Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 20 July 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by the Old Royal Naval College.

Ealing Comedy Festival

What we're reading

  • A London theatre is feeling the heat of social media after posting a job ad that strangely begins with a rant against millennials.
  • Acid is becoming the new weapon of choice for criminals in London, but why?
  • Suggestions are being made to move parliament out of London to the north of England.

Things to do

GRAND TOUR: What a treat. Moor Park Mansion is a Grade I listed 17th century Palladian building and a few times a year offers tours of the incredible building set within over 300 acres of parkland just outside of the Borough of Uxbridge. Oh Mr Darcy? Are you there? Moor Park Mansion (Rickmansworth), just turn up, 10am/11am

SIGHT UNSEEN: It's the last day of this unusual collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital, Open Senses, and national disability charity Sense, which has produced an intriguing showcase of the work of Marcus Inniss. He's a deafblind artist who uses design and photographic art to depict life with sight loss. Moorfields Eye Hospital, free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

SOLAR POWER: Do something unusual and learn how to build an actual solar panel with Repowering London, specialists in co-producing community energy programmes with local groups in the city. Museum of London (Barbican), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

SOUTHGATE SAUNTER: A gate through which royal parties rode on horseback, and an area of great natural beauty, discover the stories of Southgate on a leisurely guided saunter around the area. Southgate station, £9, book ahead, 1.30pm-3pm

BOAT RACE: A fiercely competitive annual favourite returns. The Paddington Dragon Boat Regatta will begin near the new Floating Pocket Park and race the length of the Merchant Square canal to be first past the finishing line. Go along and cheer the teams on as they raise money for charity. Merchant Square (Paddington), free to watch, just turn up, 5pm-9pm

Gin Mare with a view

BOARD GAMING: Unleash your competitive side with an evening of board gaming, from old classics to contemporary counterparts. You're free to enjoy the museum's new PLAY exhibition, too. Freud Museum London, £8, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

TOP LAUGHS: Sit back and relax in the experienced comedy hands at Ealing Comedy Festival. Tonight's line-up includes Julian Clarey, Jo Caulfield and Alun Cochrane. Walpole Park, £20, book ahead, 6.30pm-10.30pm (festival runs until 28 July)

GIN MARE: Does a classic gin with a view sound like just the ticket? Gin Mare is a summer rooftop pop-up experience for gin lovers and view lovers, with Mediterranean food to accompany the gin. Rooftop and fifth floor, IET (Savoy Place), free entry, book ahead, 6.30pm-11pm (until 21 July)

MUSIC MAKERS: A new space at Selfridges, dubbed the Ultralounge, will be hosting musical artists on its platform, beginning with some underground rap and grime music talent from London. Your ticket includes three drinks, so have a blast. Ultralounge on LG (Selfridges), £23.70, book ahead, 7pm-10pm


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See London’s Sistine Chapel up close

If you’ve not heard of the stunning Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, you're missing a gem. It’s a pretty impressive place to visit, but now it’s got even more exciting; tying in with the current restoration project, you can take part in a once in a lifetime tour of the incredible painted ceilings.

See the Baroque artwork like never before — ascend a 60ft observation deck and get up-close to these masterpieces, which were created in the 1700s. You’ll need a head for heights for this one — book in while you still can.


Art review: skull made of french fries

Duo Love Jordan’s most attention grabbing artworks are their skulls made of items such as sweets and french fries — which most people tend to have a love / hate response towards. But for us, their strongest works are delicate towering assemblages made of wood and paper that are full of tiny details and look as they could fall apart with the slightest touch. Love Jordan at Woolff Gallery, 89 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PU, free. Until 27 July, free. ★★★☆☆ (Monday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Theatre review: international surrogacy market exposed

Image credit: Bronwen Sharp

Vivienne Franzmann’s compelling new play Bodies may not depict the brutally enforced surrogacy of The Handmaid’s Tale, but it reveals how poverty forces women from developing countries to carry babies for wealthy Westerners. Jude Christian’s balanced production shows the desperate desire to have a child at any cost when a British couple use a Russian agency which exploits poor women in unregulated India. The ethical dilemmas of this commercial transaction are given an emotional power in the lead performance by Justine Mitchell, who fantasises about having a perfect relationship with a daughter. Bodies, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS, £12‒25. Until 12 August ★★★★☆[Monday‒Saturday] Neil Dowden

Food review: provencal with a twist

Our meal begins, as perhaps every French one should, with escargots dripping in an unctuous, herby coulis. Beef tartar, spattered with a spicy dijon mustard sauce, means we're off to a bon start. For mains, Bar Boulud ups the mediterranean ante, adding fennel, cherry and al dente Carmargue rice (who knew France had its own paddy fields?) to olive-crusted lamb rump. And peach and rose harissa with grilled sea bass? If you've got a fruity enough palate, why not. It's worth pointing out the guys eating posh burgers (one, with foie gras) next to us looked extremely happy with them too. As is so often the case, dessert is the weak link; the tarte au citron crowned with meringue tastes like something you'd grab from the Sainsbury's bakery on a whim, and the baba au rhum could do the breaststroke in its own oversweet syrup. You'd let plenty of restaurants off for this, but you shouldn't have to at a Boulud. Bar Boulud, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA. ★★★★☆ Will Noble

Good cause for the day: Run the River

Run an incredible route and raise money for Teach First by taking on the challenge of Run the River on 12 September 2017. Thousands of runners come together along the riverside paths of the Thames to take part in this race which can be run as either a 5k or a 10k. You'll pass landmarks such as the Tower of London, Tate Modern and City Hall. Teach First improves education for children living in low-income families. 12 September, £35/£60, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

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