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100 super cool things to do in London this July

By
Sonya Barber
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Welcome to London in July! The best place to be thanks to all the awesome events happening across the city. Relax at one of the pop-up urban beaches, dine at a new restaurant or dance down to one of the many festivals taking place. Sun lotion at the ready, it's going to be a scorcher!

THINGS TO DO

July 1-30: Waterloo Food Festival The Waterloo area is packed with restaurants, pubs, cafés, bars and specialist food shops and they've collaborated to stage The Waterloo Food Festival: a month of exclusive events, tastings and demonstrations.

July 2-Aug 9: Little Feast at Shepherd's Bush Market Street food festival Feast have produced a younger sibling to bring delicious dishes and drinks to Shepherd's Bush. The yard it's housed in is not normally open to the public and will be turned into an urban garden for the occasion, featuring wooden huts for the traders and communal tables for the punters.

July 2-4: Twelfth Night with the Malachites Theatre Company Shoreditch Shakespeare company The Malachites will perform Twelfth Night in the Geffrye Museum's lovely front gardens. Pack a picnic or buy food and drink when you get there, but definitely make sure to bring a blanket. 

July 3-5: Global Streets Global Streets sees three immersive events burst into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages during the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival.

July 4 & 11: Open Door at the Bank of England Museum As part of the City of London Festival, the Bank of England Museum, which is normally closed at the weekend, will open on two Saturdays in July.

July 4: London at Night Pink Ribbonwalk Breast Cancer Care are recruiting supporters to walk through London after the sun goes down on one of three routes, all of which include rest stops and plenty of fantastic scenery. 

July 4-5: Zipwire Challenge in Ravenscourt Park If you've always wanted to help to raise money for charity but never quite managed to commit to a marathon, perhaps flying down a 250-metre cable from a platforn 40 metres above Ravenscourt Park will suit you better?

July 5: Hyde Bark Put your pooch through its paces at this day of fun for families and their four-legged friends. Dogs are clearly the main event at this fundraiser for The Mayhew Animal Home. 

July 5-Aug 31: The Beach at JW3 Those who like to be beside the seaside can feel the sand between their toes in JW3's piazza this summer. The area will become a mecca for all the best bits of summer – deckchairs, paddling pools, mojitos, barbecued food and plenty of sand to play in.

July 5: Africa Dance! at the Horniman The Horniman's gardens will be flooded with music and dance performances in a wide range of styles which celebrate the diversity of the African Diaspora for this drop in event. 

July 5: Big Summer Picnic in Regent's Park Join cheerful meet-up society The Lutrinians for a picnic in the park to share food, drink and games with friendly new faces. The event is free but the organisers will ask for a small donation which will be given to Action Village India. 

July 6: Greaseless Spoon Using the Miele Steam Ovens, chef Sven-Hanson Britt has created a healthy and hopefully equally delicious alternative to what's usually served up in a greasy spoon. Attendees to the free event will be greeted with coffee and a pastry on arrival, before sitting down to a cooked breakfast.

July 9: Portman Summer Street Party Enjoy a day of music, discounts, food, freebies and fun at this street party in support of West London Day Centre. Local restaurants and shops will be handing out samples and treats such as frozen yoghurt and Pimm's.

July 9: Supper Tub Spend a decadent evening in a canal-side wood burning hot tub in Hackney Wick chowing down on frozen cocktails and Peruvian tapas.

July 10-12: HYPER JAPAN Festival at The O2 Hyper Japan embraces both authentic, traditional elements of Japanese culture and emerging trends, offering everything from food to fashion plus live music and cosplay.

July 10: SEA LIFE London Aquarium Late Sip on cocktails before exploring the watery world where turtles, sharks, crocodiles and rays roam. Attendees will also have the chance to help a master Lego builder create an intricate 70cm shark from the bricks.

July 10-Sep 17: Ladybird by Design at the House of Illustration More than 120 colourful illustrations from classic Ladybird titles will be on display in celebration of the centenary, with rare photographs and correspondence to provide an insight into the books' production.

July 10-Aug 30: Jerwood Makers at Jerwood Space The Jerwood Charitable Foundation has commissioned five emerging makers working within contemporary applied arts who team technical skills with intellectual adventure, to create a brand new body of work each. 

July 11-19: Ali McGregor’s Jazzamataz McGregor's accomplished band will help bring the jazz standards and pop songs to life, while her energy will help persuade young ones to sing along as they tear up the dancefloor. 

