Believe it or not, Paris is not the center of the universe (not all the time, anyway). There are actually a decent amount of things to do in another nearby metropolis, one with slightly worse weather and significantly more polite locals. This month, we bring you our first edition of our London events guide, courtesy of our friend Claire from the fantastic blog, Lola is beauty. -Geneviève
At the Chap Olympiad (Sadmafioso)
During the summer, London plays host to a jam-packed schedule of festivals, exhibitions and pop-ups, and this summer is no exception. With flagrant disregard for the realities of British summertime weather, many of these July events are actually scheduled to take place in the open air!
At Frank’s (Tim Bradshaw)
It’ll be fine as long as you check the weather forecast five minutes before you go out and layer up for all eventualities. Apparently during July there’s also something called Wimbledon and some other kind of major sporting event taking place, but we’re not talking about that here. There’s so much more going on in London, whatever you’re into (except sport.)
David Bailey’s East End (Guardian.co.uk, photos by David Bailey)
July 6 – August 5: David Bailey’s East End. David Bailey has been quietly photographing his home turf of the east end of London for the past fifty years. While all eyes are on east London during the Olympics, this exhibition acts as a visual document of the sweeping physical and social changes to the east end, recorded by the legendary Cockney photographer’s lens.
Sunset seen from Frank’s (steve.wilde)
From the 1960s, there are previously unseen pictures of the Kray twins, almost derelict Brushfield Street facing Spitalfields church, almost unrecognizable today post-gentrification. Recent digital shots taken around Stratford show the multicultural communities that now live there, replacing the east end characters of the past.
June 30 – September 30: Every summer, deep in the heart of Peckham, a red awning is erected on the top floor of the disused multi-storey car park and Frank’s re-opens. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have in Peckham, with a Campari bar, an outdoor grill with talented chefs cooking up whatever they’ve hauled up to the 10th floor that day, a sculpture park and the real draw, which is the panoramic, sunset facing view of the London skyline. (Bring a jacket, a blanket, a poncho – anything. It can get cold up there.)
At the Chap Olympiad (jonanamary)
July 7 – 8: I suppose you could call this a sporting event? But with previous years’ Chap Olympiad schedules featuring umbrella jousting and the cucumber sandwich discus, this splendid day out at Bedford Square Gardens in Bloomsbury is more about the cut of your tweed plus fours, the knot of your cravat and your ability to drink copious G&Ts and Pimm’s without falling over.
The Chap Olympiad (thechapmagazine.co.uk & sadmafioso)
This year’s extended two-day line up promises “Not Playing Tennis” (armchair tennis), “Swooning” (chaps must induce ladies to swoon) and mustache wrestling.
At the Chap Olympiad (sadmafioso)
Until September: Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden. An extraordinary garden has been created up above the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in the Southbank Centre. It was created in partnership with the Eden Project and features a large vegetable garden, a wildflower meadow and a lawn.
The Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden (mattk1979), David Bailey’s East End (Guardian.co.uk) and the Chap magazine (thechapmagazine.co.uk)
The bar serves snacks and drinks and there are tables and chairs and benches dotted around. Despite its location, it doesn’t get overcrowded and is a beautifully tranquil spot to rest your legs surrounded by plants and wildflowers, in the middle of the concrete sprawl of the Southbank.
The Dalston Roof Park where Midsummer Night Screen takes place (wirewiping)
July 20th : Yes, more open air events! Open-air cinema is all the rage in London, with tons popping up in unexpected locations to choose from; but my pick for July would be Midsummer Night Screen at Dalston Roof Park. This is thanks to 1) the location, 2) the fact that they tailor the evening to the night’s film, with refreshments, drinks and DJs playing music inspired by it. And 3) they have an inflatable roof on hand if it rains. July’s film screening is Lost in Translation.
The Midsummer Night Screen (midsummernightscreen.com)
Until July 29; Sundays 9–4pm: Goldsmith Row Book Market. This fledgling book market is between Broadway market and Columbia Road flower market, making it a perfectly located extra stop on an easterly Sunday stroll. Penguin, Foyles and Newham Books are among the stallholders here, selling new and second hand books, with a strong selection of art and design titles and rare books.
At the Jive Party (jiveparty.com)
21st July: The Rivoli Ballroom in south London is spectacular and one of only two remaining functioning original ballrooms in London. If you’ve ever seen a ballroom in a film, music video, advert or magazine editorial, the chances are this was it. Of the many events held here, the monthly Jive Party is probably the best introduction to the Rivoli. All life is here: young, old, fat, thin, dressed up, casual, from those with two left feet to professional dancers – all dancing together quite happily.
At the Jive Party (jiveparty.com)
- For our picks of July events in Paris, click here