Things To Do This Week In London: 15-21 April 2024

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All week

A display of tulips in crates and tubs
The Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival is in full swing this week © Historic Royal Palaces.

TULIP FESTIVAL: Over 100,000 tulip bulbs bring a riot of colour to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace for its annual Tulip Festival — one of the UK's largest displays of planted tulips (though plenty of other places have fantastic tulip displays too). Wander through the formal gardens and historic courtyards, and see  'floating' bowls in the Great Fountain and a free style of planting in the kitchen gardens. Until 29 April

BLUEBELLS: If that's got you in the mood for all things floral, check out the best places to see bluebells in and around London, as we head towards the time of year where vast swathes of woodland are carpeted in lilac.

SCIENCE DOUBLE BILL: Time's running out to see a couple of exhibitions at the Science Museum — why not combine them and make a day of it? Turn It Up: The Power of Music looks at the effect music has on our lives. It's interactive, with a musical playground, a musical robot, and a chance to see and play some rather unusual instruments (until 6 May). Injecting Hope is a free display looking at how scientists work quickly to develop new vaccines when pandemics begin (FREE, until 12 May).

PAWS ON THE WHARF: A reminder that there are currently 25 colourful Guide Dogs sculptures dotted around east London for Paws on the Wharf, the capital's latest free art trail. Why not seek them out if you've got some spare time to fill this week — and have a look at our guide to eating and drinking in Canary Wharf, while you're in the area. FREE, until 17 May

A spread of breakfast sandwiches and hash browns
Bangers opens a bricks and mortar site on Friday.

EAT OF THE WEEK: Bangers' smashed sausage sandwiches proved such a success as a delivery concept, they're now opening a Shoreditch breakfast bar, from this Friday. What's more, on opening weekend, Bangers is giving away 300 breakfast sandwiches (100 on Fri, Sat and Sun). Arrive early for your freebie (they open at 7.30am). From 19 April

BREWERY OF THE WEEK: We were gutted when Herne Hill's Canopy brewery closed in 2022, so we're buoyed to learn that the same spot under the arches in Herne Hill has now become home to Bird House Brewery, serving up its own house lager and pale ale — alongside wines, cocktails and smash burgers. It's open every Weds-Sun

DAY TRIP OF THE WEEK: Here’s an unusual one: go in search of dozens of frogs. The statues have all been hidden in one (rather picturesque lane in Tunbridge Wells Kent, by the local residents. Here’s all you need to know about Frog Lane (yes, that’s the street’s real name), and a guide to visiting the town of Tunbridge Wells while you’re there.

Monday 15 April

Composite image of three comedians
No Direction Home is back at Soho Theatre

WOMEN IN ART: Join guide Laura Agustin for a tour of Tate Britain that explores the various ways women were depicted in Victorian art. Academic painters favoured noble subjects and classical nudes; the Pre-Raphaelites felt bad about the injustices, portraying beautiful if forlorn medieval heroines; and Social Realists painted women as victims of patriarchy. 11am

ORGAN RECITAL: Southwark Cathedral offers weekly lunchtime organ recitals — today, Joshua Ryan of Hampstead Parish Church performs. Admission free but donations welcome. 1.20pm

LONDON FORTEAN SOCIETY: Novelist Syd Moore is the special guest at this month’s London Fortean Society event, celebrating her latest book, The Grand Illusion. Hear about the book’s subject matter, the Nazis’ obsession with the occult, and how the British exploited this weakness. 6.30pm-8pm

CHILDISH GAMBINO COVERS: Eight-piece jazz-funk ensemble, Dreamflower Collective are at the Jazz Cafe in Camden, performing their own take on Childish Gambino’s 2016 Awaken, My Love! album. 7pm-10.30pm

MAGIC WORKSHOP: For adults only, professional magician Tom Brace holds a magic workshop, where you can learn tricks such as reading someone’s mind, and making objects disappear and reappear. Takes place at Big Penny Social in Walthamstow. 7.30pm-8.30pm

NO DIRECTION HOME: The UK’s first refugee comedy collective No Direction Home is back at Soho Theatre for a show performed by comedians from refugee backgrounds, with well-known hosts and headliners. 9.30pm

MONDAYS IN LONDON: Looking for something else to do, today or any other week? Take a look at our guide to things to do in London on a Monday — we've gathered together live music venues, comedy and cabaret clubs which keep going on what is usually the quietest day of the week, along with guided walks and tours scheduled on a Monday, and a few special offers too.

