The famous poet T.S. Eliot remarked that ‘April is the cruellest month’ but we don’t agree! At La Gaffe, we love the springtime - and our neighbourhood, Hampstead, is incredibly beautiful at this time of the year, with magnolia, daffodils and crocuses everywhere.
The clocks have also ‘sprung forward’ which means the days are longer and the sun is more likely to be shining, making London a particularly attractive destination. And whether you’re coming for cultural attractions, live music, shopping, food, theatre or a ‘bit of everything’, there’s always something for everyone in our amazing city.
Here’s a few of the things we’d recommend checking out this April in London…particularly over the four-day Easter holiday. Still, don’t forget to take an umbrella, wherever you head, since it might be spring but it is England, where we get plenty of showers!
1. Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall
Performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and different groups of choirists, this incredible production involves around 400 voices singing in a dynamic musical joyfest! With its insistent rhythm and repeated melodies, it’s a piece of music few can forget once they’ve heard it.
Moreover, aside from the excellent acoustics at the Royal Festival Hall, there’s plenty in the area to do and see, before and after the performance, including restaurants, bars, cafes just a short walk away, so it’s easy to combine with lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or a leisurely drink.
Carmina Burana, Royal Festival Hall, SouthBank, SE1 (Waterloo tube)
2. Hilma af Klint and Piet Modrian’s ‘Forms of Life’ at the Tate Modern
The Swedish painter Hilma af Klint and Dutch painter Piet Modrian are being brought together in an unusual joint exhibition at London’s Tate Modern, with a look at how they responded, artistically, to the modern world.
Visitors will be able to understand more about the ideas of the two through shapes, colours and signs in complex paintings on display by these two groundbreaking modern artists. Both began as landscape painters and, challenging the typical art forms of their time, developed a language of abstraction at the turn of the 20th century.
Tickets can be booked online in advance (members go for free) and the Tate Modern, with its enviable location, can easily be visited in conjunction with St. Paul’s Cathedral, Borough Market and the South Bank (all of them within easy walking distance of the Tate).
“Forms of Life” Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 (London Bridge or St. Paul’s tube/Blackfriars Thameslink)
3. Highgate Easter Ceramics Market
If you love ceramics, or secretly hanker to become a potter, then head to north London’s HIghgate neighbourhood on 1st or 2nd April, where ‘Turning Earth’ studio is flinging open their doors. Set in a wonderfully-renovated warehouse dating back to the 1930’s, there are all kinds of beautiful pieces on sale from various ceramicists.
As well as being able to purchase items, you can enjoy demonstrations of clay being moulded on a wheel, listen to live music and tuck into some delicious street food. It’s a great way to support local artists (and get to know the person who made the piece you;’re taking away) and Highgate is very close to Hampstead Heath, so you can go for a stroll in the ‘green lung of London’ afterwards.
Turning Earth, Woodside Works, Sommersby Road, N6 (nearest tube: Highgate)
4. Jazz Sunday in Bermondsey Square
Jazz Sunday is back in the capital and what better way to spend an afternoon than listening to some music in the sunshine with Stephen Pierre and the Jazz Collective. These events will actually run all through the spring and summer, but this first one is on April 2nd between 2-5pm.
The event is free, seating is laid out and you can pick up a bite or a drink from local eateries. And since Bermondsey is so close to the City of London, why not arrive at Tower Bridge and then walk along the River Thames to your destination, admiring the skyline as you meander along?
Jazz Sunday, Bermondsey Square, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 (Tower Bridge/London Bridge tubes/Rotherhithe Overground)
5. ‘The Big London Flea’ at Hackney Flea Market
For anyone that loves flea markets, you’ve got to head to East London on April 16th where you can rummage to your heart’s content for all kinds of vintage items.
For the price of a pound (and you can't even buy a cup of coffee for this price in London!) you’ll get entry to the Big Flea, which will be taking up the entire ground floor of the old ABC Cinema.
They’re hosting handpicked vintage traders from some of the best markets across the capital so whether you’re looking to pick up furniture, jewellery, a retro outfit or just simply in the mood for some bargain hunting, this is the place to find treasure.
Hackney’s also a vibrant, hipster area so there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars in the area to explore, afterwards, or you can even take a stroll along the Regent’s Canal (which runs east to west across the capital and is a beautiful place to wander).
The Big Flea, 13-15 Stoke Newington Road, (Dalston Kingsland Overground)
Finally, If you’re thinking of coming to London in April and looking for Hampstead hotels, then look no further than our comfortable guest accommodation in the heart of north London’s leafy Hampstead neighbourhood.We’re family-owned and family-run and promise a welcoming and personal experience, not to mention exceptional cappuccino coffee at breakfast! Feel free to contact us at 020 7435-8965 or, for the best price for your room, go to our website and book directly.