These Trains Will Take You From London To Edinburgh For £25

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King’s Cross to Edinburgh for £25? Keep talking. Image: Shutterstock

A new train service is promising £25 tickets between London and Edinburgh — plus a faster service.

FirstGroup has announced that it will operate trains on a new high-speed, low cost service, using a fleet of five new Hitachi AT300 intercity electric trains.

But are tickets really £25?

Adult singles for the service — due to start running in autumn 2021 — will average £25, while even cheaper fares will be available.

That’s a far cry from some fares on the east coast route at the moment (a quick search for single fares today, brings up singles for over £160 for standard class, although it’s not clear how far you’ll need to book in advance to get the best FirstGroup fares).

A couple of AT300s at King’s Cross. The service won’t be in action till 2021 though. Image: Hitachi

Will the trains really be quicker?

Sort of. The average journey time of London-Edinburgh jaunts will be 4 hours 15 minutes. That’s a saving of 29 minutes against some similar journeys currently running from King’s Cross. Although it’s only a minute or two shaved off some of the other London-Edinburgh rail journeys already available.

The new Hitachi trains can reach speed of up to 125mph, and will be using the revised 2021 timetable, which by then, other east coast services will be running to, as well.

Five trains a day will run each way from King’s Cross to Edinburgh, via intermediate stations at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.

The promised land. Image: Shutterstock

Are the trains going to be any good?

You may have already ridden on a Hitachi AT300; they run on the Transpennine Express, and the 395 Javelins running between London and Kent are very similar. The new trains promise:

  • An additional 400 seats per train on the route
  • Air conditioning, Wi-Fi, power sockets
  • A quieter and more environmentally friendly ride, thanks to the electric power

Classless travel

One other thing: there won’t be any First Class on these trains. Which means no grumbling about how you’ve got to stand for the whole journey while carriages remain half-empty. We can get onboard with that.

#londonist, #uk

This Gorgeous Free Flower Festival Returns In May

Belgravia in Bloom 2018. Image: Shutterstock

Instagrammers get ready — Belgravia in Bloom returns to west London this May.

The annual flower festival takes place in shops, bars and restaurants around Belgravia, coinciding with the nearby Chelsea Flower Show.

Businesses erect floral installations in their windows and exteriors for one week only. The flowery offerings are usually created by local florists including Moyses Stevens and last year’s winner, Neill Strain.

It’s one of our favourite free events in London every year, encouraging people  to visit a corner of the city they might not normally see, and brightening up our Instagram feeds for a few days, along with concurrent but unrelated event, Chelsea in Bloom.

Belgravia in Bloom 2017. Photo: Laura Reynolds

The Language of Flowers is the theme for Belgravia in Bloom 2019, with 50 installations designed to demonstrate the meaning behind the blooms.

Many of the businesses in the area run special events alongside the free flower displays. Beloved pink cafe Peggy Porschen serves a special collection of cupcakes, and florist Neill Strain has created a special fragranced candle, encompassing the scent of flowers that were used to send messages in Victorian times.

A Botanic Identity Station will temporarily reside in Eccleston Yards, offering events including floral illustrations and herbal tea blending workshops. In the Halkin Arcade, off Motcomb Street, four ‘mood gardens’ will be planted, to improve mood and relieve stress. Poetry points and a flower reading station — where visitors will be able to have a reading taken from flower cards — will be set up in the garden. Which all sounds lovely, but really, we’re just there for the flowers.

Belgravia in Bloom 2019 takes place 20-25 May 2019 at various locations. It’s free to visit — more details will be released here closer to the date.

#londonist, #uk

Where To Get Vegan Ice Cream In London

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Vegan ice cream-based treats at Yorica

Being largely made from milk, ice cream presents quite a stumbling block for vegan and dairy-free diners looking for a quick summer cool-me-down. In recent years, vegan ice cream has become more common and more tasty, and much more readily-available, as per the below London cafes and restaurants which all serve dairy-free versions.

As for gelato and sorbet — well, they’re quite often vegan anyway, as they doesn’t usually contain milk, but it’s always worth double-checking as sometimes honey, eggs, or other non-vegan ingredients are used.

Vegan ice cream at Chin Chin Laboratories, Soho and Camden

vegan, vegan london, ice cream, vegan ice cream, gelato, vegan gelato, sorbet, vegan sorbet, london cafes, london restaurants, vegan cafes, vegan life, vegan food, london ice cream, ice cream parlours, gelato shops, sorbet shops
Pandan Leaf is one of the vegan flavours available at Chin Chin

Chin Chin has always been a bit ahead of its competitors in the ice cream game — it was using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream as far back as 2010.

