London would be nothing without its independent businesses. They are the heart and soul of the city’s culture, adding quirk and character to our streets. Put simply: they make London worth living in.
The last few months have been a turbulent time for our indy venues, and as the capital begins to reopen uncertainty still remains. Time Out is dedicated to supporting the city’s independently run spaces, which is why we’re teaming up with Instagram to host a virtual festival showcasing some of the brilliant independent businesses that make London the city it is.
Taking place between Thursday July 9 and Friday July 10, Experience:LDN is a virtual festival helping Londoners connect with the capital’s small businesses through a whole load of exciting takeovers, from cooking classes and cocktail-making tutorials to garden tours and cultural exhibitions. It will be exclusively streamed on Time Out London’s Instagram and showcase independent POC-, female- and LGBTQ+-owned small businesses that have lifted their communities during the last few months.
Expect takeovers from some of our favourite indy businesses, including a bacon naan cooking demo from Dishoom founder Kavi Thakrar, a follow-along facial massage from Re:lax’s Katie White and a foraging trip with Hackney Herbal. There’ll also be a HiiT dance class from At Your Beat, a gardening workshop with east London plant shop Prick, and an Afro hair tutorial with the co-founder of Afrocenchix, Rachael Twumasi-Corson.
During the festival we’ll be encouraging viewers to support small businesses through gift cards, food orders and donations on Instagram, which will go towards Hospitality Action, an organisation helping those in hospitality with financial, physical and mental health support.
So, dig as deep as you’re able, to help keep our independent businesses going – we’ll need them when we’re all allowed to meet friends, sink pints and reconnect with our fantastic city properly again.
Experience:LDN will take place on Thu Jul 9-Fri Jul 10 from 10am-5.30pm (BST) via Time Out London’s Instagram Live. Check out the full line up here:
Thursday July 9
Join Dishoom co-founder (and Bacon Naan enthusiast) Kavi Thakrar, as he delivers a handy how-to guide on recreating the restaurant's much-loved café classic at home using their newly-invented Bacon Naan Roll Kit.
Follow along a facial massage and Skin Q+A with Katie White, facialist and founder of Re:lax.
12pm: Kana London
Learn how to sculpt air-dry clay at home with Kana founder Ana Kerin.
1pm: Coffee Shotter
Join the team for 'Tea & Coffee with Coffee Shotter', including tips on coffee sourcing, a round of ‘Unpopular Opinions’ and a coffee-themed movie quiz!
2pm: Liha Beauty
Join Liha’s ‘kitchen beauty’ workshop: a make-your-own skincare session using Shea butter and household kitchen ingredients.
3pm: Hackney Herbal
Join a foraging trip with Hackney Herbal and combine your discoveries into a delicious tea blend.
5pm: At Your Beat
AYB's founder Joelle D'Fontaine will be hosting one of the studio's most popular dance fitness classes: AYB Body Party, a calorie-burning endorphin rush to increase your general fitness levels and stamina. With colourful lights and pumping tunes, it's basically a sober rave!
Friday July 10
10am: Second Shot Coffee
Founder Julius Ibrahim shows you how to make the most of your home coffee brewing experience – from choosing beans, to adjusting your grinder settings and perfecting your latte art.
Rachael Corson, co-founder of Afrocenchix will be showing you how to create a quick and easy style on afro hair.
Enjoy a 30-minute floor barre workout in your lunch break, brought to you by Blok’s Head Barre trainer Ellya Sam – no equipment required!
Founder Gynelle shares her top tips for cacti and succulent care, and the most pain-free way to repot a cactus.
2pm: Nuka Nails
Nuka’s co-founders will do a mini tutorial on how to do ‘rainbow ombré’ nails at home, as well as talking about how they met, became besties and business partners.
Learn a few tricks on how to make beautiful pastries at home and get a taste of PUFF School: the online pastry school launched during lockdown.
Take a peek inside the UK's first sake brewery, straight out of Peckham, with head brewer Tom. Get a taster for sake and how to enjoy it: chilled, warmed or shaken into a cocktail.
5pm: All Good Beer
What even is craft beer? Join a fun and educational tasting of London’s craft beer scene, comparing different styles, tastes and breweries to give you the knowledge to win the beer section of the next pub quiz.
Find out what businesses have reopened in London right now.