MUST DO BANK HOLIDAY: parties, food, art – and free booze

There’s a bun fight for your custom at the pubs this long weekend. But balance the booze with these other ideas too

GOING OUT: Free bloody marys! And much more

A rare quiet moment in the garden at The Stag. Photo: Dan Hall
A rare quiet moment in the garden at The Stag. Photo: Dan Hall
Once again a ton of north London watering holes are competing for your dollar over the next three days, from Kentish Town’s Bull & Gate, who are giving out a free cocktail (mimosa or bloody mary) right here, to Camden’s Colonel Fawcett, busy dishing up bloody marys for nada this Monday with all roasts. Thirsty today (Friday)? Why, 100 free cans of hip Tottenham brewery Beavertown will be lined up at The Stag from 5pm tonight (they’ve also bagged the lead singer of the Bluetones for their free Sunday party); meanwhile for an all-day Saturday bash, the nearby Gipsy Queen are going classy with Pimms, picnic baskets and cocktails in their shady garden. Other highlights? A Bring Your Own Vinyl party at The Grafton tonight, a Flock BBQ takeover at Tapping The Admiral tomorrow, and Game of Thrones night (with LOL of Thrones providing the laffs) at the Rose & Crown on Monday. Phew. Ready for a lie-down now?

ART: Edward Bridges at Stephen Sprake

Edward Bridges
Edward Bridges: he loves an octopus or two. Photo: EB
This Kent-based artist has spent most of his life in Deal, a small fishing town and resort on the coast. Drawing inspiration from his “ancestors, family, childhood and the sea”, Bridges’ outsider art-style paintings are both child-like and captivating, with lobsters, octopuses and beaches a-plenty. Worth a stroll along the Regent’s Canal, in fact, this weekend, to the underrated neighbourhood that is Lisson Grove (also don’t miss the excellent Alfie’s Antiques market). Free entry, open Tues-Sat 1030-530pm. Ends 14th June, Stephen Sprake, 22 Church Street NW8

LUNCH: Explore England’s Lane

One of a handful of quality cafes: Bonjour Brioche. Photo: SE
The sleepy Belsize Park backwater makes for a lovely midday spot at the weekend, even if it is a little overrun by the yummy brunching brigade. Our favourite daytime hangout by far is Black Truffle, a cavernous deli and cafe that dishes up impressively strong americanos and tasty mixed salad boxes for not much more than a fiver. Nearby Ginger & White is equally delicious, but suffers from its own popularity: too busy, and not dog-friendly. Which is where Bonjour Brioche, the café that used to be called Cinnamon comes in, with its bakes, roasted vegetables and frittatas. Recommended? A lunchtime special of spinach omelette with beetroot, creamy avocado, courgette and sweet potato, lemon and mint. 2 England’s Lane NW3

FESTIVAL: Get cerebral at The Roundhouse

Raymond Antrobus 1 LO
The hottest spoken words artists at The Roundhouse. Photo: PR
Brainy annual bash The Last Word Festival is back at the Roundhouse for a third season, mixing up spoken word, storytelling and live performance. Highly recommended is Words First Live, a partnership between BBC Radio 1Xtra and Roundhouse, featuring internationally acclaimed south London poet Kate Tempest and six of the hottest young spoken word artists from across the UK. Until 18th June. Tickets here. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road NW1



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