Fast forward a few years, and vegans are catered for at locations. The ice cream parlours in Camden and Soho have a regularly changing menu, with the weekly specials often vegan. Past examples have included pandan leaf and lychee & geranium rose. Vegans needn’t miss out toppings either, with raspberry sauce, and pistachio & cardamom powder among the offerings.

Things are done differently at the street market outpost at Dinerama in Shoreditch. Here, focus is on desserts and ice cream, but there’s usually a vegan option too — at time of writing, it’s the rather enticing hot griddled cookie with tonka bean ice cream.

Vegan ice cream at Yorica, Soho

vegan, vegan london, ice cream, vegan ice cream, gelato, vegan gelato, sorbet, vegan sorbet, london cafes, london restaurants, vegan cafes, vegan life, vegan food, london ice cream, ice cream parlours, gelato shops, sorbet shops
Vegan soft serve ice cream at Yorica

‘Free-from’ is the ethos at Yorica in Soho, so all products are created without animal products, and avoid major allergens such as gluten, eggs and nuts. So yes, the entire menu of ice creams (including soft serve), shakes, crepes and waffles is open to vegans looking for a sweet treat, thanks to the use of rice and coconut milks as a dairy alternative.

The run-of-the-mill chocolate, vanilla and raspberry flavours are available, but let’s face it — you’ve been waiting long enough for vegan ice cream to become exciting that you’d do well to try the more adventurous scoops such as matcha, mango and caramel popcorn. There’s a decent choice of toppings and sauces too, with enough fruit, cookies, sweets and sprinkles to make you feel like a kid in a sweet shop.

The shakes are a hearty alternative to scoops, each drink containing three scoops of ice cream, and the waffles and crepes can be served on their own, or topped off with — you guessed it — ice cream.

Vegan ice cream at Amorino, across London

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Fragola Camarosa – one of the vegan flavours at Amorino

With its 13 London locations, gelato parlour Amorino has become something of a staple on the London ice cream scene, and although many of its gelato flavours contain milk and eggs, vegan flavours are being introduced — and they’re rather exotic.

Take the lime and basil for example, a green-hued scoop that tastes like summer, and is more palatable than you might expect. The banana nanica is a sweet and exotic option, while the fragola camarosa (strawberry) errs on the side of tradition.

See menus in individual branches to find our which vegan flavours are currently available.

Vegan sundaes at The Parlour at Fortnum & Mason

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The Choconut is one of Fortnum’s vegan options

We love the sleekness of The Parlour at Fortnum & Mason. In winter, it’s our go-to place for hot chocolate, then when summer rolls round, we head there all over again to work our way through the sundae menu, drooling over that curved ice cream counter, its neon sign and pastel palette luring us in.

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While your non-vegan friend tucks into a knickerbocker glory or one of the other sundaes on the menu,  vegans can choose between a banana split (chocolate & cashew nut ice cream, banana ice cream, raspberry sorbet, sliced banana, raspberries, coconut cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and nuts) or the Choconut (chocolate & coconut ice cream, chocolate & cashew nut ice cream, coconut shavings, millionaire shortbread, coconut cream, chocolate ganache, chocolate and caramel sauce).

If that all sounds a bit heavy, vegan ice cream is available by the scoop in coconut & chocolate, chocolate & cashew, or banana flavours.

Vegan knickerbocker glory at Persepolis, Peckham

Ah, Persepolis. This petite Persian cafe in Peckham — dubbed ‘Snackistan’ by its characterful owner Sally — is highly underrated on the London food scene as far as we’re concerned, and deserves to be better-known by vegans particularly. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and lots of it can be made vegan on request, and the highlight is the vegan knickerbocker glory (an absolute bargain at just £4).

Vegan sorbets at La Gelatiera, Soho and Stratford

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Photo: La Gelatiera

Artisan gelato shop La Gelatiera changes the flavours of its sorbet and gelato on a regular basis, so it’s worth following on Twitter for the latest flavours.

The sorbet menu caters more for vegans that the gelato side of things, with Sicilian pistachio, extra dark chocolate with Calabrian chilli, coconut, almond, and alphonso mango just some of the example flavours that might be available for any given day (we’d cross our fingers for the chilli chocolate…).

The Soho branch is on the cosy side, with limited seating, so we’d recommend going on a summer day, then hot footing it to Soho Square or Covent Garden to sit and enjoy your ice cream in the sun.

Vegan gelatos and sorbets at Marine Ices, Chalk Farm

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Photo: Marine Ices

Often posited as London’s best ice cream shop, you’ll find gelato and sorbet aplenty on the menu at Chalk Farm’s Marine Ices. All sorbet and gelato on the Parlour menu is ‘completely natural and free from any animal products’, based on the original recipe brought to England by Italian founder Gaetano Mansi. As such, we reckon this is where you’ll find one of London’s best selections of flavours for vegans.

