Things To Do Today In London: Friday 8 September 2017

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Ditch the takeaway this weekend — the Chinese Food Festival is in town.

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Things to do

CITY LIT: Why not try a range of taster courses and workshops that are available at City Lit? They're hosting two open days so you can try before you buy. Chose from acting, maths, pilates, Swedish, photography, art history and much more. City Lit (Covent Garden), free entry but £10 per class, book ahead, 10.30am-9.30pm, repeated tomorrow

CHINESE FOOD FEST: Upgrade from your weekly Chinese takeaway to this food festival on the banks of the Thames. There's more than just mouthwatering nosh too — artesian products, pop-up bars and live music join the line up. Potters Field Park (London Bridge), free entry, just turn up, noon-10pm, until Sunday

WALKING TOUR: This is the second part of a walking tour about Nell Gwynn, the mistress of King Charles II. Don't worry if you missed the first part though — these walks can be enjoyed together, or standalone. Holborn station kiosk (Kingsway), free, just turn up, 1pm

CRAFT ACADEMY: To celebrate the launch of Craft Academy's first brewing course, there's a launch party featuring live music, DJ sets, and BBQ. Florence Pub, free, just turn up, 4pm-10pm

ARACHNE GARDEN PARTY: Bring along a picnic blanket, sit back and enjoy a plethora of poems and stories brought to you by Arachne Press. There's also live music and refreshments for a small donation. Manor House Library, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

A night of the living dead...

FRIDAY NIGHT SKATE: Got energy to burn? Get your skates on for the London Friday Night Skate, a free, group skate — everyone's welcome, as long as they've mastered the basics of skating. It starts at Hyde Park Corner, with specific route information published mid-week. A word of warning — if the weather's iffy, check before you go, as it's sometimes cancelled. Free, just turn up, 8pm

ROGUE ONE: The Charlton and Woolwich film festival kicks off with a showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Not a sci-fi fan? Why not check out the line-up for the rest of the festival. Building 10 (Woolwich), free, just turn up, 8pm

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: Music was so much better when [insert artist] was around. As the UK's only club night paying homage to late artists, bands who have split and one hit wonders — this is your perfect chance to relive those musical memories. Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, £7, book ahead, 9pm-3am

BEACH PARTY: Pretend you're in the 'Miami of the Middle East' for a night, as the vibrant Tel Aviv comes to London for a glitzy party. It's cheaper and more convenient than hopping on a plane, right? Coronet London (Southwark), £16.50-£37.80, book ahead, 11pm-6am

Art review: Beckenham beckons

© Grayson Perry. Photography Prudence Cuming Associates

How do we bounce back from adversity? How do artists bounce back? This gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary with a group show containing work by Grayson Perry and an in situ work by our favourite commuter artist, Liz Atkin. Plus it’s a chance to visit the fantastic Museum of the Mind in the same building. It’s how well you bounce at Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Royal Hospital, BR3 3BX.Until 28 October, free. ★★★☆☆ (Wednesday-Friday & first and last Saturday of the month)

Food review: a must do for brunch fanatics

Bottomless brunches are now all the rage in central London, but sometimes it’s nice to get back to our brunching roots with some solid breakfast grub — and the company of some seriously cute poodles. We can’t guarantee the poodles will be there every time, but Alma Cafe is pet friendly and several canine friends came in and out while we chowed down on delicious runny yolk Eggs Benedict with oodles of tangy hollandaise sauce, and the chef’s special of smoked salmon on sourdough with little bursts of juice from pomegranate jewels. It went down a treat with the freshly made apple and mango juices. The light and airy cafe itself is a gorgeous little find in Barnes, and the deli offerings are worth a second visit for lunch. Alma Cafe, 2-3 Rocks Lane, Barnes, SW13 0DB ★★★★★ Eleana Overett

Good cause for the day

BREAKFAST RUN: Don't worry if you're not too quick on your feet — there's a range of distances to choose from at this breakfast run, and the course is totally flat, so you can run as fast or slow as you like. And if you need a bit of motivation to get to the end... there'll be a picnic waiting for you. Clapham Common, from £16, book ahead, 9am-1pm, 24 September

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

The Harry Potter Christmas Tour


Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets

Therapeutic Potential of Magic Mushrooms


Tripping as treatment? It exists, and scientists at some of the world's most prestigous universities are studying the benefits of single-use psychedelic sessions to treat severe mental health conditions. But do hallucinogenic drugs have a place in our hospitals? Initial results have been positive, but how do these sessions work? What do these scientists use? What do the participants themselves have to say? Clinic Psychologic Dr Rosalind Watts leads this fascinating talk into the potential successes and pitfalls of using psychedelics in medicine, using her own personal experience as a "trip-sitter" at Imperial College London.  Get tickets

The Original London Loo Tour


We’re fed up of bog standard London tours. Been there, done that. So how about learning some more about the history and surprisingly dynamic modern politics of London’s public toilets? This 1.5hr walking tour covers iconic London from a whole new perspective, as you learn about ‘spending a penny’ at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and explore the capital’s most patriotic toilet. The tour ends in the Cellar Door Cocktail bar, a former gentleman’s lavatory. Delightful. Get tickets