It's full throttle fun once you've left the office this evening. There are parties galore, late-night museum openings, food and drink festivals over the weekend, and brand new films to get stuck into. Have a wonderful couple of days with the 40 suggestions below!
Things to do
Ride with Pride, Waterloo Bridge, TONIGHT, free. Dress up as your favourite gay icon (even if that is yourself) at this ride without boundaries, well... except the well-planned route. Expect colourful saddles, feather boa handlebars, glittery bike helmets and lot of rainbows.
Lickable Leighton: An Edible Architecture Experience, Leighton House Museum, TONIGHT, £7, concs. available. In celebration of the recent acquisition of Lord Leighton's 'Interior of the Cappella Palatina' painting, the Museum have teamed up with experimental food company AVM Curiosities for an evening of culinary delight.
Crouch End Comic Art Festival, The Earl Haig Hall, Sat, free. Join London cartoonists, comics artists and publishers including the brilliant Breakdown Press and Paul Rainey for book and print sales and signing, all for free in Crouch End's historic Earl Haig Hall.
The Hackney Big Swop Day, Round Chapel, Sat, free. Pick up books, toys and clothes waiting to find new homes at this sale in Hackney.
Open Garden Squares Weekend, various locations, Sat-Sun, £12. Discover London's secret gardens over this weekend of viewings and openings.
The Hive at Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens, Sat-Sun, included with admission. Wolfgang Buttress' 17 metre-high, 40 tonne installation already wowed audiences in Milan and now it's setting up home in Kew Gardens for the summer.
Turning Earth Midsummer Ceramics Sale, Turning Earth Hoxton, Sat-Sun, free. Forty artists from London's largest co-work ceramics studio will be selling their work and demonstrating various techniques at this two-day sale.
The Cally Festival, Caledonian Road, Sun, free. The Cally Festival is back for another day of fun, food and friendliness. Thousands of people attended last year and the Caledonian Road will once again be closed to traffic and filled with entertainment.
Netil Market Yard Sale, Netil Market, Sun, free. The Yard Sale prides itself on its laid-back vibe and low, low prices. You never know what might turn up among the piles of goods on sale – previous events have seen anything from 90s menswear to antique crockery going cheap.
Eating and drinking
Django Bango Gold Mine, The Yard Vauxhall, Fri-Sat, £35. A five-course dining experience with servings of pulled pork muffnuts, deep-fried crocodile and golden bullion chocolate bars. Gorge on grub while the Django Bango Express runs past your table and live blues music rings out.
Hair of The Dog Drag Brunch, Bermondsey Social Club, Sat, £38. Performer and filmmaker Joseph Wilson and his group of sassy queens, The Gu-Good Girls showcase their lip-sink show, while Forrest Foods serve up delicious dishes including grilled cheese with beer onions and jalapenos, baked feta shakshouka and smokey black beans.
Street Food and Craft Beer Festival, Alexandra Palace, Sat-Sun, free. Head up North London's biggest hill for this free festival at the 'People's Palace', which features live music and entertainment as well as heaps of food and drink.
Sri Lankan pop-up restaurant, Printworks Kitchen, Sat, £35. Fancy a four-course Sri Lankan dinner? Course you do. Dig into cutlets, mutton rolls, fish patties and hoppers with sambal before trying a range of the island's curries. Booking essential.
Comida Fest, Thames Riverside, Sat-Sun, free. A new Latin American street food market showcasing the likes of Jama Cubana, Marlon's Kitchen, London Locomotive Smoke, Gusacaca and more.
Taste of London, Regent's Park, all weekend, from £16. The annual Taste of London outdoor restaurant festival is back for 2016 for another year of gastronomic Glastonbury.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
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.
Eastend Cabaret: Perverts, London Wonderground, Sat, £15 & £20.50, £14 concs. Cabaret circuit stalwarts Eastend Cabaret are back in London with show 'Perverts'. The musical comedy cabaret mash-up has Bernie and Victy providing a risque hour of filthy songs and saucy goings-on.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Bestival at Goldsmiths, Goldsmiths, TONIGHT, free-£20. Excellent Isle of Wight rave-up Bestival takes over Goldsmiths college for a day of music and arts, including live performances by Ghostpoet and Rosie Lowe, DJs including Goldierocks and Bestival founder Rob Da Bank, street food and performance art, students’ degree shows and talks.
