Summer in London: your complete month-by-month guide

Summer in London is absolutely glorious, and this one is set to be better than ever. Here's a lowdown of the best food and drinks goings-on around the capital, from popups to parties

Summer in London 2021

As we make our grand rétour to normal-ish life, it's going to be hard not to feel overwhelmed by all the things we're suddenly going to be allowed to do.

Hugging! Restaurants! Parties! Festivals! Dancing! (All in line with the latest regulations, of course). There will be people, there will be food and there will be booze, and we're pretty darn excited about it.

But before you go clogging up your calendar with just any old plan, stop right there. We've got the lowdown on what you really need to be doing during summer in London this year. 

We've cherry-picked our very favourite – and probably the very best, but we're probably biased – food and drink goings-on to make it that tiny bit easier for you have the best summer in London ever.

Sure, we're excited to go back to restaurants and the like, but all the hospitality industry is sure as hell excited to have us back, too. It's laying on a blockbuster summer of special events, popups, terraces, parties and more to celebrate reopening.

Sit back, relax and peruse our guide below, safe in the knowledge that people with truly impeccable taste have deemed that brand-spanking-new pop-up absolutely worth booking two months in advance.

What to do in London in August

Joo Woo's residency at Bun House

Until 4 October. 26-27 Lisle St, WC2H 7BA

We're rather partial to Soho's Bun House and its steamed buns, so we trust the team's judgement when it comes to seeking out truly delicious food. That's why we're excited to learn of a new summer residency from ex-Galvin chef Joo Woo, in partnership with his wife Sujin, a renowned pastry chef who's worked at The Wolseley and The Delaunay. Talk about a power couple. The pair are whipping together a feasting menu of cured grey mullet served in a sesame, chilli and plum soy sauce; a kimchi and cheddar risotto topped with a poached egg (!!!); their own top-secret take on fried chicken; not to mention a twist on British stew that brings together slow-cooked lamb breast and a pear and soy sauce. The icing on the cake? A dessert of 70% chocolate cremeux, yuza compote, hoji tea and toasted grain cream.

The Drummond Streatery Street Party

Thursday 5 August from 6pm. Drummond Street, NW1

Summer in London: Drummond Street Party

Not got plans this Thursday? Now you do: eating good grub for a good cause down on Drummond Street, one of London's oldest food hubs. The hospitality community here has experienced huge losses thanks to the build of HS2, and it needs all the help it can get. To celebrate this vibrate neighbourhood and (hopefully!) the return to a more normal life, the street has come together to put on a one-night-only party with food from its culturally diverse businesses from South Asian to Turkish, plus a DJ set from BBC Asian Network presenter AJD, music from rising artist RIKA and Bhangra star H Dhami, alongside henna artists to make sure you look the part. There will be food, there will be drinks, and oh boy will there be dancing. Entry is free, and you can get a Drummond Street taster menu for an easy £5. See you down there...

London In The Sky

From 1 July-26 September. The O2, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX

Summer in London 2021: London In The Sky

Pigs can’t fly, but it turns out that restaurants can. Kind of. London In The Sky is the restaurant experience that takes place 100ft in air, at a specially made (and very, very safe) table that gets hoisted up on a crane. Not only is it the ultimate outdoor dining experience, but you get some damn good views over London, too. You can choose from a variety of food and drink experiences, but the August bank holiday Sunday Session, complete with DJs and live music, looks set to be a live one.

ROOT supper clubs

From 15 July, throughout summer. 36 Highgate Hill, N19 5NL

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Discovering up-and-coming chefs is one of our passions at Foodism, and it's a passion shared by budding restaurater TJ Worrall Thompson. This comes as no surprise – TJ is the son of two chefs (yes, one of them being Anthony Worrall Thompson), and was working to set up his own food truck before the pandemic scuppered his plans. He's now working as the assistant manager at BAO Soho, but has set up ROOT in his spare time: a series of exclusive dining events showcasing London's up-and-coming cheffing talent. The first ROOT event takes place with Olly Oakley, who has spent time at revered restaurants Frantzen and El Celler de Can Roca. He brings his experience to Archie's in Highgate on 15 July, along with a passion for local, seasonal produce, a curated wine list and delicious cocktails. If this first event anything to go by, ROOT is off to a shining start.

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Mr Fogg's Secret Garden

From 25 May. 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD

Summer events London 2021: Mr Foggs Secret Garden

Did lockdown see you suddenly develop a green thumb? Or were your attempts at plant parenthood result in dead cacti around your house? If it was a case of the latter, don't be ashamed to give up and bask in the green glory of Mr Fogg's Secret Garden, tucked off the the streets of Mayfair. Overflowing with flora and fauna, there are enough plants here to make you forget all about your sad little pots at home – and the floral-inspired cocktails should help with that, too. Sip Pimms in amongst the roses; gulp a gin and tonic in the orangery; or drink tequila in the Potting Shed.

