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Top five: Bank Holiday

19 August 2013 | Tom Butler

Laughing in the face of an inevitable downpour, here are our top five things to do this bank holiday weekend.

The August bank holiday is a thing of beauty. For many it’s an extension of their summer hols, for other it’s the perfect chance to get the hell out of dodge. We at London Calling love our city however, so for us it’s the perfect opportunity to explore what’s taking place on our doorstep. After reading the below, you’ll wonder why you even contemplated leaving!

Notting Hill Carnival

It’s perhaps a little unfair to refer to the Notting Hill Carnival as an August bank holiday stalwart. To call a carnival loyal or hardworking does injustice to an event that has brought life, music and colour to the streets of West London for nigh on 50 years!

Once again this year, W11 will host Europe’s biggest street festival. The music stands are incredible and bring the sounds of the Caribbean to the capital. The food stalls are sensational (jerk curry anyone?) and the floats in the parade dazzle the eyes.

From family events to late night after parties, there’s something for everyone. It’s taking place on Sunday and Monday this year, so if you fancy a two day celebration head on over, you won’t be disappointed.

Ciderfest

Apples and pears are good for you don’t you know, two of your five daily doses of goodness. We at London Calling are all for promoting healthy lifestyles which is why ‘Ciderfest’ at The Alma in Islington has strode confidently into our Top 5 for the coming weekend.

Ok, so in this case the fruits in question have gone to make a variety of delicious Ciders and Perrys, but that’s by the by. From Friday until Monday at one of North London’s finest pubs (CAMRA says so!) there’ll be a celebration of all things alcoholic and fruity. Add to this the live music and DJ’s set to appear throughout and good times are guaranteed!

Frightfest

Who likes a scary movie? Pretty much everyone apparently following a quick straw poll in the LC office! If like us you fancy having the bejesus scared out of you then look no further this weekend than Film4 Frightfest at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square.

For five whole days (Thursday to Monday), this atmospheric festival will see nails bitten to the quick, popcorn strewn over the lap of the stranger sat next to you and peeking through fingers taken to new heights. Premieres, previews, personal appearances, signings and surprises await those attending, so if you fancy an adrenaline rush and to get the heart pounding look no further!

Bookstock-On-Sea

If you’re in London this weekend but would secretly quite like to be beach bound then look no further, we’ve the best of both worlds for you. Bookstock-On-Sea takes place this coming Sunday and is a beside the seaside street festival celebrating the British summer, with a Shoreditch twist of course!

It starts at midday and there’ll be music playing all day. There’ll be DJ’s, a Prince tribute band and a laser rave to name but a few. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy then the slow motion Baywatch running competition should keep you entertained and it wouldn’t be the seaside without Punch and Judy and plenty of sticks of rock.

The event goes on until 8pm at which time you’re free to carry on into the early hours inside. Don’t forget, you can drink guilt free all day, there’ll be no early morning alarm beckoning you to work!

Strictly Summer Ballroom

We thought we’d end with perhaps a slightly more leisurely event taking place on the Monday after the excess of the past two days! Strictly Summer Ballroom at the Southbank Centre promises to be just that whilst offering up some fun at the same time.

Ever wondered if you can tango, foxtrot or rumba? Well wonder no more as from 12-6 on Monday you can show up, strut your stuff and learn the steps as well as listening to some tip top live music, all in the rather grand location of the Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall.

The key here is that it’s for all levels from beginners to those with snake hips so either way, as Gloria Estefan correctly predicted all those years ago, the rhythm is gonna get you!

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