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43 dazzling things to do in London this week

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

Celebrate 'Afternoon Tea Week' with special menus and events at fancy hotels and venues around London, get down to Kanye's greatest hits at a night dedicated to the rap superstar, or discover more about style icon Iris Apfel at a screening of the new documentary all about the fabulous New Yorker. Have yourself a crackin' week with the list below!

Things to do 

Brass on the Grass, Westminster Abbey College Gardens, Wed, free. Enjoy a free concert in your lunch hour as some of the UK's finest brass bands take to the College Garden at Westminster Abbey to perform for central London. Donations are welcome, and homemade cakes, scones and drinks will be on sale.

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Day, Lambeth Palace, Wed, £4, children free. The gardens at Lambeth Palace have been continuously cultivated since the twelfth century, which is a London record. They're not normally open to the public, so these open days are a great chance to explore some of the ten acres of greenery.

Tanabata Festival, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Wed-Thu, free with admission. These celebrations at Minka House – a traditional Japanese farmhouse in Kew's bamboo garden – will feature storytelling by A Thousand Cranes Children's Theatre Company (noon, 1.30pm and 3pm), origami workshops and calligraphy demonstrations.

Camden Lock Summer Night Markets, Camden, Thu, free. The cobbled, canalside corner of Camden's famous markets is staying up past its usual bedtime again this summer, hosting evening street food markets every Thursday.

William Morris Gallery Late, Walthamstow, Thu, free. Spend an evening in the William Morris Gallery enjoying performance, poetry, music, workshops and booze. This month's event complements the gallery's current exhibition, 'David Mabb's Announcer', which focuses on the political ideas of Russian typographer El Lissitzky.

Gone Wild Herbs at the Curve, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Thu, free. Drop in on the Dalston Curve Garden any Thursday evening this summer for a free workshop in the goodness of plants. Learn about herbal medicine and the different benefits of teas, balms, oils and syrups.

Summer Screen Prints, Somerset House, all week, free. Print Club London are helping to remind us just how much we love the films through the medium of screen printing and have selected 15 artists to create a poster for each of the movies using a classic scene, recognisable character or quotable line of dialogue as their inspiration.

Alcoholic Architecture, 1 Cathedral Street, all week, £10-£12.50. Edible experience wizards Bompas & Parr are creating a boozy installation just next door to Southwark Cathedral, the spooky history of which has inspired the drinks list. Chartreuse, Benedictine, Trappist beer and even Buckfast are on the monk-themed menu, but more exciting than such holy liquids is a cloud of alcoholic steam.

Give Us 5, Royal Victoria Dock, all week, £2. Grab a spare set of clothes for this chance to try out five different watersports – rowing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and bell boating – at London Water Sports Centre.

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


Afternoon Tea Week

Afternoon Tea Week


Eating and drinking

Häagen-Dazs Master Ice Cream Academy, Bloomsbury Square, Tue-Wed, free. Chill out in Bloomsbury Square with a visit to this ice cream pop-up. Häagen-Dazs's newly appointed 'Master of Real' Professor Barry Smith will explain how exciting all the senses can make great dishes all the more enticing in 15-minute sessions.

What's Your Poison?, Barts Pathology Museum, Thu, £25. Brave a pathology lab's drinks list and you may be pleasantly surprised. This special workshop explores deadly poisons through tempting cocktails, teaching you about dangerous substances as you sip drinks such as 'Poison Apple' and 'Coffee and Cigarettes'. 

Qcumber Presents: Classics on the Canal, The Electric Barge, Thu, £12. Hop aboard the Electric Barge for an evening of summertime sipping and sightseeing along the canal. The boat doubles up as a cocktail bar serving drinks as it roams the waterways, and for this series of events, the Qcumber team have concocted a menu inspired by literary tales.

The Gin Library, Charles Dickens Museum, Thu, £24. Pay a visit to Charles Dickens' basement kitchen in Bloomsbury to taste a special selection of the classic spirit that has been hand-picked by the London Gin Club.

Afternoon Tea Week, various, all week. Celebrate a true British tradition during this week of special menus, themed treats and sweet-toothed events.

Pizza Pilgrims at Cinnamon Kitchen, City, all week. Eastern flavours will be piled onto western carbohydrates as Pizza Pilgrims take over the Cinnamon Kitchen's terrace, topping their traditional Napolitan pizza bases with the likes of tandoori chicken, venison pickle and lamb rogan josh.


…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique



Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique, London Wonderground, Wed, £14-£20.50. Suave, sardonic French savant Marcel Lucont presents an evening of alternative comedy and cabaret. Joining him on August 5 are poet Murray Lachlan Young, cabaret star Amy G and juggler Mat Ricardo.

Camden Fringe: David Mills – Don't Get Any Ideas, Aces & Eights, Wed, £5. Suave Bethnal Green-based American comic David Mills is a smart act indeed. He's charmingly bitchy, un-PC and very funny. No one is safe from his sharp tongue as he rants about seemingly minor issues with a huge amount of wit. A class act.

Camden Fringe: Comedians' Cinema Club, Aces & Eights, Wed-Thu, £8, £7 concs. This gig created by Eric Lampaert (who appears alongside regulars Will Seaward and Matthew Highton) features a cast of comics recreating famous movies.

