"Nah, Not The Notting Hill Carnival" Bank Holiday To Do List

Written by: Sophie Taylor


As long as you’re not one of those smug office knobs who took the Friday off (yeah, we see you), you deserve to ease yourself in with an after work pint and gear up for your long weekend of not using the bank.

By the way, did anyone else look at their iCalendar the other week, punch the air and book a three-day fun binge because it said it was a Bank Holiday Monday? Then realised it only applied to Scotland? I know, I know. Well, chin up you over excited big kids you, your time has come!

So, as we have all come to the depressing conclusion that it takes at least a week to recover from one pint these days, you may as well push the boat out and have a big old late one on the Friday and recover in September.

On the 26th August at The Garage in Islington, battle winning club and festival DJ, Mr. Thing will be playing over four hours of classic hip-hop, soul and funk in his Throwback Lounge. The DMC Champion (that’s the Disco Mix Club Championships for the uneducated) and former Scratch Perverts member will be dipping into his mammoth catalogue of music, accrued across years playing venues and events around the world, to try to impress us North Londoners… and impress he will. 

Tickets are £6 in advance or £10 on the door, so get booking good looking.

Go on, play the YouTube video we’ve lovingly embedded for you and keep it playing while you read. He’s right good that Mr Thing. I think I’m a bit in love with him now. Anyway, on to Saturday…

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Whether you’re feeling fresh as a daisy or rough as the worm that just crawled out from under it, Saturday morning is for eating and lounging. So why not do it on the beach? Camden Roundhouse imported 150 tonnes of sand just for you to scrunch your toes in and get all annoyed about when it’s still in your shoes come Christmas. Pack a spade* and a belly for filling because they’ve got BBQ rum & coke spare ribs, deep fried polenta, cocktail bars and obligatory ice creams. 

Every Saturday they have live music from ‘young emerging musicians and DJs who have all come through the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios’. Hey guess what else? It’s completely free. Unless you want to book a VIP beach hut, which seem to be going fast, so if you like the sound of your own private summer house with ‘cushioned seating and exclusive outdoor space’ with either 2 bottles of prosecco, a fridge of lager, 12 ciders (or soft drinks), popcorn and rock, food from the BBQ, App ordering and waiter service to your hut and a souvenir beach mat get clicking here.

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Now that you’re full on sticky ribs and crunchy sand, it’s time to get your hot pants and your rave on at KOKO just up the road on Camden High Street.

From 9pm it’s The Hot Wuk Truck Party. Expect ‘pure dancehall hype’ until 3am and lots of twerking. Personally, I think it’s a massive excuse to wear comfy, comfy flats and be a complete and utter sweaty mess judgement free.

They say to book early to avoid disappointment but there are still tickets left and some available on the door (£10-20 advance or £25 on the door).

Koko – 1a Camden High St, London, NW1 7JE

Photo from Heatwave 


It’s Sunday and it’s time to chill out before you realise you’ve got Monday off. So instead of hysterically switching off Antiques Roadshow and over compensating with ill-judged last minute grand schemes, slow down. Use Sunday to catch your breath with some more relaxed plans.

Try heading to The House of Illustration in Kings Cross and catch much-loved children’s illustrator, Quentin Blake’s exhibition on until 2nd October. Have a read of our review of The BFG in pictures.

Then why not be one of those self-satisfied Sunday strollers that actually do bottomless brunch. But do it right, without the cheap prosecco, at Victory Mansion in Stoke Newington and leave deservedly smug. Or, if you’re a ‘more runny eggs, less hangover at sunset’ types why not pick and choose from our top four recommended Darling Let’s Do Brunch suggestions. 

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But if that’s not enough celery and tomato juice for you, meander down to Drake and Morgan in Kings Cross for Bloody Mary Bingo where you can ‘indulge in booze, banter & bingo downstairs in our Green Room Bar’. We’re a sucker for a spot of alliteration.

The bingo will be coordinated by fabulous drag prince Alfie Ordinary with Arran Shurvinton. You can go for the drinks package: £15 for 3 bloody mary’s / bellinis or the set menu: £25 for a main meal & 3 bloody mary’s or bellinis.

Book your space by emailing info@drakeandmorgan-kingscross.co.uk

Or give em a ring-a-ling on 0845 468 0107


It’s time to get schooled. You may well be suffering from Bank Holiday FOMO at this point, so quash it with a panic planned novelty class. Like a Burlesque Dance lesson. Even if it’s not your friend of a friend’s hen do you can still don some vintage heels and gloves and get involved with a lesson in empowerment from Sharon T, founder of the highly-acclaimed London school of burlesque.

‘Embracing diversity is the Burlesque Baby mantra. From 18 year old girls to women in their late sixties – Tesco cashiers to supermodels, city bankers to royalty – Sharon believes that all of these women are united through one desire- to feel empowered!’ she says, referring to herself in the third person and slightly muffled through some feathers. Preach it Shazza, Sophie is with you on that one.

Photo via Burlesque Baby

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If that sounds like a bit too much belly shaking after your big weekend and massive Monday breakfast, how about venturing into Hampstead for a supper club and masterclass? Learn how to ‘perfectly smoke and cook low and slow’ at The Flask. Their resident food buff and General Manager, Mark Gourdie, will teach you about their fantastical Big Green Egg cooker, covering everything from charcoal/wood choice, cooking techniques, rubs, sauces, meats, vegetables, and sides. Once you’ve learnt more than you bargained for from a huge green egg thing, they’ll be serving up a feast with each dish matched to a ‘crisp & refreshing beer from Signature Brewing Company’.

Book yourself in here why doncha.

Photo via The Flask

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Theatre of Changing Spaces: Kings Cross in the '80s

“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.

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Local Creatives: Laura Bird Ceramics

Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.

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Eat & Drink

Fresh Comfort Food: Walnut Cafe and Dining

Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.

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Twin Peaks Supper Club, North London

At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.

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Get Your Shaman On: Gong Bath in Stokey

Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.

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Pop Up Cinema: Celebrate Cannes in Kentish Town

Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.

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Stokey Food Market: Fundraising for the Community

Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Healthy Chocolate Breakfast with Kate Oates

Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.

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Alternative Speed Dating with Single Cylinders

“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.

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Eat & Drink

Pop Up Proper Piirakka in Finsbury Park

In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”


North London Bike Tour: Giro d'North Four

The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?

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Eat & Drink

Millenial Munchers Heaven: Cookie Dough Cafe

Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).

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MINT Vintage, The Denim Edition

Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.

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Carry On Up the Canal with Secret Adventures

Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.

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‘Not another psych night’ at Nambucca

"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.

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Beer and Bagels at The Good Egg, Stokey

Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.