The pop up has become a standardised part of the high street experience nowadays, particularly in London. You can’t walk down any shopping road without there being a pop up restaurant, shop, or experience offered to you. Why are they so popular? Well, you can get unique things that aren’t available on the highstreet. They also offer a ‘special’ experience, as it is for a short time only. Here are some of my favourite pop ups that have, well, popped up around London.

The Masterchef pop up restaurant

I have a bit of bad news. This event, which I desperately tried to book yesterday, despite being across the whole month of September, is pretty much sold out. Unless you hold an AMEX card, in which case you can still get some tickets for certain days. The premise being that each week there are three different Masterchef contestants from over the ten years cooking lunch, dinner and a tasting menu every day. Top chefs have created an exclusive dining experience in Southwark, and there is the chance to meet the contestants. Genuinely devastated I couldn’t get tickets as Masterchef is my favourite TV programme, but it goes to show that the exclusive vibe of pop ups have captured the imagination of the general dining public.


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BoxPark, Shoreditch

Looking for a unique gift? Want an unusual tee you won’t find everyone wearing when you leave the house? New shoes? Cool technology accessories? You can find all these things in BoxPark, which is not just a pop up shop but rather a pop up mall. And it’s not just shopping either. They are home to Dum Dum Donutierre, which offer baked donuts – healthier than their fried equivalent, but not lacking in flavour. BoxPark also run a range of events, including World Cup screenings this summer.


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London wing festival

Dalston’s The Liquor Store is hosting the ultimate wings festival this Sunday 8th June. For £35 you get all the wings you desire, a beer, cocktail and elusively named ‘$wag’. A great example of an innovative food festival, bringing wing experts from all across London to conduct battle for the title of the best wings, it looks like a meat-lover’s heaven.

Southbank Food Festival

What better way to trial a plethora of cuisines than a food festival. Held weekly, Friday – Sunday, you can smell the wafts of delicious foods as you walk up to Royal Festival Hall/the Southbank. Having everything to please every palette, there are spicy delicacies, juices, cheese connoisseurs and various baked goods (including my favourite churros) for pudding. Well worth trying out.


Image courtesy of The Southbank Centre, London

Hot Yoga Pop-Up Shopping Event

To get your yearly dose of zen and calm, make your merry way to Primrose Hill this weekend to experience two wonderfully therapeutic things: shopping and yoga. The £2 entry fee entitles you to 70% off certain yoga wear brands and you get free refreshments to nourish your soul, like Vita Coco and Tea Pigs.


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It’s clear to see why pop ups have become so popular. They are unique, off beat and make you feel like you are getting something special. Which, of course, you are. Anything you get for a limited time, a one-off is special. I heartily urge you to support the independent retailers, chefs and designers who are opening their pop ups and to keep this trend going.

By Jessica Moffatt-Owen

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