The days a longer, the sun is stronger, and the capital is well and truly waking up from hibernation this month. Get amongst the action at one of these top events taking place this April in London…
Photo: Kew Gardens
1 Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race, Barnes
Back following a two-year hiatus, the Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race is on. Cheer your crew on or just bask in the atmosphere. Boats drop into the Thames at Putney Embankment where the races begin. The races finish near Chiswick Bridge. Perch near one of those bridges or at the Barnes or Hammersmith Bridge for prime viewing, or you can watch on the big screen at Bishop’s Park and Furnivall Gardens. Alternatively, enjoy the day at a Thames side watering hole such as The Bulls Head, Sam’s Riverside, The Old Ship Hammersmith, or The Dove.
Date: April 3
Time: Races start from 2.23pm; BBC broadcasting from 1.50pm
Address: Bishop’s Park: Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA; Furnivall Gardens: 52a Rutland Grove W6 9DG
2 SAMPLE Urban Design Market, Greenwich
Returning to Greenwich Peninsula for one day, SAMPLE is a treat for fashionistas, foodies, leisure-seekers and families. The market brings together London designers and creators working in fashion, food, homeware, beauty and wellness as well as DJs and food vendors. Housed in the Design District, SAMPLE aims to provide a platform for start-ups and young businesses to make the leap into retail destinations of the likes of Selfridges, Net-a-Porter and Coal Drops Yard. There’s also workshops on things like how to darn a jumper. These are free, but you’ll have to register.
Date: Sunday April 2
Time: 11 am-7pm
Address: The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0SQ
3 Alfresco dining, terraces, beer gardens & rooftop terraces, London-wide
Basically, spring is here, and take any opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather and longer days any way you can. London has a wealth of terraces, rooftops and alfresco dining options, however, also try Hush Mayfair with its Amalfi Coast-inspired courtyard, Pantechnicon in Belgravia with its glass-roofed open terrace and Nordic-inspired menu, and Borough Market’s Turnips with Thomas Lidakevicius , for a superb meal under the arches at the back of a greengrocers. Want a beer garden to bask in? Try the Crooked Billet in Hackney, Homeboy Embassy Gardens, the Dove Hammersmith, or The Alwyne Castle in Islington.
4 London Games Festival
One for gamers and those who do not like being outside, London Games Festival kicks off this week. Events for gaming professionals and for bedroom gamers will be held online and in real life, One of the hero events is a three day, large-scale exhibition showcasing new talent and archive material in Trafalgar Square. There’s also a night of stand up raising funds for Games Aid and an exhibition showcasing work from black, Asian and underrepresented ethnicities.
Date: April 1-10
Cost: Passes start from free
5 God’s Garden at Chameleon, Marylebone
Set in a stunning neo-classical church in Marylebone, Chameleon’s God Garden has opened in time for the warmer weather. The alfresco-dining spot is split between two tents, behind a pathway dressed in colorful foliage and features live music from 8pm. The venue’s flower-festooned greenhouses remain open should you want a cozy, intimate setting for a group of up to 22 people. Either way, both options are a great way to enjoy spring and Chameleon’s Tel Aviv and Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates.
Time: God’s Garden: Dinner served Thursday to Saturday, lunch on Sunday. Greenhouses: Dinner served Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Saturday
Address: 1 Marylebone Road, NW1 4AQ
6 Brunches, London-wide
Now is also the time to get stuck into some weekend brunching, and again, London has no shortage of places to go for a sublime mid-morning meal. Try Idris Elba’s wine bar Porte Noire if in King’s Cross, Bulgari Hotel’s Sette, in Knightsbridge has a three or four course brunch menu which you can make bottomless or enjoy with one of the several bloody Marys available from the restaurant’s bloody Mary bar. Quaglino’s has a bottomless champagne brunch on the weekends, or for something more laid-back, try The Buttery in Belgravia, Gunpowder in London Bridge, or The Barbary Next Door in Covent Garden.
7 Roasts, London-wide
It’s also the month to try out a new place for a Sunday roast. Chelsea’s Le Petit Beefbar has a new Sunday roast menu launching April 17, with decadent dishes such as Creekstone sirloin steak and potatoes cooked in Wagyu beef fat on the menu. Michelin starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin have a new, elegant take on the traditional Sunday lunch at Galvin Bar & Grill in Russell Square. Nose to tail restaurant temper in Soho, Covent Garden and the City, has relaunched its Sunday roast menu offering smoky chicken, pork, beef and lamb dishes as well as Mexican-inspired starters and snacks. Lastly, it may not be your traditional British Sunday roast, however Manteca Sundays at Shoreditch’s nose to tail restaurant Manteca, is serving a family-style Sunday meal made from dishes like traditional lasagne, bollito misto and herbed porchetta.
8 Kew Gardens, Richmond
It may be great day out any day of the year, but come spring, Kew Garden really shines. There’s cherry blossom, tulips, bluebells and magnolia to bask in, as well as yoga in the Temperate House, forest bathing and tai chi. For the kids, The Very Hungry Caterpillar arrives in time for Easter and there are short courses on organic gardening and vegetable growing as well. Also, April is the last month to see Zadok Be David: Natural Reserve exhibition which includes a space-specific installation containing more than 17,000 steel etched flowers assembled by hand.
Address: Richmond, TW9 3JR, TW9 2DF, TW9 3AB and TW9 3AF
9 Yoga at Sky Garden, the City
Sky high yoga is back, running six days a week. Led by yoga instructors from TruBe, Sky Garden’s yoga is a one-hour dynamic vinyasa flow class suitable for all levels and abilities. The instructor will guide you through your poses and stretches before you rush off to work, or enjoy a leisurely post-class breakfast or snack at the Darwin Brasserie. Book ahead, especially on for weekend sessions, as classes book out quickly.
Date: April 5, Tuesday to Sunday
Time: Tuesday to Friday 7 am-8am; Saturday and Sunday 9 am-10am
Cost: Tuesday to Friday £ 20; weekends £ 25
Address: The Fenchurch Building, 1 Sky Garden Walk EC3M 8AF
There’s still more to come, this guide will continue to be updated…