Summer’s here and as if that weren’t enough to celebrate, there’s an extended Bank Holiday this year to mark the momentous occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. London’s simply hopping, with flags and bunting everywhere and people flocking into the capital to celebrate.
And after the Jubilee, there’s plenty else to do in the capital across the month. From Shakespare at the Globe, the festival of architecture, and British Flower Week to Wandsworth Art Fringe, Open Gardens and Monster Jam, there’s something for everyone.
Here are five things we’d recommend (although we could recommend far more) and if we’re honest, we think you should try more than one…!
1. Jubilee Celebrations - 2nd to 5th June
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth marks 70 years on the throne this year, which is an astonishing achievement, by any standards. To mark this occasion, there’s a four-day celebration taking place across the country, and in London itself there will be no end of events to attend.
The Platinum Jubilee has endless offerings including a Trooping of the Colour on the Mall, the lighting of beacons and a live concert outside Buckingham Palace which 20,000 people are estimated to be attending (it’s also going to be on tv, so fear not!)
The culmination of the four-day event will be street parties held across the city. Nicknamed ‘ the Big Jubilee Lunch’ you’re bound to be able to find one near you - or perhaps try your luck in Walthamstow (end of the Victoria line) where there’s going to be a ‘mile-long’ knees up! Expect coronation chicken, iced cupcakes, trifle and Pimms…and whilst you’re eating and drinking, try and see some of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
This is the story of Queen Elizxabeth’s reign, featuring key moments from her time on the throne. It’s a free event and open to the public, but it’s also going to be live-streamed.In Hampstead, there will be a free event on Thursday 2nd June in Golders Hill Park from 11am to 5pm. And if you can’t make it, because you’re at another celebration in the capital, put 12th June in your diary which is Hampstead Heath Community Fun Day in the Parliament Hill area.
2. Naked Bike Ride - 7th and 11th June
The fact is that cyclists are incredibly vulnerable in urban areas, and particularly London. This event is all about taking care of the world in which to live - and celebrating freedom of the body into the bargain!
The first event is on 7th June, and begins in Croydon; the second is four days later on 11th June, with several starting points across Central London. Because of the Platinum Jubilee, cyclists won’t be starting at Hyde Park but they will be able to take part in a pre-ride flag-making party.
Go and celebrate what Mother Nature gave you!
3. Gin Festival at Wapping - 11th-12th June
There’s nothing like a crisp G&T, with lots of ice and lemon, to kick off a summer evening and if you’re a fan of this quintessentially English drink then you have to make a trip down to Wapping this June.
Yes, aptly (and hilariously) named ‘Juniperlooza’ is taking place in East London, at Tobacco Dock, for the ninth year running, and what’s even more amazing is that if you buy a ticket, you’ll get to meet either the distiller or the brand-owner of the gin you’re tasting, in person!
This clever idea is simple - you’ll be given a tasting glass on arrival and you take it with you as you visit the stalls - and there are many brands to sample, from international names to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. There are also masterclasses (free) in everything related to gin and, in conjunction with ‘Feast’ you’ll be able to grab lunch or dinner at the food court - so you can line your stomach and still stand up at the event’s end!
4. The Taste of London - 15th to 19th June
This annual event, which is guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds, is back - and for five full days in Regent’s Park, you’ll have the chance to try out all kinds of menus and return home utterly sated.
Spread over eight days, many of London’s hottest restaurants and celebrity chefs are taking part and with ‘pop ups’ for just a day or two, you’ll have the opportunity to try some of the most ‘out there’ new culinary concepts.
Whether you want to try out desserts with insect sprinkles, whisky vending machines or cocktails that interact with your brainwaves, ‘Taste of London’ has got you covered.
Our tip? Skip breakfast (and possibly lunch) before you arrive!
5. The Seagull, by Anton Chekov - 29th June
This was a highly-anticipated opening, back in 2020 and then - bang - the pandemic shut the world down, and a Russian masterpiece with it.
Now, finally, the Jamie Lloyd Company is bringing Chekov’s masterpiece back to the West End for just eleven weeks. The story of shattered dreams and broken hearts, played out in a remote home in the countryside, what will the protagonists do when things turn sour? Turn on each other, of course.
Playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre, close to Piccadilly Circus in the heart of the West End, this is a unique and modern production that you don’t want to miss and because it’s only running until September, book early to avoid disappointment.
June is also the perfect time for walks on the Heath and Hampstead is really lovely this time of year, so if you are looking for a Hampstead hotel or an Italian restaurant in London, we'd love to welcome you at La Gaffe!