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36 excellent things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

The sun's out, London's looking lush and there's a whole list of fun to work through below. Street Feast is back for a summer-long stretch, the Green Man gang are hosting a boat party on the Thames, and there's an all-day party happening in Hackney Wick on Sunday. Enjoy!

Things to do 

Phytology, Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, Sat, free. Phytology combines a physic garden, cultural institute, urban wilderness and platform for botanists, artists musicians and writers to come together and collaborate.

The Poetry Brothel, Vout-O-Reenees, Sat, £12.50. In a city where everything has a price, buy a private reading from one of the brothel's 'whores' and enjoy a one-to-one literary experience that you'll never forget.

E17 Designers Market, Mirth, Marvel and Maud, Sat, free. Browse handmade clothes and goods from new designers, plus prints, stationery and soft furnishings. Sweet treats come courtesy of Suzie Cakes and DJs will provide a soundtrack to your shopping.

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, Sun, free. The annual Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival (which celebrates its 41st anniversary in 2016), brings together Punch and Judy professors from around the country for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun. 

Sunday Assembly East End Pop Up, Spotlight Youth Centre, Sun, free. The Sunday Assembly gang swap their usual venue for an east side event, complete with mass singing, poetry, talks and feel-good fun.

Good Ship BenefitR.S. Hispaniola, all weekend, free. Ahoy beauty buffs! Benefit have taken charge of the waters at Victoria Embankment, transforming an elegant ship into a pampering paradise inspired by the brand's San Francisco roots.

Not On The High Street: Open Door, Old Spitalfields Market, all weekend, free. To celebrate their tenth birthday, are throwing a bash IRL. The three-day event will see the online retailer popping up in east London with over 100 of their sellers showcasing wares including prints, art, home furnishings and accessories.

The Craft of Wallpaper, Geffrye Museum, all weekend, free. An exhibition showcasing the work of 11 innovative wallpaper designers from the UK. Highlights include pieces by CUSTHOM, Tracy Kendall and Graham & Brown.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend. 






Eating and drinking

Street Feast, Dalston Yard, Fri-Sat. Your street food comes with a side of fun at this night market for those who like to eat on their feet.

Royal Arsenal Street Food Market, Woolwich, Sat-Sun, free. Heaps of street food vendors including The Mac Factory, The Jerk Joint, Picadilly Whip, Hey Dahl, Cantina El Burrito and more pack into the Royal Arsenal market to sell their wares over the weekend.

Nanna's Soft Launch, Canonbury, all weekend. To celebrate their extended opening hours, Nanna's are offering 50 percent off food for a limited time. The menu from Daniella Maiorano, formerly of Sager + Wilde features small plates, cured meats and tasty cheeses.

Barrio Taco Takeover, Barrio Soho, all weekend. Each month Barrio will be collaborating with a different foodie to create mouth watering tacos in a variety of ways. The season kicks off with The Roadery who have whipped up a taco featuring braised lamb belly, wild nettle salsa verde and apricot hot sauce.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.







Dane Baptiste – Reasonable Doubts, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50, £10 concs. Personal stories and racial politics from this thought-provoking stand-up.

Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£12.50. Hagen's witty debut charting her teenage Westlife obsession has a dark underbelly.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.


Gengahr© Steve Gullick





Live music

Green Man Ahoy, Tower Millennium Pier, Sat, £25. Green Man festival host a boat party on the Thames, with live bands and festival-style fun.

Bryan Adams, The O2, Sat, £38.50-£45. Everyone’s favourite gravel-voiced Canadian dad-rocker returns to the UK to fill up an arena or two.

Camposphere, Resistance Gallery, Sat, £9, £6 before 10.30pm. Describing itself as an evening inspired by 'space, camp, funk barbarella', Camposphere is a queer live music event with intergalactic vibes.

Yann Tiersen, multiple venues, Sat-Sun, phone for availability. Enormously talented Breton composer and multi-instrumentalist Tiersen is best known for his crisp piano balladry and woozy accordion waltzes, especially those written for the multi-million-selling 'Amelie' soundtrack.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this weekend.