Perhaps it’s the history of the place, or perhaps it’s the traditional ice cream parlour ambience, but we always feel like we’re stepping back in time when we step over Marine Ices’ delicious threshold.

Vegan gelato at Prime Gelato, Shaftesbury Avenue

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Image: Prime Gelato

Despite its Shaftesbury Avenue location, Prime Gelato is less well-known than some of London’s other ice cream and gelato shops… but don’t write it off as a tourist trap, especially if you’re vegan.

Hats off to the brand for dedicating a whole page of the website to vegan flavours, making it easy for those who are looking for ice cream and gelato free of animal products to find what they’re looking for.

Currently, six vegan flavours are available, including dark chocolate, hazelnut, and pistachio.

Vegan freakshakes at Canvas Cafe, Brick Lane

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A completely vegan cafe, the meat-swerving contingent of Team Londonist has become very familiarwith Brick Lane’s Canvas Cafe, not least due to its ‘tofish’ vegan version of fish and chips.

But we’re here to talk about the sweet, cold section of the menu, specifically, freakshakes. The crazy-ass milkshakes are often off-limits to vegans, due to ice cream being their made ingredient. But Canvas Cafe have drafted in soy as an alternative to create a freakshake that looks and tastes indistinguishable from a non-vegan one.

#london, #londonist, #uk

You Can Decorate A Dildo In Hackney Wick

A Shunga — Japanese erotic art — style dildo at Decorate a Dildo

“We invented dildos before we invented agricultural equipment,” says artist Adele Brydges designer of ceramic dildos. I find it bizarre that our ancestors would prioritise fucking fake dicks over food. Like, “Oh, I’m really hungry cos crops haven’t been invented, but never mind I’ll just give myself a good rogering.” Anyway, it is Sunday morning, and I’m in Adele’s Hackney Wick studio for a spot of dildo designing myself.

“This is a butt plug I made,” says Adele, passing round an ornament you might see on someone’s dresser. This too is ceramic. I once interviewed a surgeon about inanimate objects he’d retrieved from rectums and I feel like I’m having a flash-forward to our next conversation.

Then we’re shown something that looks like a shoe horn. It is only when I look it up on Adele’s website afterwards that I realise it is another thing to stick inside yourself. “Insert either end,” says the blurb, to “stimulate A and G erogenous zones.” I didn’t even know there was an A zone, but apparently the sexy shoe horn “doubles as the most amazing massage device, especially along the neck and shoulders.” YES! Anatomy I can identify and attend to, without fear of rupturing anyone!

“The workshops are an opportunity to get people talking about female sexuality”

Photo: Enam Asiama

Adele makes each dildo herself, and she shows us what they look like at each stage of the production process by lining up samples on the table. Basically, the dildos shrink as production progresses, so it is like looking at the sex-toy version of Russian dolls. Or dil-dolls, if you will.

Having studied Ceramics Design at Central St. Martin’s, Adele teamed up with ritzy bijou sex store Coco de Mer to sell her designs. Her “approachably smooth ceramic butt plug with a delicate rose print” is available for £120 (“use plenty of lubricant to ensure a smooth and satisfying entry”) and a version of the dildo we’re decorating today is up for grabs for £150.

So how did the dildo decorating classes come about? “I feel empowered by what I do,” says Adele, “so I wanted to open that up to other women. The creative process is sensual, and people who don’t work in the creative sector, don’t get the opportunity to play and explore their sexuality and sensuality through another kind of medium. I think the creative process is more than creating artwork — it’s a powerful vehicle for change.

“The workshops are an opportunity to get people talking about female sexuality, and to look at that in a slightly different way.”

Adele has been running the workshops for the last 18 months and she tells me they’re booked by s spectrum of ages — from groups in their early 20s, to people in their 50s. “I’ve even had someone in their 70s,” she says, “It’s amazing that it’s brought so many women together, over such a cross-section of society.”

“It’s more of a ritual and a ceremony than just wanting to climax”

Choosing pictures for the porcelain penis. Photo: Samantha Rea

The dildos are indeed the work of art you might expect from a Central St. Martin’s alumnus. However, Adele is emphatic that they are not simply ornamental — they are fully functional.

“Some people think that because it’s ceramic it’s going to be fragile, but once they’ve used it once…” Adele trails off before telling me about a woman from Chile who did a workshop when she was in London. “She was dubious at first, but now she’s put away her vibrators and she loves using the ceramic. She feels like it’s a more simple kind of pleasure, and she can tap into her own responses rather than just getting herself off quickly.

