“Spring. A lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.”
There’s something so special about the first signs of spring.
The ethereal pops of pink blossoming between bare branches, suffused with their softly-sweet scent… The days gradually getting longer and evenings lighter… That wonderful breath of fresh air, accompanied by the unshakeable feeling that life is beginning a-new…
… And truly, there’s a lot to look forward to.
From sakura season and the floral metamorphosis of our favourite cafés, to unmissable events and exhibits – here’s how to make the most of spring in London.
London in Bloom
It’s sakura season which officially signals the start of spring. For the prettiest-in-pink sightings, head to Kew Garden or Greenwich Park, where a canopied tunnel of cherry blossom trees is set to take centre-stage…
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Walk in fields of gold in St James Park and Green Park, where you’ll find the majority of the one million daffodil bulbs planted by the Royal Parks each year. Tulips add a regal touch to Hampton Court Palace and Buckingham Palace, while cobalt-hued bluebells enliven different pockets of London.
And if you’re looking for a reason to potter around Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill, you’ve found it in the picturesque pendants of wisteria draping the eminently-Instagrammable homes of these neighbourhoods. Just look up #WisteriaHysteria on Instagram for the intel on the most breathtaking spots!
Many of the our favourite cafés, restaurants and even bars, are embracing a floral makeover this spring, to bring the outdoors in. Aside from boosting our Instagram game, it’s definitely a pragmatic way of experiencing the beauty of the season, given the lengthy cold snap and showers expected through April…
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If you hadn’t already heard, @shochu_ldn has wholly embraced sakura season and is positively bursting at the seams with floral fancies! To give you time to bask beneath our blooms, from now until they fade, we will be open for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays! You’re welcome. 😍🌸 Bookings? 02075806464. Questions? Right here! #ROKACharlotteStreet #SHOCHUNights #iloveROKA #SakuraSeason #CherryBlossoms #LimitedEdition #PinkParty
Top picks from the spring installations this year include the striking sakura blossom displays at Shochu (the buzz worthy basement lounge below Roka Charlotte Street) and at Sake No Hana in St James. Meanwhile over at Dalloway Terrace in Bloomsbury, a plethora of wild English flowers have created a cornucopia of colours, attracting a bevy of oversized bees… It’s truly a bee-autiful setting for brunch or afternoon tea!
As though that’s not enough, the season’s most elusive flowers are also adding a lift to dishes, desserts and even drinks. The most beguiling of these is undoubtedly the raindrop cake at Yamagoya in Chinatown, which cocoons a cherry blossom flower at its centre. The result is not unlike a work of art…
Must See Exhibits
On the subject of art, “Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy” at Tate Modern is absolutely unmissable.
The blockbuster line-up features over a hundred transformative works from this most pivotal year in Picasso’s career, in which he blurred the boundaries between themes of beauty and terror, juxtaposing ecstasy against hysteria, abandon against agony… It all culminates in an experience which is as wildly provocative as it is chillingly-evocative (8 March – 9 September 2018).
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“Essentially there is only love. Whatever it may be.” – Picasso // If there’s just the one exhibit you visit this year, it really has to be @Tate’s blockbuster line-up of over 100 of Picasso’s pivotal works from 1932. With boundaries blurred between beauty and terror, ecstasy and hysteria, abandon and agony … the experience is as provocative as it is enthrallingly evocative. Really a must visit. #TateModern #Picasso #ArtIsLife #GalleryHoppingWithTheFoodieDiaries #TheFoodieDiariesLondon
Another must-visit is the upcoming Monet exhibit at The National Gallery, which will shine a never-before-seen light on how Monet painted the architecture of his time – from simple homes along coastal villages, to the striking grandeur of landmark European monuments (Monet & Architecture: 9 April – 29 July 2018, National Gallery).
Fast-forwarding to May, I’m also keenly anticipating “Future Starts Here” at the V&A. The avant-garde show will explore the designs and innovations shaping the world of tomorrow. Expect genetic experiments, wearable technologies, sea-faring drones and more…
More Dates For Your Diary
The next couple of months are set to keep London’s bon vivants firmly on their toes, with a string of new restaurant openings, pop-ups and festivals in the works.
The Espresso Martini Society’s speakeasy in Soho, promises the world’s largest espresso martini menu (20 April – 27 May). Made with Oubu coffee, coffee liqueur and vodka, the concoctions will feature flavours from The Coco Loco to The Big Cheese(cake) , with coffee-inspired beers in the offing too.
Coffee connoisseurs can also get involved with London Coffee Festival, which returns to Old Truman Brewery between 12 – 15 April with a stellar line-up of latte art and home barista workshops; a series of ‘lab’ seminars for those fiendish about knowing their beans; live music; sensory and immersive experiences and more!
I’ll be updating this section with more noteworthy dates and events, so do be sure to check back when you can!
In the meanwhile, you can explore more things to do in London, here.