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People cycling along the Regent's Canal in Hackney
Photograph: Paolo Paradiso

Things to do in London this week

Discover the biggest and best things to do in London over the next seven days

Written by
Rosie Hewitson
&
Alex Sims
Contributors
Rhian Daly
&
Liv Kelly
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The sky is blue, we can occasionally go outside without wearing a jacket and it’s only a little bit chilly in the evenings. It can only mean the start of a new season is officially here. Whether you’re after alfresco fun or brain-expanding culture, the coming week is packed with fun stuff. 

Get into the spirit of summer by indulging in some outdoor action. Hit up The Globe Theatre to see a sitcom-style production of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, chill out in Signature Bewery while feasting on tacos from some of the best Mexican kitchens in the city, sink artisanal suds at the Crystal Palace Beer Festival, or have a boogie in the sun at one of the many day festivals taking place over the bank holiday weekend. 

Rather stay in? See Elton John’s impressive photography collection at the V&A which tells a story about ‘style, fashion and the crippling excesses of success’. Get to know weird and wonderful birds at the Natural History Museum’s new exhibition or head to your favourite indie cinema to see a Martin Scorsese-narrated film ‘Made in England’ celebrating British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. 

Still got gaps in your diary? Embrace the warmer days with a look at the best places to see spring flowers in London, or have a cosy time in one of London’s best pubs. If you’ve still got some space in your week, check out London’s best bars and restaurants, or take in one of these lesser-known London attractions.

RECOMMENDED: Listen and, most importantly, subscribe to Time Out’s brand new, weekly podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’ and hear famous Londoners show our editor Joe Mackertich around their favourite bits of the city.

Top things to do in London this week

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events
  • Walthamstow

Taco fever has well and truly taken over London, we just can’t get enough of the bite-size tortillas. Good job then that the latest installment of the Tacover is back in London to satisfy our cravings. Signature Brew is hosting a whopping taco festival with 10 sizzling vendors from across the UK offering up three different tacos each (including vegan options) which are all capped at £4. Los Gordos, Proper Tacos, Birria Taco, Mex Club and Pako Tacos are all on the line-up. In between snacks there’ll be beer, DJ sets, competitions (from tortilla slaps to speed eating), raffles and a specialist margarita bar. 

  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Tulse Hill

A mecca for bass-heavy partying, Project 6 is a festival for those craving seriously loud sounds. This year is tying into the 30th anniversary of Rinse FM, meaning there's even more reason for a party, and the line-up is leaning into the kinds of artists you'd expect to hear on the cutting-edge station. Catch the elusive MC Casisdead, DnB and jungle pioneer Shy FX, and 'Katy on a Mission' hitmaker Katy B, alongside Freddie Gibbs and Madlib performing Pinata, Mala, Benga and plenty more. 

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  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • South Kensington

The Natural History Museum’s big exhibition for 2024 is this massive new celebration of our avian pals. As you can doubtless glean from the title, ‘Birds: Brilliant & Bizarre’ focuses on the weirder end of the feathered spectrum, from strange-looking birds to exploring the links between pigeons and T-rex to daring you to sniff a stinky seabird egg. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • South Kensington
  • Recommended

For decades now, Elton John has been building a world class collection of photography with his partner David Furnish. It’s been shown all over the world, and now it’s the V&A’s turn. The exhibition is rammed full of iconic images by some of the most important names in photography: Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Juergen Teller, William Egglestone and on and on. Like you’d expect from a megastar, it’s pretty dazzling. This show spills out a story about style, fashion, the crippling excesses of success, the endless, head spinning allure of sexuality. It’s because it’s Elton John’s collection that this exhibition works. 

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events
  • Borough of Croydon

Crystal Palace Beer Festival returns to Holmesdale stand in Selhurst Park stadium to enjoy that ultimate pairing: football and alcohol. This year, to celebrate 100 years of the beautiful game at the venue over 100 beers, ales and ciders will be on offer as the FA Cup Final is screened live around the concourse, as well as live performances from bands and DJs throughout the day. Tickets include two half-pint drink vouchers and a beer glass. Drinks tokens are £3.50. 