Laura Marling, Southbank Centre, Sat, £30-£40, concs. £15-£20. The acclaimed singer-songwriter is back in the capital – expect songs from new album ‘Short Movie’.
Cypress Hill, O2 Academy Brixton, Sun, £27.50. Dope-promoting LA veterans Cypress Hill return for a UK show, delivering equal parts nasal hip hop and nu-metal from their two-decade-plus back catalogue.
Meltdown Closing Party, Southbank Centre, Sun. With his star act Robert Plant held up in a court case in LA, Guy Garvey has cancelled the final concert at this year’s Meltdown. Ticketholders will get a full refund. But there’s more: Meltdown will still be marking Refugee Week, now with a free concert in the Clore Ballroom.
…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week.
Masked Pagan Ball, EPIC Dalston, TONIGHT, £14-18. Take part in an epic ceilidh and masked dance to celebrate this year's summer solstice. Learn the skills before a three-hour dance, and DJs afterwards until 2am.
Red Bull Culture Clash, The O2, TONIGHT, phone for prices. If dance music genres had a massive musical ruck to see which was the biggest, it wouldn't look entirely unlike Red Bull's gargantuan Culture Clash. Inside a vast gladiatorial arena (okay, The O2) four crews will battle it out for musical supremacy, playing monstrous sets over four rounds to win over the crowd.
Artful Dodger, The Nest, TONIGHT, £8.50 & £11.50. The 2-steppin' duo, known for the hit 'Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)' with Craig David supply slick UK garage and R&B. Bo!
Love Carnival, CLF Art Cafe (The Bussey Building), TONIGHT, £5-£10. The Bussey Building (also known as the CLF Art Cafe), one of south London's finest nightlife venues, hosts a one-night mini-carnival.
Good Times on the Thames, Temple Pier, Sat, £25. It’s hard to be miserable at a boat party in summer, and when said event is led by soulful selector Norman Jay MBE, it’s scientifically impossible.
The Nextmen Boat Party, The Yacht London, Sat, £20-£25. Electro hip hop and ragga duo The Nextmen lead a Doctor's Orders party that’s sure to be full of mammoth basslines and nautical mischief.
Kennington Bioscope Silent Film Festival: ‘The Man Who Laughs’, The Cinema Museum, Sat, £11. The Silent Film Festival is a two-day event packed with fascinating shorts, little-seen features and amazing archive footage from the early part of the twentieth century.
Steven Spielberg season: ‘Empire of the Sun’, BFI Southbank, Sat, £8.35–£11.75. ‘Empire of the Sun’ came smack in the centre of Steven Spielberg’s mid-’80s slump, but there are some incredible moments here.
Referendum Matinee: ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’, The Star, Sun, N19 5DF. Given the amount of petty, little-England Blimpishness attached to the forthcoming referendum, this is a perfect choice of film to mark the occasion.
Or at the cinema...
Tale of Tales ★★★★☆ ‘Gomorrah’ director Matteo Garrone returns with an English language fantasy/horror film based on a collection of seventeenth-century fairy tales.
The Conjuring 2 ★★★☆☆ 'Real life' ghost-hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren head for North London to flush out a spook.
…or see all of the latest releases.
The Quiet House, Park Theatre, Fri-Sat, £16.50-£25, £18.50 concs. A couple struggles with childlessness in this gruelling drama from Gareth Farr.
Norma Jeane: The Musical, Lost Theatre, Fri-Sat, £18, concs. £17, adv £12. Interesting if wonky fringe musical revival.
Karagula, secret Location, Sat-Sun, £15-£28.50. Wildly ambitious dystopian fantasy from Philip Ridley.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices.
This week's best new art
Opening of the new Tate Modern, all weekend, free. You can’t miss the big art story of 2016: it’s ten storeys high. On June 17, a new Tate Modern will be unveiled when its extension, known as The Switch House (that’s the big, twisty building that’s been rising up behind the Bankside building for the past couple of years) opens to the public.
Affordable Art Fair Hampstead, Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site), all weekend, from £10. The Hampstead incarnation of this popular art fair sets up shop with over 100 contemporary galleries selling works by over 1,000 artists.
…or see all London art reviews.
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