“It’s more of a ritual and a ceremony than just wanting to climax, and she’s enjoying the journey of pleasure.”

I have brought an apron with me, but it turns out that dildo decorating isn’t as messy as I imagined. We choose our designs from a range of pictures that include flowers, safari animals and Shunga — Japanese erotic art. Each picture has a story behind it, and I once spent an evening acting out these stories at a Japanese immersive dining experience. This involved urging my co-star to, “hurry up and put it in!” in front of a roomful of kimono clad strangers.

Flicking through the picture options, I am captivated by a beautiful green crab, so I decide to decorate my dildo with seafood, fish, and fruit. “That’s quite, um… the fish theme… for a dildo,” says someone hesitantly, as I sit at my workspace, cutting out a haddock. “Yes, I am not even acknowledging that,” I reply, equally vaguely, sipping my prosecco. I am not in the habit of drinking this early on a Sunday morning, but I think it is an excellent idea to get the juices flowing when faced with a porcelain penis.

“In case you’re thinking this is millennial nonsense, Cleopatra was onto this ages ago”

I get my crab wet. Photo: Karen Gurney

The pictures we’re working with are enamel decals, which are a bit like transfers. You put them in warm water until the back comes off, then you press the picture onto the porcelain. In keeping with my seafood theme, I arrange some mussels at the head of my dildo, in the manner of the three-spurt ejaculate emoji.

We can also place decals inside the dildo. Yep, inside because it is hollow. It comes with a cork, so it can be filled up with hot or cold water. “It was inspired by a Victorian dildo I came across,” says Adele, explaining, “ceramic takes on temperature, so you can warm it up and cool it down, and it’s a way of adding another aspect of sensation because the dildos don’t vibrate, so it adds something extra without it being mechanical.”

The designs of former workshop attendees. Photo: Decorate a Dildo

And in case you’re thinking this is millennial nonsense, Cleopatra was onto this ages ago. According to Adele, Cleopatra apparently invented the first vibrator by hollowing out a dried up courgette (or something) and imprisoning angry bees inside it. On reflection, from a risk/pleasure perspective, I think filling the dildo with water is an EXCELLENT alternative to angry bees.

As we sit cutting and sticking, someone asks me what other events I’ve covered and I recall the full body orgasm workshop which took place round the corner from this studio. I describe the “Energy Sex” exercise in which we had to imagine we were penetrating each other with a metre long penis. “So it was very phallocentric then?” I am asked. It is only later that I am hit by the irony of being asked this at a dildo decorating workshop.

“Use plenty of lubricant for a smooth and satisfying entry”

Adele is on hand to help with the dildo decorating. Photo: Samantha Rea

I am sad to leave my dildo, but we must leave them with Adele, for the last stage in the production process, before they’re sent on to us. I plan to use mine as a fancy hip flask, filling it with wine or amaretto.

Samantha Rea can be found tweeting here.

#londonist, #uk

You Can Eat In The Restaurant From Fleabag Series 2 Episode 1

That’s right, Phoebe, you’re eating in a real restaurant. Image: BBC

“This is a love story.”

And so the second series of Fleabag came careering onto our screens, drizzled with Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night, and jabbing the boundaries of just how many gushing nosebleeds, wildly insensitive gifts, clandestine miscarriages and bouts of bitter bonhomie wrapped up in pseudo-happiness, you can squeeze around one dining table.

Series two episode one is verging on a ‘bottle episode’; for the main part, Fleabag (writer-lead) Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her acquaintances spar around the table of an upmarket steak restaurant, during an insufferably-prickly family get-together. It wasn’t a set; it’s a real restaurant in the heart of London, and you can dine there. Just try not to wallop your waitress in the chops.

Where is Fleabag Series 2 Episode 1 filmed?

Smith & Wollensky was founded in NYC in 1977, coming to London in 2015

Smith & Wollensky, housed in the old Adelphi Hotel, just off Strand. To be precise, the basement section. Our contact, who worked on the episode, tells us that Phoebe Waller-Bridge “always had in mind an intimate, happening, New York feeling bistro — the kind of place [Olivia Colman’s] Godmother would love to host her engagement dinner at.”

We’re not sure that’s a compliment or not, seeing how utterly execrable — and flawed in good taste — Godmother is. Indeed, Jay Rayner said of S&W in 2015 that it was shame that the American import ‘didn’t sink on the way over here.’ That’s harsh: we love the faux 1930s Manhattan decor, its bottle-green chairs, geometric tiles and lighting so dim, you could dine metres from an arch enemy, without them ever knowing.