Tuesday 16 April

A light and airy restaurant space, decorated with greenery
Dalloway Terrace hosts a Sake Supper Club

BRING YOUR BABY QUIZ: Parents and carers with babies: there's another Bring Your Baby pub quiz today, this time at The Plough in East Dulwich. It's like a regular pub quiz, except it takes place at lunchtime, and at a slower pace to allow for the distractions of caring for a little one. 12pm-2.30pm

CLIMATE CHANGE GEOPOLITICS: As well as posing a threat to health and habitats around the world, climate change is also likely to trigger geopolitical instability. Tonight's Gresham College lecture by Professor Myles Allen delves into some of these threats, focusing specifically on international tensions over solar geo-engineering (reflecting sunlight away to modify temperatures). Watch in person at Barnard's Inn Hall, or online. FREE, 6pm

WINE SUPPER CLUB: The latest in the Winemaker Supper Club series at Humble Grape in Battersea is hosted by Militza Zikatanova from Bulgarian winery Villa Melnik. Hear about the winery’s history and sample some of its products, paired with six dishes from the Humble Grape kitchen. 6.30pm-9.30pm

SAKE SUPPER CLUB: Alternatively, attend a supper club celebrating a different tipple. Dalloway Terrace marks both National Sake Week and cherry blossom season with a one-off meal featuring four Japanese-inspired courses paired with Heavensake sake expressions. 6.30pm-10pm

ONE FOR SORROW: Tonight sees the launch of a short run of One For Sorrow — Cordelia Lynn's bitingly funny yet tense drama exploring the limits of middle-class liberalism across the generational divide. It's on at South London Theatre in West Norwood. 8pm-10pm (also on 17, 18, 19, 20 April)

Wednesday 17 April

A curry dish
It's Beer and Curry Night at Kricket Brixton

QUEER EAST FESTIVAL: Originally founded as a film festival, Queer East Festival expands this year, celebrating all manner of LGBTQ+ visual arts and performances from East and Southeast Asia and its diaspora communities. Screenings, workshops and performances take place at various venues around London, beginning with the UK premiere of A Song Sung Blue at Barbican Cinema tonight. 17-28 April

CIRCUS: The renowned Zippo's Circus is back in town. From today, you can find the big top in Central Park, East Ham (17-21 April). From there, it'll swing over to Acton Green (24-28 April), Wimbledon Park (1-6 May), Wandsworth Common (8-13 May), Colindale (15-20 May), and Wallington (22 May-3 Jun), before leaving our fair city for wider adventures, until it returns again in September.

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING: It's 100 days until the Paris Olympics, something that's being celebrated with free displays of synchronised swimming — or artistic swimming, to give it its proper name — in Covent Garden. Athletes perform every half an hour throughout the day, and Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford are expected to put in an appearance at some point, though what they'll contribute to the proceedings remains unclear. FREE, 9am-6pm

BYRONIC ALL-DAYER: The British Library marks 200 years since the death of Romantic poet Lord Byron with a day celebrating his life and works. Speakers, scholars and musicians gather for the Byronic All-Dayer, where topics include what Byron teaches us about democracy, and new interpretations of his work. 11am-8pm

BEER AND CURRY NIGHT: Tuck into a Thali menu inspired by the Wazwan cuisine from the Kashmir Valley, washed down with beer from the St Austell Brewery, at Kricket Brixton’s Beer and Curry Night. Smoked mutton rogan Josh, Lahabi kebab, radish chaat, and bakerkhani naan with chilli honey are among the dishes being served. 6pm-8.30pm

OSCAR WILDE: Jane Parker leads a guided walk around the West End locations connected to the life and work of Oscar Wilde. 6.30pm-8.30pm (or you could get there at 6.15 and make a weak joke about the Importance of Being Early)

EMPIREWORLD: Author and journalist Sathnam Sanghera takes part in an online event for the National Archives, discussing his latest book, Empireworld. Find out about the legacies left over from when the British Empire occupied a quarter of the planet, from religion to laws. 7.30pm

NERD NITE LONDON: Regular event Nerd Nite brings together three speakers, each given around 20 minutes to speak on their expert topic. This time around, Pete Miller covers the concept of intersubjectivity, software developer Roberto Tyley takes a scientific approach to the damp patch on his kitchen wall, and author Andy Riley introduces us to the The Great Death Ray Battle of 1924. Takes place at Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green. 7.30pm

Thursday 18 April

Andrew Doherty wearing a white shirt, with leaves stuck to his head
See Andrew Doherty in action at Soho Theatre

SALON PRIVÉ: Salon Privé pulls into the Royal Hospital Chelsea for three days, showcasing sets of wheels that you almost definitely can't afford. Still, it's a good chance to ogle the latest models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and the like, many of which get their UK debut at the show. Classic cars can be admired at the Concours de Vente part of the show. 18-20 April

GAY WITCH SEX CULT: Andrew Doherty’s comedy play Gay Witch Sex Cult is at Soho Theatre for three performances, about a gender reveal party for the unborn child of a gay couple, an event which takes a sinister turn. 18-20 April

