Our August 2018 highlights
What is it? Every summer London’s most famous house opens for tours with an accompanying exhibition.
Why go? Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms, but only 19 of them, the State Rooms, are open to the public. These are the grand spaces, where the Queen hosts receptions and entertains guests.
Six weeks is a long time to keep anyone entertained, let alone your toughest critics. Don't panic though, we've got this year's school summer holidays totally sorted.
What is it? Since Notting Hill Carnival debuted in 1964, the event has grown and morphed, attracting revellers with its spectacle of floats and series of soundsystems for alfresco dancing.
Why go? It's Europe's most epic street party and a colourful celebration of West Indies culture.
What is it? Bourne & Hollingsworth have unfurled an allotment-themed pop-up in the Geffrye Museum gardens.
Why go? To sip on cocktails made from ingredients grown on the green site, barbecue areas for alfresco dining, and bookable potting sheds, greenhouses and long flower tables.
What is it? Power naps are so in vogue you can now catch 40 winks (in a 20-minute slot) right here in the city.
Why go? To get some shut-eye with the help of ambient lighting, privacy blinds and even wake up to post-nap snacks.
What is it? Bourne & Hollingsworth has unfurled am allotment-themed pop-up in the Geffrye Museum gardens.
Why go? For cocktails made from ingredients grown on the green site, barbecue areas for alfresco dining, and bookable potting sheds, greenhouses and long flower tables.
On a balmy London evening, nothing beats watching a movie under the stars. Whether you want to shriek-along to ‘The Shining’ in a graveyard or catch a romcom in a gorgeous Royal Park or palace, add these events to your fair-weather bucket list.
What is it? The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities's Living Menagerie where you can learn all about the weird and wonderful animals from an experienced natural historian.
Why go? Get up close and personal with Winston the Bearded Dragon, Huffty the Blue Tongued Skinkand Professor Green the Python.
Forget about work, shift yourself from the sofa and make the most of the long weekend. Plan your August bank holiday to the minute with our round-up of the very best events taking place in the capital during the three day weekend.
Move over, Glastonbury: the world’s biggest music festival is coming to town. The BBC Proms 2018 takes place at the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted the series of classical concerts since 1941 and every year you can expect to see the world’s greatest orchestras and classical performers come to London. Get it in your diary.
What is it? Select your comfiest cushion, pack your cool box and head down to London's most elegant outdoor screening session.
Why go? To see ‘Blue Velvet’, ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Call Me by Your Name’, ‘American Animals’ and more after dark in the courtyard of Somerset House.
What is it? Paintings, sculptures and VR installation by a movie-star-turned artist.
Why go? Falling through the gaps in the universe is good fun.
What is it? This Thames-side urban beach, is back and it's perfect for lazy summer days in Fulham.
Why go? To lie on a cabana and sink your toes into truck loads of sand.
What is it? An American ‘post gay’ relationship drama.
Why go? To bask in the glow of the chemistry between the actors.
What is it? Brent Cross attempts to liven up its giant shopping centre by plonking 25 fairground rides and a big old ‘urban beach’, filled with the golden stuff.
Why go? To stroll along the city seaside and watch films on the Brent Cross big screen.
What is it? Timeless images of displacement from two amazing photographers.
Why go? There are repeated unlearned lessons here, 75 years apart.
What is it? A memorable multi-venue exhibition about memories and how we make them.
Why go? For more shades of pink than a Janelle Monae video.
What is it? Autograph, a collective formed to support black photographers, has curated an exhibiton full of snapshots of London in the ‘70s and ‘80s exploring race and representation.
Why go? To celebrate the release of Idris Elba's directorial debut ‘Yardie’ this month.
What is it? Katherine Parkinson stars in a subversive domestic satire.
Why go? Laura Wade's piercingly funny script.
What is it? A few years on from the RSC’s terrific ‘Wolf Hall’, here comes another meaty two-part literary adptation from the venerable company.
Why go? Adapted from Robert Harris's bestselling ‘Cicero’ trilogy, this stage version by Mike Poulton divides the three books into two three-part plays entitled ‘Conspirator’ and ‘Dictator’.
What is it? Mass karaoke with stangers in the park.
Why go? Tp join a fully-fledged guerrilla choir and have a whole lotta fun.
What is it? The first solo exhibition Tate Modern has ever held for the Spanish master, focusing entirely on 1932, a pivotal and prolific year for Pablo.
Why go? There are some truly beautiful artworks on display and it shows you that even within a year’s work, Picasso blindsides with his inventiveness.
What is it? An enormous installation in the Serpentine from the masters of enormous installations.
Why go? It might piss off the swimmers, but it's a delight for the eyes.
What is it? The Natural History Museum's butterfly house returns to a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum's east lawn.