Limmy – Daft Wee Stories, Leicester Square Theatre, Thu, £15. Cult Scottish comic Limmy – aka Brian Limond – is celebrating the release of his book, 'Daft Wee Stories', with a live tour that stops off here at the Leicester Square Theatre and Union Chapel.

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


Royce Wood Junior


Live music

Royce Wood Junior, The Waiting Room, Wed, £6. A London-based producer responsible for one of the slinkiest, funkiest electronic albums of 2015 thus far, RWJ plays a series of three Stoke Newington gigs for the cognoscenti.

Nero, Village Underground, Wed, £17.50. London trio Nero showcase their electro/dubstep wobble ’n’ hum, testing the bass limits of Village Underground’s PA with new material from their ‘Between II Worlds’ album.

Samantha Crain, Sebright Arms, Thu, £8.50. Oklahoma folk singer Crain performs an acoustic solo set of delicate songs from her new album ‘Under Branch & Thorn & Tree’, plus its brilliant, intimate predecessor ‘Kid Face’.

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


Dedicated to Kanye West: A Night of Yeezy



Dedicated to Kanye West: A Night of Yeezy, Notting Hill Arts Club, TONIGHT, £5. NHAC's annual bash to celebrate everyone's favourite megalomaniac rap superstar returns for a third outing. You'll hear tons of tracks from KW's hefty solo back catalogue, plus his mixtapes, remixes and musicians that have influenced him over the years.

Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, Jerusalem, Wed, £8 (single-person ticket). Eyes down and ears open for this delightfully raucous, super-fun music-fuelled quiz, featuring rounds such as 'Round of Cheese', 'Office Party' and 'Feel the Power Ballad', plus prizes including mugs, medals, champagne and more, and DJ AL compering and spinning the tunes.

Gaz's Rockin' Blues, St Moritz, Thu, £9, £7 before 10pm. A hugely popular long-running weekly night – filled with rock 'n' roll history – that explores the best ska, blues, reggae and jive every Thursday.

…or see all the parties planned this week.






Anachron Film Club: Japanese Revenge Night, Muse Gallery, Tue, free. A double bill of mad, bloodthirsty Japanese thrillers about a well-endowed cop, Hanzo the Razor.

Riot in Cell Block 11, Prince Charles Cinema, Tue, £7.50, £5 concs. A classic of the guys-in-prison genre, almost documentary in approach – low budget, no stars, Folsom Prison locations, inmates as extras – and boiling up with explosive violence.

The Nomad: 'Thelma and Louise', Victory Park, Thu free. Sign up for free tickets to this outdoor screening of Ridley’s Scott’s feminist road movie. Leaving her husband a meal in the microwave, Thelma (Geena Davis) sets off with her friend Louise (Susan Sarandon) for a weekend holiday. But at their first stop, Thelma is nearly raped outside a bar; Louise shoots and kills the man.

BFI Cult: 'God Told Me To', BFI Southbank, Thu, £8.35–£11.75. Another stone-cold classic from the BFI Cult strand, this undervalued slice of perverse 1970s satire scored a place in our 100 Best Horror Movies poll.

Or at the cinema...

Iris ★★★★☆ New Yorker Iris Apfel, a one-of-a-kind fashion eccentric, gets her 15 minutes of fame in this doc from the late Albert Maysles.

Eden ★★★★☆ The inside story of how French house music exploded from the clubs of Paris to create international stars like Daft Punk.

…or see all of the latest releases.





Bakkhai, Almeida Theatre, all week, £9-£36. After the chilling perfection of June’s ‘Oresteia’, the Almeida’s Greeks season capers into stranger territory with an idiosyncratic production of Euripides’s brutal ‘Bakkhai’. Two very big stars – Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel – anchor a night that is frequently electrifyingly disconcerting.

Operation Crucible, Finborough Theatre, Tue-Thu, £18, £16 concs. Kieran Knowles’s ‘Operation Crucible’ goes at a breakneck pace. His sharp script and Bryony Shanahan’s dynamic, textured production blast onto the Finborough’s intimate stage, communicating the historic tragedy of the Sheffield Blitz while also serving as a fond tribute to the spirit of the city.

Hamlet, Barbican Centre, Wed-Thu, £30–£62.50. Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the greatest stage role in the English language.

Impossible, Noël Coward Theatre, all week, £10-£60. This magical extravaganza is only a few steps on from Paul Daniels, but fun nonetheless.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


Vivian Maier


This week's best new art

Vivian Maier, Beetles & Huxley, Tue-Thu, free. A presention of stunning photographs by the original secret street photographer.

Fig-2, ICA, Tue-Thu, free-£1. Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s week-long show involves a clown reacting to the military parades and displays of state power that take place just outside the building.

Ângela Ferreira: Talk Tower for Ingrid Jonker, Marlborough Contemporary, Wed-Thu, free. The Lisbon-based artist presents a sculptural homage to the South African poet Ingrid Jonker, designed for broadcasting poetry. 

Thomas Ruff: Nature Morte, Gagosian Davies St, Thu, free. In the age of digital photography, the German artist’s new photograms herald the importance of the film negative.

Celina Teague: I think therefore I #, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Thu, free. For all their bright flare, Teague’s latest paintings actually have a dark undertone as they respond to the global atrocities reported via social media.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a nine-night holiday in Brazil for you and a friend or a luxury trip to New York with the Royal Academy of Arts

Grab... £29 tickets for a Rock 'N' Roll brunch with unlimited prosecco at The House of Ho

Book... these gigs while you still can 

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