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37 fabulous things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Get yourself down to Lambeth Country Show to marvel at the annual vegetable sculpture competition, shimmy down slides and chomp away on ice boozy lollies at an ice-cream festival or fill your weekend will great music at Lovebox and Citadel. Here are all the best ways to make Friday to Sunday ★★★★★

Things to do

Hitchcock's Home, St John's Church, Fri-Sat, £16. Returning for another year, these screenings coincide with Leytonstone Festival and celebrate the 'Master of Suspense' Alfred Hitchcock who was born in the area.

DIY Art Market - Peckham, Copeland Park, Sat, free. Dive into this market boasting over 50 stalls showcasing independent publishers and scribblers and emerge with original zines, prints, jewellery and cassettes. 

Pup Idol, Garden Gate, Sat, free. Join a panel of celebrity judges at Hampstead's most canine-friendly pub to judge who will be crowned ‘Miss and Mr Hampstead’, Best Rescue, ‘Cutest Pup’, and Golden Oldies.

The Chap Olympiad, Bedford Square Gardens, Sat, £25. Organised by The Chap Magazine and Bourne and Hollingsworth (who specialise in period bars and events), this eccentric festival sees participants in stylish outfits compete in events that require minimum physical exertion.

Lambeth Country Show, Brockwell Park, Sat-Sun, free. This long-running fair has been bringing countryside pursuits to Brockwell Park for 42 years and will once again feature the vegetable sculpture competition, live music on two stages, sheep shearing, flamenco dance performances and more. 

Summer Knees Up, London Fields, Sun, free. Celebrate the summer in the heart of the Hackney and join St Joseph's Hospice fundraisers for music, food – including a mouthwatering tea party run by the local WI.

Star Wars Celebration, ExCeL London, all weekend, from £30. Hold on to your lightsabers Star Wars fans, as the ultimate celebration of George Lucas's fantastic films is flying into London.

Embankment Summer Market, Victoria Embankment Gardens, all weekend, free. Following the success of last year's event, the Embankment Summer Market, which brings together artisans, fashion designers and musicians – not to mention plenty of food and drink, a farmers’ market and family entertainment returns in 2016.

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






Eating and drinking

Ciderdog, The Miller, Sat, free. Cider fans of every stripe will be satisfied by this 100-beer festival. Ciders, perries and ales at this hidden-away boozer in backstreet Southwark will be complemented by a barbecue, steel band, DJs, ping-pong and a giant Connect Four.

Slides and Scoops, Lumpy Hill Adventure Playground, Sat, free. Lumpy Hill Adventure Playground is normally reserved for kids - but adults get a day to check it out at this ice cream festival where Thai ice cream rolls, boozy lollies, liquid nitrogen and wacky avocado, burnt toast, bacon and lemon meringue all appear on the menu. 

Hip Hop Brunch, secret London location, Sat, £14. Hip Hop Brunch London returns for a summer of bottomless cocktails and filthy beats. 

London Vegan Beer Fest, Old Ship, Sat, from £5. Now in its fourth year, this one-day festival of booze, food and live music is moving venue to keep up with its own popularity.

Urban Food Fest: Uruguayan Food and Wine, Euro Car Parks, Sat. Uruguayan winery, Bodega Garzón have teamed up with Urban Food Fest to offer Londoners a taste of South America this summer.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


© Giles Smith






Investigations (With Josie Long), The Invisible Dot Ltd, TONIGHT, £10, £9 concs. The eternally optimistic Josie Long teams up with investigative journalist Martin Williams to present their heavily-researched findings.

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Southbank Centre, TONIGHT, £15.50, concs £14. Matt Tedford's cross-dressing version of the Iron lady was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. Watch as Mags gets lost in London's notoriously saucy Soho on the eve of the vote for Section 28, and accidentally becomes a cabaret sensation. 

Reggie Watts, Royal Festival Hall, Sat, £22.50, £20, £11.25 concs. Vocal wizard returns for a night of unmissable improvised music and comedy.

