Things To Do This Week In London: 10-16 July 2017

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Things to do this week is sponsored by the the Royal Horticultural Society.

All week

The party's on at Somerset House

ARABIAN NIGHTS: Learn about contemporary Arab culture in Shubbak, a festival aiming to dazzle with visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature and debate. Various venues and prices, book ahead when required, 1-16 July

WIMBLEDON SCREENINGS: As we head toward the all-important finals weekend, check out your viewing options with our guide to the best screenings in London. Most of them are free, although may are limited capacity, so get there early. Free, just turn up, 3-16 July

MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Summer Series at Somerset House is a great one for festival lovers who'd rather skip the muddy fields. Surrounded by beautiful architecture, listen to a mix of international and homegrown artists. Birdy, Warpaint and Tom Misch are all on the bill. Somerset House, from £30, book ahead, 6-16 July

EXCAVATED CROSSRAIL: Building Crossrail has unearthed 8,000 years of human history, and you can marvel at the artefacts that have been hidden underground for hundreds to thousands of years — until now. Displays of Crossrail's engineering story should also thrill any rail buffs. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, ongoing

What did the Crossrail dig uncover?

Monday 10 July

ESCAPING TO LONDON: When someone says arranged marriages, let's hazard a guess that Ireland is probably not the first place you think of. Play Body and Blood confronts the fallout of this practice for Aileen, her sister, and other characters set against the backdrop of Ireland and London in 1956. King's Head Theatre, £12, book ahead, until 12 July

COMEDY CENTRAL: Rough and almost ready, Shappi Khorsandi and Andrew Ryan appear in comedy night Laugh Train Home before they head to Edinburgh Fringe. The Four Thieves (Battersea), £7, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm

Tuesday 11 July

Learn about the history of protest at Imperial War Museum

SEASIDE NOSTALGIA: Memories of holidays to the seaside come flooding back at the Time Tunnel trail in the Museum of Brands. See how big brands enticed visitors to the seaside (not that we need much convincing) with adverts for Fab lollies and the bright lights of Weston-Super-Mare arcades. Museum of Brands, £9, just turn up, until 3 September

WE MARCH: What is the future of protesting in the UK and globally? And how did we even get to here? Get back to the historical roots of protests and trace their evolution through to the present day, and learn how social media is changing the game. Imperial War Museum, £12/£9, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

MI5 SPYMASTER: Allegedly the inspiration behind M from James Bond, the story of Maxwell Knight is revealed in MI5's Greatest Spymaster. How did a man with an almost total lack of qualifications manage to transform people into fearless secret agents? And do you have what it takes to be a spy? The British Library, £12/£8, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 12 July

The ultimate wake up call

BREAKFAST RAVE: Start the day with Morning Gloryville's sober rave movement. This time they're celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1967's Summer of Love with hundreds of early risers. Watch out for their secret headliner who'll really get the party going. Ministry of Sound (Elephant & Castle), £18, book ahead, 6.30am-10.30am

BREWERY LAUNCH: Unfiltered, unfinned and unadulterated: all the beer at this new bar is sustainably produced, sold and consumed under one roof. They'll even be serving 6% cookie beer — now there's one we've not seen before. Long Arm Pub (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 6pm-11pm

PLOT TWIST: If you usually stay for pudding, you might think twice next time as Dessert hits the stage with a lavish dinner party that suddenly takes a sinister and alarming turn. Southwark Playhouse, £20/£16, book ahead, until 5 August

GRIMM THEATRICS: You don't truly know the stories of Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, and Rumplestiltskin until you know the original tales by the Brothers Grimm. Hear what really happened in these Pandemonium Performances at one of London's historical cemeteries. Abney Park (Stoke Newington), £13, book ahead, until 30 July


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Get green-fingered at this RHS garden show

The RHS Summer London Urban Garden Show is in town from 11-13 July, with plenty of tips on how to get green-fingered — even if you don't have a garden.

There'll be tons of ideas on how to grow things with limited space, and inspiration on getting creative with horticulture. Soak up advice at the expert talks before getting hands on with workshops on everything from floral origami to terrarium making.

There'll also be botanically inspired cocktails and delicious street food. Head to the late event on 11 July (open until 10pm) and you'll even get a free drink. Find out more about the show here. You'll need a ticket for the late opening event, but there's free entry on 12 and 13 July.


