What we're reading
- Despite the housing shortage and rising rent, the super-rich are keeping their mansions empty in Chelsea and Kensington.
- Abandoned chairs on London's streets find a new home as vibrant art.
- Why is an art student is pretending to be an MP for Deptford and Greenwich?
- Man barred from Canary Wharf shops after forgetting to scan a pack of Tesco ribs.
Things to do today
SLIDE THE SHARD: How's your nerve? Are you good with heights? How about slides? Until 4 August, you can 'ride' the Shard slide for free with your purchase of a regular Skydeck ticket. This virtual reality experience will certainly give you a thrill: look. The Shard, £29.95/£30.95, book ahead, 10am-9pm
PADDLE BOARD: The Red Paddle Co tour bus arrives at Royal Victoria beach with free paddle boarding sessions up for grabs. Perfect your balance and have a laugh at the expense of strangers when someone falls in, because of course it won't be you. Lululemon will also be pitching up in their Meditation Bus for some group exercise if the mood grabs you. Wakeup Docklands, free, book ahead, noon-8pm
SUSTAINABLE SALAD: Learn how GrowUp is creating an efficient and sustainable system to produce food at an aquaponic farm, and have a taste of the salad being produced. Museum of London (Barbican), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm
POETS WANTED: Let loose your tongue at this open mic for poets who like to come out and play during the day, or lead the applause as a member of the audience. Sign up between 2.30pm and 3pm to read. Though free, a small donation on entry is appreciated to raise money for Grenfell Tower. The Poetry Cafe, free, just turn up, 3pm-5pm
GIN MASTERCLASS: Become the gin expert and cocktail-making aficionado of your group of friends by attending the Merchant Square floating botanical bar masterclasses, hosted by craft food and drink venue Lockhouse as part of the Summer Fete. Floating Pocket Park, £25, book ahead, 5.30pm
TEMPTING FÊTE: The Wellcome Collection is hosting an evening of drop-in activities, cocktails and music. It's also the perfect opportunity to try the new Play, Push and Relax trails through the building. Wellcome Collection, free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm
LIFE'S A BEACH: If there's a place in London appropriate to will in the good summer weather once more, it's probably Fulham's BYOB Neverland Beach. Enjoy al fresco dining, pull up a deck chair, or splurge on a beach hut for you and your mates. Wandsworth Bridge Road, £10-£195, book ahead, 6pm-11pm
IMMERSIVE THEATRE: Fall down the rabbit hole with Alice into the vaults hidden beneath Waterloo station. Eat or drink? Grow or shrink? The choice is yours as your adventure changes with every decision you make. A nonsensical show that's sure to be a wacky trip. The Vaults (Waterloo), £39, book ahead, various times from 6.15pm
ALL ABOARD: Do you feel the need for speed? Then take the Thames Rockets' speedboats for an after hours special that aims to blow you away — or maybe a loose hat if you're not careful. You'll experience the Thames and London's famous skyline at high speeds as the sun sets around you. London Eye Millennium Pier, £39.50, book ahead, 7pm/8pm
BLUES BROS: Fans of The Blues Brothers will feel right at home at Streatham Free Film Festival's showing of the classic film. You're encouraged to dress up in true Blues Brothers style to win a prize — though not compulsory, so just don a pair of sunglasses if you wish. The event raises money for the next film festival. Hideaway Jazz Club, £5, book ahead, 8.30pm-11pm
Art review: O Canada
It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year so this gallery with Canadian origins combines painters from across its home country to present an exhibition of bright, bold and original paintings. We're particular fans of the captivating landscapes painted by Kim Dorland. O Canada at Beers London, 1 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU, free. Until 19 August ★★★☆☆ (Tuesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan
Dance review: men and girls dance at Tate Britain
Men And Girls Dance offers what it says on the tin — five male professional performers dancing with nine girls aged 8 to 11 — and it's by turns tender and uplifting. The movement material is playful and gamelike with lots of running, catching, ducking around and sky-high supported bouncing. This playfulness is also delicate: moments of silent unison are performed with great sensitivity. Dance is combined with improvised speech; the performers comment on one another with disarming honesty before bounding into a joyful finale. The bright gallery setting exposes the performers more than a darkened theatre; faced close-up with such a spirited yet vulnerable performance, more than one audience member near us shed actual tears. Men and Girls Dance — Fevered Sleep, Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG. 3-6 August at 2pm, 3.30pm and 5pm ★★★★★
Food review: a tiny slice of paradise awaits
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. Ingredients are natural, ethically sourced and made in house where possible. 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. Forget coconut water, we reckon Hunt’s subtle, refreshing coconut wine may just be the drink of the summer. Mint Gun Club, 4a Brooke Road, N16 7JN. ★★★★☆ Kyra Hanson
Good cause for the day: look good, feel better
Merchant Square's Summer Fete is back and raising money for Look Good Feel Better. Have a go at making your own floral crown with beautiful real flowers, adorn your skin with pretty patterns from a henna artist or make your own bicycle powered healthy smoothie. Lots of skincare and beauty brands will be on hand on the day doing skin damage surveys, brow bars, braids and manicures. And what summer fete would be complete without a tombola, raffle, and bake sale? 3 August, Merchant Square, free, just turn up, noon-2pm
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