Looking for things to do in London in May? You’re in plenty of time to book tickets to the best events in London, from theatre shows to art exhibitions, and there are always pop-ups opening across the city, but our handy guide features the best of what’s on in London in May so you won’t miss a thing. Spring has well and truly spring by May and a good job too because this month marks the start of festival season. Not only are music ones kicking off in the capital, including newbie Project 6 and old hands like GALA, Wide Awake and Cross The Tracks, but there’s an Asian film festival, the hot sauce festival is back, as is Crepe City, Europe’s largest sneaker fest. And with the World Chelsea Bun Awards, a pickle-themed afternoon tea and an Italian cooking class at Eataly all happening in May, there’s plenty of good eating to be had too. Best of all, we get three bank holidays this month, the extra one coming courtesy of the Coronation, so you’ve got even more free time to enjoy all these goodies.
1. Learn How to Sketch With Real-Life Wolves
Calling all budding artists and dog lovers! We’re hosting a very spesh sketching class with Wild Life Drawing and wolves at Second Home Spitalfields this May. The wolves are in fact British lupine dogs – so they’re tame – although they do have pure wolf in their bloodline. Don’t they look incredible? Before the drawing starts, Canine Behavioural Scientist Natalie Lagstrom will chat about wolves, their anatomy and how they’ve evolved to adapt to a variety of habitats before you get to put pencil to paper. This is a private event for LOTI INSIDERS, so if you wanna be there, find out how to get tickets here.
Tues 9th May 2023, 7pm – 9pm
Second Home Spitalfields, 68 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL
2. Try an Afternoon Tea With a Twist
From the same mono-food-themed event team who brought us the avocado pop-up, a Pickle-Themed Afternoon Tea is about to land in London for a limited time only. Hosted by Farringdon patisserie Oh La La! Macarons, this pop-up will kick off a series of similar concepts that’ll appear across the UK and focus in on speciality foods in unexpected ways.
Sun 7th & Sun 14th May 2023, 12.30 – 5.30pm
Oh La La! Macarons, 5 Kirby St, London EC1N 8TS
3. Discover New Music at the Independent Label Market
Independent Label Market is back at Coal Drops Yard this May, with indies from all across London selling their freshest and finest fare. Labels including Bella Union, Cherry Red, Fire, Ghostly International, Ninja Tune, One Little Independent, Rough Trade, Sonic Cathedral, Strut, We Are Busy Bodies, Olindo, Mais Um Discos, Practise Music and more will be setting up shop and stocking their stalls with limited editions, signed records, vinyl rarities and test pressings as well as exclusive label and band merchandise. There’ll also be a Craft Makers Corner (featuring Spelling Mistakes Costs Lives, Hand Jazz, Kam Creates, East London Printmakers and Dan Jamieson) as well as DJs spinning on the day. And, once again, London Brewers’ Market will be taking care of the bevs.
Sat 20th May 2023
Coal Drops Yard, Stable St, London N1C 4DQ
4. Shop While Supporting a Good Cause
Alex Eagle is back with another car boot sale in aid of Women for Women International and this one is being held at the Selfridges Car Park in collab with the department store’s RESELLFRIDGES resale platform. A whole host of designers and stylists, including Sarah Harris, Naomi Smart, Sharmadean Reid, Bella Tilbury, Julia Hobbs, Eugenie Niarchos and Noor Fares, will be donating vintage and pre-loved pieces, and you’ll be able to shop from the likes of Jimmy Choo, Rixo, FRAME, Slip, Needle & Thread, Reformation, Charlotte Tilbury, ME+EM, and The Conran Shop.
Sat 20th May 2023
Edwards Mews, London W1U 1AT
5. Test Your Spice Limit at the Hot Sauce Festival
If you like it HAWT then you’ll wanna be in Peckham this May for the return of Hot Sauce Society, the only hot sauce festival in the capital. Over 30 hot sauce makers from across the country – including the likes of Pat and Pinky’s, Hop Burns and Black, Lazy Scientist, Chilli Maven, and Condimaniac – will be showing off their goods and competing for the Best In Show prizes and this year, tickets are only £2.