IN THE ROUND: The latest incarnation of In The Round Festival takes place at Camden Roundhouse, giving fans a chance to experience music performed live on the venue's circular stage. South-east London based singer-songwriter Tirzah, electronic musician and composer Jlin, and acoustic singer-songwriter Lucy Rose are on this year's programme, but it begins tonight with a celebration of the songs of Joni Mitchell. 18-27 April

THE LAST CARAVAGGIO: The National Gallery's new display, The Last Caravaggio, showcases the last known work of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula is coming to London for the first time in 20 years, displayed alongside a letter that details its creation, which together give an insight into the artist's final years. FREE, 18 April-21 July

SHARDLAKE’S LONDON: Follow in the footsteps of fictional lawyer turned reluctant detective Matthew Shardlake, in this free talk about the tensions and troubles of 16th century London, discussing locations such as Staple Inn, Holborn and Walbrook. Watch in person at Guildhall Library, or online. FREE, 2pm-3pm

SOUL SKATE: Every Thursday night, Roller Nation roller skating venue in Tottenham hosts Soul Skate, four hours of laidback soul and funk classics to enjoy as you do laps of the rink. Age 18+. 7pm-11pm

BAT WALK: Head to Marble Hill House in Twickenham after hours for a bat walk, wandering through the grounds and learning about the species that live there. 7.30pm

Friday 19 April

Three chefs smiling for the camera, with the London skyline including St Paul's behind them
Celebrate the relaunch of a rooftop restaurant in Smithfield

CERAMIC ART LONDON: Work by 118 makers from all over the world is on display at Ceramic Art London, which moves to Olympia for the first time this year. It's organised by the Craft Potters Association, with the final pieces curated by a panel of experts. The artworks are for sale, with prices ranging from under £100, to £10,000+. 19-21 April

ADVENTURHER EXHIBITION: Group tour company Intrepid Travel opens a free exhibition telling the stories of 11 female adventurers, including presenter and journalist, Louise Minchin. See it at 20-22 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8ED. FREE, 19-21 April

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS: One of the highlights of the London photography calendar is the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House. They're doing things a bit differently this year, with photographs printed, projected and presented digitally to 'enhance your visual experience'. There's also a display dedicated to the works of Edgar Martins, the 2023 Photographer of the Year, telling the story behind his project. 19 April-6 May

BEHIND THE BLUE DOORS: See what lies Behind The Blue Doors of a distinctive Georgian building in Brixton, as a free exhibition of shots by documentary photographer Jim Grover goes on display at Lambeth Archives. Find out the stories of the residents of the Trinity Homes Almshouse, including a former Buckingham Palace footman, and the building’s first male resident. FREE, 19 April-1 June

PRISONERS OF WAR: Tying in with its current Great Escapes exhibition, the National Archives hosts a talk about stories of survival from the second world war. Collection specialists and authors Will Butler, Roger Kershaw and Ela Kaczmarksa discuss experiences of both civilians and prisoners of war who were kept in internment camps. 2pm

ROOFTOP RESTAURANT LAUNCH: Farringdon pub Smiths of Smithfield celebrates the relaunch of its rooftop restaurant with a seven-course tasting menu experience, created by MasterChef 2013 winner Natalie Coleman, along with the pub’s Head Chefs, Stan Marshman and Tim Dela Cruz. Tuck into a trio of canapés followed by dishes including monkfish and pork belly, with optional wine pairings. 7pm-10.30pm

ROOFTOP FILM CLUB: More roofs! Beloved open air cinema Rooftop Film Club returns to Roof East in Stratford tonight, with a screening of 90s romcom 10 Things I Hate about You. Films scheduled in the coming week include Wonka, Barbie and Oppenheimer. 7pm

LIBERTY OVER LONDON BRIDGE: Author Margaret Willes is at Blackheath Halls to talk about her book, Liberty Over London Bridge, a history of Southwark and the people who have lived there, historically choosing it as a place close to the City, but beyond the City’s jurisdiction. 7.30pm

Saturday 20 April

People gathered for Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square
Celebrate Eid. Image: Greater London Authority/Caroline Teo

HAWKSMOOR BREAKFAST: Sugar-pit bacon chop, Victorian sausages, Moira black pudding, hash browns, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, unlimited toast, HP gravy.... the Hawksmoor English breakfast is back — served Saturday only, at Hawksmoor Air Street and Hawksmoor Liverpool.

KOHIMA 80th ANNIVERSARY: The National Army Museum marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima, a three-month conflict between British and Japanese forces which took place in India during the second world war. Historians, authors and armed forces personnel take part in a series of talks to tell the story of Kohima. 20-21 April

MINORITY REPORT: Based on the 2002 film — itself based on a 1956 book — of the same name, the stage adaptation of Minority Report opens at the Lyric Hammersmith tonight. It's set in 2050, with a neuroscientist running a Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed — until she gets caught up in a future crime herself. 20 April-18 May

CLASSIC CARS: Once a month, the Waterloo Classics Car Club meets, parking up classic vehicles on Lower Marsh with everyone welcome to wander around and admire them. FREE, 11am-2pm

A big fry up
Hope you're hungry - the Hawksmoor breakfast is back.

