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August bank holiday: 8 of the best things to do in London this weekend

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It looks like this August bank holiday weekend may be one of the coldest on record. To keep you entertained, we’ve picked out eight of the best things to do in London, from supper clubs to sculptures, inside and out of the rain.

This August bank holiday is missing a large chunk of charisma that previous years have benefitted from, as iconic events like Notting Hill Carnival were forced to cancel because of the pandemic. But don’t worry, there’s still hope for a brilliant bank holiday yet.

We’ve searched out a mix of cultural, artsy and foodie events taking place in London over the last weekend in August to keep you entertained. Stretching from Forest Hill to Hyde Park, these must-see events should keep you busy for your three days off.

Learn something new, feel inspired and treat your tastebuds with our suggestions of the best things to do in London this August bank holiday weekend. Have fun!

  • Try Bob Bob Ricard's new menu

    This legendary Soho haunt has been closed throughout lockdown and is now causing a buzz with its exciting new menu, in honour of its reopening.

    Known for its Instagrammable ‘press for champagne’ buttons and ‘haute comfort food’, if you’re looking for a venue that will make your bank holiday memorable, this is it. 

    The new menu comes from head chef Tom Peters who was a finalist in Masterchef: The Professionals in 2017. Although he has overseen a plethora of changes, our favourite has to be the waffle and bellini hour which will run from 11am until 12pm at the weekends. Can you imagine a dreamier pairing?

  • Explore the British Museum

    The British Museum has been closed throughout lockdown but now this iconic home of some of the world’s most fascinating artefacts is open once again. 

    We recommend taking a walk around the Beauty and the Beast-style library on the left hand side (with your back to the front entrance) which has walls full of beautiful, old, dusty books.

  • Go for drinks on the Electric Barge

    The Electric Barge, which takes passengers over the waterways from Paddington to Camden, is doing two trips over the bank holiday weekend. This quirky boat is setting sail at 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday for a three and a half hour trip, in which you can keep cosy and warm inside and fill up on snacks and drinks.

    Tickets are priced at £22.50, for which you’ll get views of the iconic townhouses of Little Venice, Regent’s Park’s leafy greenery and even a glimpse of London Zoo.

  • Celebrate the reopening of The Tate

    Lockdown has left us starved of experiencing culture in real life these last five months, so we’re overjoyed that The Tate galleries across London are open once again. 

    There is a range of exhibitions open across both the Modern and Britain venues including a look into the life and works of Andy Warhol and the largest show of Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings in 50 years. 

  • Saturday Suppers at Bourne & Hollingsworth

    This special venue on a quiet corner in Farringdon is one of our favourite places to eat thanks to its botanical themed decor and delicious menu.

    The end of August will see a close to its Saturday Suppers, a once-weekly, exclusive menu from chef Mark Jarvis of Anglo which uses direct-from-source ingredients, supporting independent makers. 

    It’s a four course extravaganza which highlights fresh produce and British farmers, including dishes like Fred’s smoked Chalk Stream trout with cucumber and lime and shoulder of Sophie’s Lavinton Lamb with crushed peas, preserved lemon, mint.

    Enjoy the candlelit setting and beautiful surroundings for the very last one this weekend. 

  • Watch The Guilty Feminist (and more) at The New Normal Festival

    Working within guidelines set out by the government, the organisers of The New Normal Festival have called upon the creative community to set up an outdoor event of theatre, music, improvisation, magic and comedy at Le Gothique at the The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Wandsworth.

    The festival has been running since the beginning of August and will come to an end this weekend, finishing with some cracking shows like comedian Deborah Frances-White doing a live a recording of her podcast The Guilty Feminist, on 31 August at 7.30pm at £17.50.

  • Visit the Horniman museum and see the new sculpture

    The Horniman in Forest Hill is one of London’s most characterful museums, and has now thankfully re-opened after months of closure.

    As well as being able to wander around the exhibitions inside, you can also stroll through the gardens and view the new sculpture by quantum artist, Jasmine Pradissitto.

    The sculpture titled ‘Flower Girl’ shows the face of a woman surrounded by swirling leaves and is made of a material called geopolymer that absorbs nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution from the air.  

  • Cao Fei: ‘Blueprints’ at the Serpentine

    Cao Fei is a multi-media artist and filmmaker based in Beijing whose new exhibition at the Serpentine brings together a mix of works in an immersive, site-specific installation, expanding the themes of automation, virtuality and technology.

    It’s free to attend and they’ll be showings all weekend, but it’s crucial that you book yourself a time slot.

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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