Things To Do Today In London: Wednesday 19 July 2017

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Things to do today is sponsored by Alexandra Palace.

A special guided tour of the National Army Museum's War Paint exhibition

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Things to do

PHOTO EXHIBIT: The Lost Men of Syria can be found in a first solo exhibition of works by photojournalist Edward Jonkler. Saatchi Gallery, free, just turn up, 10am-8pm, until Wednesday 9 August

KENNEL CLUB: Learn more about the club's efforts to improve the health and welfare of thousands of dogs in the UK on this tour of their new building. There's even a chance to view the art gallery and library. Kennel Club (Piccadilly), £5, book ahead, 11am

CEMETERY TOUR: Learn about the conservation work going on at Brompton Cemetery on this hard hat tour behind the scenes. Brompton Cemetery, free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

MOSAIC MAKING: Learn the basics of mosaic making at this workshop and soon you'll be saving all your broken crockery to add to your pieces. Also you get to take home your beautiful creations. The Brixton Pound Cafe, £20, book ahead, 6.15pm-8.15pm

BRUSHES WITH CONFLICT: War artist Douglas Farthing leads a guided tour of the museum's War Paint exhibition, exploring personal perspectives on war, and why and how soldiers have painted scenes of conflict. National Army Museum, £12, book ahead, 6.30pm

Fancy trying your hand at some mosaic making?

LIFE QUESTIONS: How have different cultures made meaning from the universe? Environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and author Jeremy Lent are discuss what needs to change to ensure a sustainable future. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 6.30pm

LITERARY FIGURES: Enjoy the quiet of an after hours visit to Southwark Cathedral and learn about the many literary figures associated with the building, including important English court poet, John Gower. Southwark Cathedral, £8, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

HAUNTED PUBS: Perfect excuse to gather a group of friends and enjoy a spooky tour around London's most haunted pubs... and perhaps a drink or two on the way, right? Temple tube, £14, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

ANCIENT ART CLASS: Impress your friends by learning the ancient textile technique of batik, where hot wax is applied to fabric using a tool called a tjanting. All materials provided. The Doodle Bar (Southwark), £25, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

SHORT FILMS: Shorts On Tap are back with a selection of Comedy Short Films that aim to have you rolling in the aisles, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers in question. 93 Feet East (Shoreditch), £3, book ahead, 7pm-11pm


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Don't miss Alexandra Palace's Summer Festival this weekend

Nothing says 'summer' better than al fresco cinema, a jug of Pimms and a giant, inflatable waterslide. Get stuck into all three at Alexandra Palace on 22 July as part of the Summer of Love-themed festival. The event is free entry, but you’ll need tickets if you want to get wet, watch Austin Powers at sunset or rave it up with your little ones at Little Fish Big Fish's family-friendly party, complete with bubbles and balloons.

Also on offer is a variety of tasty street food vendors, plus craft beer and cocktail bars, and not one, not two but three, music stages. Hurry and plan your day of sun-drenched (fingers crossed) celebrations pronto — we can tell this one’s going to be a corker.


Art review: Leonardo to Rembrandt

Copyright: The Henry Barber Trust, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

The National Portrait Gallery has pulled together an exhibition all about drawings, coming from the big guns. An anatomical drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci and lots of studies of heads for future paintings by masters such as Rembrandt and Albrecht Durer. Despite the big names the works just refuse to jump out and it’s all rather dull — this exhibition will only be of interest to those interested in drawing process, as the final products are a let down. The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt at National Portrait Gallery, Until 22 October, £8 ★★☆☆☆ Tabish Khan

Food review: it's good to taco

You can see why Lupita East's packed out, even early on a weekday evening — and how the brand's expanded to three similarly busy taquerias across London. Bright, friendly and full of mezcal: Lupita's ticking a lot of after-work boxes. We scattergun across the menu with guac and tortilla chips, tacos and enchiladas. We discover the following things: the tacos pack such a heft of meat and richness that even the menu's smaller dishes turn out to be solidly satisfying; the smoky stickiness of the pineapple pico de gallo on the fish tacos smooths out the heat perfectly; and when Lupita slap a double-chilli-emoji next to a dish they mean it. They don't do the experimental combinations of some of London's newer taco joints, but if you're craving somewhere that plays the hits — and a reliably good mezcal margarita — you could do a lot worse than Lupita. Lupita, 60-62 Commercial Street, E1 6LT ★★★★☆ Lydia Manch

Theatre review: a long night in Paris and London

Has the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park lost its touch? Even if you know A Tale of Two Cities is about the riot-torn fag-end of the Reign of Terror ahead of the French Revolution, Dickens' 550-page tome isn’t topping any Goodreads list. The complex plot with its theories about justice, sacrifice and forgiveness isn’t easily mansplained in Matthew Dunster's wordy worthy adaptation. Deliberately diversely cast — Jude Owusu makes a noble Charles Darnay — it attempts to draw parallels between 18th century revolt and contemporary refugee struggles. However, that's all submerged under a confusing slew of regional accents, a clunky set of steel shipping containers, and some pretty leaden directing over nearly three hours. Read the book, maybe. A Tale of Two Cities, Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NU, £25-48.50, Until 5 August [Monday-Saturday] ★☆☆☆☆ Johnny Fox

Good cause for the day

ON YER BIKE: Public entry might be closed, but there's still a chance to sign up and ride one of the biggest cycling events in the UK with your favourite charity. The limb-testing 100 mile route begins at the Olympic Park, then winds through the English countryside and into Surrey, before finally finishing at The Mall. Queen Elizabeth Park, minimum fundraising required, book ahead, 30th July

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

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

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

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

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets