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46 cool things happening in London this weekend

Sonya Barber

This weekend, London has heaps of exciting festivals and parties planned. You can watch film screenings and dine in a treehouse restaurant at Shuffle Festival, surround yourself with audio-visual delights at a one day event in the Tate's Turbine Hall, or learn how to match food and beer perfectly at the Food Meets Beer Festival in Borough Market. Here are all the fun ways you can fill your weekend. 

Things to do

Barefoot Bowls, Finsbury Square, TONIGHT, £50 per team. Polish your jacks and book yourself a pedicure because barefoot bowls is coming to London. The short, informal version of traditional lawn bowls originated in Australia and encourages players to drink, listen to music and chat while they compete.

Summer of Wellness Yoga Classes, Metropolitan, Sat, free. Enjoy a free yoga session courtesy of Como Shambhala Urban Escape and Lululemon Athletica, who will treat you to green juices and ginger tea to rejuvenate you after the class.

Eid on Trafalgar Square, Sat, free. This celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting for Ramadan, will take over Trafalgar Square for a family-friendly day of activities and events. Live music and performances will fill the main stage and younger visitors can try activities such as henna and calligraphy.

Pup Idol, Garden Gate, Sat, free. Celebrating its sixth year in 2015, Pup Idol is once again inviting you to flaunt your pooch on the canine catwalk. Woof.

Copeland Park Yard Sale, Copeland Park, Sat, free. Sure, the traditional focus of a yard sale is buying other people's tat and making it your treasure, but this fortnightly market behind the Bussey Building offers so much more than that.

Turbine Festival, Tate Modern, Sat, free. For one day only, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern will be transformed into a hub of audio-visual excitement with a jam-packed programme of installations, performances and activities that are free for all.

Cats Protection Pop-Up Rehoming Centre, Mitcham, Sat, free. The opening of the Centre’s first pop-up created to re-home cute kittens and cats, complete with ribbon cutting ceremony and arts and crafts activities. The building is designed so the internal structure can be transported to parts of London where demand is high.

State of Independence Market, Hackney Downs Studio, Sat-Sun, free. A brand new market with street food, work on sale from creative collectives, live DJs, rum and cocktail bars, workshops and more.

Summer Streets on Regent Street, Regent Street, Sun, free. Enjoy the rare spectacle of a traffic-free street in zone one every Sunday in July, as Regent Street's classy curve is pedestrianised for a street party. The festivities will take on a different theme each week, with free entry, installations, demonstrations and activities to get stuck into.

Liberty Festival, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Sun, free. London's deaf and disabled artists perform at this annual festival, which in 2015 takes place alongside National Paralympic Day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Sex in the Afternoon, Purcell Rooms, Sun, free. Four acclaimed writers present poetry and prose exploring and exposing sex in all its glory and complexity. The readings will be followed by a Q&A session with historian of sexuality Dr Jana Funke.

The Yard Sale, Netil Market, Sun, free. Netil Market’s Yard Sale returns for the summer months, with its usual array of vintage clothing, homewares and furniture, and art and photography.

Shuffle Festival, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, all weekend, prices vary. Shuffle Festival is back for 2015, popping up at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park with a programme bursting with film, performances, art, science, storytelling, food, comedy and more.

Camden Beach, Roundhouse, all weekend, free. NW1 isn't usually on the list of coastal getaways but, thanks to the ever-creative team at the Roundhouse, 'Camden Beach' is returning this summer with 900 square metres of pseudo-shoreline consisting of 150 tonnes of sand.

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



Eating and drinking

Olly's Turkish Pop-up Restaurant, Ten Thousand Hands Café, TONIGHT, £25. Olly Temur's family are from the Black Sea Region, and he's inviting us all to get a taste of traditional Turkish hospitality at this supperclub in Lewisham.

Brixton Night Market, Windrush Square, Fri-Sat, free. Adding to Brixton's already tempting collection of delicious and affordable dinner options, this outdoor night market brings a selection of street food and craft traders to Windrush Square.

Medical Mixology, Oval Space, Sat. Behind This Wall bar will be joined by a number of drinks brands and suppliers on the Oval Space terrace holding workshops, masterclasses and tastings for guests. A DJ and barbecue will also be thrown into the mix for fun between noon and midnight. 

Pisco Libre, Ceviche Old Street, Sun. Celebrate Peruvian Independence Day with a Pisco Sour making masterclass and competition to design an exciting new cocktail - the winner of which will go on the menu!

Foodies Festival, Clapham Common, all weekend, £15, £12 concs, free under-12s. Food-lovers can tuck into a range of masterclasses, talks and tastings at these three-day festivals which celebrate their tenth anniversary in 2015.

Food Meets Beer Festival, Borough Market, all weekend, £18, £15 adv, £12 early bird. This three-day festival will teach visitors how to match beer to their food, with dishes from 16 market traders paired with brews from all over the world. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.




