We don't need to leave the city for some downtime
Whether you were supposed to set your out-of-office and be on a flight to Mallorca for a week of sipping cocktails by the beach right now, let’s remind ourselves that we don’t need to leave the City for some downtime. London is one of the best cities in the world and a perfect place for a mini staycation this summer. From a virtual carnival, to the return of London’s leading performing arts festival, we have rounded up the best events and things to do near our developments that don’t require you to get up at 3am to catch a budget flight.
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2020
Development: near our Synergy development in Charlton
Perhaps two months later than usual, but Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF), London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts, will return this summer. Offering uplifting installations and outdoor arts presented locally on people’s doorsteps, it celebrates local places and togetherness following a summer of isolation. Running from 28 August until 12 September, GDIF will be the UK’s first full arts festival to take place since lockdown began back in March. Much of this year’s programme will reflect the challenges and embrace the positives to come from the last few months. Plus, the schedule has been adapted to prioritise the safety and well-being of artists and audiences, ensuring that people can visit at staggered times with plenty of space for social distancing.
Wembley Park new outdoor events
Developments: near our Regency Heights and Queensbury Square developments
In recent years Wembley Park has become North West London’s go-to destination for shopping and al fresco dining. This summer, Wembley Park has launched a new programme of free cultural and musical outdoor events, offering free live performances every weekend outside Boxpark Wembley on Olympic Way and on Wembley Park Boulevard. Here, you can stroll alongside a variety of open-air, unique spaces, including tree-lined pedestrian boulevards, plus, Wembley Park is also home to some amazing open-air shopping including the London Designer Outlet. It’s an exciting, ‘always on’ district with a vibrant community that’s definitely worth exploring this summer, and the best thing is that you can experience the best of Wembley Park for free.
Have your own Notting Hill Carnival
Spend your August Bank Holiday Weekend bringing the Notting Hill Carnival colour into your home, because this year one of the biggest cultural events in the UK is going online. For the first time in its 54-year history, this hugely popular event will be streamed between August 29 and 31, with a mix of pre-recorded performances with acts including Rampage and Volcano. Spotify is also set to dedicate a microsite to the carnival, sharing playlists and podcasts about the importance of carnival culture in the UK and Black Lives Matter movement. It just sounds like the perfect weekend plan. Even better, this year you can support your local businesses by ordering in the most authentic Caribbean dish from places like The Rum Kitchen (@therumkitchen) or Mama’s Jerk Station (@mamasjerk) and enjoy the carnival with a homemade rum punch.
Secure your spot at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Development: near our Mode development
The award-winning theatre in Regent’s Park is hosting a special concert staging of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The Open Air Theatre is the first venue to welcome back live audiences and with social distancing in place, seating capacity has been reduced to 390 seats, so make sure you book to secure your spot. There will be 9 performances a week between 14 August and 27 September as well as a series of outdoor comedy shows, with names including Jimmy Carr, Russell Brand and Rob Becket.
Light up your summer at God’s Own Junkyard
Development: near our Discovery development
This summer, all signs lead to God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, the largest stock of vintage neons and signs in Europe. Here you will find new and used neon fantasies, salvaged signs, reclaimed neon signs, old movie props and retro displays. Late owner Chris Bracey made, installed and collected signs that have appeared behind some of the greatest Hollywood stars. You can spend hours just peeking at the range on offer and even buy one to lighten up your own home decor. There’s also a cafe called The Rolling Scones if you happen to lose track of time at the place where neon never dies.
A movie night under the stars
Your favourite festival may have been cancelled this year, but let’s not forget about outdoor cinemas, offering the ultimate socially distanced open-air cinema experience.
The Luna Cinema is one to look forward to, with a whole range of films at venues across the city, including Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, near our Synergy development. The movie titles will include Dirty Dancing, Grease and Rocketman to name a few.
Tom Kerridge’s Drive & Dine Theatre
The Drive & Dine Theatre experience, from the Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge and the Pub in the Park team, will be taking place at venues around the country, including Syon Park near our Feltham355 and Regency Heights developments. Watch the best classic films and latest blockbusters from the comfort of your car. All while enjoying amazing dishes from the menu of old-school American drive-ins curated by Tom Kerridge himself. Don’t worry, there will also be plenty of sweet treats and desserts available too.
Soak up the city’s sunshine in the best beer gardens
Development: near The Lane development
The city is slowly opening up again and the best way to soak up some of its sunshine, of course, is to spend an afternoon in a large beer garden. We have one for you near The Lane development in Tottenham, The Ferry Boat Inn, with over 50 tables dotted along the River Lea, promising a perfect summery afternoon in the fresh air. This family-run pub certainly has that countryside feel, so you will feel like you have escaped the city for a while.