Has your student budget robbed you of that sun-soaked holiday you’ve been dreaming of? Don’t let your bank balance burst your bubble this summer. London’s pop-up game is stronger than ever - meaning you won’t have to fork out on expensive flights to get the taste of something tropical in the capital. We hit up DesignMyNight for the low-down on the best of London’s summer hangouts this year.
1. Last Days of Shoreditch
Just when you thought Shoreditch couldn’t get any trendier, it hits back with its sixth year of Last Days of Shoreditch. This super-cool street food market near Old Street is fronting a Riviera theme this time around, where you can expect an urban beach with tall palm trees and wooden decking made for summer chilling. This pop-up is no one-trick pony either; it now boasts a karaoke room powered by Lucky Voice, an escape room experience, and it’s going to be home to London’s very first ever avocado bar.
2. Coppa Club Tower Bridge
We don’t know if you're aware of Coppa Club’s dreamy terrace along the Thames, but it’s about to get even dreamier with the arrival of seven summer-ready cabanas. Each cabana is laden with wisteria, roses and festoon lighting, making it one of the most Instagram-worthy spots around. You won’t have to break the bank to dine here either; nibbles start from £3.50 and the cheapest cocktail on the menu comes in at £5.95. The cabanas have built-in Sonos speakers too, so you can play your favourite tunes while basking in the views of Tower Bridge and The Shard.
3. El Bandito
Can’t afford to splash out on flights to Mexico? You can hold back your sobs ‘cause, the El Bandito pop-up at Victory Mansion is the next best thing. Swanning in from their permanent base in Liverpool, El Bandito boasts fifty different types of tequila alongside twenty-five mezcals - some of which aren't even available in the UK. It’s run by a genius team that have thought up an exciting cocktail list designed to bring out intricate tastes and flavours; expect unique mixes using everything from kale to cactus juice. If you want to get the full 360 experience, opt for a flight of exclusive tequilas and mezcals (they’re infused with Iberico ham).
4. London Wing Fest
Grab your phone and dial up your best wingman. London Wing Fest is set to return to the Printworks this August - this time for a fiery two-day extravaganza. Taking inspiration from the Buffalo Wing Festival in America, London’s chicken wing bigwigs will be conjuring up the finest of flavours for you to scoff and rate. All wings will be £1 and with names like Absurd Bird and Butchie’s turning up, you’re in for a cracking show.
5. Taco Festival
There have been a fair few food-festival-firsts in London this year, from sandwiches to cheese; but one that is set to break boundaries is London’s first ever taco festival. Taking place at summer hotspot, Brixton Beach, on the 8th of June, this sky-high event is not to be missed. Del 74 will provide tantalising tacos alongside many other street food traders, and frozen margaritas will be in full flow to keep you hydrated throughout the evening. Tickets will set you back £10 and include three tacos and a drink.
If you fancy a trip to the beach without the hassle of leaving London, we’ve got the answer to your prayers. Neverland has everything you could ever need; white sand, palm trees, day beds, cutesy beach huts and smashing views of the Thames. True to beachside living, this gem is BYOB, so you can head down early and make a proper day of it. If you get peckish, street food from Taco Dave, Le Rac Shack and Le Bao is sure to fill a gap.
7. Cocktails in the City
Missed Cocktails In the City in April? Luckily for you thirsty lot, it’s back in the most idyllic of settings: Bedford Square Gardens. Grab a ticket and marvel at London’s most talented bartenders whipping up a range cocktail delights for your drinking pleasure. Alongside a mouth-watering selection of cocktails, expect blending sessions, tasting tables and magical masterclasses to fill your fun-fuelled evening. Tickets are £15 and include a cocktail on arrival.
Have you heard of Sisu? It’s a brand-new rooftop retreat high above the shopping madness of Marble Arch. Rocking a Scandinavian-inspired feel for the summer; expect an oasis of plants, heated concrete seating, upcycled-chic wooden benches and an actual negroni machine. The coin operated tap will dispense Negronis and Old Fashioneds all summer long, keeping you both happy and hydrated. Not mad for Negronis? They’ll have other refreshing cocktails to choose from and Camden lager on tap. Foodwise; there will be an eclectic mix, from chicken and waffles to miso aubergine tacos. With cocktails starting at £8 and food at £7, you don’t have to break the bank for a taste of that VIP lifestyle.
9. Rooftop Rollers at Roof East
Thought roller discos were a thing of the past? Think again. Rooftop Rollers has landed at Roof East and it’s the very first roller disco to hit London’s skyline. The 80’s-inspired pop-up is the perfect way to show off in front of your friends (or a date) and tickets are super affordable. If you’re prone to falling on your backside due to lack of balance - don’t fret - there’s also a film club, Birdies Crazy Golf and urban bowls to keep you entertained.
If you want to do something really special this summer, ascend to the top of the Gherkin. Exclusive members’ bar Searcys is celebrating sea-side charm with their pop-up Coastline by bringing beach huts, deckchairs and the best of British ingredients to their sky-high location. Expect gourmet fish and chips and beef Wellington; accompanied by a Nyetimber trolley of English wines and Plymouth Gin concoctions, for a truly British experience. It opens on July 24th for six weeks, so make sure you take out some time to visit this little slice of paradise.
For more info on what’s on in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Twitter and Instagram; @DesignMyNight.
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