Brilliant things to do in London in May 2022

Zoe Gunn

10 May 2022

Long spring days return in full force this month – and there are plenty of ways to celebrate

10 May 2022 Zoe Gunn

W

ith the second four-day weekend of the year on the horizon and evening light finally stretching beyond 7pm, May is the month that London really starts gearing up for the heady days of summer. So, how to fill those long balmy hours? From the capital's chicest new restaurants to horizon-expanding workshops, and art fairs and shopping galore (all in the name of charity), here are the best events, exhibitions and things to do in London in May 2022.

The collaborations: Glenfiddich x Hotel Café Royal and Minuty x The Hari

The return of light evenings and warm days means just one thing: London’s rooftops and terraces are about to come alive again. Whisky lovers should make a reservation at Soho’s Hotel Café Royal, which has teamed up with Glenfiddich to create a Cairngorms-inspired al fresco bar named Escape to the Valley of the Deer. There will be a whisky dessert pairing menu created by pastry chef Michael Kwan, classic Glenfiddich cocktails including high balls, whisky sours and Old Fashioned's – and more drams of single malt than you can shake a tartan blanket at.

Over in Knightsbridge, luxury hotel The Hari has joined forces with French winemaker Minuty to reimagine its chic rooftop bar as Le Jardin Minuty. Alongside decor echoing St Tropez style beach huts and the Mediterranean shoreline, there will be Château Minuty by the bottle and the glass, alongside a menu of Provencal dishes. Be sure to try the panisses (chickpea croquettes) and brandade de morue (whipped cod with potato, croutons and olive dust).

Glenfiddich x Hotel Café Royal terrace, open now, hotelcaferoyal.com; Le Jardin de Minuty, open now, thehari.com

 
 

The festivals: Rosé Garden Party, Urban Village Fete, Belgravia in Bloom

Still not had your fill of rosé? Allow Covent Garden to pour you a glass at its Rosé Garden Party – a two-week festival of all things pink, including exclusive cocktails, limited-edition releases and more than 30 varieties of rosé wine. There will be themed menus from Ave Mario, Petersham Nurseries and Sushisamba, pop-ups from The Uncommon, Bubble Bros and Honest Folk, and Frenchie’s Gut Oggau Rosé served from a balthazar.

Over at Greenwich Peninsula, the Urban Village Fete will be celebrating all things music and design, with headline sets from DJ’s Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and Bradley Zero, alongside a series of talks curated by Robert Elms featuring Amy Frearson, editor-at-large of Dezeen, photojournalist Talia Woodin and Morenike Fisher, founding director of Migrant’s Bureau. Also expect art and crafts workshops, stalls from local independent businesses, workout classes and street food from the likes of Stakehaus, The Good Slice, Pasta e Basta and Rendang Thank You Ma’am.

If flowers are more your thing, May also marks the long-anticipated return of the Chelsea Flower Show and, with it, a whole host of satellite events including Belgravia in Bloom. This week-long festival of flora will see some of the West London neighbourhood’s most famous landmarks reimagined with show-stopping installations and special events. Book now to master the art of icing with Biscuiteers, cloth dyeing with Anna Mason, and flower arranging with Judith Blacklock.

Rosé Garden Party, until 15 May 2022, coventgarden.london; Urban Village Fete, 15 May 2022, greenwichpeninsula.co.uk; Belgravia in Bloom, 23-29 May 2022, belgravialdn.com

 
 

The restaurants: The Lanesborough Grill, Revolve and Le Pont de la Tour Bistro

Old classics get a contemporary twist at London’s best new restaurants this month. Over at The Lanesborough, Michelin-starred chef Shay Cooper, previously of The Goring and Notting Hill’s Julie’s, is bringing his modern British cuisine to the rich Regency setting of The Lanesborough. Dine on seasonal dishes of Orkney scallop with green zebra tomato, Beef Wellington, poached lobster and raspberry souffle under the majestic chandeliers of the hotel’s opulent dining room.

Image: Anton Rodriguez

Working lunches, on the other hand, won’t come much more impressive than Revolve – a new fine-dining eatery in the City of London inspired by the grand dame restaurants of Paris and New York. Arran Smith, previously of Scott’s and the Michelin-starred Swan in West Malling, will be working the pots and pans, serving a menu heavy on French classics, including beef tartare, Dorset escargot with roast bone marrow, and coq au vin.

