Stuck for ideas on what to do this Bank Holiday Weekend, 8-10 May? We may be in lockdown, but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the extra day off work. Read on for our suggestions, from a virtual cheese festival to VE Day celebrations.
Recreate the Italian aperitivo
Italian gin brand Villa Ascenti and fresh artisanal pasta specialists Pasta Evangelists have collaborated to put together the Taste of Piedmont box, comprised of everything you need to recreate the Italian aperitivo occasion at home. Inside you’ll find the ingredients for an authentic Mafalde with truffle butter and hazelnuts, as well as a 50ml bottle of Villa Ascenti gin, distilled using home-grown herbs and botanicals from the Piedmont region. £9. pastaevangelists.com
Get involved with the British Cheese Weekender
Tune into the first ever British Cheese Weekender, a three-day online event featuring masterclasses, virtual farm tours and tutored tastings. Cheese lovers are invited to stock up on artisan cheese in the lead-up to the festival so they can join in with the virtual fun, while supporting the specialist cheese industry. Highlights include a behind-the-scenes tour of Neal’s Yard Dairy, a fondue night cook-along with The Cheese Bar’s Mathew Carver, and a kids’ cheese tasting session presented by Sam Wilkin, aka Cellarman Sam. Festival-goers will also have the chance to learn all about the history of British cheese with author and cheesemonger Ned Palmer, and then put their knowledge to the test during Paxton & Whitfield’s cheese pub quiz. 8-10 May, 3-10pm each day. Visit academyofcheese.org for the full line-up.
Stay zen with an online yoga retreat
Give your body and mind a reboot by signing up to a day-long online yoga retreat with eco-wellness company As We Live and Breathe. Taking place on 8 May, the event celebrates the Celtic festival of Beltane and the New Moon, offering participants a chance to reflect on themes such as nature, happiness and aliveness through a mix of yoga, meditation and seasonal cooking lessons. It will be held via Zoom, though guests will be encouraged to take nature connection practices outside, so it helps if you have a garden. 8 May, 1-9pm. Book via asweliveandbreathe.co
Celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day
On 8 May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war in Europe had come to an end, sparking huge celebrations and street parties across the country. This Friday marks 75 years since that momentous day, and though hundreds of celebratory events have been cancelled there are still ways to commemorate the occasion from home. The day will begin with a two-minute silence at 11am, held both to honour the service of the wartime generation and to reflect on the devastating impact coronavirus has had on lives across the world. There will also be a live Facebook stream hosted by The Royal British Legion, a doorstep ‘toast to heroes’ at 3pm, and a speech by the Queen at 9pm, followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again. You can also pay tribute by decorating your home with bunting and posters, or cooking a 40s’-inspired recipe – visit the VE Day website for ideas and resources.
Treat yourself to a fancy takeaway
Fancy a night away from the kitchen? Numerous high-end London restaurants are now offering a delivery service, including glitzy Peruvian restaurant COYA Mayfair and the most extravagant Italian restaurant in town, Gloria. It’s a great way to support local restaurants during this challenging time too.
Watch a live stream of a West End show
A treat for those missing their beloved trips to the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber is transporting the theatre to the nation’s living rooms. Tune into a live stream of one of the legendary composer’s hit musicals – from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat to Jesus Christ Superstar – every Friday at 7pm. youtube.com
Celebrate Garden Day
In this strange and unsettling period of life, many of us are finding solace in nature – so Garden Day couldn’t be more timely. The initiative, returning on Sunday 10 May, aims to of inspire and bond people through nature, encouraging anyone and everyone to come together (virtually) to celebrate the healing power of plants. Here we share how to get involved. gardenday.co.uk
Have a BBQ
While inviting friends round is clearly not an option at the moment, those of us lucky enough to have a garden can still enjoy the delights of dining al fresco – and nothing says summer like a barbecue. Here are some top tips for stepping your BBQ game up a notch, from seafood grill recipes to the best sides and salads to serve.
Catch this week’s Secret Sofa viewing
Missing the cinema? Get involved with Secret Cinema’s new virtual experience, which encourages film lovers to re-create the movie theatre experience at home. Sign up to the newsletter, and you’ll receive notice of each week’s upcoming film every Tuesday, alongside costume suggestions and prop-making ideas, ahead of the film being shown on Friday at 7.30pm. secretcinema.org
Deliveroo x Bacardi Bank Holiday
Enjoy premium cocktails from leading bartenders around the UK with ‘Cocktails at Home’, a partnership between Bacardi and Deliveroo Editions. Launching on 8 May and running for three weeks, the collaboration gives cocktail lovers the chance to support their favourite local bars and bartenders. London bars on their books include China Tang at The Dorchester, Happiness Forgets, The Connaught and London Cocktail Club.
Bored of your workouts? Mix it up with the new virtual event concept from Brixton Yoga: disco yoga. Not just your average yoga class, this one encourages 70s fancy dress, and afterwards participants are invited to stay for a dance and chat over a takeaway. The first class takes place on 9 May at 6.30pm via Zoom, and all attendees will receive a discount to order a delivery after their workout from Brixton Market favourites such as Jalisco and Black Bear Burger.