-grilled meat and steaks, and trust us, it really is the dream for any carnivore-lover. Designed for two people to share (but actually enough for three), the feast comprises a tender smoked beef short rib with barbecue glaze, a sweet smoked maple glaze bacon rib, and two types of steak, a dry-aged ribeye and the pièce de résistance, a beautifully succulent fillet tail steak.

It's as close to feeling like you're dining like a king or a queen, tucking into one cut of meat after another, each as flavoursome and perfectly grilled as the one before. And that's not all. The banquet also comes with deep-fried, beef fat hash browns and mushroom ketchup, and a fresh heritage tomato and mustard dressing salad. We challenge you to leave space for dessert, because also included in the £42pp menu is an Eton Mess to share. For the price and the sheer quality and quantity of the food, this really is a set menu you won't regret ordering.

To book a table, visit coalshed-restaurantlondon.co.uk

Dine at Made in Chelsea favourite Bluebird Chelsea

bluebird-lillet

Make like the stars of Made in Chelsea and head to the swanky SW3 hotspot, Bluebird Chelsea, located on the King's Road. Fans of the reality TV show will recognise the buzzy courtyard, which, until September, has been transformed into a floral oasis courtesy of French aperitif brand Lillet. You'll be able to sip on summer cocktails including the punchy white negroni and the more relaxed Lillet flower spritz while enjoying the city atmosphere.

Indoors and upstairs is the main restaurant – a beautifully chic setting that's perfect for a girly gathering or for a dinner date night. The modern European menu is varied and is sure to have you deliberating over what to order. We can highly recommend the salad of summer vegetables, a riot of colour on your plate accompanied by the most delicious (vegan!) truffle cream cheese. The burrata is also like no other burrata dish you will have tried before, served with nectarine, pine nuts and drizzled with chilli oil. As for mains, you can't go wrong with the British grass-fed sirloin of beef, which comes with triple cooked chips and indulgent bone marrow sauce. Make sure you leave space for dessert; the hot chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream is perfect for sharing and the dream for anyone with a sweet tooth.

To book a table, visit bluebird-restaurant.co.uk

Have an exotic feast at Zuaya

zuaya

One of the best things about London is the unparalleled variety of cuisine available, and we just love it when a restaurant absolutely nails its offering. Zuaya, which can be found off Kensington High Street, is a fabulous pan-Latin American restaurant that specialises in Mexican, Brazilian, Peruvian and Spanish dishes. Set up by Spanish twin brothers Alberto and Arian, the chic establishment focuses on tapas-style platters, but they aren't your typical, traditional tapas. You can tell that a lot of love and thought has gone into each dish to make them as innovative and unique as possible.

The menu is divided into eight sections from ceviche and stews to tacos and robata grills. Make like us and ask your server to recommend dishes. We were brought out a roster of signature plates, the best of which included the melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef short rib in a soft, fluffy bao bun, and the shredded lamb taco. Even the guacamole and sweet potato crisps, and the crispy cassava, both simple dishes, were out-of-this-world excellent. You really can't go wrong with whatever you order, and the best bit is you can sample a variety thanks to the tapas concept. Make sure to try their exquisite cocktails too, in particular the London to Lima, as well as their desserts. The dulce de leche and coconut flan is the dream for those with a sweet tooth.

To book a table visit zuaya.co.uk

Devour hearty Filipino dishes

romulu-cafe

It's not hard to see why Romulo Café & Restaurant has been named Kensington's favourite local restaurant two years in a row. This wonderful Filipino restaurant makes full use of locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and only recently introduced standouts like Beef Pares Mami (slow poached beef rib slices in a light broth, delicately scented with aniseed and garnished with egg noodles) and Cornish Mussels Stewed in Coconut Milk & Ginger. Our favoirutes were the Gambas al Ajillo or Spanish garlic shrimp – large juicy shrimps, doused in tasty olive oil and garlic sauce and the delicious beef steak, roasted in soy sauce and caramelised onions. 