Apparently S&W has also had starring roles in The Crown and Stan and Ollie, although don’t ask us which bits.

Was the episode of Fleabag all filmed at Smith & Wollensky?

Hell yes. Image: BBC

Not quite. The swish toilets — which appear at the very beginning of the episode, and witness the biggest drama of the episode — were purpose built in a studio, to fit in filming equipment. And the alleyway — where Fleabag and a dishy priest, played by Andrew Scott — spark up cigarettes and conversation — was also elsewhere.

But all those restaurant shots: Smith & Wollensky (crew and cast spent four days filming there). Which means you can dine on the very spot where Fleabag smacks the smarm-dripping Martin (Brett Gelman) right in the beard. You will, however, get thrown out if you try to recreate the scene.

Is the food the same?

Mmm steak. Nice and bloody, like Fleabag’s nose

Claire: “The sauce is disgusting”
Waitress: “Everything OK?”
Claire: “Oh it’s delicious, thank you!”

A classic vignette from the episode (not to mention a sharp observation on the Brits’ insufferable politeness). Contrary to Claire’s appraisal, we can report that the sauce we had (béarnaise) is excellent. Then again, the Fleabag actors weren’t eating off the actual S&W menu; a special one was created, because as with all film and TV productions, anything consumed on camera has to prepped by an official food hygienist in conjunction with a designer. (Yeah we just learned that too.)

And although the wait staff are diligent in real life, they’re not trying to shove drinks down your throat, like the waitress in the episode (who also winds up with a face bloodier than one of S&W’s fillets done rare).

Did the cast ever get together here for a proper meal?

Tom’s a regular

We love the idea of Waller-Bridge, Colman and the others dining round the table post-shoot, in a bizarre mirror image of the horrendous on-screen repast. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. Says our contact, “The crew did eat lunch there during one of our recce days, and enjoyed it immensely — but there weren’t any cast present.”

No-one even got round to signing one of the linen napkins, which are framed and hung by the toilets. Here you’ll find a gallery of greats, including Tom Jones (who always orders the same steak and drink, like the bloody legend he is). Maybe the episode should have started with one of Tom’s songs, rather than Frank’s.

Fleabag, produced by Two Brothers Pictures, is a must-watch on BBC iPlayer.

#londonist, #uk

In Pictures: Tower Bridge Captured From Some Interesting Angles

A new book, Pocket Photo Books: Tower Bridge, captures Tower Bridge from some illuminating angles. Here’s a selection of our favourite images.

Steel arches under the north tower. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Inside the engine rooms on the south side of the bridge. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Staircases in the south tower. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
A bridge lift in action. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
The south-east cabin, which houses the original controls for lifting the bridge. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Side view of the south bascule counterweight, situated high up in the bascule chamber until the bridge is lifted. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
The south tower viewed from the top of the north tower. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
The south-east cabin, which houses the original controls for lifting the bridge. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
A bridge lift in action. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Inside the accumulator tower beneath the south-east control cabin. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
The vast bascule chamber, deep under the River Thames on the south side of the bridge, through which the bascule counterweights swing when the bridge is lifted. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Bolts needed for the maintenance of the bridge are carefully shelved by size, and jostle for storage space with vintage spare parts underneath the engine rooms. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright
Tower Bridge at sunset, framing the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral while the City of London continues to be developed nearby. © 2019 Harry Cory Wright

Pocket Photo Books: Tower Bridge is available to buy from 28 March 2019, published by Thames & Hudson, rrp £12.95

#londonist, #uk

London Music Festival Guide 2019

The War On Drugs at All Points East 2018. Photo: All Points East

Every summer London is awash with music festivals. There are so many that it can be hard to differentiate them and know which is right for you. That’s why we’ve decided to make things a bit easier on you, and sum up each event in a few pithy sentences. Enjoy:

RE-TEXTURED: Could anything be more London in 2019 than an electronic music festival centred around brutalist architecture. That’s not a knock — we couldn’t be more excited to see ear-shattering techno in London’s boldest buildings. There are plenty of memorable nights on offer, but our pick has to be Nina Kraviz playing for hours on end at the occasionally overlooked Walthamstow Assembly Hall. Various venues across London, prices vary, book ahead, 28-31 March

LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: A 10-day festival now in its 19th year, that showcases the best of the Latin music world. Whether you grew up with Latin music or have never knowingly listened to any — apart from the inescapable Despacito — you’re welcome to party at this series of gigs. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 25 April-5 May

