Where To Eat And Drink This Bank Holiday

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1 | Dine In The Clouds: Aqua Shard

Aside from the impeccable views of the London skyline that Aqua Shard offers, this 31st floor bar and restaurant is a much cleverer choice than paying to stand on the landmark's viewing platform: you get to sit down, drink in-hand, and not fork out the extra entry fee. Have a go at the English Milk Punch as a refreshing pre-meal booster (spoiler: it doesn't look milky at all and the green tea and absinthe provide quite the kick).

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And now is the time to book a table as there's a new chef in the house. Dale Osborne hails from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Hix Soho and was head chef at the Chiltern Firehouse when it opened. His new menu is now available and is one big celebration of British food – wonderful ingredients done prettily but not messed about with too much. The trout starter, for instance, offers a colourful array of all things trout (smoked hot, smoked cold, crisped-up skin, roe); the succulent lamb loin is simply served with fresh peas and mint; the pork gets you a gloriously caramelized belly plus roasted fillet, with crushed crackling, apple and delicate turnips. You're safe from foams and essences here but it's fine dining nonetheless, and very tasty. Not a cheap night, but a stunning one.

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Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY; aquashard.co.uk

2 | Become A Judge: London Falafel Festival

In the same neck of the woods, Sunday will see a falafel fiesta in Borough Market. The £20 ticket will get you access to a competition between Egyptian, Israeli, Lebanese and English street food vendors, and you'll taste each of their creations before voting for the winner.

Get there early to nab a table, and bring on the falafel wraps.

Sunday 1 May; doors open at 1pmJubilee Place, Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL; iyp2016.org

3 | Toast Gin O'Clock: The Gin Bar At Holborn Dining Room

If you needed an excuse to visit the Rosewood London hotel on High Holborn, how about the UK's largest gin bar? That perked you up. The Holborn Dining Room now boasts a gin bar stocking over 400 different gins. There is every sort you can imagine: big brands, small distillers, London Drys, spiced versions, pink versions, cheap ones, expensive ones, you name it. The barmen will happily knock up any classic gin cocktail for you, so now is your opportunity to get super picky about how you like your martinis.

Alternatively, go for a quirky variation on a G&T: with 27 different types of tonic (including one special in-house recipe), you are left with a total of 14,035 possible combinations. So you'd best crack on. We especially like the peppery Opihr gin, which is recommended alongside Spantons lemongrass tonic, with chilli and cinnamon. Or there's the citrusy Jinzu (made with yuzu and cherry blossom) refreshingly teamed with Merchants Hearst Aromatic Tonic. If you're dazzled by choice, opt for good old Tanqueray Ten classically complimented by grapefruit bitters.

Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN; holborndiningroom.com

4 | Dance The Night Away: NT's Terrace Party

Night Tales is the wildly popular covered street food party that has provided a weekend option all winter long for past couple of years; NT's is the permanent bar and restaurant from the same people. It serves Morty & Bob's food (epic cheese toasties and truffle fries) along with cocktails, guests DJ's and live music come night time.

This Bank Holiday sees the opening of the Sunset Terrace with a big old knees up, which provides the perfect evening activities if you're stuck for ideas. Music will set the tone from 5pm Friday to Sunday, with the smell of the barbecue to whet your appetite (food will include grilled meat and fish, sharing skewers and summer salads, as well as the usual). Let the party begin.

207 Westgate Street, London, E8 3RL; ntbar.co.uk

5 | Brixton Beer & Bread Festival

Beer and bread. Bread and beer. Does what it says on the tin really, but what could be more delightful? From 1 – 5pm on Monday, entry is free to the eighteenth century Brixton Windmill, where a host of local breweries and bakeries will be selling their wares.

Vendors will include The Brixton Brewery, whose beers will be available both on tap and bottled, and bread makers such as the Old Post Office Bakery and Mediterranean café Parissi. Live music and demonstrations will also be on the go.

Monday 2 May, 1 – 5pm22 Blenheim Gardens, London, SW2 5BZ; brixtonwindmill.org 

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