If you see people walking around London covered head-to-toe in eye-poppingly bright multicoloured clothing, don't worry – tie-dye isn't back. It's actually just people celebrating Holi festival, by chucking paint at each other.
The Hindu festival of Holi marks the beginning of spring every year. Falling on Monday March 13 in 2017, it usually happens during Febraury or March depending on the Hindu calendar date. Taking place mainly in India and Nepal, people of all ages and backgrounds take to the streets to celebrate and playfully throw coloured powder paint, known as gulal.
Although the London parties are pretty removed from the traditional Hindu festivities, the same air of celebratory fun and friendship remains – as does the powder paint-lobbing. Covering your mates and strangers in gulal makes up the action at most Holi parties in London (including Holi Land Festival of Colours at the vast Great Suffolk St Warehouse), but many also offer lots of Indian food alongside the shenanigans.
If you are partying Holi-style, white clothes are best to really bring out the colour, and obviously only wear things that you don't mind get messed-up. And look out for flying clouds of colour coating your phone if you're trying to capture that perfectly Instagrammable moment.
VIDEO: Check out Cinnamon Kitchen’s special Holi Festival party-pod
More great spring happenings
Whyte & Brown
I’ll admit it. When I first heard there was a new ‘chicken and egg place’, I couldn’t resist a disdainful snort. Writing it off as a mere get-on-the-protein-bandwagon gimmickery (seriously, people: is everyone on Atkins?), I went along expecting a basic menu, a basket-full of fowl puns and irritatingly chirpy staff. I was right about the puns (the menu asks if you’re ‘feeling peckish’; the jobs board invites you to ‘join the brood’), but wrong about the food, most of which was actually pretty clucking good. Crucially, there’s no rotisserie and nothing masquerading as sexy KFC here. Instead, it’s a roll-call of grown-up dishes – the kind you’d find at a (chicken-themed) dinner party, with more nations represented than the Opening Ceremeony of the Olympics. We enjoyed our ‘Bangkok scotch egg’, its breadcrumbed shell giving way to succulent chilli and lemongrass-spiked thigh meat wrapped around a soft-boiled, sunny-centred egg; and a Gallic-leaning pie with white meat, juicy prawns and tendrils of samphire smothered in a light béarnaise sauce. For simpler tastes, there’s chicken roasted under a brick (pollo al mattone; a traditional Tuscan technique designed to give a crisp skin and moist inside) with an intensely savoury gravy. Sadly, another Italian-inspired dish, a ‘bruschetta’ of soft-boiled egg and ricotta, was gout-inducingly rich, the crushed peas and barely-there mint struggling to cut through the cholesterol. But while it may not appeal to food snobs, W&B has more to
Venue says: “New spring menu now available! Dishes include halloumi bites, chicken pops with seaweed mayo, tinga tostadas and delicious summery salads.”