The Botanist Gin's roof terrace

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR

Summer in London: The Botanist roof terrace

Rooftop bars are boring, right? Same old same old, seen it all before? We challenge you to say that after a trip to The Botanist Gin's pop-up roof terrace on top of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, with views over the iconic silhouette of the British Library. A raft of cocktails using the Scottish spirit go beyond the usual culprits, like a herbaceous Botanist negroni, while snacks ranging from mini fish and chips and wood-fired pizzas bode well for an evening of grazing and gazing into the night.

Della Vite at The Goring

From 17 May. 15 Beeston Pl, SW1W 0JW

Summer events London 2021: Della Vite terrace at The Goring

We can't give you Cara Delevingne's eyebrows, but we can point you in the direction of her prosecco. And some lobster rolls. And both of those sound pretty darn great to us. Della Vite is the award-winning prosecco brand from the Delevingnge sisters, which legit tastes good, and is made with preserving the terroir (ie environment) in mind. Try it straight up or in cocktails in The Goring's delightful garden this summer, accompanied by lobster club sandwiches and The Goring's signature Seafood Platter.

Skylight Canalside

Saturdays Until 7 August. Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Ln, E1W 2SF

Summer events London 2021: Skylight Canalside

Skylight is coming down from its lofty heights on top of Tobacco Dock for a new ground-level, canal-side street food market with KERB. There'll be garden games and a rotating selection of food trucks, kicking off with Fundi Pizza and Tongue'n'Cheek, which specialises in nose-to-tail burgers.

Nine Lives Block Party

From July. 8 Holyrood Street, SE1 2EL

Summer in London, July: Nine Lives Block Party

We liked Bermondsey low-waste bar Nine Lives already, but the Block Parties at Nine Lives Alley – taking over the whole of Holyrood Street – takes things to a whole new level. Nine Lives' signature tikki vibe carries over into the outdoor space with tropical plants and a summer playlist, and on the last Friday of each month the whole of Holyrood Street gets taken over for a taco feast from Tigre Tacos. The series of events kicks off with Nine Lives' fourth birthday party at the end of July, so it's one you won't want to miss.

The Macallan Manor House

Open until autumn. 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN

Summer events London 2021: Macallan Manor House at the Rosewood

How do you like the sound of griddled prawns, lemon and garlic butte, and lamb rump and jersey royal potatoes? Eaten on the rooftop at the plush Rosewood hotel? And washed down with one-off Macallan whisky cocktails? We like the sound of that all very much, which is why you'll find us visiting The Macallan Manor House at the Rosewood this summer.

Sundowners Sunday sessions at Hicce

Until September. Unit 102, hicce x Wolf & Badger, Stable St, N1C 4DQ

Summer events London 2021: Hicce's Sunday Sundowners

Say a big fat no to the Sunday scaries by heading on over to Hicce in King's Cross for an evening of cocktails, music and (fingers crossed) sunsets on its two gorgeous terraces. A live DJ will spin the decks with a playlist of funk, rare groove, reggae and soul – the perfect partner to Hicce's wood-fired dishes and quite frankly excellent cocktails. Now all we need is the good weather...

Golden Gai's Drag and Wine Wednesdays

Until September. 16A D'Arblay St, W1F 8EA

Summer events London 2021: Golden Gai's Drag and Wine Wednesdays

Ring in a return to wine Wednesdays with a trip to Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant Golden Gai (the second site from the similarly themed Angelina in Dalston). A £25 ticket will get you three wines, a piadina (a folded, toasted, cheese-filled flatbread) and a seat to watch drag queen extraordinaire Vanity von Glow and Wicked Winos' Beth Brickenden work their magic on the 50-seater terrace. The only problem will be resisting Golden Gai's menu of fusion treats...

Night Tales, The Street

Until September. 14 Bohemia Pl, E8 1DU

Summer events London 2021: Night Tales, The Street

If Night Tales = fun, by our calculations an even bigger popup version of Night Tales should = even more fun. Which is why you'll likely find us propping up the bar at The Street, Night Tales' takeover of East London's Bohemia Place. The theme is street party, but make it hipster, with food from Patty & Bun and Only Jerkin', a custom-built 16m-long outdoor bar, frozen margs and live music on the last Friday and Saturday of every month.

