From Field Day to the Chelsea Fringe, the best of summertime in London

The summer season is finally upon us! This means music festivals, rooftop drinking and lounging around in the park. Don’t wait for the weather to arrive, take advantage of all the adventures you can have outdoors this weekend

Field Day


Saturday and Sunday, Victoria Park, fielddayfestivals.com

This may have been Field Day’s fastest-selling year yet, but there are still tickets left for Sunday’s festivities at Victoria Park. The two-day festival is still one of the coolest tickets around. Headliners include punk legend Patti Smith, Caribou and FKA Twigs. There’s also plenty to keep you fed and watered throughout the day, with Hackney favourite Street Feast bringing its artisan vendors to east London and the London Brewers Festival serving up local beers all day.

The Line


Saturday and Sunday, free, theline.org

Walkers will love London’s newest sculpture trail, which spans three miles along waterways in east London. Starting from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, it’s dotted with artworks by names like Damien Hirst, Martin Creed and Anthony Gormley all the way to North Greenwich.

Chelsea Fringe


Saturday and Sunday, various locations, for prices and listings visit chelseafringe.com

If you missed out on this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, there are still loads of events taking place in various locations around the capital for horticulture enthusiasts. The three-week festival is coming to an end this weekend but there are still lots of quirky, volunteer-run events to check out, including a colourful commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo at Wellington Tower, a floating garden in Regent’s Park and a wildflower bee hotel in Turnham Green.

Urban Ninja


Saturday, Russell Square Gardens, from £30, urbanninja.co.uk

Feeling bereft after last week’s Ninja Warrior finale? Then grab your nunchuks and try out this pop-up obstacle course that’s inspired by the cult Japanese TV show. The organisers reckon they’ve created a gruelling test of upper body and core strength that only one per cent of participants will finish. The entry cost includes an hour of practice time with trained stewards to give you tips before you attempt the real thing. The fittest will get the chance to compete for a cash prize against other champs at the end of the year.

Full of Spice at Kew


Saturday and Sunday, festival included with admission, adult tickets £14, kew.org

Kew Gardens may already be London’s go-to attraction for outdoorsy types, but it’s turning up the heat this summer with a new Spice Festival. Jump in a rickshaw to the Spice Exchange, which is hosting a series of talks, workshops and performances. Admire an array of spices growing in the cavernous greenhouses or just let the kids jump about on the giant inflatables dotted around. And when that gets tiring, head to the botanical bar for a spiced gin cocktail.

Big Lunch


Sunday, free, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Rustle up a picnic and join families and friends from all across the capital in London’s newest park for the annual Big Lunch. Wander around afterwards for lots of free entertainment. The line up includes storytellers, treasure hunts, face-painting, live music, cookery demonstrations, magic shows, puppet shows and a dance performance from Sadler’s Wells, which is building a new theatre in the park.

Sunday Sunset Barbecue


Sunday, South Place Hotel, free

This daytime party on a seventh-floor terrace is definitely worth travelling back into the City for on your day off. From 1pm, Michelin-starred chef Tony Fleming will be smoking up a storm on the barbie while DJs spin house, funk and disco tracks into the evening. Tuck into salmon and shrimp burgers, prawn and pork belly skewers and Orkney Island scallops. There’s also a special spritzer menu on offer and it’s happening every Sunday until the end of June.

Slow Food and Living Market


Sunday, Rosewood Hotel, free, slowfood.org.uk

It’s all about going slow these days. That’s Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wholesome, for those who have yet to a notice its creeping grip on our tastes. In the midst of increasingly hectic lifestyles and the 24-hour news cycle, it seems a trend has emerged for food that takes time to mature. Whether it’s carefully considered craft ales or a cheese that’s artfully aged, you can find an array of small, ethically-minded food companies in the inner courtyard of the grand Rosewood Hotel in Holborn. With around 30 traders such as Bath Soft Cheese, Chegworth Valley vegetables and Dark Arts Coffee, it aims to be a street market with an emphasis on the craftsmanship and stories behind the food we eat.

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