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







Live music

Lovebox, Victoria Park, Fri-Sat, £45-£78.50. The party in Victoria Park returns for 2016, with LCD Soundsystem and Major Lazer headlining.

Kelis, Jazz Cafe, Sat, £25. Big hits fro the 'Milkshake' R&B singer Kelis.

Walthamstow Garden Party, Lloyd Park, Sat-Sun, free. 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.

Citadel Festival, Victoria Park, Sun, £49.50. A one-day festival in east London with arts, culture, street food and music from Sigur Rós.

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


Lovebox After Dark
© Victor Frankowski






Scared To Dance: Pulp Special, The Victoria, TONIGHT, £6. Scared To Dance are back with their annual celebration of all things Jarvis Cocker and those other members of Pulp that we can, of course, all name. 

Lovebox After Dark, multiple venues, Fri-Sat, £10-£20. When the daytime action at the main festival finishes on both days (July 15 and 16), Lovebox After Dark kicks off the nocturnal chapter.

Space Ibiza Beach Party, Studio 338, Sat, £15-25. Ibiza megaclub Space is due to close after the 2016 season. But if you can’t make it to the White Isle this summer then never fear: luxuriously coiffed resident DJ James Zabiela is bringing the spirit of Space to an SE postcode for this all-day/all-night party.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.







Silent Film Festival: ‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’, Phoenix Cinema, TONIGHT, £11, £6 concs. This weekend-long festival at the Phoenix aims to introduce modern moviegoers to the joy of silent cinema. 

Fighting Spirit Film Festival: ‘Drunken Master’, Cineworld O2, Sat, £10. The Fighting Spirit Film Festival is an all-day event showing a brace of kung-fu flicks including the family-friendly ‘Kung-Fu Panda 3’, ‘Ip Man 3’, a fistful of shorts and this solid-gold classic, which will be accompanied by a display of old-school karate prowess.

Twenty-fifth anniversary screening: ‘Point Break’, Lexi Cinema, Sun, £10.50, £7.50 concs. Unbelievably, it’s a quarter of a century since Katherine Bigelow unleashed her action masterpiece, ‘Point Break’. The film will be introduced by critic Sophie Brown, who'll share the fascinating tale of her epic search for the rights to show 'Point Break'.

Or at the cinema...

Ghostbusters ★★★★☆ A feisty gender-flipped remake of the beloved '80s supernatural action comedy.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Matthew Humphrey






Unreachable, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12-£35. Matt Smith stars in this intoxicatingly chaotic comedy.

Into the Woods, Menier Chocolate Factory, Fri-Sat, £36.50-£39.50. A stripped, subversive take on Sondheim's fairytale satire.

Needles and Opium, Barbican Centre, Fri-Sat, £16-£45. Robert Lepage's druggy early hit remains visually gobsmacking.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Raphael Albert: Black and Beautiful, Rivington Place, Fri-Sat, free. The women who feature in ‘Miss Black and Beautiful’ are all toothy smiles, sultry looks and sassy poses. Presented here are three decades of photographs taken by the late Raphael Albert, who documented west London’s black beauty pageant scene from the 1960s to the ’90s.

Yuri Pattison: User, Space, Chisenhale Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. In young London-based artist Yuri Pattison’s installation, the modern office is cast as a dystopian, derelict, steel-and-glass tomb. It’s like a future look back at how we spend our days, and it makes for grim but addictive viewing. 

Aida Silvestri: Unsterile Clinic, Rivington Place, Fri-Sat, free. On the second floor of Autograph ABP is a room filled with pain: female pain – something that photographer Aida Silvestri thinks we should all be paying much more attention to.

What Soho Wore, Photographers' Gallery, all weekend, free. Following the success of her celebrated blog,, photographer and writer Nina Manandhar is taking up residence at the Photographer's Gallery to focus her sartorial eye on sexy, scummy, stylish Soho.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... an overnight stay at Hilton on Park Lane and a private rock’n’roll music tour or VIP passes to FutureFest plus one night at Mondrian London

Grab... tickets to the new production of the musical that shot Barbra Streisand into fame 50 years ago from as little as £25

Book… these gigs while you still can

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