July 11-12: Pintar Rapido An event that asks artists to capture the spirit of London in just one day seems like the sort of challenge you'd need to be Tony Hart to relish. But more than 400 artists of all skill levels took part in last year's inaugural Pintar Rapido.

July 11-12: Urban Art in Brixton This alfresco fair, returning for the fourteenth year in 2015, will fill Joshephine Avenue in Brixton with affordable art. More than 2,000 works by both novice and professional artists will be on sale, and international food stalls will provide sustenance for indecisive buyers.  

July 12: Red Bull Soapbox Race Rolling down hills was never more exciting than in these creative, colourful, wacky races.

July 12: Bastille Festival Weekend plans lacking a certain je ne sais quoi? This celebration in and around Borough Market of all things Français for the country's national day will feature all sorts of activities, foods, games and performances from across the channel.

July 14-24: Broadgate Summer Live Catch a varied programme of live performances, classic film screenings and all of the summer's sporting events on a big screen in the heart of the City.

 July 15-Nov 1: Alice in Cartoonland at Cartoon Museum To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Cartoon Museum present this exhibition examining how cartoonists have re-imagined the book's characters since they were first brought to life in 1865.

July 17-23: Beach at Camden Roundhouse NW1 isn't usually on the list of coastal getaways but, thanks to the ever-creative team at the Roundhouse, 'Camden Beach' is returning this summer with 900 square metres of pseudo-shoreline consisting of 150 tonnes of sand.

July 18-19: The Greenwich Busking Festival On the Gardens Cutty Sark Gardens host this series of events curated by On the Gardens, aiming to bring the local community and visitors together.

July 18-Aug 1: London Life This collection of street photography by Colin O'Brien provides a fascinating record of London's characters and lifestyle over the last 65 years.

July 18-19: Walthamstow Garden Party Programmed by the Barbican and Create London in partnership with Waltham Forest Council, the Walthamstow Garden Party is a free two-day festival in E17 that combines a cracking music line-up with plenty of family fun.  

July 24-Aug 2: The Crick Crack Club's Fabularium Fairytale Festival London's Southbank is welcoming a new pop-up venue to the riverside this summer. The Fabularium Fairytale Festival will take place inside a huge yurt with whimsical family shows in the afternoons and more outrageous offerings for adults in the evenings. 

July 25-Sep 27: The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace It's difficult to imagine what it would be like to attend one of the state, ceremonial or official occasions for which the rooms that visitors have access to are used, protected as they are by Perspex and seasonal staff – but it's fascinating to see them, all the same.

July 25: Eid in Trafalgar Square This celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting for Ramadan, will take over Trafalgar Square for a family-friendly day of activities and events.  

July 25: London River Rat Race Jumping into the Thames isn't something we'd normally recommend. But the River Rat Race, which will take place in London for the second time in 2015, requires you to do just that – and, as a fundraiser for Shelter, it's for an excellent cause.

July 30 & Aug 1, 6 & 8: Full Bloom at Crossrail Place Gardens This summer time celebration takes place in the recently opened Crossrail Place gardens, and provides a free programme of events and workshops geared towards the local community.

Krug & Chips

FOOD

July 1: Balls & Company You can spare us the tasteless jokes right now about Balls & Company. The chef at this small meatball specialist (50 covers) was a finalist on everyone’s favourite TV show: Australian MasterChef. To find out how the ball’s rolling, head to 58 Greek St.

July 2: NY Fold Also out of the oven will be NY Fold, a pizza place marking the first venture outside the New York area of a chef who’s won awards for his pies. The address is 103 Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0DT, and the predicted opening date is July 2.

July 8-12: Krug & Chips This pop-up chippy will be serving up a selection of three dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers. Book in advance if you want to enjoy your monkfish and matchsticks inside a dining pod (£35) or reserve a private dining experience for six (£250).

July 16-19: Birra Moretti Gran Tour Vendors returning for the 2015 edition of this Italian street food market include gelateria dons Gelupo, Arancina, Paste E Basta and Cooking Cooks. 12 others will also join them this year, serving up regional dishes such as pizza from Naples, arancini balls from Sicily and Panino Teca with truffles from Norcia.

July 18: Emerald Street Brunch with Kerb Head to King's Cross for an all day brunch featuring food from Stax, 26 Grains and Crabbieshack, plus three bars serving delicious drinks all day. 

July 18-19: Cocktails in the City Returning for 2015, this two-day boozy spectacular brings together cocktails from around 20 bars in the capital, so you don't have to waste time travelling to sample the range of delicious drinks London has to offer.  