BRIXTON DISCO FESTIVAL: A disco festival in Brixton. What else could you possibly need to know? Okay. There’s a roller disco. There’s south London legends Horse Meat Disco. There’s London’s coolest choir, Contemporary Voices, recreating classic New York venue Studio 54. There’s film screenings, talks… okay, it turns out there was a lot of other stuff you needed to know. Brixton (various venues), £22.50-£40, book ahead, 27 April

WE ARE FSTVL: London festivals are inherently different beasts to countryside festivals. They’re day events, not camping based, with limited space to operate in. Dance music extravaganza We Are FSTVL aims to prove all of that wrong. How so? By taking place in the part of London lots of people don’t consider to be London. Upminster. Three days of non-stop bangers and the punters won’t care where they are. Upminster, £42-£300, book ahead, 24-26 May

ALL POINTS EAST: Victoria Park is ground zero for London in terms of the city’s park-based day festivals. All Points East continues the area’s traditions with two weekends of supremely curated music. The first weekend operates more like a standard festival, whereas the second weekend is more ‘big gigs’ a la BST. There’s too much quality music here to highlight, but we’re gonna give it a go anyway: Hot Chip, Primal Scream, Courtney Barnett, Christine and the Queens, Little Simz, Kamasi Washington, Dizzee Rascal, Mac DeMarco… aaaand we’re out of breath. Victoria Park, £59+, book ahead, 24 May-2 June

STEEL YARD: Finsbury Park. Ibiza. Can you really tell the difference? Well if you currently can — let’s face it,  the New River isn’t quite the Mediterranean Sea — you soon won’t. That’s thanks to the one and only Carl Cox bringing his legendary Space Ibiza show in the park. A Balearic touch in north London. Finsbury Park, £45-£99, book ahead, 25-26 May

Photo: Gala

GALA: Good food, good music, good people. That’s the tagline for the fourth edition of this intimate south London day festival, and let’s see whether it can deliver on its promises. Good food looks to be covered: Made of Dough and The Cheese Truck have never let us down before. Good music: an already strong line-up has been boosted by the addition of a new stage curated by London’s jazz-inflected Worldwide FM. Good people: Well that’s up to you really. Peckham Rye Park, £50-£60, book ahead 26 May

JAM ON RYE: Sticking with Peckham for a minute, Jam on Rye puts a punny spin on the area’s famous park. But this isn’t punning for the sake of a cheap laugh. Food and music are paid equal attention on Bank Holiday Monday, as KERB provide a stage for some of the best street food vendors in the city. Even the music seems to have a culinary theme; Kelis headlines, and surely it’s not a coincidence that her last album was called Food? Coincidence or not, it’s one of the most underrated R&B albums of the past five years. Peckham Rye Park, £0-£45 (under 12s go free), book ahead, 27 May

THE ENDS: The Ends makes its debut in Croydon, and looks like it might try and position itself as a competitor to the juggernaut Wireless, by focusing on black music genres. Three days with a handful of acts currently announced for each, it’s a little disheartening to see no British headliners in a festival called The Ends. Still, Nas, Wizkid and Damian Marley are all excellent choices. And seeing Nadia Rose in her Croydon hometown should be epic. Sidenote: if no one plays Are You Really From The Ends, it’s a travesty. Lloyd Park, £50 per day, book ahead, 31 May-2 June

CAMDEN ROCKS: Trawl around the pubs of Camden to watch the most exciting rock bands the city has to offer. There are an ambitious 400 bands squeezed in around 20 venues in just two days, so the key is to see as much as possible. One pro tip though — don’t try rushing to wherever a headliner (Frank Turner and Deaf Havana) is playing minutes before their show. There’s a strong chance you won’t get in. Camden, £40-£70, book ahead1-2 June

One of the warehouses housing Field Day this year. Photo: Field Day

FIELD DAY: A juggernaut of London’s day festival scene, and one of the genre’s originators. The name isn’t quite so accurate anymore as this is the first year it’s ditching the field for four giant, connected warehouses in Enfield. It’s a seismic change, that looks to keep Field Day ahead of the competitors. That anticipation only builds once taking the ridiculous line-up into consideration. Skepta, Julia Holter, Earl Sweatshirt, Jorja Smith, Sinkane and Deerhunter to name but a few. Meridian Water, £40-£150, book ahead, 7-8 June

JUNCTION 2: One of many dance music festivals gracing London this summer, Junction 2 stands out thanks to the quality of its line-up. Ben UFO, Ricardo Villalobos, San Proper and others are all names to drive proper dance music heads wild. Each stage has its own curator — our pick of the bunch is Soho record store Phonica’s stage on Friday. It’s a mecca for electronic music in London, so there’s no surprise it’s done such a good job curating a stage: Hunee’s tunes should perfectly complement the leafy surroundings. Boston Manor Park, £35-£100, book ahead, 7-8 June

