Things To Do This Weekend In London: 2-3 September 2023

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Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Embassy Gardens.

All weekend

A woman painting a colourful mural onto a wall.
Art, music and comedy are all part of Camden Inspire 2023.

KEW THE MOVIES: Kew Gardens' annual outdoor cinema season Kew The Movies wraps up this weekend, with three films shown each day. It's kids' specials such as Minions, Paddington and Matilda the Musical during the day, while the evenings are reserved for more grown-up films (Star Wars, Top Gun). See which other outdoor cinemas are still open in London this summer. 30 August-3 September

PUB IN THE PARK: Tom Kerridge's phenomenal three-day festival of food and music returns to Chiswick House & Gardens this Friday. This year at Pub in the Park Chiswick, he shares hosting duties with Andi Oliver and Hairy Biker Si King, who'll all lead live cookery demos alongside a raft of other culinary stars. Enjoy £7 dishes from top restaurants and get your groove on to headliners Ronan Keating, McFly, The Hoosiers, and Squeeze. 1-3 September (sponsor)

BRENTFORD ART TRAIL: Over three days, the one-mile Brentford Art Trail takes you to 14 venues, where you can view the work of more than 70 artists, from painters to printmakers, hatmakers to ironworks, ceramicists to sculptors. The theme of this year's event is a celebration of water, marking the first year that Totally Thames (below) has come to the area. FREE, 1-3 September

TOTALLY THAMES: An annual celebration of London's river, Totally Thames Festival is back for a month of tours and river cruises, music performances, talks, art installations, theatre shows and guided walks. It's a huuuge programme, so we've selected a few highlights to help you plan your month. This weekend, take a walk along the Hammersmith foreshore, or see performance art at Syon House, among many other events. 1 September-1 October

QUEEN'S PARK BOOK FESTIVAL: The annual Queen's Park Book Festival is back, with more than 20 events across literature and comedy. Pick up cooking tips from Michael Roux, hear respected author Sebastian Faulks discussing his latest book, and local novelist Zadie Smith discussing her new work, which is her first historical novel. 2-3 September

CAMDEN INSPIRE: Celebrate the borough of Camden, both past and present, at Camden Inspire. This year's festival has a theme of 'storytelling', with local artists, musicians, comedians, thought leaders and more hosting performances, talks and workshops across Buck Street and Stucley Place. 2-3 September

A room full of sewing machines.
Visit the Sewing Machine Museum on Saturday.

GDIF: Greenwich + Docklands International Festival continues apace, with one of this year's headline events happening this weekend. Sliding Slope sees a full-sized house immersed in the Royal Docks, with performances taking place on the roof to highlight the climate crisis. FREE, until 10 September

MARY BEALE: This is the final weekend of Dulwich Picture Gallery's current exhibition, Mary Beale: Experimental Secrets, which shares the results of new research into the 17th century painter's work, revealing her to be technically innovative. Until 3 September

WIZARD OF OZ: We're off to see the Wizard... but only until Sunday when the current production of the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium — starring Jason Manford as the cowardly lion — ends. Until 3 September

MEATOPIA: Carnivores will be drooling as Meatopia takes over Tobacco Dock for four days of events and exclusive dishes celebrating cooking over fire, plus a TAPtopia beer hall and live music to get the party swinging. 31 August-3 September

BARTHOLOMEW FAIR: The Bartholomew Fair last took place in 1855 — at the time it was considered too raucous, and was banned. But now it's back, taking place around the City over three weeks, with family-friendly events — the highlight of which is an aerial dance performance on top of St Paul's Cathedral until Saturday. FREE, 31 August-16 September

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Soundbathing, saunas, and storytelling at a free-entry wellness festival

How’s this for a serene Saturday? On 2 September, The Embassy Gardens Feel Good Festival brings a holistic programme of events — all designed to promote physical and mental wellbeing — to Nine Elms. Expect classes, talks, creative workshops, and live entertainment, with plenty of offerings from this design-led district's own community of health and fitness brands.

Ready to release some endorphins? Join The Provibers for free disco dancing and hula-hooping, or find your zen with a two-hour Kundalini yoga and sound-bathing session. There are even pop up saunas, where you’ll be immersed in a live storytelling while enjoying alternating sweat sessions and ice bath plunges for a real buzz. Of course, wellness is just as much about the mind as it is about the body — so there's also walking theatre, book clubs, a Brush and Bubbles art class, and talks focussed on mental health.

The Embassy Gardens Feel Good Festival is suitable for the whole family, with baby yoga and music workshops for your little ones — plus there's South East Asian BBQ available to buy via the hatch at Darby's, so you can really make a day of it. Sounds good, right? Browse the line up and buy tickets to the activities that take your fancy today.

Saturday 2 September

People sitting at picnic tables drinking, alongside the railway arches in Deptford.
Creekside Festival takes place at venues throughout Deptford.