July 22-Aug 6: The After School Club Following their 70s themed Abigail's Party pop-up, The Art of Dining girls return with The After School Club- a five course feast of posh school dinners, accompanied by a spot of theatre and music.

July TBC: Oldroyd The buzziest opening of July (middle of the month) will unquestionably be this place on Upper Street, Tom Oldroyd was chef-director of Polpo, and this is his first solo restaurant. Expect small plates, cold-pressed juices, and a Bloody Mary menu. 

July TBC: Barrafina Drury Lane Don’t expect surprises but do expect high quality at the third branch of this outstanding tapas group. Opening in the middle of the month at 43 Drury Lane.

July TBC: Paradise Garage The people behind The Manor and Dairy in Clapham are casting their eyes eastward by opening Paradise Garage in the middle of the month at 254 Paradise Row, E2 9LE. Modern British cooking underneath the arches.

July TBC: Pickle & Toast A sandwich shop and restaurant specialising in toasted cheese sandwiches. The crusts will start forming late in July.

July TBC: Estiatoria Milos The globetrotting Estiatoria Milos chain, with branches in New York and Las Vegas, is also promising a late-July premier. This is seafood with a Greek bent, and right in the heart of the West End.

July TBC: Suvlaki Athenian Grill And they’re also speaking Greek at Suvlaki Athenian Grill, 21 Bateman Street, W1D 3AL, reopening as a modern-style restaurant featuring – as the name indicates – meat from the charcoal grill plus craft beer and an all-Greek wine list. 

FILM

Opens July 3: Amy Asif Kapadia's documentary about the tragic singer is tearjerker. Take tissues.

Opens July 3: Magic Mike XXL Channing Tatum’s male-stripper movie franchise still has some magic.

July 3: London on Film: 'Night and the City' The BFI’s big summer season explores the capital on screen. This is a wonderfully bizarre film noir with Richard Widmark as a small time nightclub tout trying to hustle his way into the wrestling rackets, but finding himself the object of a murderous manhunt when his cons catch up with him.

July 10: Tufnell Park Film Club: ‘Barry Lyndon’ One of North London’s premier film clubs breaks out into a new venue for a lazy Sunday afternoon screening with optional roast dinner. The film itself is the nearest the great Stanley Kubrick ever came to realising his uppermost ambition, to film a life of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

July 16-18: Hitchcock's Home This trio of film screenings coincides with the Leytonstone Festival and celebrates the 'Master of Suspense' Alfred Hitchcock, who was born in the area. 'Dial M for Murder' (July 16) 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (July 17) and 'The Lady Vanishes' (July 18) will be screened in the heebie-jeebies inducing setting of the St John's Church cemetery.

Opens July 17: Ant-Man Paul Rudd is the incredibly shrinking crime fighter in Marvel Studio's latest.  

Opens July 24: Inside Out It's all in the mind in Pixar's latest, a delightful, frenetic, near-experimental animated film from the makers of Up and Toy Story.

July 24-Aug 1: Shuffle Festival Tickets are now on sale for Shuffle Festival 2015: Movement, Migration and Place held in London's most urban woodland, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

July 29: Iris Apfel: Another Mad Outfit A screening of the documentary about style icon Iris Apfel followed by a panel discussion with Pandora Sykes, Sue Kreitzman, Kim Howells and Daryoush Haj-Najafi at the Book Club.

Opens July 31: Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation They’ve been tight-lipped on film number five. All we know is that Tom Cruise is back as Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt, with 'Reacher' director (and 'The Usual Suspects' writer) Christopher McQuarrie in charge behind the camera.

MUSIC

July 5: The Jesus And Mary Chain The founding fathers of fuzz-pop return to the London stage to play a special show as part of Mogwai’s twentieth anniversary series at the Roundhouse.

July 5: Acoustic Sundays: Midsummer Gala An open-air afternoon of fun in De Beauvoir town, with live music from Third Uncle and Movie Script Ending, comedy by James Ross, street food and a bar serving jugs of Pimm's and sly spins on the classic G&T.

July 9: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard The Aussie collective explore the outer regions of psychedelic rock, with tasty results.

July 10: Camden Lock Live Aiming to prove that there’s much more to Camden Market than incense and Slipknot hoodies, this free day of entertainment is a very good reason to venture back to NW1. 

July 11: Dalston Music Festival This new DIY music festival brings some great sounds to venues all around Dalston on what’ll hopefully be a sunny summer Saturday.

July 13, 20: D'Angelo Top-quality slow jams and funk-rock by the R&B singer, recently returned with his first new album in 14 years

July 17-18: Lovebox The party in Victoria Park returns for 2015, with Snoop Dogg and Rudimental headlining and loads more great live acts and DJs. 

