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Top five: Summer Pop Up Bars

7 May 2013 | Rachel Ridge

Sunbathe on the Roundhouse's rooftop beach, get lost in a world of storytelling in the National Theatre's Propstore or fly to 'Beirut' Pan Am style. This summer, Pop Up Bars are surfacing all around town. Here's our Top 5!

You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking the capital has surely seen it all. What with this year seeing cat café's open up here, hot tub cinemas there and eccentric pop up bars cropping up everywhere. However, never underestimate a city that’s made its mark on perpetually reinventing itself and this summer is no exception! A sandy beach will park up on the rooftop of Camden’s Roundhouse, the National Theatre have built a riverfront café made up from key props and sets from their best selling plays, and not forgetting the chance to ‘fly’ to Beirut Pan Am style. It’s pretty clear to see summer in the capital is going to be as quirky and exciting as ever! 

Camden Beach, Roundhouse

Forget St Tropez, that cheap all-inclusive or even that mini break to Brighton! This summer, the Roundhouse is bringing all the trimmings of a holiday to you free of charge! Beautiful white sand, shipped in all the way from some sun soaked tropical shore, we're guessing, will blanket the venue’s rooftop where you can lobster on deckchairs with windbreaks to boot! All the beach mod cons are included with ping-pong, boules, and badminton on offer, not to mention an ice cream van that sells booze. London’s precarious weather will be catered for in statuesque marquees where you can kick back, relax and watch major sporting events. You wont find anywhere where your summer drinking is more attended to, what with a Margarita shack, Beach bar and a Tiki hut, which will also offer steaks, burgers, fresh fish and some spicy specials. All set to the soundtrack of your favourite funk/soul classics. Bring your bucket and spade and have yourself a mini holiday in the centre of Camden!

The Propstore, National Theatre

Get lost in the mysterious world of the National Theatre’s most imaginative and theatrical plays this summer! Their pop-up, riverfront café-bar Propstore will marry the flooring and train set from The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night- Time, the goose puppet from War Horse and the Piano from Hansel and Gretel, among many others, to create a mish mash of different stories all under one roof! Perch on the House of Commons benches from play This House and enjoy spotting myriad props from your favourite plays of this year and lasts. On top of delighting in this patchwork creative empire, there will be delicious street food, draught beer, Sipsmith spirits and fine English wines. By the weekend DJs and live bands will flock to the river where the party will carry on into the early hours.

Lauren Laverne behind the scenes at Propstore

 

Joke in a box, Boxpark Shoreditch

Being the only pop up mall of its kind, Boxpark Shoreditch, since its launch in 2011, has offered a multitude of events that push all the boundaries. From pie eating championships to marshmallow apothecaries, anything goes in the mall! On Thursday the 23rd of May, Boxpark return with their popular comedy outburst; Joke in a Box. Here the hottest and rawest of comedic talent the capital has to offer play back to back on the upper deck. The highlight will certainly be self-confessed hater of the Internet, Sanderson Jones, whose set entails researching the audience members’ gregarious social media identities and using them as the crux of the show – cue lots of nervous laughter and the horrible realisation of how much we put up of ourselves online!

Portside Parlour, Broadway Market

Walk down a creaky staircase, enter the toilet and pull an old-fashioned loo chain. Not the most orthodox way to enter the club of your dreams but this little charade adds all the more to the mystique of this hidden speakeasy style hangout that's nestled within east London's Broadway Market. To the soundtrack of rock n’ roll and dirty blues, this plush candlelit basement offers barrel aged and infused rums and cocktails. They are all about the rum at the Portside Parlour, so much so they run a fortnightly rum club. Up next time rum connoisseurs can wet their palette with Mount Gay Rum and discuss its unique wonders!

Dine Mile High, Secret Location

Imagine flying but without the stress, the screaming kids, space to stretch out your legs and an added injection of vintage sophistication and you have Dine Mile High. The brainchild of a group of cousins, this concept dining experience has whisked audiences far and wide. The next stop on the Dine Mile High airways is Beirut, where in a secret location in Regent Street you can enter a 1950s style café in Lebanon and feast on their amazing menu and mile high martinis! As you check in you will be issued with passports and boarding passes, and ushered into the departure lounge for cocktails. Allow the dashing flight attendants to wait on you hand and foot in this interactive, theatre style trip. Hark back to a time when the décor was flashier, the food tastier and the air stewards were the rock stars of the sky. Pan Am airways eat your heart out!

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