August City Events in London
The big number in August in London is the Notting Hill Carnival; don’t miss out on fun Caribbean style. For something arty try the Camden Fringe or the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. With so much choice how will you decide? Let us take the stress out of it by picking out our favourite events in London this August:
1. Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill – 25th – 26th August
The biggest event this month is the iconic Notting Hill Carnival. For almost 50 years the local Caribbean population have turned the streets of London into one huge end of summer party. Not only is there the amazing parade but the whole Caribbean culture will spill out into the Notting Hill area. This will include some of the best tasting food we have ever eaten, to get a real flavour of the West Indies you have to try the Jerk Chicken or Curried Goat accompanied by rice and peas. If you are planning to join in the carnival fun it is worth getting there a bit early as some of the local tube stations may shut and bus routes will be diverted.
2. Camden Fringe, Camden – 29th July – 25th August
For some light relief the Camden Fringe is just the thing. Even though they have only been going a few years the performing arts festival has gone from a few gigs to more than 650 over the 4 weeks. Showcasing talent of all ages, experience and genre there will be something to tickle your fancy. Previous performers have included the likes of Students on a Shoestring by SpiderBluesComedy and Richard Wright as well as big names like Hal Cruttenden and James Mullinger. So if you fancy catching the next Ricky Gervais before they make the leap to stardom then this is for you.
3. Carnaval del Pueblo at The Coronet Theatre – 18th August
A bit less famous but no less riotous is the Carnival del Pueblo. A Latino festival with spirit it has had it usual venue taken away, but like a phoenix rising from the flames the festival is now re-housed at the Coronet Theatre. With a packed schedule we recommend seeing Dominican Republic’s Fulanito known for his ground-breaking mix of traditional and modern to create a whole new sound. Or for something more folky try the Mestizo Folklore Group performing some Mexican folk dances. There will even be Free Latin dance classes if you want to join in!
4. Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House – 8th – 21st August
Summer is the time to be out under the sky and nothing says summer more than Open-air cinema. Head to Somerset House for some truly awesome films as Film4 begin their annual Summer Screen season. Films to look out for include the world premier of Richard Curtis’s “About Time”, or how about “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” a classic thriller. For a night of unrelenting teen high-school comedy there is Mean Girls, Carrie and The Loved Ones. Another UK premier “The Way Back” a coming of age piece with startlingly real emotional overtones. Whatever you decide to go and see we know you will have a fab time at one of London’s stunning settings.
5. iTunes festival at Roundhouse – All Month
The iTunes festival at London’s Roundhouse theatre is a series of completely free concerts all you have to do is be an iTunes customer. Some of the biggest names in the music industry will be rocking up to entertain you, last year Muse, One Direction and Usher were on the line up and this year’s promises to shape up to top that.
6. Buckingham Palace Summer Opening – All Month
For fans of the Royal Family this is a great way to take a peek at lives behind closed doors. During the summer Buckingham Palace arranges special tours inside the Queen’s official residence. Highlights include a special exhibition this year which incorporates an unprecedented array of the dress, uniforms and robes worn for the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 60 years ago. The State Rooms are included in the tour; this is where the Queen receives guests and does her queenly job. You can see paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto and sculpture by Canova. So get your Royalty on and have a nose around.
7. Beer Festival at Olympia, Kensington – 13th – 17th August
Don’t know about you but we could do with a drink about now. So let’s head out to Olympia in Kensington for the Great British Beer Festival run by CAMRA. It’s not just beer – there are ciders and Perry’s available for your delight too. Last year’s champion beer was Coniston brewery’s ‘No.9 Barley Wine’, so why not have a taste? You sup your favourites from national brewers like Fullers, Greene King and London Pride. Also independent brewers like Hog’s Back, Shepherd Neame and St Austell will be showing their latest brews. Just remember to drink responsibly and have fun.
8. Kew’s Summer Festival: IncrEdibles at Kew Gardens – All Month
How many of us eat our 5 a day and stick to the same old fruits and veg? Now you can learn about the other edible plants grown in Kew’s Glasshouse. You can fully experience the flavour of some of the exotic plants grown there with special banquets. There are also more than 100 species of coffee growing in the world and you can get tips on how to grow your own plants. The centre piece of the festival is the Tutti Frutti Boating Experience brought to us by architectural foodsmiths Bompas & Parr where you can float around a giant fruit salad lake in a pineapple boat!