July 18: Hackney Summer Fete Celebrate east London life at this fete held across nine conjoined sites in the parish grounds of St. John at Hackney Church. A DJ stage from Visions Festival will provide the perfect soundtrack alongside music stages programmed by London Fields Radio and Shoreditch Radio. 

July 18: National Busking Day A huge party featuring live music and street performances for the first ever National Busking Day. 

July 19: Citadel A new one-day festival in east London, with headliners Ben Howard and Bombay Bicycle Club plus arts, culture and street food.

July 25: Camberwell Fair Celebration Camberwell’s musical talent and local community with two music stages, dance workshops, games and pop-up stalls. 

NIGHTLIFE

July 1-12: Kopparberg Urban Forest A loosely Scandinavian-themed pop-up in Hackney Wick featuring top bands, DJs, bars and street food. 

July 3: Flamingo Pier A pop-up tropical party on a floating pontoon, featuring DJs, street food and bespoke cocktails. 

July 4: Playback '90s Party Head back to the '90s with this tongue-in-cheek party featuring music, drinks and films from the decade.

From July 4: Playground and Proof A brand new destination in London Fields which combines a weekend market and a rooftop bar. Expect the likes of The Cheese Truck, Hecot & Milo’s Ice Cream Sandwiches and a record store pop-up from Kartel.

July 4-Aug 7: Rhythm Parlour A monthly pop-up barber shop with a disco soundtrack, spun by DJs, plus cocktails and street food

July 6: Craig David TS5 Craig will be helping you re-rewind to the early noughties with a series of hits that you know all the words to (don't kid yourself), including '7 Days', 'Walking Away' and 'What's Your Flava?', and possibly even cracking out a few of the classic Motown songs he covered on his last full-length album 'Signed Sealed Delivered'.

July 10-Sep 9: Candlelight Club A dazzling, clandestine pop-up cocktail bar with a 1920s speakeasy flavour in a secret den lit entirely by candles.

July 19: Larry Levan Birthday Bash An all-day Sunday party celebrating seminal NYC disco DJ Larry Levan, featuring selectors that played at the renowned Paradise Garage club.  

July 19: Barefoot Refresh Summer Cool Down To celebrate the launch of their slightly sparkling new range of wines, Barefoot host this day time party where guests can cool off and get down to live DJ sets. A giant foam pit, coloured water shooters and Co2 jets will keep guests suitably chilled while they sip on complimentary glasses of Barefoot Refresh.

Until July 19: Pillow Cinema Cosy up on a bean bag on a hip Shoreditch rooftop and watch a selection of great films, alfresco. Don't forget to bring your pillow.

July 25: Congo Natty Family Boat Takeover Celebrated jungle music toaster and figurehead Congo Natty, AKA Rebel MC, will be putting on his captai's hat tp bring beats and bass to a party boat on the Thames.

July 30: Karaoke Rumble Hosted by comedian Quint Fontana (disclaimer: possibly not his real name), this popular night combines pop karaoke and comedy – two disciplines that are inexplicably intertwined when you think about it.  

Until Oct 1: Behind This Wall One of the many sad things about seminal Shoreditch club Plastic People closing was the loss of Behind The Wall, a vinyl-focused club night, record exchange and general meet-up for wax addicts. Thankfully it's been reborn and is touching down on the wonderful terrace of Bethnal Green arts venue Oval Space during the summer. 

THEATRE

July 1-Nov 7: The Importance of Being Earnest A new production of Oscar Wilde’s warhorse ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is rarely something to get the pulse racing.: it’s all been done before. But this is something new – the formidable Lady Bracknell will be played by none other than David Suchet, throwing off the bleakness of his last few West End roles for something enticingly daft.

July 3-Aug 15: A Number Carly Churchill’s short, remorseless drama about cloning has proven the most popular and most revived of her more recent works, with this version transferring to the Young Vic on a tide of acclaim from Nuffield Theatre. John and Lex Shrapnel star as a father and his sons, two of whom are clones of the first.

July 3-Aug 15: The Invisible The powerful-looking new play from Rebecca Lenkiewiez is woven together from the true-life stories of those affected by oridinary people affected by the recent, drastic cuts to legal aid.

July 3-Sep 26: The Mentalists Richard Bean is such a West End force these days that even his old plays are now being brought back to Theatreland. The blackly comic story of two men trapped in a hotel room together, ‘The Mentalists’ had a low-key run at the National Theatre 13 years ago, and is now brought back in a production starring Stephen Merchant in his theatre debut.

