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23 lovely things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman
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The weekend’s rolled round again and it’s brought a tonne of fun with it. Catch a two-day festival dedicated to all thing tiki, explore a maze of mirrors and patterns designed by Camille Walala, or create your own candy floss and glitter-infused cocktails at Chambord’s pop-up pub!

CENTRAL

Le Crown and Cactus, 15 Bateman St, Fri-Sat, £5. Visit a pop-up garden bar by Chambord. There’ll be four fantastique rooms where you can sup on the French tipple and dress up your drink with candyfloss and glitter, including a Bubble Bar, an inside-outside pub garden and a Champagne Cellar.

Queen Anne, Theatre Royal Haymarket, all weekend, £15-£95. Romola Garai is impressively intense in the RSC’s historical drama.

The Mentor, Vaudeville Theatre, all weekend, £19.50-£75. F Murray Abraham stars in this sour comedy about feuding writers.

William Henry Hunt: Country People, Courtauld Gallery, all weekend, £7. A show of the nineteenth-century watercolourist’s scenes of life in rural England.

Wimbledon at The Waldorf Hilton, all weekend. The Waldorf Hilton is transforming its library into its very own Henman Hill in readiness for the singles (and doubles) finals this weekend. There’ll be grass, white picket fencing, sporting memorabilia and screens to watch all the action take place. 

NORTH

Spirit of Tiki, Regent’s Park Rd, Fri-Sat, £20. A two-day festival for the young, fun and full of rum, Spirit of Tiki will transform a space in Regent’s Park into a village of Polynesian bars with a chill tropical atmosphere.

Chip Shop Tea Cruise, The Pirate Castle, Sun, £22.99. Two iconic British culinary traditions finally meet for this foodie narrowboat fest. It will set you off in a canal boat travelling from Camden Lock to Primrose Hill while you feast on fish and chips and afternoon tea.

EAST

Hyper Japan

Oval Space Music X After Dark, Oval Space, TONIGHT, prices vary. The line-up for the night features Bicep, Gerd Janson and Fort Romeau, who will be supplying house and disco to the dancefloor.

London Vegan Beer Fest, Hackney Downs Studios, Sat, £5 in advance, £9 on the door. Did you know beer isn’t always vegan? We’re afraid it’s true, but the good news is you can sink a pint free of animal cruelty at the London Vegan Beer Festival. 

Citadel Festival, Victoria Park, Sun, prices vary. Bonobo joins headliners Foals, plus Pharrell-endorsed Maggie Rogers, soul man Michael Kiwanuka and folk queen Margaret Glaspy. Other acts to catch include Laura Marling, Oumou Sangaré, Nadine Shah and Twin Peaks.

Songhoy Blues, Somerset House, Sun, prices vary. Originally from northern Mali, this band formed in the southern town of Bamako after the Islamist crackdown in their home region. 

Just Eat Food Fest, Red Market, all weekend, free entry. What would be your desert island dinner? Submit yours to Just Eat and they might just serve it up at this £4-a-dish food fest. Dress code: Hawaiian shirt, naturally.

Hyper Japan, Tobacco Dock, all weekend, £43 for a three-day pass. Bringing a touch of Tokyo to East London, Hyper Japan arrives at Tobacco Dock for three days of anime, cosplay, J-pop and wasabi pizza. 

SOUTH

Walala X Play

A Short Exhibition About Music Zines, London College of Communication, TODAY, free. Experience the rough and ready essence of punk subculture and DIY publishing at an exhibition dedicated to five decades of music zines. 

Bongo’s Bingo, The Grand, TONIGHT, £18. Bongo’s Bingo is taking over the capital, letting Londoners join this chaotic and ironic twist on the classic game. And this time, there will be a special performance from late-‘90s garage masters Artful Dodger.

Walala X Play, Now Gallery, all weekend, free. You may have seen east London-based artist Camille Walala’s instantly recognisable work full of playful patterns and bold colours dotted around London. Now she’s launching her first 3D art installation, with an immersive maze full of mirrors and patterns where visitors can play spot the difference as they explore.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern, all weekend, £15. This exhibition flips the idea of ‘black art’ on its head, tracing an overlooked 20-year period of creative innovation among African American artists.

WEST

Bodies, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12-£25. Hard-hitting, occasionally problematic drama about the ethical quandaries of the international baby trade.

The Food Market Chiswick, The Pavilion, Sun, free. Join this farmers’ market by Duke’s Meadows for a Sunday graze. Prices start at just £1 and there’ll be all kinds of independent British food producers present. 

Plywood: Material of the Modern World, V&A, all weekend, free. An exhibition about industrially produced sheet wood might not exactly sound enthralling. But never underestimate the V&A’s ability to take the most humdrum of subjects and bring it to life. 

AND FINALLY

Check out... events and festivals in London

Grab... tickets to London theatre shows

Book... gigs in London tonight

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