For the second year running, Pride organisers have had to shelve the event due to coronavirus restrictions on large scale events. But Londoners have decided that the party will go on. Numerous institutions are holding their own events in lieu of the usual singing, dancing, flag-waving extravaganza, from cocktails to craft fairs, all in celebration of LGBTQ+ people and the contributions they have made to society. Here are a few of the best...
Cocktails at The Ivy Soho Brasserie
The Ivy Soho Brasserie is launching a weekend of celebration to mark Pride. Firstly, the Broadwick Street institution will be transformed with a neon installation. Patrons drawn in by the dazzling display will be greeted by an array of cocktails (available from 6 September), including the ‘Dream Kween’ (Plymouth gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, lychee liqueur, apple juice and egg white) and the ‘Born this Way’ (Solerno blood orange liqueur, Lillet Blanc aperitif, Aperol, prosecco and soda). On 11 September the party really kicks off, with guests treated to an entertainment extravaganza including stilt walkers, drag, and a live DJ.
All-day party at The Blue Posts, Soho
In lieu of a parade, popular Soho hangout The Blue Posts will be celebrating Pride with an all-day party. From midday on Saturday 11 September, Wayne David (the DJ behind 90/00s club night Rhythm of the Night) will be mixing dance, disco, and pop tunes for a good, old-fashioned, Soho-style party. Guests are invited to dance, sing, and celebrate ‘til late, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Albert Kennedy Trust. The Blue Posts’ upstairs wine bar, The Mulwray, will also be open, should respite be required at any point.
Drag and pasta-making with Pasta Evangelists
This event brings together two indisputably great things: pasta and drag. Head Sfoglina of fresh pasta purveyor Pasta Evangelists, Roberta d’Elia, will be joined by some of London’s favourite drag artists, including Herr and Ophelia Love, for two surreal hours of rainbow pasta-making. The masterclass will be accompanied by drag performances, an ‘Italian disco’ soundtrack, and, naturally, Prosecco. Not only does the event promise to be a lot of ludicrous, delicious fun, but all profits will be donated to LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall (tickets are £80 a head).
Special screening of Rocketman at Sea Containers
You may not have heard of Sea Containers on London’s South Bank, but you’ll definitely recognise it. The hotel is a staple of the Thameside view, reminiscent of a 1920s transatlantic cruise liner. In honour of Pride, Sea Containers will be illuminated with the rainbow in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. And, on Thursday 9 September, the hotel invites guests in for a screening of Rocketman, the cinematic biography of Elton John’s life, in its 56-seater Curzon cinema. The film begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £14.50 – all proceeds will be donated to Stonewall.
Pride brunch at The Coral Room
The Coral Room is one of the jewels in the crown of The Bloomsbury hotel – a sumptuous, chandeliered, villa-style bar known for cocktails and afternoon tea. It is hosting its Pride celebrations in the only way it knows how: brunch. On 11 September, guests will be greeted by host Busola Peters, have their face painted (we predict rainbows), and then sit down to enjoy a special cocktail menu, a live DJ and entertainment from drag and dance acts, and brunch classics such as maple pancakes and baked shakshuka.
SoLo LGBTQ+ craft market on the Southbank
It’s not all cocktails and carousing – if you’re in the market for lower-key Pride celebrations, head over to the Southbank on Sunday 12 September (11am-4pm). The SoLo Craft Fair is part of the Between the Bridges pop-up space: 16 weeks of themed markets in the heart of London, along with food stalls, bars, games, live music, DJs and more. This Sunday all vendors identify as LGBTQ+, so you know you’re supporting the community when purchasing the colourful wares!
Fitz’s Big Drag Brunch
OK, one more for the carousing crowd. This Sunday (12th), glamorous drinking den Fitz's (located in the Grade II listed Kimpton Fitzroy in Russell Square) will be transformed into something resembling the set of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Fitz’s plush decor and stained glass windows will provide the backdrop to an afternoon of Prosecco and Aperol-fueled fabulousness. Brunch will include quinoa burgers, mac and cheese croquettes, eggs benedict croissants, and – moreover – cocktails! Custom drinks take their names from Drag Race stars Shay Coolay, Adore Delano and Jiggly Caliente.