July 10-Oct 10: Sinatra: The Man and His Music As nobody living seems capable of filling the Palladium these days, they’re turned to a dead guy. ‘Sinatra: The Man and His Music’ is a lavish spectacle based around archive footage of Ol’ Blue Eyes, propped up by dancers, an orchestra and ‘cutting edge technology’. There’s a very decent chance it’ll be terrible, but the whole thing is so dementedly ambitious that we can’t help but feel madly curious.

July 19-Aug 1: Constellations A big West End transfer hit for the Royal Court three years ago, Nick Payne’s dizzying drama about a relationship played out across as infinite number of possibilities has enjoyed a successful revival as a touring production, and returns to the West End for a limited run. Joe Armstrong and Louise Brearly step into the shoes of Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins.

July 16- Aug 29: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers The Open Air Theatre’s summer musical is always a major highlight of the season. This year it’s a romp through ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’, the delightfully unreconstructed MGM classic about a bunch of semi-feral lumberjacks attempting to find partners.

July 21-Aug 1: Men in the Cities Chris Goode’s deeply disquieting monologue was a highlight of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, but only enjoyed the briefest of London runs before that. Now it returns for a couple of weeks at the Court. It’s a thicket of stories about men drowning in humdrum English life, who decide to transgress in reckless, disturbing ways.

July 21-Oct 21: Three Days in the Country Patrick Marber’s theatrical renaissance is capped by his third play for the National Theatre in two months. Following ‘The Beaux’ Stratagem’ and ‘The Red Lion’, here’s his ‘very free’ adaptation of Ivan Turgenev’s passionate comedy ‘A Month in the Country’. Expect big things: the cast is headed by John Simm and Mark Gatiss, and thefact it’s being co-produced by Sonia Friedman suggests a West End transfer is expected.

July 23-Sep 19: Bakkhai The Almeida followa up last month’s incendiary ‘Oresteia’ with the second play in its Greeks season: a stripped-down, traditional-style production of Euripdes’s eye-wateringly brutal tragedy ‘The Bacchae’, starring Ben Whishaw as capricious pleasure god Dionysus and Bertie Carvel as Creon, the hapless mortal who offends him.

COMEDY 

July 1-11: Steve Raskopoulos – Character Assassin Audience-interactive (but in a fun way) solo sketch comedy from this Aussie loon in a brand new show. Gloriously silly.

July 7: Robin Ince's (Almost) Farewell Show The science-loving stand-up's retiring from comedy… Well, for two years at least. And he's saying goodbye with this big farewell shindig.

July 8-14: Dave Chappelle LiveThe biggest comedy event of the year so far! The US stand-up superstar and 'Chappelle's Show' frontman is one of the best stand-ups out there. These seven nights at the Apollo are his first ever full-length London shows.

July 10-18: Balham Comedy Festival Nine days of hilarity in SW12 from the likes of Harry Hill, Ardal O'Hanlon, Tim Vine, Robert Newman, Sara Pascoe and Paul Daniels. Yep, even Paul Daniels.

July 15-17: John Mulaney This former 'Saturday Night Live' writer is one of the fastest-rising comic in the States. Catch his slick, smart, unfailingly funny observations in London for the first time ever.

Find the top 10 comedy shows in July here

ART

July 2-Oct 18: Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon This summer the National Portrait Gallery celebrate the British actress and humanitarian worker with an exhibition of exquisite and rarely seen photographs.

July 4-Sep 27: Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust For a man who never really left his home in Queens, New York, Joseph Cornell conjured a sense of adventure and discovery in his brilliantly intricate shadow boxes. Considered a reclusive figure, the self-taught artist was an avid collector.

July 8-Sep 6: Soundscapes: Listening to Paintings The National Gallery's Sainbury Wing galleries will be transformed into a sonic experience by seven artists responding to paintings from the collection. Susan Philipsz, Jamie xx, Gabriel Yared, Nico Muhly, Chris Watson, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have each created unique sound works to accompany their chosen paintings that will each be displayed in special soundproofed rooms.

July 15-Sep 6: The London Open This open-submission exhibition is a well-tested barometer of the scene that always picks up a few of tomorrow’s art stars.

July 22-Oct 18: Alice Anderson at Wellcome Collection: Memory Movement Memory Objects ‘Memory Movement Memory Objects’ sees Anderson’s sculptures entirely mummified in copper thread, with each piece an exploration and act of memory.

HAVE FUN OUT THERE!

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