What we're reading
- London's rental opportunity of the week: a bunk bed in Hackney.
- Is saving London's oldest allotments from development more important than building social housing?
- Deliveroo riders are refusing to work in parts of London after acid attacks.
- The number of London car charging points is set to double next year.
- Inside one of the city's bike crews.
Things to do
KEW SCIENCE FESTIVAL: Don your lab coat and dig out your googles — it's time for three days of activities, workshops and tours celebrating the incredible discoveries and pioneering work of Kew scientists. Kew Gardens, free with entry to Kew, book ahead, 4-6 August
GEEKFEST: This festival really does cover everything geek: technology, media, comics, tastings and more. It's said to be the biggest multi-genre convention in the UK. Novotel London West, various prices, 4-6 August
CRAFT BEER: Hoppy days. The fifth annual London Craft Beer Festival is here with over 300 beers — from 45 breweries — to slurp. Kicking off this afternoon (well, 11.30am actually), the festival runs in slots until Sunday afternoon. Shoreditch Electric Light Station, £42.50 per slot/£150 for all weekend sessions. All beer included in entry price, 4-6 August
BLACK STATUES: You know who Nelson Mandela is, but do you know where his statue is? Tour the different statues and monuments around Westminster representing black figureheads. Embankment tube, £11, book ahead, 11am-1pm
COAT OF ARMS: Kids will enjoy creating a striking coat of arms in this workshop session, to show exactly who they are. They'll even be able to create a super shield to take home. The Charterhouse (Farringdon), £3.50, book ahead, 11am-1pm
BOWIE TOUR: An all-encompassing journey from birth to death of one of London's biggest icons in the heart of his hometown, Brixton. Songs and stories feature en route. Brixton tube, £16, book ahead, 2pm-4pm
LATE AT TATE: The perfect opportunity for the curiously minded to explore the gallery after hours. Have a drink, a bite to eat and enjoy the artworks, activities and intriguing discussion. Tate Britain, free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm
DARK SIDE OF THE MIME: A mix of clownery, classic pantomime, porn, splatter and violence. A vulgar show, but then again, all the obscene scenes only happen in your head. Etcetera Theatre (Camden), £8, book ahead, 6.30pm
BLUE WHALE: If you haven't seen Hope yet, where have you been? Have a go at creating your own miniature blue whale at this crochet workshop — don't worry if you're a complete novice, there's an expert on hand to help. Natural History Museum, £45, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm
YEEZY DOES IT: Love him or hate him, Kanye is undoubtedly one of the most creative, influential and controversial artists of our time. And that's the perfect excuse to throw a party in his honour. Trapeze Basement (Shoreditch), £5/£8, just turn up, 10pm-3.30am
Theatre review: Dylan goes theatrical
If John Steinbeck had been asked to write a musical, it may have looked something like this. Written and directed by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, Girl From The North Country is both more and less than it what appears to be from the outset: a middle-class jukebox musical. The play references twenty of Bob Dylan’s songs as well as his time and place of birth; 1930s’ Duluth, Minnesota.
The play's Depression Era existential misery is broken up by an impressive cast who take turns to sing stirring numbers like Forever Young, Like A Rolling Stone and Hurricane with Shirley Henderson especially moving on the first two. Opposite her as her struggling husband and guesthouse owner, Ciaran Hinds paints a suitably dour figure but is given little room to manoeuvre beyond this. Too many songs and too little depth for a serious drama but far weightier than the average jukebox musical, Girl From The North Country is difficult to categorise but a brilliantly beguiling production in its own right. Girl From The North Country, Old Vic, The Cut, Lambeth, SE1 8NB. £12-67.50, until 7 October ★★★★☆ Franco Milazzo
Art review: city & country
A double exhibition at the Courtauld gallery. Upstairs is a show dedicated to the influential Bloomsbury group of artists, including a beautiful spinet decorated by artist/critic Roger Fry. From the urban, head downstairs for the rural works of William Henry Hunt and his beautifully idyllic paintings of country folk, from gamekeepers to maids. Bloomsbury Art & Design and William Henry Hunt: Country People are both on at The Courtauld Gallery, £8, until 17 & 21 September ★★★★☆ Tabish Khan
Food review: a tiny slice of paradise in Stokey
Part Indonesian beach hut, part Scandi living room, Mint Gun Club offers a Hackney twist on a traditional teahouse. The overall effect is pure bliss, from the rich turquoise walls to the pretty palm fronds and that’s before we’ve even sipped our first apéritif, ‘Burmese No.2’, a tangy mix of ylang ylang, whisky and sage with a splodge of honey for sweetness. It sets the bar high but we wouldn’t expect anything less from thrice International Bartender of the Year winner Rich Hunt, whose mixology skills are worthy of an audience (so nab a seat at the bar if you can).
Arriving in a hand-painted Indian lunchbox padded with banana leaves, the ‘Tiffin’ High Tea (made using rare blend loose leaf tea and water filtered six times!) will tickle your taste buds as well as making a beautifully presented addition to your Instagram. Perfectly balanced small plates from the pantry are packed full of flavour, with plenty for veggies and vegans. Look out for pineapple-themed touches like the cute bag hooks under the bar and the deliciously moreish port-infused pineapple and cheese sticks. Forget coconut water, we reckon Hunt’s subtle, refreshing coconut wine may just be the drink of the summer. Mint Gun Club, 4a Brooke Rd, London N16 7JN ★★★★☆ Kyra Hanson
Good cause for the day
GREAT GORILLA RUN: Don't worry, there's not been an escape at London Zoo — it's just a 8km fun run, full of people dressed as gorillas. Promises to be an energetic day out, all in aid of, well, gorillas. Minster Court (City of London), £60, book ahead, 16 September
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
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
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
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
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