This weekend in London

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Frieze Sculpture

Lars Fisk, Tudor Ball, 2019, Marlborough, Frieze Sculpture 2019 Photo by Stephen White. Courtesy of Stephen White/Frieze.

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Frieze Sculpture
National Geographic Traveller Food Festival
Queen Victoria's Palace
Kew Science Festival
Floating Film Festival
Moon Festival
Backyard Cinema: L.A. Nights
National Park City Festival


Make the most of your precious time off with the LondonTown weekend guide, which gives you the lowdown on the best events and things to do this weekend in London. Want it straight to your inbox? Be sure to subscribe to the weekly Something for the Weekend mailer.


National Geographic Traveller Food Festival

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 2019


Providing two days of eating, drinking and learning, the inaugural National Geographic Traveller Food Festival comes to the Business Design Centre this July. Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, rising star Adam Handling and expert food writer Andi Oliver are all on the line-up along with John Torode, Tim Anderson, Felicity Cloake and Shivi Ramoutar. With travel at the heart of the festival, visitors will have the chance to discover the food and drink of destinations such as Hungary, Montenegro, Dominica and Thailand. There will be panel discussions covering food trends and up-and-coming culinary destinations along with one-on-one interviews with the most entertaining chefs, authors and journalists in the world of food. There will also be food stalls, culinary masterclasses and live demonstrations from top chefs.


The Moon

National Maritime Museum, Park Row, London, SE10 9NF

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: 19th July 2019 to 5th January 2020


Not just for the lunatics and the conspiracy theorists, The Moon is a major exhibition at the Royal Museums Greenwich, timed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing on 20th July 1969. The earliest drawings of the Moon, made using a telescope by Thomas Harriott, are loaned from the collection of Lord Egremont, along with key pieces from the Royal Astronomical Society, Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum. You can see Apollo space programme artefacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. as well as the Royal Museums Greenwich's own 100-inch map of the Moon by Hugh Percy Wilkins, shown to the public for the first time. Each historical and contemporary artwork invites us to explore our evolving relationship with the moon.


Frieze Sculpture

Regent's Park, Inner Circle, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 3rd July to 6th October 2019


Frieze Sculpture returns to the English Gardens of Regent's Park for 2019, once again running for three months from July until the end of Frieze London in October. Featuring works by 20 contemporary and modern artists presented by world-leading galleries, the free-to-view sculpture trail is the most accessible part of London's biggest art fair. This year's crop, selected and placed by Clare Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, includes One through Zero by Robert Indiana, who's famed for his global LOVE sculptures; My Melody, a pure white 3-metre-high rendition of a children's storybook character by New York-based sculptor Tom Sachs; and a full-size reproduction of a 1973 Jaguar E-Type Matchbox toy car by Brazilian artist Vik Muniz.


Queen Victoria's Palace

Buckingham Palace , Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1A 1AA

Tube: Victoria Station


Dates: 20th July to 29th September 2019


One of several London exhibitions marking the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, Queen Victoria's Palace at Buckingham Palace tells the story of how the young queen transformed the venue from an unloved private house into a working royal residence. Three weeks after ascending the throne in 1837, Queen Victoria, aged just 18, moved into Buckingham Palace, which had remained empty for many years following the death of George IV. Having commissioned for Buckingham House to be converted into a Palace, following the designs of John Nash, the King never got to live there, and his successor, William IV, chose to occupy Clarence House during his short reign, meaning it was left to Victoria's to transform the property into a suitable royal property. The exhibition brings together objects from the Royal Collection, including artworks and ball gowns, and an immersive experience in the Palace's Ballroom. This exhibition comes as part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, and Kensington Palace is also marking the anniversary with Victoria: Woman and Crown and Victoria: A Royal Childhood.


Kew Science Festival

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


Dates: Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 2019


Taking over Kew Gardens for two days, the Kew Science Festival returns for its fourth year in 2019 to focus on the vital importance of conserving the world's plant biodiversity. The festival brings to life, for all ages, the crucial value of plant and fungal science. A series of activities, workshops and tours will inspire children and adults alike, with the chance to discover how cryopreservation conserves seeds, why fungi are so important to trees, plants and people, and why different bees seek out certain plants. There will also be the chance to go behind the scenes at Kew with tours of the Tropical Nursery, where you'll find a vast number of exotic and rare plant species, and the Herbarium, which is responsible for preserving around 7 million plant specimens.