Sat 20th May 2023, 11am – 7pm
133 Copeland Rd, London SE15 3SN
6. Spend a Day Surrounded by Trainers
The sellout sneaker event is back this spring giving you the chance to cop some vintage, super-rare and limited edition collab kicks. Europe’s biggest sneaker fest Crepe City isn’t just about the trainers though, as there’ll be streetwear and accessories available from brands like Supreme, Palace, Stussy and more. There’s plenty of food and drink to get stuck into at Boxpark too, plus there’ll be panel talks and DJ sets happening throughout the event so you can make a full day and night of it. Tickets are on sale now, and it’s one any self-respecting sneakerhead won’t want to miss.
Sun 21st May 2023, 11am-8pm
Boxpark Wembley, 18 Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0JT
7. Indulge Your Inner Disney Adult
This May, Disney is landing in town with a brand new exhibition designed for groups of friends. Wonder of Friendship: The Experience will be an immersive experience unlike anything else from the entertainment giant, mainly targeted at young people over the age of 18. Basically, this is a big win for all you Disney adults out there. The exhibition will take over 180 The Strand, already known for experimental exhibitions, as a celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary and an ode to friendships. There’ll be several interactive installations, each of which will reference a specific Disney classic. Expect rooms based on the likes of Alice in Wonderland, The Lion King, Mickey & Friends, and Lilo & Stitch.
Fri 12th – Sun 21st May 2023
180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA
8. Eat Some Prada Pastries
Jimmy Choo, Dior and Louis Vuitton have all had a go and now it’s Prada’s turn to pop-up at Harrods with Prada Caffe. Inspired by iconic Prada stores around the world, including the first ever boutique opened at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan way back in 1913, the pop-up is bringing some Italian elegance to London, with black & white flooring, pale green interiors, Japanese porcelain and Prada motif-embossed glassware. The food and drink offering is just as stylish, with Italian coffee, poached eggs, and avo toast available for breakfast, and everything from veal tonnato to saffron risotto for lunch, alongside classic Italian cocktails. Only got a few moments to spare between all that shopping? You can pick up pizzette, tramezzini (Italian finger sarnies), tiramisu, gianduja cake, and pistachio praline to takeaway too.
Mon 1st – Wed 31st May 2023
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL
9. Head to a Brand New Festival
Hot on the heels of Festival People, another debut festival, Project 6, has been announced for London and it sounds like it’s gonna be quite the party. The day portion of the fest is taking place at Brockwell Park, with a line-up that spans drum & bass, hip-hop, grime, techno and electronic music, including Fabio & Grooverider with The Outlook Orchestra, Shy FX, Mala & Joe Armon-Jones, Ghetts, D Double E, Flowdan, FLOHIO, Children of Zeus, Lady Lykez, Pip Millett, Bawo, Footsie and more.
Fri 26th May 2023
Brockwell Park, Norwood Rd, London SE24 9BJ
10. Enter a World of Veuve Clicquot
After hitting Tokyo and LA, Veuve Clicquot’s 250th anniversary exhibition Solaire Culture is landing in London. The free immersive experience takes you on a journey through the house’s heritage, with historical documents and an original bottle of Veuve Clicquot from the 1840s on display. There will also be original artworks inspired by Madame Clicquot and the power of the sun (a reference to the bottle’s famous yellow label) from nine renowned female artists, including Yayoi Kusama, Shelia Hicks and Moyoco Anno, on show. And after popping up in Soho last year, The Sunny Side Up Café is back, this time with a food menu from Andi Oliver, and plenty of bubbles no doubt.
Fri 12th – Wed 31st May 2023
Piccadilly Circus, London