Thursday 13 July

Step onstage for Open Mic Night

COLOUR THE CITY: Brighten up your Thursday by getting covered in paint and refusing to stay within the lines at this special messy workshop for the suppressed creative. The Hive, Dalston, £25, 7pm-10pm

BRING THE TALENT: London's got talent, loads of it, and it's time to show it off at Bring it! open mic night. With a bar stocked with organic and craft drinks, and a bun and fries meal deal, you can't go wrong. Though maybe bring a couple earplugs in case of any wildcards. Grow (Hackney Wick), free, just turn up, 7pm-11pm

END OF THE WORLD: In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is the end of the world via huge volcanic explosion. At this South East London Folklore Society event, folklorist and author Carolyne Larrington looks at whether there's anything the gods can do to stop it, and if not — is there any consolation to be had in total annihilation? The Old King's Head (London Bridge), £3, just turn up, 8pm-10pm

Friday 14 July

Food Fest at Red Market

BRANDING EXPERTS: Does branding absolutely fascinate you? For those who just can't get enough of it there's an intensive branding day-course that'll get you together with several industry professionals. Work out what makes the audience tick, before heading out for research in the streets of Portobello Market. Museum of Brands, £45, book ahead, 10am-4pm

HYPER JAPAN: Tobacco Dock is once again a hotspot for Japanophiles and Weeaboos as Hyper Japan returns with more food, fashion, shopping, and music. Don't miss out on the Sake Experience. Tobacco Dock, £15-£24, book ahead, until 16 July

GET STUFFED: Put a little more effort into eating today and navigate to Just Eat's Food Fest at Red Market for three days of food, music and fun. This year's theme is remote desert island, so who will you be taking with you to get stranded with? Red Market, free, just turn up, 14-16 July

PAINTED SKYLINE: Let out the artist within you for a glass of wine at PopUp Painting. No experience is needed, and all equipment provided. By all means follow along with the artist facilitator, but really free-styling is where it's at — especially after a glass or two of bubbly. Urban Meadow (Notting Hill), £29.99, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Saturday 15 July

Paint Jam at a secret Holborn space

VEGAN BEER FEST: Spanning three spaces, this festival features a beer hall, beer market and a sit down beer and wine cafe. So pretty much beer, beer and more beer, which sounds perfect to us. It's all vegan too. Hackney Downs Studios, £5-£9, book ahead, 11am-8pm

10K SECRET MISSION: It's a race against the clock to solve a murder mystery and win a prize in this cryptic team challenge. Forget that you received the secret location to start your journey by text, for the year is 1698. The ever-curious Samuel Pepys will get you up to speed on the case, and then you're off to interview witnesses and interrogate suspects. North Greenwich/Deptford Bridge, £19-£25, book ahead, 11.30am-1pm

AFRICA UTOPIA: Most people will never visit every country in Africa, so get a flavour of the continent at Africa Utopia Festival. The range of talks, workshops, music, performances, fashion and food will give an insight into all countries. Southbank Centre, various prices, 15-16 July

STREET PARTY: This annual street party returns with a line up of performances from artists and the local community, as well as family friendly activities, cocktails and live music. Whitecross Street (Islington), free, just turn up, noon-6pm

ART JAM: What art really needs is a DJ. Thankfully Paint Jam London has us sorted with a prosecco reception on arrival, intro art exercises on paper, then a dramatic move onto your own canvas. Gulp. Let your creatively flow, mingle and go home with an original artwork. Secret Holborn space, £30-£102, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

Sunday 16 July

Kingston races its dragons

FAMILY FUN: 'Princess Freda', a Dunkirk Little Ship is on hand for free boat trips, departing Chiswick pier every 45 minutes. There's a great selection of stalls to entertain the children, freshly cooked BBQ food and a bar on hand, too. Chiswick Pier, free, just turn up, 11.30am-4pm

GARDEN PARTY: A fabulous and fresh selection of makers exhibit alongside veteran artists and designers. Over 50 artists spread across two days means there's plenty of time to grab yourself a screen-print, ceramic, summer dress, or much more. William Morris Gallery, free, just turn up, noon-6pm

DRAGON RACE: Make the pilgrimage to the annual Kingston Dragon Boat Race. It promises to be a day of family fun so make sure you bring yours, with face painting and Thames-side antics. The Boaters Inn (Kingston upon Thames), free, book ahead, noon-10pm

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

London's Grime & Punishment Tour


Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way.    Get tickets

Unlock Urban Camden: Street Art Tour


Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets

Hidden London Tour


Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets

The Ultimate Harry Potter London 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