Why go? Come face-to-face with tropical butterflies and take part in games, activities and challenges that teach more about the sensory world of the fluttering creatures.
What is it? A dusky evening of ‘art encounters’ held in the Serpentine Pavillion.
Why go? Over eight weekends, see an a mix of art exhibitions and experimental performances, featuring artists Megan Rooney, Pedro Reyes, Yaeji, Kamasi Washington and many more.
What is it? A revival of Brian Friel's play about fading Irish poshos.
Why go? For Lyndsey Turner's sharp direction, and Es Devlin's smart set.
What is it? The Gardening Society on John Lewis's Oxford Street store's rooftop is turning into a live music venue.
Why go? Rock up for garden gigs, immersive studio spaces, DJ sets and fried chicken from 'Butchies', all a world away from the hustle and bustle below.
What is it? Get up close to the ceiling of the Greenwich’s Painted Hall in this series of tours taking place while conservators restore 40,000 sqft of the ceiling’s painted surface. Why go? This place is described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of the UK’, so it's worth a look.
What is it? London’s first nightclub with an outdoor pool is splashing into life with 15-foot palm trees and London's first ever Bring Your Own BBQ.
Why go? While the weather's hot they'll be throwing pool parties, outdoors DJ sets, live gigs and cocktail masterclasses.
What is it? Frieze's annual outdoor display of contemporary sculptures in the English Gardens of Regent's Park.
Why go? Beautiful art in beautiful surroundings - what more could you want?
What is it? A sparky, complex new spin on a Shakespeare tragedy.
Why go? Mark Rylance is wonderful.
What is it? Marking 70 years since the Empire Windrush carried hundreds of migrants from the Caribbean to London, this exhibition explores why people came to the UK, what they left behind and how they have shaped Britain.
Why go? Listen to jazz and calypso, hear personal reflections from some of the first Caribbean nurses to join the NHS and learn about Jamaican feminist poet Una Marson.
What is it? Brush up on your canal history while drifting through the Islington Tunnel on a narrow boat on a Tunnel Boat Trip from the Canal Museum.
Why go? Get up close to the tunnel's nooks and crannies and learn all about how it was built on this hour-long guided ride.
What is it? Rediscover bits of London that have been lost over the years at this London Metropolitan Archives' exhibition.
Why go? Check out long-gone landmarks, vanished streets and neighbourhoods that are no more.
What is it? House of Illustration's exhibition showing the illustrator's work for five books including ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Ulysses’.
Why go? Illustrations are often seen as playing second fiddle to actual ‘art’, but the intricately detailed and endlessly inventive creations of John Vernon Lord are just as beautiful as anything in an art gallery.
What is it? London Nights looks at how photographers have captured the aesthetic of the city at night.
Why go? See a darker side to capital and how Londoners live their lives after hours.
What is it? The V&A’s much-anticipated exhibition dedicated to the incredible collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to iconic Mexican, Frida Kahlo.
Why go? See exceptional dresses and envy-inducing possessions which were locked away following the artist’s death.
What is it? Swish, newly redeveloped Deptford Market Yard now houses a new weekly food and craft market Deptford Bites. Why go? To pick up fresh farm produce, piping hot street food and crafts.
What is it? This exhibition dishes the dirt on the lives of animals that come out at night.
Why go? Enter the shadowy world of a bat cave, lock eyes with a vampire squid or come face to face with a Mexican blind cave fish.
What is it? This exhibition takes a closer look at the Representation of the People Act was passed 100 years ago, giving (some) women the right to vote in the UK.
What is it? Get to know some of the less well known suffragettes whose perseverance made it all happen.
What is it? Tate Modern's major new free exhibition reclaiming the term ‘magic realism’.
Why go? Remember how the term was actually invented by Franz Roh and how the German artist and critic coined it as a name for the art created in his home country following the emotionally fraught German Expressionist movement.
What is it? Wordy art by a pioneer of the form.
Why go? This little display is so full of ideas it'll leave your head spinning.
Following a visit to Cuba in the '90s, Tom Assheton was inspired to bring a little bit of Havana to London, which he did by opening a cigar shop, marrying the experience of smoking fine cigars with a decent cup of coffee. He now has several venues across the city. Tomtom Coffee House is a place to grab a bite to eat while sipping on a blend of beans from Brazil to Ethiopia. Breakfast is served until 3pm and there’s a wide variety to choose from; eggs done any way you want, toasties and scotch pancakes. The lunch menu offers up an assortment of salads as well as tartines – sourdough bread with a choice of toppings including Welsh rarebit and smoked salmon. There’s also an alcohol license and cigars are available from the store if you want to plonk yourself outside and have a more authentic Cuban experience…
Venue says Meet the locals, attacking their eggs with gusto and restarting their brains with Tomtom’s smooth espresso blend. Delicious.