CAPITAL CRIME: Armchair sleuths, make space in your diary for Capital Crime, a literary festival focusing exclusively on the crime and thriller genre, taking place at the Leonardo Royal Hotel St Paul's, and finishing today. Joanne Harris, Ben Aaronovitch and Robert Goddard are among the final day's guests. 9.30am-6pm

WORLD POPULATION: As Southbank Centre's Planet Summer series winds down, theatre company Stan's Cafe commandeers the Clore Ballroom in Royal Festival Hall for a simple but incredibly effective performance installation. Of All The People In All The World has one grain of rice representing every person in the world, and over the course of six days, they are carefully weighed and placed in different piles to represent different statistics about the human population. Today's the final day. FREE, 11am-8pm

OPEN GARDEN: Explore a peaceful, two-acre garden which is usually off-limits to the public, set behind a Georgian house in Dulwich. See the Walled Garden, where kitchen produce is grown, and the House Garden, as well as a woodland walk. Bell House was built for a former Mayor of London and is now the base for a community charity offering creative learning courses. 11.30am-1pm

CAMBERWELL FAIR: It started in 1279 and ran until 1855, so it's fair to say there's a decent bit of history to Camberwell Fair. The event was restarted in 2015, and runs again this year, with live music and DJs, a market, mask-making workshops and other entertainment on Camberwell Green. FREE, 12pm-8.30pm

CREEKSIDE FESTIVAL: Grassroots music station and event space AAJA launches brand new, multi-venue music festival Creekside Festival. It takes place across 10 independent music venues around Deptford, including Buster Mantis, Villages and Isla Ray. Creekside champions neighbourhood crews and DIY radio, with a line-up including Threads Radio, Cheeky Soundsystem and Rat Face Records. 12pm-3am

TIFFCUFF FESTIVAL: Camden's Roundhouse holds its inaugural TiffCuff one-day, one-venue music festival. Head to the main space for big-names acts including The Cribs, Glasvegas and Spector, or discover new, up-and-coming performers in the Studio Theatre. 2pm

Salty Brine on stage in a pink floral dress and make-up.
Salty Brine makes his London debut. Photo by David Andrako.

SEWING MACHINE MUSEUM: The monthly(ish) opening of the London Sewing Machine Museum takes place today, giving you the chance to ogle 600+ of the objects. What's that? You didn't know London has a Sewing Machine Museum? Not many people do, but we visited in 2018 to take some of the mystery out of the place. 2pm-5pm

BI PRIDE UK: The People's Palace in Mile End hosts Bi Pride UK, a celebration for anyone who experience attraction beyond gender. Expect two stages of live entertainment, a community hub, a book fair selling books by multisexual authors, food and drink stalls and more. FREE, 2pm-10pm

CHAPEL COMEDY: Simon Amstell headlines the Live at the Chapel comedy show at Islington's Union Chapel, accompanied by Sindhu Vee, Sara Keyworth, Morgan Rees and Jayde Adams. For an extra-special evening, book for dinner at the venue's Margins Cafe before the show. 6.30pm

RAHUL DUA: Indian stand-up comedian and actor Rahul Dua is at Bloomsbury Theatre for the London stop on his world tour. 7.30pm

SALTY BRINE: See New York Cabaret artist Salty Brine in his London debut show, Bigmouth Strikes Again: The Smiths Show at Soho Theatre. Think Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein twisted around The Smiths' post-punk, indie classic The Queen is Dead. 9.15pm (and various other dates)

DAVID BOWIE CLUB NIGHT: Alternative club night Scared to Dance throws a David Bowie special, with resident DJ Paul Richards playing the singer's hits including Let's Dance, Rebel Rebel, Starman, Changes, Space Oddity, Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars all night at The Victoria in Dalston. 10pm

Sunday 3 September

Musicians dressed in blue and orange costumes performing on the steel pan drums.
Wemba's Dream is performed for free in Wembley Park. Photo: Chris Winter.

VINTAGE KILO SALE: Browse through nine tonnes of vintage clothes from the 1960s onwards, and pay for them by weight at the Peckham Vintage Kilo Sale, priced at £20 per kilo. Takes place at the Bussey Building. 10am-4pm

CRAFT FAIR: 60 makers and designers based in London are showcasing and selling their products at the Solo Craft Fair at Between The Bridges on South Bank. Peruse art, jewellery, plants, fashion and other items, with drinks available from the bar. 12pm-5pm

WEMBA'S DREAM: Head to Wembley Park for family-friendly festival and performance Wemba's Dream, celebrating the Anglo-Saxon Wemba who founded the area, and everyone who has since journeyed to Brent to make it their home. Music, dance, poetry and carnival performances unfold throughout the day, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra taking part. FREE, 1.15pm-4.30pm

UKRAINIAN FREEDOM ORCHESTRA: Hear music by a range of Ukrainian composers, Yevhen Stankovych and Myroslav Skoryk, as well as Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, all performed by the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra at Barbican. 2pm

BANDSTAND CONCERT: The Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band takes to the bandstand in Hyde Park today for a free open-air brass band concert. FREE, 2.30pm-4.30pm

A composite image of photos of one woman pulling many different faces, depicting different emotions.
Conway Hall examines whether emotions are really gendered.

GENDERED EMOTIONS: Award-winning behavioural and data scientist Dr Pragya Agarwal is at Conway Hall giving a talk about why some emotions are usually attributed to men, and others to women. Gendered emotions date back as far back as Ancient Greek and Roman times, but is there any truth in it? 3pm

HAUNTING PLAY: Catch a performance of The Haunting of Blaine Manor, a horror play set in 1953, when parapsychologist Doctor Roy Earle attends a séance in what is said to be the most haunted building in England. Probably not for the easily spooked. Takes place at artsdepot in North Finchley. 3.30pm/7.30pm

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: Cycling theatre troupe The Handlebards wheel into the grounds of Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham for a fast-paced performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Take your own chair or blanket, as well as a picnic to tuck into while the magical forest unfolds around you. 7pm

BRIAN BUTTERFIELD: Comedian Peter Serafinowicz brings his hapless businessman alter-ego Brian Butterfield to the Moth Club for a performance of his current work-in-progress show. Butterfield regales the audience with tales of his time in the business world, working as everything from Lord Mayor's Croupier to Circus Horse Dentist. 7pm

PATERSON JOSEPH: Actor and author Paterson Joseph discusses his career, journey and relationship with Shakespeare, casting and race, in a candlelit event at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe. The Globe's Director of Education, Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, joins him on stage for the event. 7pm