The Glasshouse at The Gherkin

Helix and Iris, The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP

Tube: Liverpool Street Station , Aldgate Station, Aldgate East Underground Station


Dates: 15th July to 1st September 2019


Sitting on the top two floors of the iconic London landmark, Searcys at The Gherkin - also known as Helix and Iris - is already one of London's coolest venues, and it's set to become even more attractive this summer thanks to botanical pop-up, The Glasshouse at The Gherkin. Created in partnership with Perrier-Jouet Champagne, the pop-up brings nature to life in the heart of the city with the entire Iris Bar, located on the 40th floor, transformed into a green oasis of exotic flowers and plants, all coming together within the venue's glass walls to give the illusion of a sky-high conservatory. Guests can sip on Perrier-Jouët vintages as well as specially created summer cocktails and a botanical themed food menu, served in the Helix Restaurant on the 39th floor. For special group events, a private dining room on level 38 has been transformed into a mini version of The Glasshouse with a striking floral installation in the centre of the room. A series of champagne masterclasses will also be taking place along with a programme of live entertainment.


Floating Film Festival

St Katharine Docks, Tower Bridge Approach, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1LA

Tube: Tower Hill Station


Dates: 16th to 28th July 2019


Central London's only marina St Katharine Docks plays host to the Floating Film Festival this July, with recent cinematic favourites shown on the big screen on the floating pontoon. Oscar-winning films Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born will both be shown twice while other movies on the line-up include Mary Poppins Returns, First Man, The Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Aquaman. Film showings start at 7pm and there are two family screenings on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Step on board the floating platform, pull up a deck chair or snuggle down in a bean bag and watch some all-time favourites complete with snacks, craft beers and cocktails.


Moon Festival


Various Venues Dates: 19th to 26th July 2019


In the year of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and in the same month as The Moon exhibition at the National Maritime Museum comes the Moon Festival, a week-long festival of unique night-time events. The festival kicks off with a special late-night street party and lunar market, complete with Moon-themed music, street art, astronomy, spoken word and food as well as a Midnight Moon Run and Moon Cocktails Masterclass. Other highlights include a special edition of the legendary cult cabaret, Posh Club Late, and appearances from The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood; space scientist, The Sky at Night presenter and self-confessed lunatic Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock; and London's Night Czar Amy Lamé. It all comes to a close with a party underneath the Cutty Sark with live music, projection mapping and an astronomy tour.


Backyard Cinema: L.A. Nights

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 18th July to 25th August 2019


Bringing the beach vibes of LA to the Roundhouse this summer, Backyard Cinema recreates the sun-kissed beaches of the West Coast for a laid back setting where you can watch popular films on the big screen, alongside 400 other movie goers. Known for their immersive productions, the crew has created an indoor beach with giant bean bags on the sand, palm trees and a retro beach bar. The perfect setting for their sing-a-long beach parties. On the line-up are the latest blockbusters including Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie 2 and Captain Marvel, award-winning new releases including BlackkKlansman, A Star is Born and Stan and Ollie and classics like Back to the Future and Clueless.


National Park City Festival


Various Venues Dates: 20th to 28th July 2019


Taking steps towards making London the world's first National Park City, The Mayor of London has launched the brand-new National Park City Festival in 2019. Celebrating the capital's green spaces, wildlife, green rooftops and waterways, the week-long festival aims to introduce Londoners to new environmental, cultural, sporting and community activities in order to improve health, wellbeing and social cohesion. Highlights include the National Park City Stage, which will see dance, theatre and music on the National Theatre's outdoor River Stage on the Southbank; National Park City Rooftops, providing free access to some of London's best rooftop gardens and natural spaces in partnership with Open City; and National Park City Splash, the city's first multi-site outdoor swimming and paddle sports event.



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