To book a table, head romulocafe.co.uk

Have the freshest pasta at Como Garden

como-garden

Located literally next door to Zuaya is the restaurant's little sister, Como Garden, which opened in November 2020 just days before the third lockdown. They promptly had to shut up shop before re-opening in spring and this Italian establishment is definitely one to add to your bucket list if you love pasta. The pasta is homemade every morning, so you can guarantee it'll be fresh and delicious and taste like the authentic dishes of Italy. The tagliatelle al beef ragu was sublime – fresh flat pasta smothered in slow-cooked saucy beef ragu – as was the refreshing burrata with pesto and tomatoes.

For starters, the caponata (slow fried aubergines, capers and pine nuts in a tomato sauce), may sound understated but it's full of flavour, while the arancini balls are always a crowd-pleaser. There's also an abundance of meat and fish courses, and if you're a fan of octopus, go for the grilled octopus with gremolata and English-style roasties. We also highly recommend the Como Ferrero Roche for dessert, a chocoholic's dream, but it is incredibly rich so worth sharing – you have been warned.

As for cocktails, hands down one of the best we've ever tried in London was the absolutely delectable Lago Amaranto. Gin, limoncello, blackberries, egg white and sugar – no wonder it's one of the restaurant's signature tipples. Trust us, it's worth visiting Como Garden just for this cocktail.

To book a table visit comogarden.co.uk

Snack on small plates in secluded South East terrace 

ling-ling

Pay a visit to the cosy upstairs terrace of TOLA Peckham, where they have recently launched a delicious Asian inspired food concept, Ling Ling’s. Made up of tasty sharing plates with everything from crispy duck to spring rolls to burrato, enjoy a taste of south east Asia in south eat London!

To book visit TolaPeckham.com

Catch up over pizza

farina

Renowned as one of London's most authentic Neapolitan pizza, Farina has brought their latest restaurant to Notting Hill! They are known for championing Italian suppliers and ingredients, with fresh San Marzano tomatoes, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana and 48-hour fermented dough. The menu consists of all-time classics such as the Napoletana - tomato sauce, fiordilatte mozzarella, anchovies, kalamata olives, wild capers & oregano or Salsiccia e Friarielli - Italian sausage, Neapolitan 'wild broccoli', fiordilatte mozzarella, parmesan & fresh basil.

Find out more here farinapizza.co.uk

Enjoy some Joie De Vivre at Balthazar

balthazar-cocktails

Celebrating the joys of life, Balthazar is bringing a  touch of French sophistication and glamour to the heart of Covent Garden - for all those who didn't manage a holiday. Throughout the months of  August and September, guests can enjoy a number of limited-edition cocktails created in collaboration with Grey Goose Vodka and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, weekly live nautical and cabaret themed entertainment, and a chic pop-up terrace bar to enjoy on sunnier days.

To make a reservation, visit balthazarlondon.com

Sort out your hangover at The Saxon

the-saxon-clapham

Don't waste the day if you're feeling delicate - head to The Saxon in Clapham for bottomless bubbles and a burger. We've tried and tested the 'hangover burger' and can assure you it sorts even the sorest of heads, meaning you're ready for the rest of the weekend. It costs just £35 for any burger on the menu and 90 minutes of bottomless bubbles - chin chin!

Details: thesaxon.co.uk

Grab an energy boost at How Matcha!

how-matcha

Skip the cocktails and head for a smoothie instead - and new coffee shop and dessert bar, How Matcha! celebrates the many health benefits of matcha, whilst showcasing the versatility of the green superfood. The menu is filled with items packed with goodness, such as the Radiant drink (with pitaya, rose water, collagen and milk) and popular breakfast dishes such as Smashed It (avocado, dukkah, red pepper flakes on sourdough). Your skin will thank you!

Website: howmatchaofficial.com

Enjoy some Sussex in Soho

rathfinny-soho-hotel

English wine producers, Rathfinny Estate, have taken over The Refuel Terrace at The Soho Hotel in London for a celebration of Sussex in Soho. Located in the South Downs National Park, just three miles from the sea, Rathfinny enjoys a climate, chalk soil and aspect that are perfect for producing world-class sparkling wine. The wines on offer include their Classic Cuvée, Blanc de Noirs and Rosé, and are served alongside an aperitivo style British cocktail list with small plates of fresh seasonal produce. Tucked away on Richmond Mews, the Refuel Terrace is set under twinkling lights and surrounded by leafy olive trees - perfect for your next date night.

