MUST DO: Bank holiday weekend


Free gin and tonics (and beer). Free gin and tonics! And beer! Plus family festivals, pho and…er, paving stones



FAMILY: A spring-fest at the farm

Cute: may pole dancing at last year's festival. Photo: KTCF
Cute: may pole dancing at last year’s festival. Photo: KTCF
The annual May Day Festival takes place this year on Sunday 1st: expect pony rides, arts ‘n’ crafts and maypole dancing, plus home-cooked food, live music, tug of war, tombola, and felt-making. And even better, the flowers will (or rather should!) be blooming, there’ll be goat kids bleating and Marjorie the K-Town pig will be wallowing in the mud. Awww. 1pm to 4pm, entry £1 for adults and 50p for children. Kentish Town City Farm, 1 Cressfield Close, off Grafton Road NW5

FOOD: Guzzle the best pho in north London

Addictive and warming: Kim's pho. Photo: SE
Addictive and warming: Kim’s pho. Photo: SE
Still shivering? So are we. If you need the food equivalent of a hug march this weekend on down to Kim’s Vietnamese (next to Honest Burger). A veteran of Camden Market’s food scene, having been there for at least 15 years, a queue still snakes out every lunchtime, one that’s almost entirely populated by locals and workers (the tourists tend to mill about the Lock area instead). Ponder freshly prepared meat and fish dishes with suitably al dente green vegetables – or, as we do, her cockle-warming pho noodle soups (around £5-6.50) that have won national awards. Our office is nearby and it’s these that we’re absolutely addicted to: the best is packed with big juicy king prawns, rice noodles, flat leaf parsley, spring onions, chilli, lemon juice and a killer chicken stock that’s quite simply a joy to tip up and pour down the gullet. Camden Lock Place NW1

ENVIRONMENT: Lift one paving stone

Hard surfaces have increased in London by 36% in the last 10 years. Photo: LOPS
Hard surfaces have increased in London by 36% in the last 10 years. Photo: LOPS
One in three front gardens in London are now paved over, which, say Transition Kentish Town, contributes to flooding, pollution and loss of biodiversity. So they’re calling on all folk in the area this bank holiday to “lift one paving stone” in their front garden, business or shop entrance, and plant it up with something nice and green. “It’s not about having big flash houses with gardens,” says organiser Debbie Bourne, “it’s about us normal folk with a one metre square patch, doing our bit.” More info here

DRINK: Grab a free gin and tonic

A classy place for a free cocktail: the Boulogne Bar with views over Kentish Town Road. Photo: PR
A classy place for a free cocktail: the Boulogne Bar with views over Kentish Town Road. Photo: PR
Act shrewdly and you can bag a couple of free drinks this long weekend. On Friday at The Stag on Fleet Road there’ll be 100 bottles and cans of Frontier Lager and Wild River Pale Ale on ice from 5pm, “first come, first served”, they tell us. And down the road Young’s have gone one better and are dishing up one free G’n’T per person all weekend at the Bull & Gate using locally distilled Half Hitch gin and its upmarket bedfellow, Fever-Tree Tonic. You simply have to sign up to their newsletter here and present the email on your phone or printed out, if you must. Runs Fri 29th April to Mon 2nd May. 389 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5

ART: Book a Printmaking workshop

Give it a go next weekend. Photo: PR
Give it a go next weekend. Photo: PR
A bit of a frustrated creative type? Or just a beginner? At this West Kentish Town session locals can learn simple techniques including screen-printing, Lino-printing and mono-printing, and even leave with two works to take home. All materials provided. 7th May, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Athlone Community Hall NW5. Book tickets now here