April brings Spring and Easter – which means flowers, chocolate and bunnies as the weather gets warmer and brighter. It is impossible to feel anything but cheerful, especially with all of the very many events taking place over this month. This article is very Easter-weekend focused, but fortunately many of the activities are available at other times of the month too. I do solemnly swear that you will find a suggestion for every April weekend in this article.
This year, Easter weekend begins with Good Friday on Friday 10 April and ends with Easter Monday on the 13th – and with both Friday and Monday being Bank Holidays, you have four blessed days of weekend at your disposal.
If you are coming from out-of-town to celebrate Easter in the form of a London City Break, then I hope that you managed to get your hands on one of the amazing Package Deals on offer. The Barbican Rooms London is one such excellent option that is conveniently located in the middle of all the action of the city.
Fortunately, some Easter-related activities run much longer than the Easter weekend: such as the Easter Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court Palace from 04-19 April. The price of admission is simply what you would pay to enter the palace, but if you’re a Historic Royal Palaces member then it is completely free. This is a family event for everyone to enjoy, but the actual hunt is intended for ages 3-12 and lasts about one and a half hours. Along with hunting for little gold bunny statues and learning about some of the more famous personalities of Hampton Court, the kids will be tasked with solving some challenges in order to earn themselves a Lindt Gold Bunny to take home (if they haven’t already demolished it by the time that you get home, of course).
On Good Friday you can head over to Trafalgar Square at 12:00 and again at 15:15 to watch a 90-minute live performance of The Passion of Jesus. The story covers His arrest until His resurrection and features around 100 performers. The show is completely free and is also filmed and broadcast onto giant screens so that those further back in the crowd can also enjoy the performance.
However, the ultimate of all Easter Egg Hunts takes place at The Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace from 11:00 to 15:00 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Easter weekend. Their Easter Extravaganza combines their annual chocolate treasure hunt with arts and crafts centred on springtime sparkle with twig-made flowers and bejewelled Easter eggs. This is an amazing day of family fun that is free with standard admission – but an insider tip is that you can request that your ticket purchase be treated as a donation. Not only does this mean that your money goes to the Royal Collection Trust (a registered charity), but also entitles you to a 1-year pass for readmission as a reward for your contribution.
If you would like your Easter weekend church services to be more special than usual, you can attend one of London’s most famous churches and cathedrals including Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Maybe your Easter celebrations centre entirely on chocolate – and I really would not judge you for that. Fortunately for you, Visit London has created a list of the Top 10 Chocolate Shops in London that you can pick and choose from depending on what tickles your fancy and is conveniently located near you. William Curley can be found inside Harrods, where you have to try their Nostalgia Jaffa Cake. Dark Sugars have two stores on Brick Lane: Dark Sugars Chocolate Shop and Dark Sugars Cocoa House, both of which strive to bring a West African taste to the London chocolate scene. One look at those decadent hot chocolates covered in shavings and spices will be enough to convince you – trust me. If you want chocolate that is a little more grown-up, then Charbonnel et Walker on Bond Street makes Pink Champagne Truffles and its rival, Prestat, offers some London Gin Truffles.
The best part? These stores are open all-year round, so you don’t need the occasion of Easter to enjoy them – but I am sure that they will really pull out all the stops for that particular weekend.
National Tea Day
You know how we English love tea, so there is no surprise that there is an entire day dedicated to it. National Tea Day falls on Tuesday 21 April – but it is, regrettably, not a Bank holiday (someone really needs to talk to the Queen about that). It is not particularly difficult to find a stunning spot for Afternoon Tea & Cake in London at any time of the year, but if there was ever an excuse to go and enjoy a cuppa on your lunchbreak and take a little time for yourself – then here it is! There are plenty of restaurants in London City that specialise in a good brew and some yummy crumpets. I am willing to bet my prized China Tea Set on the fact that you will find somewhere trendy, cosy and delicious somewhere close to work. Full disclosure – the China Tea Set does not exist, but I stand by my bet and point you in the direction of another article that I wrote about some of the Best Corners for Tea & Coffee in London.
Don’t worry if you overindulge a little at Easter (…and then again at National Tea Day), because you’ll work it all off in no time if you’re training for the London Marathon on Sunday 26 April. If running is not your thing (or if you’ve missed the 2020 entry deadline) then you can still enjoy the vibe of the charity-based event from the side-lines where the crowds clamour for the best outside seating at the pubs so that you can enjoy a drink while you cheer the runners on. It really is a wonderful event to experience even if you are not a runner – but if you are, then make sure to sign up right away for the 2021race. Entries have already opened and close again on 24 May 2020. So, make sure not to miss out again!