Tickets are £12, including a glass of Rathfinny or a cocktail of your choice. Details: designmynight.com/london/whats-on/date-night/rathfinny-estate-pop-up-on-the-refuel-terrace

Be treated to Japanese in Soho

machiya

For authentic Japanese restaurants, you couldn’t do much better than paying a trip to the delicious Machiya, which is located a stone’s throw from Leicester Square. With a range of incredible dishes from Pork Belly Nikujaga to Wagyu Katsu - you will have a new favourite dish by the end of the evening. Oh, but don’t forget to order the chicken wings with chilli, mmm. And special shout out to our waiter Tug, who will give you some top recommendations from the menu! 

To book visit machi-ya.co.uk

Dine at Novikov Italian

novikov-italian-restaurant

Located in the heart of Mayfair, Novikov Italian is a must-visit destination for those who love hearty cuisine. The goregous imposing wood-fired oven, suede wall panelling, mirrors in solid oak frames and the rustic chandeliers are inviting as ever. Food wise, the indulgent menu offers regional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist. The classic Novikov burrata and finely sliced raw beef with parmesan shavings & wild rocket are a must, followed by either the linguine with native lobster & datterino tomato or tagliatelle with Yorkshire wagyu bolognese. Then conclude with the milk chocolate fondant.

Book visit, novikovrestaurant.co.uk

Crack into a whole lobster 

lobster-20-z_

Fancy eating like a king for the evening without the price tag? To celebrate Burger & Lobster’s 10th anniversary, the renowned surf and turf restaurants are offering a whole lobster, fries and a side salad for just £20! Of course, you could always opt for a burger, or their fan favourite lobster roll instead. Either way, there is something for everyone at this tasty eatery that never disappoints! 

To book, visit burgerandlobster.com

Enjoy the taste of Mexico at La Bodega Negra

bodega-negra

With a new head chef, Soho’s famous Mexican restaurant is most definitely worth a visit! The downstairs restaurant (with its very risqué entrance) is reminiscent of Mexico City’s infamous underground clubs, where you will be treated to highlights including black mole quesadillas, scallops, and some of the best guacamole you will ever taste! Be sure to also pick up one of their yummy chilli cocktails! 

To book, visit labodeganegra.com

Enjoy a sun-filled Mexican brunch

madera-treehouse

Central London Californian-Mexican restaurant, Madera at Treehouse London, has launched a brand new summer brunch series in partnership with multi-award winning premium sipping tequila brand Casamigos. Taking place on the last Saturday of each month, the Casamigos Tequila x Madera Brunch Series brings a taste of summer to Marylebone, combining the best Californian and Mexican flavours paired with curated Casamigos tequila cocktails.

To book, visit www.treehousehotels.com

Head for some Peruvian Cuisine (and cocktails afterwards!)

floral-by-lima

Whether you've been to other LIMA restaurants before or not, you have to head to Floral by LIMA's Pisco Patio this summer for some South American dishes, all washed down with some innovative cocktails. The kitchen team, led by Executive Chef Adrian Sanchez, is known for serving dramatic and colourful dishes bursting with vibrant flavours, using the ancient cooking methods and sustainable ingredients found deep in the Andean mountains, to the specialist Asian techniques of cutting and cooking fish caught on the Pacific coast. Tuck into the timeless classics of ‘Tuna Nikkei Ceviche with Soy Tiger’s Milk’ or ‘Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Pineapple Dressing' - and then head to The Lost Alpaca bar downstairs for a Pisco Sour or Lima Negroni. That's your WHOLE night sorted!

Website and details: limalondon.com

Go crazy for bottomless pizza in Marylebone

crazy-pizza-knightsbridge

Pizza and live music guarantees a fail-safe great night, and Crazy Pizza in Marylebone is serving up Italian dishes alongside stunning live performances every Saturday. This much-loved stylish dining destination has just launched its party style 'Crazy Bubbles' brunch, tempting visitors with a bottomless champagne and cocktail offering, fantastic food -including the restaurants iconic pizzas- and crazy fun entertainment. 

