London’s a funny old place. Spring should be in the air – daffodils blooming, layers coming off, little chicks and other such signs of warmer weather appearing. Instead we seem to be battling snow or heavy rain, so I guess we’d be forgiven for not realising that Easter is here. Whether you want to use the extra days off as an excuse to party more, or whether you are looking for activities for kids, if you plan to spend Easter in London here are a few ideas for making the most of the long weekend.
Not quite off work yet, but the next day is a holiday so you might want to take advantage of the lay-in by heading out. If so, then Fire has one hell of a party going on. Now practically legendary, every year on Easter Thursday for the past five or so years, Erol Alkan has been playing at Fire with Bugged Out doing ‘marathon’ sessions. It started out with a few hours and every year he has played an hour longer, culminating this year with a ten-hour set. This will be the last year he does this so if you’ve always wanted to go, this is not to be missed.
To celebrate Good Friday, why not take part in an age-old ceremony – the Widow’s Bun at the Widow’s Son pub. Back in the early 1800s the lady who owned the house that became the Widow’s Son had a sailor for a sun who went off to sea. He was due to return on Good Friday and the mother baked him a hot cross bun for his return. Sadly the sailor never showed. Never giving up hope, the mother continued to bake him a bun every year and hang it in a net for him, adding to the buns of previous years. They were found hanging in a net when she died and the place was turned into a pub. Now, every year a sailor comes to the pub to add a bun to the net, and there are 200-odd buns. Of course, there are more hot cross buns around for eating, not just looking at and you can stick around a have a few jars as well.
For the nightlovers among you, head over to XOYO (one of our favourite little clubs as you’ll see here) for Digitalism. Digitalism are start in the electronic music scene and can always be relied upon to play an excellent set to get everyone going. With support from Kolsch and Shit Robot this is guaranteed to be a good night.
Take a trip out of the centre of London to the Horniman Museum for their Easter Fair.
A good one for the kids, there will be an easter egg hunt, an Easter bunny and real life rabbits. There are also some arts and crafts stalls and a Bunny Hop dance. Entrance is free, although some events might be ticketed. Definitely one for if the weather rallies.
Or, for something a little different, and not even really Easter-related, go to the Easter film hop in Leonard Street car park. Don some fancy dress to go with the movie, and be prepared to dance along with Dirty Dancing, as well as enjoying some cocktails and a s
ilent disco afterwards. They are actually showing films on the Friday (Grease – a sing-a-long) and Sunday (Purple Rain) as well. Each has a silent disco after. The screening is at 6:30 and it shuts down (though I daresay The Book Club will be happy to welcome you in after) at 10 pm.
Of course I have something for the partiers for Saturday night as well – Afrobeat Vibration at New Empowering Church. Anyone who saw the show Fela! Should come along to this, a night celebrating Afrobeat and the music of Fela Kuti. It starts at 9, goes on until late (and if it’s in London Fields, late probably means late) and is 10 pounds in advance.
Of course, everyone knows what happens on Easter Sunday – the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race! Head down to the Thames early to grab a spot to watch this annual tradition. The actual race starts at 4:30 from Putney but entertainment will be on at venues along the river throughout the day.
Or, do the alternative race of the day – the Oxford/Cambridge Goat Race! In its fifth year, this is turning into quite the tradition itself. Held at Spitalfields City Farm, tickets are 5 pounds and you can cheer on the goat of your choice and have a cheeky wager on it too. Last year they had over 1500 attendants so it’s well worth booking a ticket in advance for this fun day out.
Fear not raveheads, we have an all-dayer to suggest for you – the Smartie Partie Boat Party. This is taking place on the Golden Sunrise, and departs at 1:30 sharp and returns at 6pm. While you float along the Thames you can enjoy tech house and some old school classics. A ticket for this also gets you into the Afterparty at Opal, near Westminster pier where you disembark to continue the partying until 9:30.
The Big Egg Hunt is back! This is actually going on all weekend and Monday is the last day to take part. 101 eggs are hidden in the environs of Covent Garden, all individually designed and tucked all over the place. You can get a general idea of where to look from the downloadable map – be sure to wander in the stores as well as down all the streets so you don’t miss any.