The days are getting warmer and lighter, people are starting to smile occasionally – spring is finally on its way. And spring means that London really starts coming to life, bursting with events and activities from March through to May.
Whether you're after the latest art exhibitions, new theatre shows, the best gigs, restaurant openings or other great things to do in London, our spring round-up will keep you as fresh as a daisy when it comes to culture and fun around the city. Here are 20 spring events not to miss.
RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar
The best spring events in London
You know what goes really well with spring? Beer. With that in mind, you really shouldn't miss London Beer Week, which should fulfil your boozy spring needs – for a while at least. Alongside a vast range of breweries breaking out their goods, there'll also be beer-pairing dinners and brewery tours – with a rickshaw service to zip between them – a 'dedicated beer village', parties, masterclasses and much more. Cider drinkers – there's plenty on offer for you too, as well as the jaw-dropping selection of ales, lagers and other beery bits and bobs.
For once, you'll be excited about seeing fog in springtime. That's because this fog is a very cool art installation that you can walk through – hell, you can play in it if you like. It's all down to Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, who'll be covering the terrace outside the Tate Modern's Switch House with artifical fog, made up of water vapour. She's been making funky fog since 1970 and this special project is part of the larger 'Ten Days Six Nights' exhibition (March 24 to April 2 2017), which features lots of innovative performances.
The Cheese Truck's new permanent restaurant
Holy cheesus, it's arrived. The Cheese Bar will be a permanent site for masters of the melted sandwich-filling, The Cheese Truck. Opening in Camden Stables in March (TBC), it'll provide literally all the cheese you will ever need to eat, served between hearty slabs of toasted bread. Yes, they're grilled cheese sandwiches, but not as we know them. We can't wait.
It's that time of year when half of London suddenly 'discovers' some distant Irish heritage as an excuse to get on the Guinness. But there's more to St Patrick's Day than just pints of the black stuff – important as that is. It's all about celebrating, Gaelic-style, which means Irish food, dancing and general revelry across London – definitely one of the best places to do St Patrick's Day outside of Ireland.
April 22 is going to be a good day for theatre in London. It's when the 2017 alfresco fun begins at the Globe, kicking off with what's rumoured to be a very full-on production of 'Romeo and Juliet'. Directed by Daniel Kramer, new boss of the English National Opera, this version of the classic tale of lovers from warring families should pull no punches – hopefully under sunny (or at least rain-free) skies. It also marks the beginning of Emma Rice's second and final season at the Globe, named the Summer of Love to salute the fiftieth anniversary of groovy ol' 1967.
Angled as 'the first exhibition dedicated to queer British art', this show at Tate Britain features a range of work by LGBTQ artists from 1861 to 1967, also marking the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. Duncan Grant, John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington and David Hockney are among those on display, showcasing pieces that range from the deeply personal to outspoken political statements.
Humankind is not alone in the universe – and that means we're in big trouble. That's the big deal uncovered by a space station crew in this sci-fi horror. Said crew – featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds – is the first to discover proof of life on Mars, shortly before getting trapped with it on said space station. Cue lots of scary, spacey chaos.
Get an early start to festival season by hitting this epic two-day dance party. Though the acronym may sound silly, WAF's commitment to providing cutting-edge DJs and artists is very serious indeded. Heavyweight legends Carl Cox, Seth Troxler, Dizzee Rascal and Basement Jaxx rub shoulders with some of the finest undergrounders, including Maya Jane Coles, Julio Bashmore, Preditah and many more. Wrap your head around house, techno, garage, bass and grime and get partying – you've got a nice Spring Bank Holiday on the Monday to recover.
'Star Wars' star John Boyega obliterates any danger of being typecast after his role in the sci-fi franchise by taking centre stage in this heavyweight, powerful tale of a desparate soldier in 1980s Berlin. To add further dramatic wallop to Georg Büchner's epic, it's directed by Jack Thorne – he of 'This is England', 'Let the Right One In' and a little play called 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'.
Celebrate the achievements of women across the globe in this six-day festival championing gender equality while exploring current inequalities. There'll be music from Hejira, Nilüfer Yanya and the Women of the World Orchestra, debate and discussion (last year's event featured Annie Lennox in conversation), a market and much more.
Enjoy the great outdoors in London this spring
If you're going to open a Turkish restaurant in Cockfosters, it had better be good – the north London 'burbs around here are rich with second and third generation Turkish families. The food at Deraliye certainly looks authentic enough to keep them satisfied. The look, a little less so. Expect a fusion of Moorish, Baroque and contemporary, with a bit of Georgian styling thrown in too. Aromas from a long ocakbasi grill should keep diners in mind of the food on offer – Turkish all the way. That means meze such as cacik, kisir, sucik, lahmacun and kofte alongside shish kebabs, lamb ribs, chicken beyti, kulbasti, pide, iskender, imam bayildi and ayva domasi – a dish of oven-baked quince stuffed with lamb, rice, pine nuts and currants. Baklava features to finish, too.
Venue says: “Deraliye, the most beautiful Turkish restaurant.”