HAMPTON COURT PALACE FESTIVAL: An eclectic array of musicians takes over south west London’s favourite Tudor tourist attraction this July. Nile Rodgers & Chic, Tears for Fears, Kylie (although her shows have sold out) and others see if their spectacular shows can match the majesty of the venue’s brick beauty. The big question on everyone’s lips is… will Hampton Court Palace still be standing in the year 3000? That’s right, Busted are playing. Enough said. Hampton Court Palace, £49-£99, book ahead, June 7-21

MIGHTY HOOPLA: People don’t think of pop music as cool. But who gives a damn what people think when you’re having the time of your life? That’s the mood at Mighty Hoopla, a festival that just wants people to have a hell of a lot of fun. And look, Chaka Khan is headlining. Ain’t nobody that could have a bad time here. All Saints, Bananarama and Liberty X also fill out a nostalgic line-up in south London. Brockwell Park, £45-£75, book ahead, 8 June

Photo: Hampton Court Palace Festival

CROSS THE TRACKS: Chaka Khan stays in Brockwell Park the following day, but in somewhat different circumstances. At Cross The Tracks, she’s surrounded by funk, jazz and some classic Motown soul. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas also represent the old guard — if you love The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show (a favourite at Londonist Towers), this could be one for you. The festival also has plenty of acts crafting the future of jazz, funk and electronic music, through alchemic genre fusions. Brockwell Park, £35-£60, book ahead9 June

COMMUNITY: Another Finsbury Park festival — the park is clearly a big hit among music promoters — this one goes all in on indie. The Kooks top the bill, but that doesn’t mean the whole day can be written off as a mid-noughties nostalgia-fest. There are plenty of fresh and exciting acts on offer too, like The Hunna, Don Broco and Sea Girls. We’re not sure what the name Community has to do with it all though — blandest-named festival in London? Finsbury Park, £40, book ahead, 30 June

INNERVISIONS: A multi-venue soul, funk, jazz and blues multi-venue festival. Plenty of the big names are playing the Roundhouse in Camden: Van Morrison, Mavis Staples and Aloe Blacc. In all honesty, calling Innervisions a festival shows the diverse use of that term today — this is more a series of similarly-themed gigs across the city. Of those gigs, we reckon the Fela Kuti tribute night at EartH — an excellent new venue in Stoke Newington — might be the best under-the-radar bet. Various locations, various prices, book ahead, 3-7 July

WIRELESS: London’s annual urban music festival returns to Finsbury Park for the sixth year running. Actually we say that, but historically Wireless was an entirely different beast — David Gray once headlined the festival up in Leeds. Don’t worry hip hop heads, none of that this year. Instead this line-up has a real American rapper bent to it: Cardi B, Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky get top billing. For our money though, the highlight of the weekend will be west London’s AJ Tracey rounding off a mega-year that saw him release his criticallyacclaimed debut album. Finsbury Park, tickets are sold out but keep an eye out here to see if any more become available, 5-7 July

BRITISH SUMMER TIME: The big-hitter in the heart of London. Entertaining the masses in Hyde Park this year are Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Florence + The Machine, Robbie Williams and one more as-of-yet unannounced act. In between the two weekends of musical brilliance comes BST Open House, when you can wander into the site for free and enjoy cinema screenings, pop-up bars, circus, cabaret and much more. Hyde Park, various prices, book ahead. 5-14 July

LOVEBOX: Another one of the London mainstays, this is the ideal festival for people who like to dance, but often want the songs that make them dance to have lyrics. Ok, that’s reductive — there are quite a few straight up rappers and electronic music artists here. However, Lovebox always shows plenty of love to the R&B scene, and representatives from the genre this year include H.E.R. and Solange. Dress code is colourful but cool — see what vintage Fila or Adidas you can get your hands on at a trendy second hand shop. Gunnersbury Park, £58-£120, book ahead, 12-13 July

CITADEL: All the infrastructure from Lovebox remains in the park on Sunday, as the park goes indie for Citadel. Catfish and the Bottlemen and Bastille are the top acts, which might mean the punter age skews a little younger than some others on this list. Curiously the festival takes on an astronomy vibe for its non-music areas. There’s a space pub quiz, a Q&A with someone from the UK Space Agency, space yoga and more. We expect most people will interpret this space-theme through glitter but why don’t you one-up them with a full astronaut outfit? Gunnersbury Park, £28-£40, book ahead, 14 July

Photo: Lovebox

LONDON INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL: And now for something completely different. London International Music Festival brings together young musicians from around the globe to perform in some of London’s most prestigious venues — Central Hall Westminster, Southwark Cathedral, Conway Hall and more — in a supportive environment. Various locations, free entry, just turn up, 15-18 July

