The Best Pop Ups in London in 2020

event & Crowd

Pop-ups are really an ingenious idea if you think about it – especially if it is niche new product or concept that might only have short-term popularity. And there is nothing that brings out the crowds more than the realisation that something will only be available for a short amount of time. FOMO is a real thing and will get all the busy Londoners off their bums if they know they have limited time available.

London is an epicentre for the latest trends, and everyone loves the opportunity to be “the first” who discovered the next big thing before it was cool, so you can always bet on some pretty cool events and products coming your way every year. It should therefore come as no surprise that many of these flash-in-the-pan experiences come here to test their success: if a trend catches on in Shoreditch, then you know that you’ve basically made it.

If, like these pop-ups, you’re only in London for a little while, then I hope you’re staying at the M by Montcalm in Shoreditch where you’ll be at the heart of all the action. Like all of the hotels in The Montcalm group, you find some wonderful packages for the London hotel of your dreams. Dreams that you will come to look forward to after a day of hopping from pop-up to pop-up.

Emerald City is a fully-immersive Wizard of Oz-themed bar sat atop the Rooftop of the Queen of Hoxton: absolute royalty as far as Shoreditch nightlife is concerned. Here you will quite literally be warned that you are “not in Kansas anymore”… and you’ll believe it. Bright green cocktails are just the beginning here and you can also expect to find Kansas-themed cuisine as you keep yourself warm around the firepits (and maybe even roast a marshmallow or two)?

You’ll have to hurry to catch the end of this one as it comes to a close mid-April in order to prepare for its next spectacular theme. Come early May, you’ll be able to revisit your favourite rooftop to find it has been transformed completely into a Japanese Cherry Blossom Garden. If you can think of anything more spectacular than gazing over East London, sipping a cocktail and being completely surrounded by cherry blossoms as the weather gets warmer then please enlighten me, because this is just about my definition of paradise.

Speaking of chasing summer, there are plenty of things that pop-up around London to make the most of our few glorious moments of summer and all the things that it allows us to do when we’re not bundled up inside. One such event is the summer edition of Cocktails in the City, which you will find in Bedford Square Gardens over 10 & 11 July. Described on their website as “re-imagined in pop-up form, five-star Mayfair hotel bars and Shoreditch speakeasies come together within short sipping distance of each other competing for your vote for best bar experience”. Beyond the 25 cocktail-specialising bars fighting for your affection through master-classes and expert displays, you’ll find all kinds of activities from silent discos to carnival games to crazy golf. Although your ability to perform at the latter two may decrease after a few yummy drinks, it will definitely have you feeling the groove of the first.

If the rhythm is what you are seeking and ABBA is your drug of choice, then you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the following announcement (I’ve yet to meet anyone with merely mild appreciation for ABBA – it’s either true love or burning hatred). What first came to London as a pop-up is now propping itself up for the next year where the O2 Arena in North Greenwich is entirely converted into the Greek Island paradise of Skopelos for Mama Mia! The Party. While it is up and already running and tickets have been released as far ahead as March 2021, this is not going to be a permanent fixture forever.

If your idea of a good time is a four-course-dinner & a show…which then turns into a disco where you can dance and sing along to your heart’s content (because one does not simply nod along silently to ABBA… even those who are not fans can’t help but burst into song and know all the words), then this is the event for you.

If you prefer to watch and keenly observe your shows, then why not look at them in a completely different way by participating in Dr. Sketchy’s Burlesque & Cabaret Life Drawing Class. Found at the Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club in Kennington, this class is open to aspiring artists of all abilities who are brought together by their search for figures to draw. The objective here is to supply you with beautiful people dressed in stunning outfits that can only inspire you to draw them in your own unique way. Interspersed with performances from your models and with alcohol ready and available, this can only be a fun-filled evening. The last date available for booking is currently 10 May, so you better try squeeze in while you can!

However, if it is limited edition shopping that gets your heart racing, then you’ll be pleased to know that beauty brand extraordinaire, Glossier, has taken temporary residence in Covent Garden for 2020 only. By the looks of their website, it seems that this is the only store (even in pop-up form) outside of the US. While you’ve always been able to order the secret ingredients behind that glowy & dewy skin you crave online, now you can actually visit this game-changing store in real life. Consult their experts on which products best suit your specific complexion so that you can truly experience Glossier’s mantra that your ideal beauty product has to be built with you, not just for you. Test, smell and feel out which products set your soul alight right on London’s doorstep so that you can make your next grand entrance as your best self – living your best life.