The best things to do in London in August – now that we’re all allowed out again – from alfresco comedy and rooftop brunches to immersive experiences, VR play rooms and blockbuster exhibitions
Lead image: The Drive-In at Troubadour Meridian Water (photo: Nick Rutter)
1 The Old Car Wash Cocktail Pop Up, Homerton
From 6 August
Cocktails and car washes might not make for the most natural pairing, but in the age of enhanced hygiene measures, it does kinda make sense… The Old Car Wash in Homerton is a new pop-up cocktail bar in an abandoned car wash, serving top-notch cocktails from classics to bespoke creations, as well as beer from Camden Brewery. Ivan Cardoso, who has managed east London hotspots like Night Tales and Number 90 in Hackney, is behind the pop-up, a huge covered alfresco area with ample space for socially distanced seating. To celebrate the opening, The Old Car Wash in Homerton is offering a free cocktail to everyone who books a table for Thursday 6th and Friday 7th of August. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout August and September.
24 Ponsford Street, Homerton E9 6JU; oldcarwashinhomerton.co.uk
2 Bottomless Booze Comedy with Vauxhall Comedy Club
Fridays from 7 August
Vauxhall Comedy Club is bringing back its Bottomless Booze Comedy Fridays, but things have taken an alfresco twist… Taking place at Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden, a spacious outdoor venue tucked away in a courtyard by Vauxhall station, the event features 90 minutes of bottomless booze before a line-up of the finest TV and circuit comics take to the stage. This week it’s Carl Donnelly, Kae Kurd, Esther Manito, Aurie Styla and Jon Long. The bottomless bar opens from 6.30pm with comedy from 8pm-9.45pm, but try to take it easy on the booze because, to help try and keep things Covid-secure, heckling is forbidden. There’s also street food by Wagyu Burgers, Get the Greek, Cafe Pacifico Mexican, Win & Lilly Asian Cuisine and French Tacos. Every Friday in August and September. Tickets from £15pp for comedy only, with comedy and bottomless booze starting from £35pp.
6 South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall SW8 1SP; vauxhallcomedyclub.com
3 Dinosaur World Live at Troubadour Meridian Water, Enfield
Dinosaur World Live, the interactive children’s theatre show that brings dinosaurs to life on stage, launches at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water this weekend. Using stunning puppetry to bring life-like dinosaurs to the stage, Dinosaur World Live presents a host of impressive pre-historic creatures including the Microraptor, Segnosaurus, Triceratops and, every child’s favourite, the giant, flesh-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex. Performances will take place in a raised central location, giving everyone a great view wherever they park up, and the majestic roars of Dinosaur World Live will be played direct to your vehicle’s FM radio. Snacks and drinks are available to order via your mobile and delivered to your car. The first show takes place at 12noon on Friday 7 August. Suitable for all ages 3+. Tickets from £40 per car.
Harbet Road, Enfield N18 3QQ; dinosaurworldlive.com
4 Bar W12 & Film Club at Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush
6 August-13 September
Westfield London is launching a new outdoor entertainment space this week. Bar W12 will open for summer drinks and pizza on the lawns, with socially distanced picnic tables and deckchairs around the site, as well as free screenings of family classics every Thursday to Sunday. Designed with social distancing in mind, the alfresco venue will be operated by Westwood Sports Pub & Kitchen. The bar will serve summer drinks and pizza, while the brand new outdoor cinema will screen movies including Rogue One: Star Wars Story, Finding Dory and Moana, with free showings at 3pm and 6pm. For a more comfortable experience, you can buy cushions to relax on from the centre’s Guest Services Hub, with all proceeds going to Westfield London’s national charity partner, Save the Children. Open daily with Eat Out to Help Out available Mon-Weds from 4pm-11pm.
Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush W12 7GF; westfield.com/london
5 West End Musical Drive-In, Enfield
From 25 July
Alongside London’s many drive-in cinemas, you can now enjoy the West End Musical Drive-In, a socially distanced musical theatre party from the producers of West End Musical Brunch. Taking place at The Drive In at Troubadour Meridian Water, the entirely contact-free concert experience delivers you live performances from the biggest West End superstars. The performances, featuring songs from a host of different musicals, will be projected from the stage onto a massive screen with sound provided straight to your car radio. Tickets from £65 (based on one car with two attendees). Arrival time 12.15pm, show time 1.15pm. Taking place on 25 July, 8 August, 29 August, 12 September & 26 September.
6 Erev by Shuk, Borough Market
From 31 July
Erev by Shuk is a new Tel Aviv-inspired small plate evening menu served alfresco in Borough Market. Shuk, a market stall that launched in December 2019, was brought to life by chef Mark Jankel and operator Richard Littman. The childhood friends were inspired by their memories of busy markets and a mutual love of Tel Aviv’s incredible food scene. Erev (meaning evening in Hebrew), is a new alfresco dining experience set in the heart of Borough Market, featuring small sharing plates and a selection of hummus all made using family recipes and fresh produce hand-picked from the market. Tables will be available by reservation only, with eight covers overlooking the stall’s open kitchen and 24 alfresco covers at intimate tables in front.
Jubilee Place, Winchester Walk, Borough Market SE1 9AG; shuklondon.com
7 The V&A and The Natural History Museum Reopen
From 5/6 August
The V&A and the Natural History Museum both reopen this week. At the Natural History Museum, reopening on 5 August (Weds-Sun, initially), the vast majority of the museum’s galleries will be open alongside its five-acre gardens and food and drink will be available to buy onsite. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is planned to open in October. The V&A will reopen on 6 August (Thurs-Sun, initially), offering access to all of the ground floor collection galleries including the Medieval & Renaissance Gallery, the Cast Courts, The Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art and the Fashion Gallery, as well as the Europe 1600–1815 galleries on lower ground floor. The first and second floor collection galleries will reopen on 27 August, as will the critically acclaimed exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk. Both museums will require visitors to book a free timed ticket in advance online.
nhm.ac.uk / vam.ac.uk
8 Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers at Design Museum, Kensington
From 31 July
The Design Museum marks its reopening on 31 July 2020 with the launch of the hugely anticipated Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers. Originally due to open on 1 April, the exhibition features the museum premiere of The Chemical Brothers’ sensory spectacle by creative studio Smith & Lyall, featuring mesmerising visuals for the Grammy Award-winning track Got to Keep On. While there, catch the Fountain of Hygiene, winner of a global competition launched in March by creative studio Bompas & Parr to rethink our approach to hand sanitising (open 31 July-30 August in the Weston Mezzanine). New COVID-secure measures at the museum include reduced capacity, mandatory face masks, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and extended opening hours. