Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 19 June 2019

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There's a garden party in Portman Square

Things to do

HOUSE & GARDEN FESTIVAL: Pick up tips and tricks for sprucing up your pad at the House & Garden Festival. The event is a combination of three events (House Fair & Grow London, Spirit of Summer Fair and The Art and Antiques Fair), all under one roof and one ticket. Interior design, garden ideas and trends, food, drink and fashion are all covered through stalls, talks, demonstrations and workshops. Olympia London, £20/£16, book ahead, 19-23 June

WAR MEMORIALS: There are over 350 memorials dotted around the country in honour of Postal Service workers who lost their lives in the two world wars. Find out more about the memorials in this free talk, including how they came about and who cares for them today. The Postal Museum (Clerkenwell), free, just turn up, 11.30am/2pm

TEA DANCE: Everyone's welcome at Southbank Centre's free monthly tea dance — no dancing experience or partner required. The house DJ plays classic tunes for you to rhumba, tango and waltz to. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 1.30pm

Tuck into treats at the Portman Square garden party

GARDEN PARTY: The gates of Portman Square open for a rather fancy garden party, raising money for local charity Greenhouse Sports. Enjoy live music and entertainment as you tuck into food from the nearby Hyatt Regency hotel, try your luck on the charity raffle, and take home a goody bag. Portman Square, £45, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

FRANKLIN THE INNOVATOR: American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was responsible for several inventions in his lifetime, including the lightning rod and musical instrument the glass harmonica. Hear about his innovations at this talk in his former home. Benjamin Franklin House (Charing Cross), £6, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

BOROUGH BOUNDARIES: Ever wondered why London's boroughs ended up where they are? This free talk addresses the history of London's borough boundaries, and how we ended up with the boroughs we know today. New London Architecture (Fitzrovia), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

JAWDANCE: Up-and-coming poets and musicians take to the stage at Jawdance, alongside more established performers. Poet Julian Knxx, photographer and poet Amaal Said and the excellently-named Izzy Inkpen headline, with other performers able to sign up for an open mic slot on the night. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, book ahead, 7pm

WRITING THE COLD WAR: National Archives continues its Cold War season of events with an evening dedicated to spy novelist John Le Carré's work. Dr Sam Goodman discusses what his novels say about Britain and Britishness in the shadow of the Cold War, followed by a screening of 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. National Archives (Kew), £9.60-£12, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

A free tea dance at Southbank Centre

CHEESE SCIENCE: Yep, cheese. Head to Mayfair to find out what they put in the stuff to make it taste so damn good. Cheese experts Bronwen and Francis Percival talk through how the cheese-making process has changed with improved technology, and samples are provided throughout the evening. The Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

GAMERDISCO: Big screen gaming, tournaments, prizes and live music and DJs all feature at GamerDisco. Super Street Fighter II on Super Nintendo is the headline game of the night, but there are plenty of other games to challenge your friends on, both retro and new. Queen of Hoxton, £3, book ahead, 7.30pm-11.59pm

COMEDY PREVIEW: Comedian Rhys James — who's appeared on the likes of Mock The Week and Roast Battle — offers a preview of his work-in-progress show Snitch, before taking it to Edinburgh Festival. Upper Norwood Library Hub, £10.68-£13.34, book ahead, 9pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

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

My Roundel of the Week is this illustrated roundel, found on the platforms at Wapping station. Wapping is now part of the Overground but until a decade ago formed part of the East London Line, part of the Underground. The illustration is one of several on the platform by Nick Hardcastle. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Head to Leighton House Museum for a screening of films made by young Syrian filmmakers, showing the challenges they face in their country, which has been shattered by violent conflict. Money raised goes to the Hands Up Foundation, which supports those affected by the conflict. Find out more and book tickets.

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