Starting at midday until 3pm, the all-inclusive and bottomless Crazy Bubbles will provide entertainment with an incredible shot show, traditional napkin waving performances and energetic pizza spinning shows taking place throughout the afternoon.

To book, visit crazypizza.com

Discover the best of London's food scene at BOXPARK

box-park

Calling all foodies, introducing to hippest food spot on the block. BOXPARK Shoreditch has just launched new traders, offering vegan Pan-Asian street food, pillowy Neapolitan pizzas, award-winning healthy breakfasts, and an irresistible dessert station, whilst BOXPARK Wembley introduces some good old fish & chips, and Greek-style gyros with tasty grilled meats.

For deceptively delicious plant-based food, head to Clean Kitchen at the Shoreditch branch for the best 'chicken' burgers you'll want to sink your teeth into. A vibey hangout with live music, DJ sets and unbeatable food, this rooftop spot is not one to miss. 

Get fruity with Trishna's new menu

trishna-restaurant

Trishna is bringing a taste of Indian Summer to the heart of Marylebone with the launch of their Mango Festival. The restaurant has a new limited-edition, mango-themed food and drinks menu available from June through to September. Executive Chef Sajeev Nair has designed a divine four-course menu where each dish incorporates the seasonal fruit, including a seafood and mango salad and mango curry with hake fillet. The three-course set menu is priced at £35pp or four courses at £40pp.

Find out more at trishnalondon.com

Have a smashing time with Greek street food

smashing-plates-gyros

Smashing Plates is London Bridge's hottest new destination for a quick bite to eat. Opened by Greek restaurateur Neofytos Christodoulou last month, the venue, nestled in the station arches, serves up a fresh and unorthodox take on Greek and Cypriot street food classics. The carefully curated menu includes a selection of chicken, pork, lamb or plant-based gyros, all made to Neo's family recipe topped with their signature Smashing Sauce. Don't forget to try the moussaka mac & cheese – it's unreal.

Find out more at smashingplates.uk

MORE: Top ten vegan restaurants in London that you need to try

Best bars and cocktail spots to visit in London

rooftop

Enjoy a St Germain Spritz on one of London's rooftops

With summer holiday plans still uncertain for many, ST-GERMAIN has partnered with renowned florist McQueens Flowers to curate a series of beautiful floral terraces, adding a touch of 'je ne sais quoi' to al fresco hotspots – the perfect place for friends to come together for moments of shared indulgence.   The terrace takeovers, which include London hotspots Great Northern Hotel and Radio Rooftop, will provide a floral oasis for people to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and sip on a signature ST-GERMAIN Spritz in the sunshine.

Bookable through Eventbrite, tickets cost £85, which includes a ST-GERMAIN Spritz Kit to take home.

Discover Cocktails in the City 

City

Cocktails in the City, London’s most exciting festival of drinks, is back for its third event in August and ready to party! For its final instalment, the team will be transforming London’s Bedford Square into a quintessential British summer festival, for a weekend long celebration dedicated to cocktails. Guests can expect immersive and interactive cocktail presentations, live music, silent disco, London’s top bars and festival makeovers plus delicious street food vendors and, of course, world class drinks. 

To book, visit: cocktailsinthecity

Watch the sun go down at Skylight Peckham

skylight-peckham

Fans of Skylight Tobacco Dock will be pleased to hear that Skylight Peckham has just opened its doors, right in the centre of the trendy London neighbourhood. If you're looking for a new place to watch the sun go down and sip on cocktails, head to the top of the tower block on Theatre Walk where you'll find the chic bar and restaurant. With sweeping views of the city, it's an idyllic spot to catch the sunset. Or, head there for bottomless brunch on the weekend. For £34.99, you can enjoy bottomless prosecco or DIY Bloody Mary's for two hours, plus tuck into classics like poached egg and charred asparagus, or burrata with nduja and smoked aubergine. There's also a roving live band who play the best chill-out tunes while you kickstart your day.