  • Music

In his early years, Danny Brown was considered a court jester of hip-hop. But it’s not all fun and games though, as his most recent album ‘Quaranta’ explored the darker side of fame, touching on his experiences with drug and alcohol addiction through personal lyricism and beats from longtime collaborators such as the Alchemist. 

O2 Forum Kentish Town, NW5 1JY. Wed May 22 May, 7pm. From £41.80.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Film
  • Documentaries
  • Recommended

They say that if you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there. Happily, this portrait of Anita Pallenberg’s strange and beguiling life musters up at least five or six people who can paint a compellingly complex picture of the model, actress and original ‘It’ girl. For the uninitiated, the Italian-German beauty was a model, actress, wife to Keith Richards, muse to filmmakers and artists, and for long, dark stretches, a drug addict and alcoholic. With its police raids, hospital trips, the grind of Rolling Stones tours and the crutch of harder and harder drugs, it’s a penetrating picture of a much-mythologised period. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • Borough
  • price 3 of 4
  • Recommended

Oma is the latest opening from David Carter, the brawny Bajan chef and restaurateur who launched forerunner Smokestak and the show-stopping Manteca. Oma is Greek in the same way that Manteca is Italian, which is to say that traditionalists would baulk at what Carter and Jorge Paredes (ex-exec chef of Sabor) are doing here, while everyone else would tell them to hush up and enjoy the tsalafouti. Greek food is the jumping-off point for a menu that begins on the Ionian islands before skipping off to the Levant by way of the Balkans, with a south American stop-off. There’s also a whole menu of crudo and another dedicated to skewers cooked over a large grill. Oma is doing something exceptional. 

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  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events
  • King’s Cross

The British Library’s food season is packed full of events inspired by cookbooks and culinary manuscripts. Some of the sumptuous events planned include a live recording of Jessie and Lennie Ware’s award-winning Table Manners podcast, a celebration of the legendary recently-closed Le Gavroche, and a talk disclosing how rice travels around the world. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into.

  • Things to do
  • Film events
  • South Bank

Italian neorealism is one of the most prevalent post-war cinematic movements, and this season is centred around the re-release of Robert Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (1945) which is considered the very first example. As with any great film fest, there’ll be insight from some experts, guest speakers will explore the impact various women have had on the movement, in front of and behind the camera, and the entire second half of the season will focus on work from the early ‘50s, with films such as Miracle in Milan and Stromboli. 

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11. Fill your eyes will hypnotic art at high-tech immersive gallery Frameless

Escape reality through maximum immersion and experience 42 masterpieces from 29 of the world’s most iconic artists, each reimagined through cutting-edge technology. Marble Arch’s high-tech Frameless gallery houses four unique exhibition spaces with hypnotic visuals reimaging work from the likes of Bosch, Dalí and more, all with an atmospheric score. Now get 90 minutes of eye-popping gallery time for just £20 through Time Out offers.

£20 tickets to Frameless immersive art experience only through Time Out offers 

12. Get half-price bottomless dim sum and a glass of bubbly at Leong’s Legend

Never ending baskets of delicious dim sum. Need we say more? That means tucking into as many dumplings, rolls and buns as you can scoff down, all expertly put together by a Chinatown restaurant celebrating more than ten years of business. Taiwanese pork buns? Check. Pork and prawn soup dumplings? You betcha. ‘Supreme’ crab meat xiao long bao? Of course! And just to make sure you’re all set, Leong’s Legend is further furnishing your palate with a chilled glass of prosecco. Lovely bubbly.

Get 51% off bottomless dim sum at Leong's Legend only through Time Out Offers

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Millbank
  • Recommended

It wasn’t unusual for women to paint in the seventeenth century, it was just unusual for them to live off it. But the Tate’s had enough of that bogus, patronising attitude and are hellbent on showing that anything men could do – even really ugly paintings – women could do too. Across these walls here is 400 years of women artists going toe to toe with the men. Society portraiture, allegorical painting, you name it, they could do it. This is art existing on its own terms, art of privacy, independence and innovation, finally able to peek out from the long shadows cast by men.

