Things To Do Today In London: Friday 22 September 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by the Museum of London.

Enjoy a concert in the chambers of Tower Bridge

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Things to do

CAR FREE DAY: Breathe free as cars are banned from a busy road in Shoreditch, and car parking spaces are transformed into mini parks. Lush seating, beautiful trees and great food and drink sounds much better than standstill traffic and fumes to us. Various locations around Shoreditch, free, just turn up, 8am-8pm

BASCULE CHAMBER: The hidden subterranean Victorian space underneath Tower Bridge plays host to Iain Chambers and his brand new concert programme. London is home to some pretty cool concert venues, but we bet you've never seen anything like this. Bascule Chambers (Tower Bridge), £25, book ahead, 9am-8pm

ART LUCKY DIP: Acclaimed artists, celebrities, architects, illustrators, jewellers, and photographers have all anonymously donated their works to this art sale with a twist... the pieces are all up for sale from £35, but you will have no idea who produced the art until you buy it. Richmond Adult Community College (Richmond), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

VAN DER SPRINKLES: Fancy sampling a bit of Dutch culture from right here in London? They're the sixth happiest people in the world, you know — something that'll be no surprise once you've experienced the delights of this brightly decorated Sprinkle Cafe. The White Space (Leicester Square), free, just turn up, 11am-7pm

GOOD FOODS FEAST: Gauge yourself on Michelin quality cuisine this September at the BBC's brand new Good Food's Feast — excitingly, it's held in a moat. Tower of London, £10, book ahead, 11am-8pm

CITY SWIM: Some crazy people are jumping in the Thames for a 500m swimming race to raise money for research into motor neurone disease. If you have the cash to splash, you can donate through their website, or if your paycheck hasn't come in just yet, head on over and watch the contest for free. Royal Victoria Dock, free, just turn, up, 4pm

REGINALD D HUNTER LIVE: The acclaimed, and sometimes controversial, comedian returns to Bush Hall for a rare live set. Bush Hall (Shepherd's Bush), £18, book ahead, 7pm

WILDERNESS OF RUSSIA: This photo exhibit features work from an unprecedented project by the Russian preservation system. See pictures that capture the beauty of Russia's wildlife and natural landscapes. Russian House for Culture (Bloomsbury), free, just turn up, 7pm

BLUEBERRY SURPRISE: Joseph Grigely, who is deaf, has collected inscribed notes over a period of 10 years of communicating with people who do not know sign language. Edited into a new narrative, these notes form the basis of this play. Serpentine Pavilion (Kensington Gardens), £5, book ahead, 8pm

TWILIGHT TRANSITIONS: Come along to an evening of classical music, and enjoy the sound of a full orchestra up-close and personal. Pieces include Beethoven's 4th symphony and 20th century Russian composer Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Concerto. Oval Space (Bethnal Green), £20, book ahead, 7pm-midnight


Learn secrets of the River Thames at this free family festival

The Thames has plenty of secrets hidden in its depths. Find out all about them at the Museum of London Docklands on 23 and 24 September. Treasures from the Thames is a family friendly festival all about our city's river, its history, and what has been uncovered below the surface.

Learn about the whale that lived in the Thames, or get up-close to real archaeological artefacts and see exactly what lies at the bottom. Interactive workshops, storytelling and hands on craft classes mean than kids of all ages can get involved with the stories and treasure buried in London's waterways. The two-day event is completely free to attend — check out the festival schedule here.


Art review: a broken chandelier & a drone

This mega Mayfair gallery has two shows — one powerful and one fun. Robert Longo creates massive charcoals of drone explosions, riot police and the x-rays of masterpieces by Manet and Turner. The Kabakovs on the other hand is a less sombre affair, with a broken chandelier looking like it's fallen from a ceiling and a toilet made to look nasty — all with little birds suspended and on the walls. Two great shows inside a building with fantastic architecture. Robert Longo and Ilya & Emilia Kabakov at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, 37 Dover Street, W1S 4NJ. Until 11 November, free. ★★★★☆ (Tuesday-Saturday)

Food review: go for the brunch, stay for the cocktails

Coupette is first and foremost a très chic cocktail bar, headed up by Chris Moore, the former head bartender at The Savoy's Beaufort Bar. They've purposely left the old signage up outside the 160-year-old building so you'll just have to trust Google Maps has brought you to the right place. And it's oh-so trendy: think obligatory exposed brick walls, pendant lighting and a bar top covered in 10-franc coins (in case you missed the French theme). If you're smart you'll skip the new brunch menu and head here in the evening when the dim lighting and artfully mixed cocktails combine to create an ambiance which is lacking during the day (through no fault of the staff, who are super attentive). With that in mind brunch starts with a bellini, two in fact — the refreshing pureed peach and fizz is pure heaven in a flute. On to the food, which is locally sourced and French inspired. The croque aux Lyonnais consists of melted gruyere, nutty roasted mushrooms and a tart, creamy Lyonnaise sauce, which oozes out of two crisp loaf slices — OK it's a glorified toasted cheese sandwich but it hits the spot. Our companion is less convinced by the truffled eggs, which err on overpowering but we concede that if you're paying £8 for scrambled egg you probably want to be able to taste the truffle. If your ears pricked up at truffled eggs and champagne bellinis then Coupette is a worthy brunch destination. If mid-morning fry ups are more your thing, you're probably better off at E Pellicci down the road. Coupette. 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN. ★★★☆☆ Kyra Hanson

Theatre review: a witty homage to black cab drivers

The Knowledge written by Jack Rosenthal, premiered as a film in the year it is set in (1979), and pays homage to the lives and backgrounds of four Londoners who study to become black cab drivers. It is witty, however whilst the direction is strong (Maureen Lipman), as is some of the acting, the dialogue at times feels a little dated. Nevertheless it's an enjoyable enough ride, and genuinely makes you appreciate taxi drivers 'knowledge' all the more. The Knowledge, Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, WC2N 6NL. Ticket £17.50-£42.50. Until 11 November ★★★☆☆ Travis Williams

Dance review: romantic ballet made modern

Caption: Akram Khan’s 21st century version of Giselle. Photo: English National Ballet / Bill Cooper

Akram Khan's 2016 version of Giselle swaps medieval peasants for textile workers left destitute, as globalisation has shut their factories. Brilliantly lit, with the people's plight revealed as they appear to scamper like dogs, this is a thoroughly relevant telling of the story with a brand new score by Vincenzo Lamagna. With amazing choreography and a brilliant turn from Tamara Rojo in the title role (casts do vary) it stands as something special. Do, however, invest in a programme, as it is not always self-explanatory. Giselle, Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R. Final tickets (from £45) remaining for the matinee on 22 September ★★★★★ Sam Smith

Good cause for the day

RELAY FOR LIFE: Grab a team and take it in turns to walk the relay track to show that cancer never sleeps. There's plenty of music and games going on too, along with some food to keep those energy levels up. High Elms Golf Course (Orpington), free, book ahead, noon, 23 September 2017

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