To book a table, visit skylightbars.com/peckham

Sip the taste of summer at Plateau’s Wild Summer Terrace

plateau-9

Visit the beautiful Plateau in Canary Wharf for a taste of summer with their lovely Wild Summer Terrace. The indoor terrace gives off greenhouse vibes as you settle in with a tasty floral cocktail (we would recommend the Botanist Spritz), with tasty options on their summer menu. We’d also recommend their perfect fillet steak with bearnaise sauce if you really fancy a treat! 

To book, visit plateau-restaurant.com

 

Best delivery ideas in London

Fancy an alluring post workout boost?

atis

atis, the energetic and flavour-packed salad and bowl bar has recently opened its second home in Belgravia's Eccleston Yards. They have been on a mission to get more people eating amazing, nourishing, plant-forward food that makes you feel good, served to some upbeat music in a great environment. The eating and drinking haven is the ideal second home for atis. Locals can get their sweat on at one of the en-vogue fitness destinations next door and get straight to atis for an alluring post workout boost and spend the afternoon chilling in the yard. The flavour packed menu offers rotating seasonal bowls of nourishing wists on loved classics in an array of healthy and delicious colour-packed salads and warm bowls.

To find out more, head to atisfood.com

 Get Bake Off ready

bake-off

With Season 12 of The Great British Bake Off set to air on our screens very soon, get your order in for The Bake Off Box (the official subscription box to the series) where you can bake along with the show. Each surprise recipe sent out to subscribers in September, October and November will be one of the bakes from the show set by Paul and Prue! So you can create the same bakes as the bakers in the tent but from the comfort of your own home. Each box will include a bespoke piece of Bake Off equipment, the surprise recipe, illustrated recipe card, dry ingredients and collectable postcard.

Order by 31st August via www.bakeoffbox.co.uk to receive a three-month Sep, Oct, and Nov show bundle

Hosting a dinner party? Pleesecakes Chuffles have got you covered

chuffles

Pleesecakes have just released their brand-new Chuffles, a winning combination of chocolate truffle and cheesecake. A decadent selection of 24 or 12 x artisan cheesecake truffles, each handmade using Pleesecakes’ finest cream cheese mix, encased in a thick rich chocolate shell. Perfectly packed in a custom designed box, there’s four new tempting flavours including: Sticky ToffeePudding, Biscoff, Chocolate Orange and Strawberries & Cream - the perfect after-dinner treat for your guests! 

Pre-order for 24 August here 

 

Best alternative things to do in London

Cook up a BBQ on the water

skuna-boat

Make the most of the last of the summer and head to Canary Wharf, where Skuna Boats offers a BBQ experience like no other. Up to nine people can fit on their BBQ Boats, so grab your friends, pack your own sausages and bacon, and settle in for 100 minutes of nautical fun on the water. Each self-drive electric boat is fully equipped with BBQ utensils, so you just need to bring your own food; alcoholic drinks, which are limited per person, can be bought at Skuna's bar.

You'll have to nominate one person to be captain and to be in charge of the driving, but it isn't too difficult to master and the boats can't travel too fast. Drift along Canary Wharf and take in the impressive skyscrapers while tucking into your burgers and beer. The experience is definitely a novelty and one to book before Skuna's BBQ Boats shut up shop for the year in October. It's guaranteed fun for all ages and dogs are also welcome on board.

The Skuna Hot Tub Boat, which can fit seven people each, is also available to hire and is ideal for those who want to don their swimwear and take to the water in a wood-fired hot tub.

To book a boat, visit skunaboats.com/book-canary-wharf

Play a round of crazy golf at Swingers West End

swingers-west-end

Looking for a new spot for a fun date night, an after-work social or a big group booking? Swingers West End is the answer. The crazy golf venue, located just a stone's throw away from Oxford Circus, is a guaranteed fun night out. You'll be immediately transported to an 'English Riviera' seaside setting where you'll be able to test your golfing skills amidst the windmills, turbines, big wheels and carousels. There are two nine-hole courses to keep you entertained, plus four bars and four street food vendors to make sure you're fed and watered. Among the delicious food options are Pizza Pilgrims, Patty&Bun and Breddos Tacos while the highly skilled bartenders serve up a range of cocktails and tipples. You're welcome to visit for drinks only if you don't manage to secure a golfing spot; booking ahead is highly advisable.