The Schadenfreude Cabaret, The Harrison, Fri-Sat, pay-what-you-want, £5 adv guaranteed entry. At this semi-regular gig there's a mix of sketch, musical comics, character acts and straight stand-up, and the line-ups are generally great quality.

Arj Barker – Get In My Head, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £17.50 concs. The USA's Arj Barker – best known for his role as Dave in 'Flight of the Conchords' – pays London a welcome visit; his first trip in five years.

Balham Free Fringe, The Bedford, all weekend, free. Now in its fourth year, the Balham Free Fringe is like a little pocket of the Edinburgh Fringe in south London. Where else can you catch 40 hours of comedy – for free – in one weekend?

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



Live music

Ray Davies, Old Royal Naval College, TONIGHT, £55-£95. His classic songs for The Kinks turned a whole disillusioned generation back on to the ’60s sound, and are still one of the biggest influences on many a young band. Now Ray's back in London to play a few of them alongside solo material.

Camberwell Fair, Camberwell Green, Sat, free. Dele Sosimi and Dawn Penn headline this new free festival on Camberwell Green.

George Benson, Old Royal Naval College, Sat, £55-£75. Both a wondrous jazz guitarist – formerly axeman to Miles Davis amongst others – and a jazz fusion and disco icon in his own right, Benson loads up on smooth classics like 'Never Give Up On a Good Thing' and 'Give Me the Night'.

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




Slide:21with A Love From Outer SpacePrince of Wales, Sat, £20-£25. An all-day and night rooftop party from two ace crews, featuring top DJs – including Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston – spinning eclectic disco and house.

Glitterbox, Ministry of Sound, Sat, £20-£26. A supremely glamorous, confetti-drenched party born in Ibiza, fuelled by top house and disco DJs.

Congo Natty Family Boat Takeover, Temple Pier, Sat, £20. Celebrated jungle music toaster and figurehead Congo Natty, AKA Rebel MC, will be putting on his captain's hat to bring beats and bass to a party boat on the Thames. 

Notsosilent Garden Party, Triton Street, Sun, £5-£15. Two superb DJs helm today's Sunday session: US house hero Maurice Fulton and UK musical encyclopedia Bill Brewster.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.







Fast & Furious All-Nighter, Prince Charles Cinema, TONIGHT, £22.50, £20 concs. The highlights are the first movie – the kind of unpretentious drive-in fodder directors like Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorsese once cut their teeth on – and ‘Fast Five’, which features one of the maddest, most brilliant action sequences of all time.

London on Film: ‘Babylon’BFI Southbank, Sat, £8.35–£11.75. Although ‘Babylon’ shows what it was like to be young, gifted, black and working class in early 1980s Britain, it’s less dramatised documentary than breathless helter-skelter.

‘Ashes and Diamonds’ + ‘Knife in the Water’, Rio, Sun, £10, £8 concs. £11, £10 concs. A magnificent double bill of 1960s Polish drama. ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ features Zbigniew Cybulski, aka the ‘Polish James Dean’, as a young fighter in the dying days of World War II, waiting to assassinate a recently appointed communist official in a small Polish town.

8 Women, Ciné Lumière, Sun, £8, £6 concs. Director François Ozon couldn’t get the rights to remake George Cukor’s ‘The Women’, so he fell upon a forgotten boulevard-theatre mystery by one Robert Thomas as a vehicle for divas of all ages.

Or at the cinema...

Inside Out ★★★★☆ Pixar's latest wildly inventive family cartoon looks at what goes on inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl.

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

Southpaw Billy 'The Great' Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion, has an impressive career, a loving wife and daughter, and a lavish lifestyle. However, when tragedy strikes, Billy hits rock bottom, losing his family, his house and his manager.


…or see all of the latest releases.







Richard II, Shakespeare's Globe, Fri-Sat, £16-£43. Shakespeare’s weirdo monarch is humanised in a strong production.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Barbican Centre, Fri-Sat, £19-£25. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's production of Harper Lee's classic returns to London, this time under a roof.

The Car Man, Sadler's Wells, all weekend, £12-£55. Matthew Bourne's classic take on Bizet's 'Carmen' is exceptionally well-oiled.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

m-Health, Cell Project Space, Sat-Sun, free. Invest in some down time at this week-long alternative health resort in an art gallery.

Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, Sat-Sun, free. Buy art directly from the artist at this annual art fair that gets rid of the middleman. Over 240 international artists will exhibit over 4,000 pieces of fine, decorative and applied arts.

Dog Days, Hang-Up Gallery, all weekend, free. Celebrating London’s hazy summer days, this show presents an electric line-up of contemporary and urban artists.

John Walter: Alien Sex Club, Ambika P3, all weekend, free. The British artist has transformed Ambika’s subterranean space into a multimedia, multi-sensory, immersive show to explore visual cultures relationship with HIV today.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally of 100 pairs of tickets to a private view of 'Soundscapes' at the National Gallery or your own taste of Italy

Grab...three courses and a glass of bubbly at Gordon Ramsay's York & Albany for £24

Book...these gigs while you still can

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