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29 amazing things to do in London this weekend

Alexandra Sims

Finally, those sweet 48 hours of freedom are back. Time to clock off, wind down and get your weekend on. Make every hour count by stepping away from your screens to tuck into tasty treats at Deptford’s brand new food market, go to the London Games Festival or indulge in boozy bingo. Whatever you choose, have a good one. 


Now Play This Festival. Somerset House. Sat-Sun. £6.50-£35. Play thoughtful, experimental games – both new and ’90s retro – that draw from the world we live in at Somerset House’s gaming fest. This year, Bafta winner Dan Hett premieres his game The Loss Levels: an interactive examination of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. Part of the London Games Festival.

Trafalgar Square Games Festival. Trafalgar Square. Sat. Free. Games in all shapes and sizes are taking over the public space with interactive and playable zones popping up between the plinths. Test out the latest in augmented-reality tech or try your luck against a pro gamer. Part of the London Games Festival.

Cocktails in the City. One Marylebone. Sat. £20. This classy boozathon brings together 25 of the city’s best bars, speakeasies and clubs, all hoping to wow with their mesmerising mixology skills.

El Pastor7a Stoney St, SE1 9AA. If you need cheering up, head to our restaurant of the week, a Mexican hideaway beneath the arches by Borough Market. It’s a taco joint with a pedigree and a rollicking fiesta vibe.

‘The Inheritance’. Young Vic. Sat. £10-£38 per part. This show is a monumental achievement. In essence it’s a New York-set drama about the relationship between the generation of gay men who survived Aids and the generation who came after them. It’s also a wantonly postmodern adaptation of EM Forster’s ‘Howards End’.

Bingo Academy at The Vaults. Sat. Prices vary. It bills itself as an ‘academy’, but this outlandish bootcamp from one of the founders of Rebel Bingo isn’t for squares. Wild ball-drawing hosts will school you in bingo lingo. It’s also likely that knocking back booze will be covered in the curriculum.

‘Red, Blue, White: Global Colours’. Getty Images Gallery. Sat-Sun. Free. Get taken around the world via the vibrant work of 37 photographers from 24 countries at the latest exhibition from Getty Images Gallery.

‘Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy’. Tate Modern. Sat-Sun. £22. The first solo exhibition Tate Modern has ever put on for the Spanish master focuses entirely on 1932, a pivotal and prolific period for Pablo. It takes you on a month-by-month visual tour of what is known as his ‘year of wonders’.

‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic’V&A. Sat-Sun. £8. Catch the closing weekend of this extensive collection which tells the story of Hundred Acre Wood’s world-famous resident.

Paper Flower Workshops with Pom Pom FactoryCarousel. Sat. Prices vary. Sculpt blooms and blossoms at these workshops from Pom Pom Factory, using tissue and crêpe paper to form bouquets of anemones and roses.

Paint Jam’s Surreal Arty Tea Party. Secret location. Sun. £15.12-£37.07. Don’t have an artistic bone in your body? That will all change once you’ve got a glass of bubbly in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

‘T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion’. Fashion and Textile Museum. Sat-Sun. £9.90. The T-shirt is one of the most popular items of clothing on earth. Explore its many roles, from wearable protest banner to rock ’n’ roll statement, at this eye-opening show.

Anthea Hamilton. Tate Britain. Sat-Sun. Free. The new commission for the Duveen Galleries features a performer dressed as a squash. Obvs. It’s a shot of tequila in the white-wine-spritzer world of Tate Britain.

‘Living with Gods: Peoples, Places and Worlds Beyond’. British Museum. Sat-Sun. £15. The first object in this show is 40,000 years old. The second is from this year. That pretty much sums up the British Museum’s massive-in-scope, petite-in-execution round-up of the history of religious belief. See it before it closes this weekend.





Explore the Urban Forest: Crouch End. Meet at Hornsey Town Hall. Sun. £18. Feast your eyes on lots of lovely spring blossom in Crouch End’s finest cherry tree avenue on this walk led by Paul Wood.