To book a crazy golf slot, visit swingers.club/uk

Book a free boat trip with your dog

goboat-dogs

This International Dog Day on Thursday 26 August, GoBoat is offering free boat trips for anyone who turns up to their GoBoat locations (in Kingston or Paddington) with their pet pooch in tow. The trips will be leaving every hour, on the hour and have a capacity for groups of up to eight people and their dog or dogs. The boats will be available strictly on a first-come-first-served basis, so it's highly recommend to email marketing@goboat.co.uk ahead of Thursday's celebration to secure your time slot. It's sure to be a barking mad day out for hoomans and their canine friends!

Email marketing@goboat.co.uk to secure your place on Thursday 26 August or visit goboat.co.uk for more information.

Gamers will love this futuristic shopping experience

selfridges

Smartech Retail Group shares a glimpse into the future of experiential retail as it opens its doors to a permanent gaming destination at Selfridges London. The Playhouse will transform the technology space on Selfridges’ lower ground floor into a playground, showcasing the future of gaming and bringing the virtual world into a ‘phygital’ experience. Explore from the latest must-haves including PlayStation 5, Xbox X and Spectacles by Snapchat, to worldwide exclusives from Robocom VR and Aston Martin.

Treat your pooch to a lovely staycation

andaz

Pets are also welcome to stay at Andaz London Liverpool Street and the hotel will cater for guests' fury, feathered and other companions. As well as providing pet food, Andaz London will not only ensure guests feel at home but that their pets feel the same, ensuring any comforts they need are provided for them to feel safe. 

Find out more here, hyatt.com

Sing and dance the night away at Piano Works

piano-works-solo

After months of being closed, Piano Works is back in action and oh, how we've missed it. Those in need of a good, post-lockdown sing-along and a guaranteed lively night out need to head to their West End or Farringdon venues pronto. For those unfamiliar with the concept, you can enjoy dinner or drinks while requesting songs for the live band to play. And boy do they do it well. Starting off with just two pianists, the night escalates to see a drummer, guitarist, bassist and horn player join the stage, completing the six-piece live band. It's the perfect mix for those who love a bit of karaoke, but also like to leave it to the professionals to belt out the tunes. No two nights are the same at Piano Works either – it's up to the crowd to request different genres of music.

As for the food, there's a brunch, dinner and bar food menu to choose from. The burrata bruschetta and the rare duck breast salad for starters are must-orders, while the 35-day dry-aged ribeye steak is another crowd-pleaser. There's also a tuna steak, vegan shepherd's pie and teriyaki chicken among other comfort food to order, so you'll be well fed before hitting the dancefloor.

To book a table, visit pianoworks.bar

Immerse yourself in Van Gogh

Van-Gogh-Alive

A totally different way to see art, Van Gogh, The Immersive Experience is a fascinating step inside the brilliant and troubled mind of the world-famous artist. A great option for families, this is an art exhibition with a difference, and it's one that won't have toddlers or teens rolling their eyes. From colouring rooms to engaging videos and incredible 25-foot projections of paintings that make you feel you're actually part of them, this is a hugely engaging experience. And whatever you do, don't miss the VIP experience which includes a virtual reality step into Van Gogh's world. You almost feel like you jumped on a plane and headed to France!

The exhibition runs until 6th February 2022. To book, visit FeverUp.

Try a Japanese Onsen Bath

osu-bath-london

OSU Apple Cider Vinegar is helping the nation unwind this summer by turning the picturesque Beckenham Place Park Lake in London, into a Japanese Onsen bathing experience. Onsens are traditionally formed on natural springs in Japan, and this is the first time an Onsen-style experience has been available to the public in the UK - refreshment and relaxation is guaranteed, swimwear is optional! For centuries the Japanese have sworn by bathing daily in the mineral-rich waters, so the OSU Onsen will offer two mineral-laden, wooden tubs set at a balmy 25 degrees so you can soak the stress away while sipping their Apple Cider Vinegar for optimum inside and out revitalisation. The ‘newest’ ancient tradition to hit the UK is open to the public on 13th and 14th August, and will bring the opportunity to try what the Japanese have been benefitting from for centuries.