Fans of Le Pont de la Tour, Tower Bridge’s hugely popular classic French restaurant, will be thrilled to hear of the opening of its sister site Le Pont de la Tour Bistrot. Located next door to the original, it will boast the same expansive views over the River Thames and Tower Bridge while offering a more relaxed, accessible take on executive chef Tony Fleming’s Gallic cuisine. Take a seat on the terrace and tuck into pig’s head terrine, rabbit parmentier and tarte au citron.

The Lanesborough Grill, open now, oetkercollection.com; Revolve opens on 3 May 2022, revolve.london; Le Pont de la Tour opens on12 May 2022, lepontdelatour.co.uk

 
 

The workshops: Better Sleep by anatomē and Pasta Academy

Spring clean your schedule for a series of events guaranteed to broaden your skillset this season. On 4 May, wellness brand anatomē will be setting up shop at the Montcalm East hotel to host an hour-long workshop teaching participants tips and techniques for guaranteeing a good night’s sleep. Learn expert tips from sleep science coach Winder Ton and leave with your own oil blending sleep kit to practice with at home.

Looking to step things up in the kitchen? Pasta Evangelists will open the doors to its first permanent Pasta Academy in Farringdon this month. Led by the brand’s in-house chefs, participants will discover the secrets behind perfect ravioli, tortellini and paparadelle with sessions themed around Italy’s different regions, from Rome and Sardinia to Puglia and Tuscany. There’s also a beginner’s class for those new to the art of fresh pasta.

Better Sleep by anatomē, £17 per person, tickets here; Pasta Academy workshops, £45 per person, pastaevangelists.com

 
 

The charity events: Resale Therapy, Kricket and Selfridge’s Car Boot Sale

Image: Nikolas Koenig

The only thing better than a great new handbag or a brilliant night on the town is one that comes with a side of philanthropy – and there’s no shortage of chances to give back in the capital this month. Uncover your new wardrobe hero at Resale Therapy, a pre-loved designer and vintage sale hosted by Pixie Geldof, Fran Burns and Claudia Sinclair at the London Edition. Expect unique designs and must-have pieces from Miu Miu, Prada and Balenciaga, with 100 per cent of the ticket price donated to Choose Love, a charity providing humanitarian aid to refugees around the world.

Worked up an appetite after all that shopping? Head over to Kricket where Dimi Penziev will be cooking up a special menu of Ukrainian classics to support Voices of Children, which provides psychological assistance to children affected by war. Highlights include pampushky (Ukrainian garlic bread with garlic and chilli butter), holubtsi (cabbage rolls with spiced beef and horseradish) and medovik honey cake.

Finally, the capital’s tastemaker-in-chief Alex Eagle has joined forces with Selfridges to hold the #SheInspiredMe car boot sale. Powered by the department store’s Project Earth commitments and its Resellfridges resale platform, items donated by designers, brands and celebrities will be sold at up to a 75 per cent discount with all proceeds going to Women for Women International. Get ready to dive into a treasure trove of high-end finds from Olivia von Halle, Charlotte Tilbury, Temperley London, Frame and many more.

Resale Therapy, £3 per person, 8 May 2022, editionhotels.com; Kricket Ukraine fundraiser, £30 per person, 8 May 2022, kricket.co.uk; #SheInspiresMe car boot sale, £15 per person, 14 May 2022, womenforwomen.org.uk

 
 

The art: London Craft Week and London Original Print Fair

Celebrate London’s most innovative creators and artists with the return of two of the capital’s most popular arts events. First up, London Craft Week is back for its eighth year with a programme including more than 300 events and 765 makers and creators hailing from 26 countries. Highlights include a series of workshops, talks and installations showcasing brands and designers making leaps in the world of sustainability and a series of events tied to the V&A’s Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear exhibition, featuring Anya Hindmarch, alongside rising talents Daniel w. Fletcher, Joao Maraschin and Clara Pinto. There will also be events across London at Coal Drops Yard, Sotheby’s, Central Saint Martins, Phillips auction house and Pimlico Road, while brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Eres, Maison Michel, Alighieri and Goossens will also be getting involved. Start planning accordingly.

Monster Chetwynd, Steve Irwin, 2020, Ltd ed. of 50, Tate

For more traditional artworks head to the London Original Print Fair, which moves to Somerset House for its 37th edition this month. The first physical event since the pandemic began, collectors will be able to browse works from nearly 50 international dealers, spanning old and modern masters, including Rembrandt, Whistler and Matisse, to contemporary pieces by David Hockney, Grayson Perry and Paula Rego.

London Craft Week, 9-15 May 2022, londoncraftweek.com; London Original Print Fair, 26-29 May 2022, londonoriginalprintfair.com

Read more: The best restaurants for outdoor dining in London