14. Get over 40% off tickets for The Art of Banksy Exhibition

Following unprecedented public demand, The Art of Banksy is extending its London run following hugely successful residencies in Covent Garden and Regent Street. Drawing critical acclaim, The Art of Banksy is the world’s largest collection of original and authenticated Banksy artworks showcasing more than 150 pieces. 

£9.95 tickets to The Art of Banksy only through Time Out offers 

 

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15. Get tickets to 'The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks' at Lightroom

Lightroom is back with another spectacle set to take your breath away. See this exciting Apollo Remastered collaboration with Tom Hanks, Christopher Riley and 59 Productions with an insight into the impending return of crewed surface missions by going behind the scenes of the Artemis programme, including interviews between Hanks and Artemis astronauts. With a musical score by Anne Nikitin, Lightroom’s powerful projection and audio technology will transport you to another world.

Get tickets to 'The Moonwalkers: A Journey with Tom Hanks' at Lightroom for £19, only through Time Out offers

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Shakespeare
  • Regent’s Park
  • Recommended

Owen Horsley’s lengthy production of ‘Twelfth Night’ finds might not reveal any incredible new depths in Shakespeare’s greatest comedy. But it is, nonetheless, lovely stuff. The conceit here is that all the action takes place inside a hulking seaside nightclub named Olivia’s and there’s a pleasing sitcom-like quality to the character’s various scrapes. With added songs it runs to three hours, which is a lot for a comedy. But this return to the Bard is about as quintessential as it gets. Play on!

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Film
  • Documentaries
  • Recommended

Is there anyone more committed to sharing their love of cinema than Martin Scorsese? ‘Made In England’ might not be directed by Scorsese, its narrator, but it’s his lifelong love of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s films that anchors David Hinton’s passionate, wide-ranging doc. The film delivers a loving, access-all-areas tour of the duo’s work that takes in behind-the-scenes pics, stills and archive interviews. And of course, those stunning clips. It all makes for a grand introduction to some of their unforgettable images. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Swiss Cottage
  • Recommended

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Pulitzer-winning play is a meaty watch, a pungent, spikey mix of laughs, tears and doomed defiance that centres on a multiracial group of misfits headed by Danny Sapani’s retired NYPD officer Walter. Boozing away his enforced retirement in a palatial but semi-dilapidated apartment in Manhattan, Walter’s career was ended six years ago when a young white officer mistakenly pumped him full of lead; he has spent the intervening years campaigning for heads to roll. What the play ultimately boils down to is a conundrum that’s been sloshing around in drama since at least ‘Antigone’. Walter has been seriously wronged and wants justice. But is it realistic to believe that he’s going to get it? It’s a timeless dilemma that’s been deftly retooled by Guirgis to ask questions about life in contemporary America. It’s a pleasure to spend time amongst Guirgis’s crew of misfits.

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19. Get a taste of Australia in London with 40% off at Lantana

Lantana brings the Aussie sun to London, inviting you to savour great food, coffee and drinks all day, surrounded by friends, and looked after by people who care. Famous for freshness, quality, colour and of course, coffee, Australia’s cuisine and a healthy lifestyle is at the heart of Lantana. Enjoy menus that embrace seasonality and all the sustainable goodness that Mother Nature intended, from the BBQ Mushroom Hash and the Chicken Parmigiana to the Banoffee Banana Bread and Affogato.

Get a main dessert and a cocktail at Lantana for just £25, only through Time Out offers

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theatre
  • Drama
  • Seven Dials
  • Recommended

Aussie director Benedict Andrews’s UK reputation is heavily based on his extraordinary 2012 production of Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’, which turned the melancholy masterpiece into a wild fin de siècle romp. Andrews has done it again with another all-time take. Clearly there is something about Chekhov’s large ensembles, bittersweet humour and tales of fading aristocrats that draw out the best in him. The play builds to a queasily brilliant climax, but it’s the journey that’s the joy. You wish it would last forever.

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