Actual real life events are BACK! So if you’re up for leaving the house, here’s our pick of the best things to do in London. If not, the virtual parade of fun continues…
Lead image: Sherlock: The Official Live Game (photo: Nic Crilly Hargrave)
actual real-life events
Yes, you can leave the house and go enjoy these IRL events!
1 Sherlock: The Official Live Game, Shepherd’s Bush
Saturday 11 July
Sherlock: The Official Live Game reopens its doors this weekend, so swap your four walls for Sherlock’s Baker Street flat and get your detective on. For the first time ever, slots will be available for exclusive private experiences only so that you can feel safe within the Sherlock environment. So ‘don your deerstalker’ (and your face mask) for this 100-minute immersive experience, racing against the clock to solve mysteries and puzzles before the time runs out! The west London experience, a ‘Good to Go‘ COVID-secure attraction approved by Visit England, is suitable for all detectives aged 10 and over. Tickets from £130 for two adults (family ticket £150-£180).
West 12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush W12 8PP; thegameisnow.com
2 Opera Gallery’s Masterpiece Exhibition, Mayfair
Opera Gallery reopened its doors on Super Saturday with a new exhibition featuring some of the biggest names in contemporary art. Works by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Fernando Botero, alongside a series of new artworks made during lock down by world-famous light sculptor Anthony James, are all part of the Masterpiece Exhibition. Opera Gallery has seen a huge boom in sales by younger digital savvy collectors who have capitalised on the gallery’s new digital Viewing Rooms programme, which will continue even as the gallery opens its doors to the public.
134 New Bond Street, Mayfair W1S 2TF; operagallery.com
From 3 July
Many of London’s new drive-in cinemas launched last weekend, with Celestial Cinema at Flamingo Park in Bromley (tickets £29.50 per car), @TheDriveIn on Circus Field in Blackheath, Sunset Cinema on Twyford Avenue Sports Ground in Acton (tickets £50 per car), The Luna Drive-In Cinema at Allianz Park in Hendon (tickets from £29.50), The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water in Enfield (tickets £55 per car) and Rooftop Film Club’s Drive in Cinema at Ally Pally (tickets £27.50-£29.50 per car) now all up and running. For more on London’s drive-in cinemas, including locations and launch dates, click here.
4 All Star Lanes Launches Summer Of Song, White City & Brick Lane
From 4 July
All Star Lanes has been bowled over by the news that bowling is still on lockdown, so instead, All Star Lanes will open its White City and Brick Lane venues for drinking, dining and singing. The ‘Summer Of Song’ will see the venues decked out with top-of-the-range karaoke equipment from Singa. The luxury karaoke booths, which can be booked for as little as £10pp for one hour with a drink, will be fully cleaned after each group leaves to ensure singers are kept safe. All Star Lanes White City’s spacious new terrace is also open, complete with a pop-up Lanson horsebox bar and additional seating for champagne, cocktails, takeaway pizzas and ice cream.
95 Brick Lane E1 6QL & Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way W12 7FU; allstarlanes.co.uk
5 Take a City Cruises Boat Tour
From 4 July
City Cruises, the largest tour boat operator on the Thames, has resumed sightseeing and dining sailings. Experiences will cast off across London with all sailings operating with social distancing measures in place and reduced passenger capacities. The new Sightseeing Flexible Open Pass, from £19pp, offers a 24-hour ticket that allows you to hop on and off at Westminster, London Eye and Tower of London and rediscover the capital away from the crowds with a guided commentary. City Cruises also has two dining passes to choose from: The Daytime Dining Pass (from £35pp) for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner; and the Thames Flexible Dinner Pass (from £82pp) for a Showboat or Jazz cruise with a sit-down meal. City Cruises has also launched new weekly and monthly passes for commuters from £29 a week or £99 a month.
6 I’ve Really Done It This Time at Ben Oakley Gallery, Greenwich
Ben Oakley launches a new solo exhibition at his eponymously named gallery in Greenwich. I’ve Really Done It This Time is a brand new series of wild and wonderful works created from pieces collected over the years in a process Oakley calls ‘art-cycling’. Over the years, self-taught artist Oakley has collected objects from around the globe, an obsession sparked from spending time at Bermondsey Market as a child. A silver pocket watch might spark his interest, becoming the base for a piece of artwork that sends him wading through his vast collection of treasures to create something intriguing and heaped with surreal humour. Opens on Friday 10 July at 7pm. View the exhibition IRL on Saturdays and Sundays from 11.30am-4.30pm, by appointment during the week or view it virtually online.
Greenwich Market, 9 Turnpin Lane, Greenwich SE10 9JA; benoakleygallery.com
7 The Big London Bake, Tooting
The Big London Bake – the UK’s first and only live baking competition – has returned IRL! After pivoting to offer remote tutorials for home baking, the squad is now back in their famous, fully kitted out baking tent in the gardens of the Castle Pub in Tooting. Much like the TV bake-off, you compete with your fellow bakers to whisk, roll and drizzle your way towards a winning bake in just 90 minutes. New COVID-secure measures include 12 separate baking stations, all two-meters apart, a huge airy venue with a maximum of only 24 customers, PPE available for all guests, all ingredients and equipment on your own baking station (no sharing), hand sanitiser and hand wash facilities available to all, and deep cleans after every session. Tickets from £35 (click here to book).