Burning Down The House, VFD, Sat, £5. This new east London night aims to give Dalston’s nightlife scene a kick up the arse with the best songs of the ’80s (from Grace Jones and David Bowie to The Smiths and Pixies) plus a side-portion of disco, funk and glam. 

Make Me, The Pickle Factory, Sat, £10. Want to hear the sounds of the underground and grab yourself a dancefloor workout in the process? Head straight to Make Me, where you can catch deep house, refined techno and heady disco spun by a glittering cast of electronic party people.

Party People, Mick's Garage, Sun, free. A free daytime party in Hackney Wick happening every Sunday, all summer long.

Horse Meat Disco, The Eagle, Sun, £6. If you dig disco, you'll dig HMD and their encyclopedic knowledge of funk and disco. These guys know how to host a mad one, so write off Monday and get on the dancefloor.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.



Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy






Time Out Loves… Spies: ‘The Spy Who Came In From the Cold’ + ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, Hornsey Town Hall, TONIGHT, £15. To celebrate the release of a new film of John le Carré’s novel ‘Our Kind of Traitor’ Time Out is hosting a spy weekend dedicated to one of the finest living British authors, and the world of espionage he so brilliantly explores in his writing.

Save the Curzon Soho! ‘The Blues Brothers’, Curzon Soho, TONIGHT, £20. The Curzon Soho, one of London’s finest cinemas, is threatened by the ongoing Crossrail project – and celebrity fans, regulars and activists are teaming up to fight for its life. All proceeds from this unique screening will go to the Save campaign.

I Wish U Heaven: A Film & Music Tribute to Prince, Genesis Cinema, TONIGHT, £9.50, £7 concs. His purple reign may have come to an end, but his legend will never die.

Close-Up on Charles Burnett: ‘To Sleep With Anger’, Close-Up Film Centre, Sun, £12, £10 concs. Director Charles Burnett is one of the key voices in black American cinema, and his work deserves to be far better known. This weekender at Close-Up offers two rarely-screened Burnett shorts plus three remarkable features.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Bill Cooper






Frankenstein, Royal Opera House, Fri-Sat, £30-£110. A gothic ballet spectacular based on the classic novel.

The Vaudevillians: Jinkx Monsoon & Major Scales, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50-£25. RuPaul's Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon and her cabaret co-star Major Scales in a raucous musical-comedy.

Elegy, Donmar Warehouse, Fri-Sat, £7.50-£37.50. A cure for dementia is available at a terrible price in Nick Payne's provocative play.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


© Antony Cairns





This week's best new art

Antony Cairns: OSC - Osaka Station City, Roman Road Project Space, Fri-Sat, free. Photographic collages comprising images of Osaka at night taken by the artist during a recent residency in the city.

Bill Jacklin: Paintings and Monotypes, Marlborough, Fri-Sat, free. Although he made his name as an abstract artist in the 1960s, Jacklin later, and somewhat controversially, returned to figurative painting. In 1985, he moved from London to New York and found his new subject matter in the streets of Manhattan.

Abstracting from Nature, Connaught Brown, Fri-Sat, free. After the chaos and destruction of WWII, artists around the world struggled to find a new way of reflecting the natural world in an organic form of abstraction. The line-up of twentieth-century greats responding to that dilemma here includes St Ives artists Barbara Hepworth and Roger Hilton, and Russian pioneer Wassily Kandinsky.

London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Arts, all weekend, £12, £8 concs. The world’s longest running art fair returns to the Royal Academy with 50 leading print dealers, specialising in everything from Old Masters to contemporary masterpieces.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a VIP Sundance London package or a perfect countryside retreat to Cornwall for you and a friend

Grab... tickets from just £13 including a Sipsmith London Cup or pint of Pilsner Urquell Tank Beer for Taste of London

Book… these gigs while you still can

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