Anyone stuck on the central line this week won’t need to be told how bleedin’ hot it was – a mobile thermal device recorded temperatures above 35 degrees on the tube – as hordes of sweaty commuters spent their journey battling to press themselves like puppies, tongues lolling, against that teeny, tiny window at the end of the carriage. The heatwave came just in time for the summer solstice, and London’s temperatures hit an amazing 32 degrees – that was literally hotter than the Bahamas, people, and pretty much unheard of for us Brits, who presumably sold out the fans section of Argos in an attempt to get a decent night’s kip.
And now for the weekend, which looks set to be cloudier and cooler than the last few days – breathe a sigh of relief city-dwellers – but still undisputable beer garden weather. That is, for those of us not venturing to Glastonbury of course. Ah yes – how could you forget? Already Instagram feeds nationwide are being inundated with pictures of sun-drenched campsites, not a wellie or poncho in sight, and with temps hovering optimistically around the low twenties, Glasto revellers are set for a (hopefully) mud-free weekend. But what about the rest of us? Stuck in the city, sticky and notably sans tent? Luckily, there’s a load of great events going on over the course of the next three days – this is London after all – and with the rain making a triumphant return next week, you better make sure you get out and take advantage while you can. Glaston-who?
FiZ Champagne Pop-up
Lights of Soho, famous neon gallery and ‘culture hub’ on Brewer St, Soho, is drawing inspiration from our Spanish neighbours with their new pop-up bubbly bar. Their aim is to create the opposite of traditional champagne bars, offering a casual experience with over-the-bar food and non-pretentious booze – true to their word, fizz starts at a very reasonable (for Zone 1, anyway) £22 per bottle, and you can treat yourself for a glass for under a fiver – or go all out with their bottomless brunch. Getting tipsy before lunch? Don’t mind if we do.
Closest tube: Piccadilly Circus
The Greatest Spectacle of Lucha Libre
Those of us who spent our pre-adolescence gawking at Rey Mysterio on WWE won’t be able to resist a night of Mexican wrestling in East London. Lucha Libre, translated as ‘free fighting’, has travelling to York Hall in Bethnal Green to showcase their ‘superheroes of Mexico’ this weekend. There will be flamboyant capes, colourful masks and acrobatic moves on offer along with authentic Mexican food – who can say no to that?
Closest tube: Bethnal Green
Dalston Beer Day
Dalston and beer are two words synonymous with weekend fun in London, and where better to crack open a couple of cold ones than…an old parking lot? Micro-brewery 40ft set up their brew house and tap room in repurposed shipping containers in Abbott Street Car Park in 2013, and this year are hosting an all-day festival to celebrate the (notoriously good) brewing community in London. Food will also be on offer from Ozone Coffee, and it’s recommended that you get there early – as with all good things in London, it’s going to fill up fast.
Closest tube: Dalston Junction overground
Queer and Now
Tate Britain is celebrating the beginning of Pride in London with this late night event coinciding with their Queer British Art 1861-1967 exhibition (which runs until October 1st). From 2-10pm the museum will be packed with DJ sets from Sink the Pink, workshops teaching you how to Vogue, and rarely seen films and documentaries from the BFI national archive – there will also be talks throughout the day from LGBT speakers, as well as stalls from Etsy and Bar Wotever’s Queer Fayre.
Closest tube: Pimlico
The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2017
The LHKDBF might sound like a synth-band from the 1980s, but aside from its catchy name the Dragon Boat Festival is actually the second biggest event in the Chinese calendar. The dragon in the Chinese zodiac symbolises clouds, rain and water, this Sunday is set to be another scorcher. Head to the London Regatta Centre in the heart of the Docklands to enjoy traditional Chinese lion dancing, martial arts, Tai-chi, theatre and dance – all while scoffing down some Chinese, Japanese and Korean street food.
Closest tube: Royal Albert DLR
Judy’s Vintage Fair – Kilo Sale
Back in York Hall, Bethnal Green, Judy’s Vintage Fair is probably the only reason to get up pre-midday on the weekend. Charging £15 for every kg of clothes, make sure you head down early to nab the best bargains – and you’re handily near all the pubs of Shoreditch for a spot of afternoon drinking afterwards.
Closest tube: Bethnal Green