Secure an OSU Onsen for you and up to five others free of charge and book in for one of the daily sessions here.

Fancy something more than just unlimited bubbles and food?

the-folly-west-end

Sashay down to The Folly and experience more sequins, feathers and sass than you can imagine on Bank Holiday Sunday, with a special appearance from a popular star of Season 3 RuPaul's Drag Race UK. Accompanied by Drag Queens from leading West End shows like Kinky Boots and Priscilla Queen of The Dessert, experience a day of dancing, death drops and dazzling performances. Expect knockout entertainment with live vocals from incredible West End Drag stars, including the fabulous Portia De Fosse, Mercedes Bends, Coco Vadose, Paige Three and Karla Bear. As well as a top-notch show, you'll enjoy 90 minutes of bubbles and bottomless cocktails alongside a selection of grazing plates, including naughty gnocchi mac & cheese and a buttermilk chicken burger. 

To book, visit designmynight.com

Shop till you drop

designer-icon

London Designer Outlet (LDO) recently welcomed back their customers. It's the capital's leading premium fashion and lifestyle outlet destination. Located in the heart of Wembley Park, this globally renowned entertainment district and 365-day neighbourhood is positioned next to world-class attractions, including Wembley Stadium and The SSE Arena.

The hub is home to 70 outlet shops, restaurants and coffee shops, with year-round savings of up to 70% off RRP – and during sale, up to 85% off RRP – on brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Puma, Converse, Adidas, New Balance, Moss Bros, Dune and Levi's. As much as a leisure destination as a place to shop, London Designer Outlet boasts a semi-outdoor play park, 20 restaurants, bars and eateries, including Byron, Nando's, Pizza Express, wagamama, Zizzi, TGI Friday’s, all of which open until late, making London Designer Outlet a day-to-night destination. Why not make a day out of it with your bestie?

To find out more, visit londondesigneroutlet.com

Bottomless Drag Brunch at Mrs Riot in Covent Garden

mrs-riot

Located in the beating heart of London, Mrs Riot is Covent Garden's newest and most daring resident. An ode to Kitty Clive, a pioneering feminist who transformed the London scene in 1700s, this hip new bistro and cocktail bar is set to offer mind-blowing live entertainment every day of the week.

For those ready to hit the catwalk, Mrs Riot offers London's first and only Vegan Cupcake Drag Queen Bottomless Brunch. Special guest hosts lead singalongs, lip syncs, runway walks, and all kinds of other drag wickedness. There are dirty deeds to be done and prizes to be won. Unlimited drinks mean that cocktails keep flowing for a full 90 minutes. You won't want to miss this one.

To book, visit www.mrsriotlondon.com

Check out a craft beer festival

london-tobacco-dock-craft-beer

After a year without festivals, the London Craft Beer Festival will be making its comeback this year at Tobacco Dock for a two-day extravaganza held on 13-14 August. As London's most exciting celebration of craft beer, this year's event marks the long-awaited return of the food and drink scene and features a line-up of the UK’s favourite craft brewers, some of the best chefs and street food, music and DJs and special guests from around the world. Get your tickets now!

For more information, visit londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk

Dine in style at Gusbourne Vineyard

gusborne-wine

Critically acclaimed English vineyard, Gusbourne Estate, has partnered with Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin starred pub, The Hand & Flowers, for an exclusive dining experience of seasonal ingredients, flavours and English Wine. On Friday 27 August, The Hand & Flowers Head Chef, Jamie May will be serving a specially crafted three-course menu of beautiful, seasonal food within Gusbourne Vineyard, overlooking the vines.

All guests will be treated to an exclusive Gusbourne aperitif on arrival before taking a short stroll into the vineyard. The menu will draw on the finest local and seasonal food prepared to the highest standard, expertly and lovingly matched with Gusbourne’s award-winning sparkling and limited-edition wines. Lunch will be served from 12pm to 15:30pm price at £105 per person, and dinner is served from 18:30pm to 20:30pm at £120 per person.

To book please visit www.gusbourne.com

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