These are the best events happening in London this week

Including a huge free party on the Southbank

Gird your loins and other body parts as it’s going to be something of a big weekend.

From Brighton Pride and Faggamuffin Bloc Party, we’ll be leading you through bottomless brunches on barges, festivals on piers with free ice-cream all-day, music festivals and, for a bit of respite, afternoon tea.

Mind you, there will be booze at the tea.

Find the best events below…

Dancing scene

Feel the rhythm (Picture: Dave Burke/REX/Shutterstock)

We love a London-adjacent festival. All of the festival and none of the faff. And a shower when you get home! Which is why we’ve always gone big on We Are FSTVL, where they don’t let the fact that there’ll be a home-time cramp their big dance day out style in the least.

And this year the line-up is, well, as interesting as it always is. Camelphat, Craig David TS5, Carl Cox, Mabel, Rudimental doing a DJ set and dancefloors from the crème de la crème including Glitterbox, Defected and Afterlife.

All this and then no crummy tent to stumble back to… and maybe even someone to bring you breakfast in bed.

Saturday and Sunday, Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster, Essex, RM14

Out and loud

Pride the waves (Picture: Getty Images)

It’s the biggest, brightest, starriest and many say best Pride in Her Majesty’s Kingdom… and it’s about an hour away from London! Yes, kids, Brighton Pride is back with a bang… and with Christina Aguilera, which must mean a bang and a half. And Paloma Faith and Jake Shears and Todrick Hall… OK, many bangs.

See the Parade, do the Village Street Party then hike over to Preston Park to see the big acts… but make sure you have your tickets! Even for the Street Party. With We Are Fabuloso, the Preston Park event, going over both Saturday and Sunday, it’s going to be a big weekend so stock up on the Berocca and the make-up remover. And check Friday’s Metro!

Saturday and Sunday, various locations in Brighton

Nice ice, baby

Ice to see you (Picture: Supplied)

There’s nothing like getting out of town and down to the seaside of a weekend and now we have an extra incentive in that Ben & Jerry’s, the caring ice-cream people, are doing a festival on Hastings Pier. And we love Hastings anyway!

You’d think that Soul II Soul headlining the main stage (they have a main stage on a pier?) with Maribou State, Poppy Ajudha, Porij etc would be a big enough draw but when you add unlimited free ice-cream ALL DAY LONG, it’s a no-brainer.

And with tickets at just a fiver – and you get to go on that pier – with all proceeds going to local charity The Refugee Buddy Project, it would be rude not to.

From 12pm Saturday, 1-10 White Rock, Hastings, TN34

Tropic thunder

Jungle fun (Picture: Thomas Alexander)

We’ve been getting used to the tropics over the past few weeks, what with the heat and the frizz-out that comes with that humidity and the outfits ruined by sweat marks and the trainers that need to be left on windowsills.

But we’re getting down to Party in the Tropics at 100 Wardour Street on Tuesday, to put our new-found skills into operation: by which we mean the drinking of refreshing cocktails (new-found?! we hear you exclaim), the nibbling on delicious canapés while taking in the sounds of vibey jungle music all in surroundings that have been tropical-ed up to the max. Who knows, we might even wear a print!

From Wednesday (August 9), 100 Wardour Street, W1

Barging competition out of the way

Always wanting moor (Picture: Supplied)

Bottomless brunch, river views and watermelon margaritas? Have all our three wishes been granted in one fell swoop? Seems like it as that’s what’s on offer down at the Peggy Jean Barge, which is a *checks notes* barge moored on the banks of the River *checks notes again* Thames.

Oh, we’ve heard of that! Get yourself down to Richmond, a great spot in any case, and indulge in an Aussie brunch, which comprises banana bread sandwiches and Very Fancy Bacon Rolls, among other things, or dinner cooked over fire, from calamari to T-bone steak to fresh pizzas as you drink in the 360-degree views – and the cocktails! – on a barge steeped in over 100 years of history.

Riverside Richmond, Richmond, TW9


Best of British (Picture: Supplied)

So, it turns out that next week is Afternoon Tea Week, which is great seeing as we’re parched… but not necessarily for tea. Which is where east London’s hottest new hotspot, The Gantry in Stratford, steps in wearing very nice shoes.

Their afternoon tea takes everything to a whole new place with brioche sandwiches with aged cheddar and homemade onion jam, mini fish ‘n’ chips, mini salt beef beigels straight from Brick Lane and, of course, scones with Cornish clotted cream and a weird ‘jam’ made out of champagne jelly and strawberry dust!

And obviously you’re more than welcome to lace your afternoon tea with a London gin & tonic or English sparkling wine, just to complete the English theme.

Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm, 40 Celebration Avenue, E20

Tune into the station

Sounds of the overground (Picture: John Sturrock)

Remember when no one set a foot near King’s Cross unless they were up to no good or had a bit part in Prime Suspect looking after a lock-up where a body may or may not be hidden? Well, those days are gone my friend.

Not only is it now a super-swank spot for shopping and eating out and drinking and watching movies in the al fresco (no, al fresco does not mean ‘nude’), but they put on events like King’s Cross Summer Sounds totally free live music festival where you can take in everything from classical through folk to jazz and beyond from all communities. And you can do all your shopping and eating out and drinking while you’re down there…

August 10-21, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, N1

Party time

River-side rhythms (Picture: Stony Johnson Production)

Faggamuffin Bloc Party’s mission is to increase the visibility of LGBTQI+ people of colour of African and Caribbean heritage as part of carnival’, it says here and we think we can all get behind that… especially if there’s a free party on the Southbank involved.

Usually taking over bits of Hackney, the whole kit and caboodle has moved up central to bring Carnival sounds and Caribbean rhythms to the banks of the Thames.

Wear something you can move in, grab your besties and come on down… as someone on TV used to say. And as they say, it’s a reclaiming of liberation and resistance through celebration. Amen!

Saturday, Riverside Terrace Level 2, Southbank, SE1

Let the games begin

Game on (Picture: Haydon Perrior)

Some Sundays we can barely lift the coffee cup to our lips let alone get up, get breakfast, get ready, get somewhere… but with 50% off games at Skylight Tobacco Dock, we’re going to have to pull our, erm, act together because there’s no way we’re missing croquet and petanque, washed down with lashings of Skylight signature cocktails.

Because that would be silly and if there’s one thing we’re not… Add great views across London, food options coming out of your ears and we reckon it’s a great way to recover on the day after the night before. Just don’t forget to book both your game session and your table.

Sundays, Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street Entrance, E1

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