Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 12 September 2019

Tower Bridge marks 125 years with a series of special talks. Photo: Tower Bridge

Things to do

FOOD FESTIVAL: A food festival begins in the Tower of London's moat today. Dozens of stalls pitch up in the historic trench, including Doughnut Time, Jackalopes All American Hot Dogs, Indian Street Kitchen, Mac to the Future, and The Good Life Gin Co, while celebrity chefs Jose Pizarro, Emily Roux and Dr Rupy Aujla share their wisdom up on stage. Tower of London, included in admission, booking recommended, 12-15 September

SCIENCE CITY: Science Museum opens a new, permanent gallery, and it's all about London. Science City focuses on the capital's contributions to science between 1550 and 1800. Highlights include a copy of Newton's Principia Mathematica (which some would argue is the most important book ever published), Newton's telescope, and Robert Hooke's microscope and illustrations. Science Museum, free entry, just turn up, from 12 September

OPEN GARDENS: Take a rare chance to go inside the seven-acre gardens of The Charterhouse at this open evening. Wander through the grounds at this informal event, before refuelling at the barbecue and bar. The Charterhouse (Clerkenwell), £10/£8, book ahead, 4.30pm-7.30pm

Tower of London Food Festival begins today

LIVE MUSIC: Merchant Square's free live music Thursdays come to an end with a performance by singer-songwriter Josh Gleaves. Head down after work and bag yourself a deckchair on the floating pocket park for a relaxing evening, with plenty of food and drink options nearby. Merchant Square (Paddington), free, just turn up, 5.30pm-7.30pm

DIRECTOR TALK: Get the lowdown on the National Theatre's new production of Hansard, as director Simon Godwin and writer Simon Woods discuss the show. Find out what went into creating the witty new political drama, set in the summer of 1988 at the Cotswolds home of Tory politician Robin Hesketh. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 6pm

The Charterhouse opens its seven-acre gardens to the public

FREDERICK FORSYTH: He's worked as an RAF officer, MI6 spy and BBC war correspondent, and used those experience to write The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File. Now author Frederick Forsyth chats to LBC presenter Matthew Stadlen about his fascinating life and career. Conway Hall (Holborn), £30, book ahead, 6.45pm-8pm

TOWER BRIDGE TALKS: Tower Bridge continues its 125th anniversary celebrations with a talk about Sir Horace Jones, the man who designed it. Architectural historian Dr Jennifer Freeman talks through his life and legacy — including the many other London buildings he designed — and how Tower Bridge remains so impressive to this day. Tower Bridge, £20, book ahead, 7pm

SPOOKY WESTMINSTER: See the darker side of the West End on this Bloody London tour of spooky Westminster. Sites on the route include the Metropolitan Police headquarters where a dismembered body was discovered, the site of the scaffold where a King was beheaded, and the former court building which once heard evidence against the Krays, Doctor Crippen, and many others. Address provided on booking, £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm (sponsor)

ABDUL AND THE GANG: For a sound you don't hear too often in London, head to this Adbul and the Gang show. The French/Moroccan band mix North African gnawa rhythms, Arabic chaabi music and lively funk. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £20, book ahead, 8pm

Enjoy free live music in Merchant Square

PIGS OF PARADISE: Heard of the pigs which swim in the seas surrounding a tropical island in the Bahamas? Author TR Todd has written a book, Pigs of Paradise, about how they came to be there, and why many of them died in 2017. Todd discusses his book, followed by a screening of a new feature-length film based on the book. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 7pm-8.45pm

SEX PARTIES: If you're curious about sex parties, but don't know quite what to expect at one, this event is for you. It's not a sex party, but rather a talk about them, covering everything you wanted to know but couldn't ask. Where are they, how do you find them, what happens there, and what should you wear? It's all covered in a talk and Q&A. Hackney, £10, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

TREE FOLKLORE: South East London Folklore Society's monthly meet-up focuses on the folklore of trees this time round. Get an introduction to the different species of tree in the British Isles and the folklore that surrounds them. Music and storytelling also features. The Old King's Head (Borough), £5/£3, book ahead, 8pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Trainbow in Farringdon

Smiles all round at Farringdon yesterday, as Thameslink's 'Trainbow' rolled through the station. The train has been plying the Brighton route since July as a symbol of inclusivity, and will retain its splendid livery indefinitely. Rumours that the PA system plays the theme tune to 80s children's show Rainbow have not been substantiated. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Book now to take part in this year's Maggie's Culture Crawl on 27 September. It's a 10-mile sponsored walk through London at night, and is always good fun. As well as being a chance to see the city in a new light, it raises money for Maggie's Centres, places which offer care and support for anyone affected by cancer. Find out more and sign up.

What we're reading