EID IN THE SQUARE: Trafalgar Square's the setting for Eid in the Square, London's official Eid celebration to mark the end of Ramadan for the Muslim community. Market stalls, live performances and family-friendly activities take place throughout the afternoon. Find out about other Ramadan and Eid events in London this year. FREE, 12pm-6pm

SIX NATIONS: The Women's Six Nations continues — and today England aka the Red Roses are at Twickenham, where they take on Ireland. Tickets for the clash start at £20 for adults and £5 for kids — and we're told there's half-time entertainment from a certain Sophie Ellis-Bextor. KO 2.15pm

ROCKETMAN IN CONCERT: Oscar-winning film Rocketman, released in 2019, tells the story of musician Sir Elton John's life and career. Watch it on a large screen at Southbank Centre, accompanied by a live orchestra playing some of John's best-known hits including Your Song, Tiny Dancer, and I'm Still Standing. 4pm/8pm

SWIFTIE SATURDAY: Taylor Swift fans will need no reminding that the singer’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, is released on Friday. Head to Waterstones Gower Street on Saturday night to celebrate the album with Gower Records, with a bookseller-led discussion of the record, a quiz and bracelet making. 6pm

THINKING DRINKERS: Comedy quiz meets drinks tasting at the Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz at the Leicester Square Theatre. Comedians and drink experts host as you make your way through five drinks while competing for prizes. 7pm

Sunday 21 April

Wheelchair racer Jade Jones taking part in the London Marathon on  a road on part of the course in the Isle of Dogs, with a second wheelchair racer close behind her
It's London Marathon day! Photo: Julian Mason via creative commons

LONDON MARATHON: It's that time of year again, when thousands of runners pound the pavements in London, many in bizarre costumes to raise money for good causes. This year's London Marathon follows the usual route and format. Even if you're not watching or taking part, be aware of widespread road closures, bus diversions and the like. From approx 9.30am

FAMILY RAVE: Take the kids along to Big Penny Social for the Hotsy Totsy Family Rave. Dance along to tunes played by DJ Joy Alarm, with rave props and a face painter on hand. Aimed at children under eight years old and their families. 10am-12.30pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: It's that time of month again — Westminster's Royal Horticultural Halls are taken over by the Adams Antiques Fair, bringing together 120 antiques dealers from across the UK selling antique jewellery, silver, decorative pieces and collectables. 10am-4.30pm

ST GEORGE’S DAY: Celebrate the patron saint of England (as well as Ethiopia, Catalonia and various other regions) at the annual St George’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square. It’s free and everyone’s welcome, with live music and entertainment – think Morris dancing, sea shanties and the like. Bear in mind that, combined with the London Marathon, central London is likely to be VERY busy today. FREE, 12pm-6pm

SALMAN RUSHDIE: After surviving a murder attempt in 2022 in which he lost an eye and the use of one hand, Indian-British novelist Salman Rushdie has written a memoir, Knife, in which he details the attack and his fight for survival. Hear him at Southbank Centre or via livestream reflecting on the experience, interspersed with live readings from actors Adeel Akhtar and Anjana Vasan. 2.30pm

YILDIRIM BEKÇI: Singer Yıldırım Bekçi is joined by a 40-strong choir — and an orchestra — at Edmonton's Millfield Theatre, performing Turkish makams. 2.30pm

DAVID NICHOLLS: Following the recent success of the Netflix adaptation of his novel One Day, author David Nicholls talks about his new book, You Are Here. It's described as a love story 'of first encounters, second chances and finding the way home'. Find out more with Nicholls in conversation with writer Dolly Alderton. 7.30pm

Good cause of the week

There's a new charity in town. Young Champs aims to change perceptions of tennis, and close the financial gap which is preventing thousands from partaking in the sport. As well as crowd-funding to deliver 1500 hours of free coaching, Young Champs has launched the Project 10K campaign, calling on tennis clubs and coaches across the country to deliver 10,000 hours of free coaching, and thereby make the sport more accessible.

Young Champs is the brainchild of tennis coaching duo Chris Marshall and Catherine Dibble, founders of G Tennis, a socially conscious tennis business. They were disheartened that the average cost of a tennis lesson in the South East is £15 per hour, meaning many young people are excluded (and that’s before the cost of kit, trainers and a racket). G Tennis delivered over 1,300 hours of free coaching in 2023 and, since 2021, has raised over £25,000. The new charity continues this work. To find out more and pledge your support, see the Crowdfunder page.