51ST STATE: There will be plenty of sniggering ravers at the start of August as they ride the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters for 51st State. Held in the leafy Green Belt, this year marks the fest’s fifth birthday, and it’s celebrating the only way it knows how. Masses of house music with a dash of garage, a hint of soul and a dollop of disco across seven stages. Trent Park, £40-£150, book ahead, 3 August

EASTERN ELECTRICS: From the end of the Piccadilly line, we move on to the end of the Northern line, Morden. This is another festival dedicated to making your body move but with acts like Goldie, Big Narstie and Hannah Wants, Eastern Electrics has a hard edge. Expect bass. The kind that may leave your ears ringing for a week. If that sounds a bit much, you can always just follow the roaming samba band around the site for two straight days. Morden Park, £39-£77, book ahead. 3-4 August

Photo: 51st State

MELTDOWN: Despite being named after a word best associated with nuclear disasters, Meltdownfestival is a far more civilised affair than the majority of events on this list. One legendary artist curates a week of gigs at the Southbank Centre. Recent curators include M.I.A. and Robert Smith, and this year the honour falls to Nile Rodgers. His lineup is yet to be announced, but here’s hoping it’s full of disco and soul. Southbank Centre, price TBC, book ahead, 3-11 August

ART’S HOUSE: Festivals tend to be extravaganzas, jam-packed with as many big acts as humanly possible. Not two DJs playing one guy’s house. Surely that’s not a festival. It is for Art’s House. So, it’s not really Artwork’s house, instead the stage is designed to make it look like a house. And the two DJs are big names: obviously Artwork himself, joined by DJ Harvey. On a patch of greenery enclosed by the Lea Valley River, this is a wonderfully eccentric addition to the London scene. Three Mills Island, £29-£50, book ahead, 10 August

ONE DAY AT THE DISCO: The trick is in the name of this festival, it’s all about disco. To emphasise this point, the bill has Chicago House legend Derrick Carter, but the poster very clearly states after his name ‘does disco’. That set should be special, but we’re most excited for Mister Saturday Night. They’re famous for their Saturday night parties in hipster-haven Brooklyn, but can they do it on a ‘hopefully sunny, but possibly rainy’, Saturday afternoon in east London? Time to find out. Three Mills Island, price TBC, book ahead, 24 August

SOUTH WEST FOUR: Mega. That’s the one word that sums up Clapham Common’s EDM/grime/garage/whatever-the-hell-people-want-to-dance-to end of summer weekender. The line-up is massive. Dance music is a broad church, so if you and your mates all have differing tastes this could be the festival for you — there’s at least one act on this behemoth of this line-up that everyone will go crazy for. What’s ours? Tough choice, but TQD have never let us down before. Clapham Common, £57-£99, book ahead, 24-25 August

Photo: Art’s House

MAIDEN VOYAGE: Three Mills Island is clearly the east London spot to be for one day festivals this summer. Maiden Voyage is a brand new festival from the team at Camden’s Jazz Cafe. Despite the name, the venue’s tastes are a bit broader than just jazz, and include hip hop, afrobeat and funk. We’re not saying that’s a bad thing. Especially when it means you can squeeze Awesome Tapes From Africa, Madlib and Roy Ayers onto the same lineup. Three Mills Island, £30, book ahead, 25 August

SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER: Despite having a Merseyside town in its name, Southport Weekender is in south London. Crystal Palace to be precise (it’s also worth pointing out that it’s just one day). The reason for the name lies in the festival’s origins, a R&B, garage, house and soul weekend in Southport Pontins. The team have brought the self-proclaimed ‘world’s friendliest party’ vibe down to the Big Smoke, for a few years now, although this is its first time in south London. No line-up announced at the time of writing. Crystal Palace Park, £45-£66, book ahead, 31 August

BBC PROMS IN THE PARK: The BBC Proms culminate in Britain’s biggest outdoor classical music event. It’s September, so by this point the British weather is even less reliable than for everything else on this list. Pack an anorak. Even if the forecast is clear. Trust us. Hyde Park, price TBC, book ahead, date TBA

EFG LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL: Do you ever get to November and have a real hankering for a music festival to lift those winter blues? EFG has you covered, with glorious jazz to make everything feel alright again. Set across plenty of venues across London, lots of the gigs have already been listed with tickets on sale, despite the fact we’re months out. Epic Russian film Battleship Potemkin with a new live soundtrack caught our eye. Various locations, various prices, book ahead, 15-24 November

Know any others we’ve missed out? Add it to the comments below. We will update this article as more events are announced.

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