Angel Easter Floating Market. Regent’s Canal, Islington. Sat-Sun. Free entry. Hop aboard this floating village hall to browse and buy records, vintage clothing, herbal remedies and handmade jewellery. Listen to live music while sipping cocktails from the Village Butty bar.

Xylem and Phloem – Yoga, Brunch and Floristry Workshop. Blank100. Sun. £73.95. Prepare to feel totally Zen and at one with your inner hippy child after this meditation, yoga and flower-crown-making class. Refuel with a granola bowl.



Mason & Company April Bottle Club: April Sours. Mason & Company. Sat. £11.37. Resident bevvy expert Virginia will guide guests through five super-sharp brews from the likes of Wild Beer Co and Brewski.

Jam for Change. Newspeak House, 133-135 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 7DG. Sat-Sun. Free, register in advance. This event offers you the chance to collaborate with developers to build your own video game. It kicks off with a mass ‘jam’ where music, art and ideas are all thrown together. The final product will be sold in support of Women’s Aid. Part of the London Games Festival.

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen x Choose Love134 Columbia Rd, E2 7RG. Sat-Sun. £40. Raising desperately needed funds for Hope Hospital in Aleppo, Imad’s Syrian Kitchen and Help Refugees have opened a month-long pop-up restaurant on Columbia Road.

TT Liquor. 17b Kingsland Rd, E2 8AA. There’s a whole world of bevvying inside this police station-turned-bottle shop and watering hole, which is our bar of the week. Here you’ll find a wood-panelled drinking parlour and a speakeasy-style bar with a cocktail menu referencing different eras of the barman’s art.

ToyCon. York Hall. Sat-Sun. £10-£25. The designer toys on display at this hip convention may be aimed more at collectors than kids, but workshops in rubber nipple and silly sausage-making could have you sniggering like a kid in a primary-school sex-ed class.

Womb 2: Women of Music Business x Women in Film. Number 177. Sat. Free. A panel of business-savvy women will be filling you in on how they smashed the glass ceiling in their respective industries. Stick around for the post-chat screenings of female-fronted short films.  




Deptford Bites. Deptford Market Yard. Sat. Free entry (some talks ticketed). This new weekly food and craft market is about to call Deptford Market Yard’s cobbles home. Every Saturday, it’ll host fresh farm produce, piping hot street food and locally made crafts. Head to the launch day for talks led by Guardian restaurant critic Grace Dent plus live music and workshops.

Crafty Fox Market. Mercato Metropolitano. Sat. Free entry. Make your gaff look sharp with ceramics, unique prints and handmade trinkets. And put your DIY skills, or lack thereof, to the test at a plant hanger workshop (it’ll cost, but the plant will be yours to keep).

Backyard Cinema Mission to Mars. Mercato Metropolitano. Sat-Sun. £17.50. Backyard Cinema is back, baby – and it has a stellar selection of films on the go for its latest theme, ‘Mission to Mars’. Zoom into a sci-fi universe of both classics and new releases. Tickets for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ and ‘Minority Report’, showing this weekend, are still on sale.



Frock Me! Vintage Fair. Kensington Town Hall. Sun. £4 entry. If you need a sequin flapper dress pronto, this market’s a good shout. From pricey vintage pieces to retro garb and costume jewellery, this fair for vintage wearers has it all.

‘Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-2018’. Design Museum. Sat-Sun. £12. The Design Museum’s new exhibition is filled with the best examples of political graphic design, starting with the 2008 global financial crash. Hong Kong umbrellas, Parisian ‘Je Suis Charlie’ paraphernalia and Jeremy Corbyn T-shirts all feature.

Tamar Harpaz: ‘Crazy Delay’Edel Assanti. Sat. Free. Israeli artist Tamar Harpaz uses contact mics and mini speakers to make her art – and the gallery – twitch and hum. Its clicks and clacks will tick through you long after you’ve left.

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Main image: Javier Ayala/Flickr

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