Things To Do Today In London: Tuesday 1 August 2017

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Watch the sun set on this rooftop terrace

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ILLUSTRATION AWARDS: 50 original illustration projects are on show at Somerset House — everything from drawings, to murals, to posters, to packaging — before the winner is announced at the World Illustration Awards. Somerset House, free, just turn up, until 28 August

BEHIND CREATIVITY: From the author of War Horse, Private Peaceful and Kensuke's Kingdom comes a unique exhibition of original drafts, adaptations,and unpublished manuscripts. Michael Morpurgo's notebooks will reveal the creativity and process that went into some of the most loved titles in modern children’s books. V&A Museum of Childhood, free, just turn up, until February 2018

ROOFTOP GIN: Gin lovers unite at The Telegraph Gin Experience at Kensington Roof Gardens, a luxurious gin festival with world-renowned spirit experts, new masterclasses and over 40 gins from around the world available for sampling. Ticket also includes a BBQ and goodie bags. Kensington Roof Gardens, £60/£75, book ahead, 12.30pm-10pm, 1-2 August

WOUNDED: Explore the limits of human life and the extraordinary cost that is paid on the battlefield. How has medicine developed to keep up with modern warfare? Imperial College London's Dr Emily Mayhew's talk will take you from the first world war to the present day. The National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

TERRACE COCKTAILS: The Ham Yard Hotel's roof top garden provides the setting and the ingredients for a summer of cocktails as the sun sets over London. Ticket includes entry to the roof terrace and a welcome drink. Ham Yard Hotel, £15, book ahead, 5.30pm-10pm (until 30 August)

An operatic good time in the city

MOOD LIGHTING: You'll feel like an archaeological explorer as you discover the secrets of the Sir John Soane Museum by candlelight, a special open evening which occurs on the first Tuesday of every month. Make sure to arrive early as after the first 200 visitors enter it's one-in-one-out. Sir John Sloane Museum, free, just turn up, 6pm-9pm

SCORCH: For those who don’t feel like they’re in the right life, online is a place to be yourself. This immersive piece of theatre explores how the human story often gets lost among the headlines. Soho Theatre, £10, book ahead, 7pm (until 12 August)

OUTDOOR CINEMA: Catch Danny Boyle's masterpiece Slumdog Millionaire, under the stars and in the glorious surrounds of the Horniman Gardens. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £15, book ahead, 7.15pm-10.45pm

OPERA FESTIVAL: Whether you're a seasoned opera fan or have ever wondered whether you should give it a go, Opera In The City is a great way to immerse yourself in grandiose and powerful music. The festival is trying out new innovative takes on well-known classics and bringing to life rarely performed masterpieces. Bridewell Theatre, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm (until 12 August)

TIPSY PAINTING: If artistic creativity is a bit of a struggle, a glass of prosecco will probably help. PopUp Painting to the rescue — unleash the artist within you as you sip away, painting Hockney's Garden With Blue Terrace. No experience needed and all equipment provided. Ape and Bird (Soho), £33, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Art review: concrete boxing

Image courtesy Waddington Custot

In 1972, artist Joseph Beuys debated democracy for 100 days and even held a boxing match where he literally defended his political views. In honour of that show, a Mayfair gallery has created a concrete chamber filled with references to that seminal exhibition. Unfortunately it’s near impossible to capture this spirit, so what we’re left with is an impressive but ultimately unfulfilling tribute. Joseph Beuys: Boxkampf für die direkte Demokratie at Waddington Custot, 11 Cork Street, W1S 3LT, free. Until 11 August ★★☆☆☆ (Wednesday-Saturday) Tabish Khan

Comedy review: absurdist comedy missing the mark

When Sam Simmons does absurdist comedy well, he's a genius, but his current show quickly topples into the completely random and doesn't quite hit the mark. Surreal comedy works when absurdity dances around reality, but this show leaves any semblance of reality outside crying in the car park. Simmons' short spurts of stand-up are much sharper, raising some real hearty laughs, but there isn’t enough of this. In true Simmons style he also weaves voiceovers into his routine that emphasise his most bizarre stories really well, like ‘hang-gliding with Willem Dafoe’. The show culminates in an awkward audience Q&A leaving the evening a bit flat and confused. This high energy, cheeky and experimental show won't leave die-hard fans too disappointed, but it just doesn’t provide enough clever Simmons humour for our liking. Sam Simmons: A-K, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE, from £12. Until 5 August ★★★☆☆ Hannah Foulds

Food review: Nirvana Kitchen

From the moment your tush hits the seat in Nirvana Kitchen, you feel a little bit special — or like you should be on a date. Starting with a cocktail seems to be the best idea to wave away the last thought and we order the Elderflower Spritz and Summer Rum Punch. The punch is a clear favourite: sweet, cloying and fruity with a peppery kick — £14 a glass? Crumbs. The starters are delightful; the prawns are meaty with a smoky Asian, almost cajun, rub. The crab tempura is mostly batter, unfortunately, but the vegetable tempura has the perfect crunch. The thinly sliced and lightly seared venison tatki divides the table, but we were pleasantly surprised by the strong flavour and it absolutely melted in the mouth. Our mains, while very nice, didn't blow us away — and with prices hovering around £23 a plate you'd expect it to. But the early evening menu with three courses for £25 certainly makes it worth a second visit on a special occasion. Nirvana Kitchen, 61 Upper Berkeley Street, Marylebone W1H 7PP ★★★☆☆ [Monday-Saturday] Eleana Overett

Good cause of the day: in need of a coffee

End the day the right way, with a good stretch amid true London surroundings. Healthy snack brand KIND Snacks is hosting a 90 minute evening rooftop yoga event led by yoga instructor Cat Meffan. All ticket proceeds will go towards supporting Suspended Coffees — a suspended coffee is the advance purchase of a cup of coffee for someone who needs it, no matter why. Skylight Rooftop (Tobacco Dock), £10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

A Secret London Tour


Cross gas lit alleyways and stroll by ancient pubs as you discover forgotten parts of London. See the world's smallest police station and visit London's most superstitious hotel on a walking tour covering everything weird, wonderful and London. £12 Get tickets

Paddle Boarding in East London - Beginners


Take to the waters and glide about in this beginner paddleboarding session. By the end of it, you'll be standing up and paddling solo, and there's plenty of help on hand to improve your technique. Change of clothes required.  Get tickets

Paint Ceramics and Bring Your Own Prosecco!


If you've never paired ceramics and prosecco before, why on earth not? It's a match made in heaven as Sam and Diana, co-creators of 'Make Your Own', prove at their wonderfully welcoming ceramic painting workshop. Pull up a stool, don an apron and get to work on your very own mug, plate, tile, bowl or ornament. They provide the ceramics as well as a selection of patterns, and will show you exactly how to transfer designs and paint to your heart's content. It's BYO so feel free to pop the prosecco and enjoy the company of like-minded Londoners as you get stuck into your creations.  Get tickets