38 Tooting High Street SW17 0RG; thebiglondonbake.com
8 Flea Vintage & Makers Market at Vinegar Yard, London Bridge
Flea – Vinegar Yard’s resident vintage and makers market – is back with its eclectic mix of vintage fashion, antiques and art. Flea offers a sustainable shopping experience featuring an array of vintage and artisanal traders. The market has operated virtually during lockdown, and will continue to do so each Saturday with Insta Flea, but for those who have missed rummaging through the aisles to find beautiful and unique pieces, get set for the return of Flea IRL. COVID-secure measures include a one-way system, strictly capped capacity, careful spacing of vendors in the outdoor yard, increased sanitation procedures and attended bathrooms. The Gentlemen Baristas will be on hand to provide artisanal coffees to take away, along with a selection of snacks. Open Saturday & Sunday 12pm-5pm.
Vinegar Yard, St Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 3QU; flealondon.com
9 Gosnells Drinks Pop-Up, Peckham
Gosnells, the Peckham-based meadery, has launched a weekly collaboration outside Gosnells production hub, alongside beer brewers Anspach & Hobday of Croydon and Bermondsey. The event, taking place every Saturday from 12pm-7pm, will offer a selection of their canned produce for sale from both breweries. Gosnells will be offering up its unique range of sparkling, gluten-free meads, as well as iced cocktail slushies, ‘Meadaritas’ and some exclusive Gosnells x Anspach & Hobday cocktails. ‘We have so much space outside the meadery,’ says Tom Gosnell, ‘and this will be a great opportunity to introduce visitors to what Anspach & Hobday and ourselves have to offer. I am personally besotted by honey and I want to show the flavour-inspiring cleverness of the bee.’ Anspach & Hobday is also gearing up to sell takeaway draught from their Bermondsey Taproom and Camberwell bar, The Pigeon.
Gosnells Meadery, Print Village, Chadwick Road, Peckham SE15 4PU; gosnells.co.uk
Staying home? Stay entertained with these cracking virtual events
10 The Peninsulist Presents
Until 4 September
Greenwich Peninsula’s virtual summer festival, The Peninsulist Presents, is a new series of events running throughout the summer. The programme, which centres around Friday Sessions and Culture Wednesdays, features exclusive live music sets in virtual listening rooms, innovative design workshops and more, including a gastronomic adventure in celebration of Bastille Day with Bompas & Parr. The Virtual Friday Film Club, taking place every Friday at 7pm in partnership with Bounce Cinema, screens a varied programme from the BFI archives as well as independent and established filmmakers. Screening this weekend is Burning an Illusion (1981), a drama set in Notting Hill following a young woman’s journey to emancipation and political awakening while facing the ups and downs of her relationship. All events are streamed for free on Greenwich Peninsula’s digital channels (@ThePeninsulist).
11 The Old Vic presents Mood Music
Mood Music, written by Joe Penhall (Sunny Afternoon, Blue/Orange) and directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) is a timely new play about power, passion and the dark side of the music industry. Young songwriter Cat enters into a battle with her producer Bernard over who owns a hit song, and the conflict inflicts a devastating toll. Mood Music, which premiered during The Old Vic’s 200th birthday in 2018, is one of a selection of full-length Old Vic archive recordings hosted for free on The Old Vic’s YouTube channel. The production, featuring the original cast, will go live at 7pm on 8 July and will be available to watch until 7pm on 14 July.
12 Hackney Herbal’s Online Workshops
Saturday 11 July
Hackney Herbal, a social enterprise that teaches you how to incorporate herbs into their lives in the form of recipes, skincare and natural remedies, has moved its workshops online during lockdown. Upcoming workshops include Essential Oils for the Mind, covering formulations and tips, with a particular focus on how to utilise essential oils for emotional and mental wellbeing (Saturday 11 July, 11am-1pm) and Growing Food on a Windowsill, focusing on herbs, salads and veg that grow well indoors in containers (Saturday 11 July, 2pm-4pm). Workshops are all priced £20 and all profits reinvested into free community activities in Hackney.
13 606 Online Live
10 & 11 July
Fulham’s 606 Club is keeping audiences entertained during lockdown with 606 Online Live, a series of pay-to-view live music streams. Streaming this Friday is Purdy, whose songs combine vintage flair with a thoroughly modern attitude. Purdy has toured with Jools Holland and performed at Wembley Stadium and The Royal Albert Hall. Earlier this year, Purdy released her second record Both Sides of a Clown at the 606. On Saturday night it’s Tim Whitehead, whose long career has seen him win Young Jazz Musician of the Year in the 70s, make several critically acclaimed albums in the 90s and, in 2009, he was the first ever musician to be made Artist in Residence at Tate Britain. Both performances take place from 8pm-9.15pm priced £4.99.
14 THEWHODUNNIT? Presents Murder on The Underground Express
Until 9 August
THEWHODUNNIT?’s Murder on The Underground Express is a virtual murder mystery that revolves around the killing of self-made millionaire Langdon Park during the inaugural outing of his new underground train, the Express Line. Only guests of the victim were present at this private opening ceremony – so whodunnit? As a guest aboard the Underground Express, you are cordially invited to attend an evening of investigation and revelations with world-famous detective, Reynard Gull. Tickets £10pp (couples £15pp), offering access to the interactive virtual murder mystery experience via Zoom. Running daily until 9 August.
To book see designmynight.com
15 Le Tour de France French Wine Tasting
Until 8 August
Winfield Wines usually runs fun group wine tastings in London, but that we’re all stuck in our isolation stations, it’s time to get to know your grapes online. The virtual tutored wine tastings offer a wine education from a WSET qualified instructor conducted via Zoom. Hop online beforehand and book your ticket, which includes six sample bottles of wine that will be mailed out to your address. Tickets are £55 per household and the experience takes place from 6.30pm-8pm.
To book see designmynight.com