Live on Ten at Decimo

Saturdays at 12.30pm and 2.30pm. 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG

Summer events London 2021: a taco at Decimo, The Standard
Summer events London 2021: red prawns at Decimo at The Standard

If you want to feel like you've made it in the glamour stakes, Decimo at The Standard is the place. Gorgeous food in gorgeous surrounds makes for a seriously special occasion, especially when live jazz is thrown in the mix. This brunch is anything but basic – a selection of up-and-coming musicians will serenade you while you devour chef Sanchez-Iglesias' Spanish-Mexican inspired food. Graze your way through a golden, gooey Spanish tortilla; smoky charred bread slathered in marinated red peppers; and delicate tacos topped with razor-thin slices of refreshing raw cauliflower. We're never going to try to persuade you not to get the lamb, but vegetarians get the royal treatment here – pardina lentils topped with artichoke and charred leek with romesco sauce were serious showstoppers. Get your gladrags on for a seriously special lunch, and see if you can finish up with a drink on the roof if you can wangle it. Did someone say... Money shot?

Wine Dinners at Trinity Upstairs

Throughout summer. 4 The Polygon, London SW4 0JG

Summer events London 2021: Wine Dinners at Trinity Upstairs

Perched prettily on the edge of Clapham Common, Adam Byatt's Trinity is a real treat. Downstairs you've got the Michelin-starred main restaurant, but bypass the white tablecloths and head to the first floor to find Upstairs at Trinity, a more casual – but no less delicious – sibling. The wine-focused restaurant is holding a series of Wine Dinners this summer in collaboration with Sara Rossi, winner of the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2020 Best Sommelier category. Byatt's specially curated menu will feature his favourite oysters, hand-dived scallops, Cornish blue lobster and more.

£195pp, inclusive of food, wine, water, coffee and service.

Tacos Padre

Borough Market, SE1 9AG

Summer events London 2021: Evenings at Tacos Padre

Borough Market's Tacos Padre serves tacos. Obviously. And pretty damn great ones at that. But if you're bored of these moreish morsels (said no one on the planet), come back to the taqueria in the evenings this summer to find a full Mexican-inspired menu with tostadas, aguachile, flauta (a fried filled tortilla), grilled lamb and so much more. Don't mind if we do.

St-Germain's Bouquet & Spritz workshops

5, 12, 19, 26 August. McQueens Flowers Mayfair, 29 North Audley Street, W1K 6WY

Summer in London: St Germain's terrace

A bottle of St-Germain elderflower liqueur contains up to 1,000 fresh, hand-picked wild elderflowers. That's a whole lot of blooms, and to celebrate its floral beginnings, St-Germain has teamed up with London florist McQueens to run a series of workshops that'll show you how to create both a St-Germain spritz and a bloomin' beautiful bouquet at the same time. You'll get to go home with both your flowers and a St-Germain spritz kit, packed with everything you need to sip your way through summer. If spritzes are more of a spectator sport for you, take a seat at one of St-Germain's flower-filled terraces at Radio Rooftop, Mrs Riot and the Great Northern Hotel this summer. 

£85; book through


7-8 August; 21-22 August. Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY

Summer in London: StrEATlife at Alexandra Palace

There's not much better than dancing, drinking and grazing in the sun, and that's exactly what you'll be doing at Alexandra Palace's StrEATlife festival. More than 30 food and craft beer traders will be taking over the palace's south terrace, complete with panoramic views of London. There'll be live music in the form of accoustic musicians and DJ sets, too – and dancing in actively encouraged... And entrance is completely free.

London Craft Beer Festival

13-15 August. Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF

Summer in London 2021: London Craft Beer Festival

A celebration of great beers, passionate brewers and the people who make London a great beer city, London Craft Beer Festival is a guaranteed good time. Dousing Tobacco Dock in hops and happiness for one glorious weekend in August, it’ll also feature DJ sets from the likes of Craig Charles and Django Django, while more than 100 of the world’s best craft brewers make sure you’ll never get thirsty…

What to do in London in September


3-5 September. Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Quay, Wapping Ln, E1W 2SF

Summer events London 2021: Meatopia at Tobacco Dock

Where there's smoke, there's… Barbecue. Or at least that’s the case at Meatopia, everyone's favourite fire-forward festival. Brought to London in 2013 by Richard H Turner (he of Hawksmoor and Blacklock) in partnership with the late Josh Ozersky, it's still one of the hottest (literally with all that fire) tickets each summer. Soon we'll be in Tobacco Dock, inhaling the smell of fire-grilled meat and veg from the likes of Freddie Janssen, James Cochran and Hoppers’ Karan Gokani, drinking craft beer and listening to live music.