May surely has to be the best month out of all twelve of them. London finally steps into summer, the rooftop bars open and people start smiling at each other on the tube. But we all know that the real joy comes from the two completely unsolicited, free days off work – thanks to not one, but two bank holiday weekends.
The second, or 'Spring' bank holiday falls on Mon May 29. So we've rounded up the ten events happening in London from Sat May 27 - Mon May 29 2017 that we think you need to know about. Let's just hope the sun lasts – and, even if it doesn't, plonk yourself in a fail-safe London pub and be sure that your three days of freedom don't go to waste.
RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to the bank holiday in London
10 unmissable May bank holiday events
Spend a day on the South Bank crying spicy tears as KERB’s 27 food traders return to SE1 plating up punchy dishes from across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The takeover is a branch of the Southbank’s Alchemy Festival of South Asian cultural events, so watch out for live poetry while you’re wolfing down those mac ‘n’ cheese-stuffed Mac’Waari naan’s from Anna Mae’s.
London might not have Cuba's fleets of classic cars or choice of cool Panama hats, but this summer, Brixton is trying to bring a little Havana life to SW9 with its rooftop urban beach. The Piña Coladas, Cubanitos and Mojitos will be flowing in a space decorated with mint and exotic flowers. For grub, there'll be a rotating choice of street food vendors, with mac 'n' cheese bites from Mac to the Future and dishes from Dirty Bones, Mama’s Jerk and Negril.
Borough Market’s mouthwatering stalls aren’t the only way to feed your hunger. Join this wild food walk around Southwark, where guide Ceri Buckmaster, who believes wild food is the new street food, will show you how to identify seasonal plants and flowers blossoming in unexpected urban locations.
From the memoirs of a cross-dressing Lesbian in Jane Austen’s era to the day in the life of a UNICEF worker in Yemen, have a nosey through diaries from 1400BC to the present day at ‘Dear Diary’, an exhibition celebrating the ways in which we’ve used diaries to capture the human experience throughout history.
How much would you cough up for your bar tab if the price was up to you? At Vinery London's pop-up wine bar, you can do exactly that. Just turn up, sample some delicious wines and pay what you want at the end, depending on what you think the night was worth. Vinery have moved the pop-up to a bigger home; you can find fellow wannabe oenophiles gathering for the event at Whitechapel cycle cafe Look Mum No Hands.
Camden's Roundhouse is hosting a jam-packed three-week festival that celebrates the power of the spoken work, in all its forms. This year's extended line-up boasts panel discussions, readings, performances, workshops and more, from some of the UK's most exciting wordsmiths. Highlights include Debris Stevenson’s 'Dirtee Verse', a left field poetic reimagining of Dizzee Rascal’s hit album 'Boy In Da Corner'.
Loveable Welsh music festival Green Man is bringing the best of its homeland's beer and cider to King's Cross for this weekend of food, booze and music. As well as more than 100 brews from independent breweries there's a top notch music line-up, walkabout performers, installations and visitors can tuck into street food between pints.
Feast your eyes and get your hands on an eclectic array of artworks and original items including zines, ceramics and illustrations from 60 of London's emerging artists and independent publishers at this one-day market. Once your bags are bursting there’s also an on-site café, DJ sets and a craft beer bar to explore.
Have some (legal) fun in a former carpark at Skylight, a rooftop playground in Tobacco Dock. Alongside the usual plethora of cocktails and street food, there are petanque courts, lawn bowls and three croquet lawns available to book for half-hour or one-hour slots, from £15. And you thought millenials were only into digital gaming: this year, it's all about those lawn sports.
Nothing float your boat? See what else is going on
It’s always a good sign when the waitress insists you start your night with a sherry. This little tapas joint off Covent Garden has dark wooden tables for two opposite the bar, and larger tables lining the wall at the back. The menu is small but varied. Pick up citrusy pulled pork quesadillas or spicy chicken chipotle bocadillo sandwiches for lunch, or come for dinner specials that change weekly and, of course, a glass of sherry. Condesa takes its tapas inspiration from across Spain and Latin America, so you might find unexpected dishes on the menu, such as the little pan of grilled provolone cheese – a typical Argentinian tapa. It’s not good for your cholesterol levels, but it spreads so easily over fresh bread, your doctor would surely understand. Pork cheeks were succulent, with strands of meat falling into a puréed carrot sauce; however, seasoning was timidly applied. Mole tacos had a dense, meaty filling wrapped in the softest of corn tortillas. We loved the half carafes of wine too, as they provide a convivial way to graze across the menu and pair wine accordingly.
Venue says: “New exciting specials on our menu. Plus we're preparing paella for lunch.”