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Three-day weekends are a bit of a treat, but the August bank holiday is something else altogether. Falling right at the peak of summer it is an opportunity to enjoy outdoor events, as well as your partner’s company. London certainly knows how to put on a show for the long weekend, with plenty of events for you to choose from. From foodies to gamers, everyone is catered for.

Notting Hill Carnival

Undoubtedly the biggest event to take place in London over the August bank holiday weekend is the Notting Hill Carnival. This spectacular of music, dancing, colourful costumes and delicious street food has been entertaining the people of the capital and visitors alike since 1966. With 60 steel bands and 38 sound systems lining the parade route, it’s a party you should experience at least once in your life.

Lasting all weekend, the festivities take over Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road.

BBC Good Food Festival

If you and your other half are foodies then you will find the chance to indulge your passion too much to resist. The BBC Good Food Festivalwill allow you to sample delicious ingredients from leading artisan producers and learn top tips on how to prepare them from celebrity chefs. Whether you are a fan of Michel Roux Junior or Antonio Carluccio; British sausages or Spanish churros; regional gin or world-class wine, you will find plenty of delicacies to tickle your taste buds.

The grounds of Hampton Court Palace will be alive with flavours from 26 to 28 August.

South West Four

South West Four has the ability to pull in big names from the world of dance music and this year is no exception. With a headline slot from Pendulum, as well as shows by Deadmau5, Tinie Tempah and Example, you will find the party has come to London. Summer is all about sounds like these, so be sure not to miss out.

Clapham Common is the perfect venue for such an event, which takes place on the Saturday and Sunday, giving you Monday to recover!

Foodies Festival

From taking part in a chilli eating competition to sipping on cocktails in the Bar Bus, the Foodies Festival will have something to tempt you. Street Food Avenue is enough to have you salivating and wondering which stall to try first, while the Cake and Bake Theatre means you and your loved one will leave with a whole host of new skills in the kitchen. Add in some MasterChef finalists – Juanita Hennessey and Jack Lucas – and a judge from the BBC’s new baking programme, The Big Family Cooking Showdown – Rosemary Shrager – and you have the recipe for a great weekend.

It all takes place at Alexandra Palace across the bank holiday weekend.

Gin Festival

If gin is your thing, then make your way to Tobacco Dock this August bank holiday. Among the more than 100 gins available to try will be some rarities that you are unlikely to see anywhere else. Sample these and some old favourites, as well as getting involved in gin masterclasses and meeting some of the distillers in person. Upon arrival, you will receive your branded copa balloon glass to have filled and refilled throughout the event and to take home with you.

Starting on the Friday, the Gin Festival at Tobacco Dock continues until 27 August.


Retro gaming is a great way to bond as a couple, as its combination of exhilaration and nostalgia offer a fun alternative to a conventional date night. Take the opportunity to give it a go at Retrotainment, an event celebrating the golden age of gaming, as it arrives in the capital. Battle it out on Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II and Sonic 2, with an impressive backdrop of 360-degree views of the city, drinks and some atmospheric music.

Make your way to Level 32 CCT Venue on Bank Street on 25 August.

Four Thieves Beer Festival

Not only will the last weekend in August be a bank holiday, but it’s also Four Thieves’ third birthday, meaning the brewery has even more reason to celebrate. You can sample some of its own wares, as well as beers from all over the world, with 20 taps dispensing amber, brunette and dark glasses of deliciousness. For even more variety, pop to the outside bar and peruse the selection of bottles and cans on offer.

Held at the brewery from 25 to 28 August.


Image credit: AmyLaughinghouse via iStock

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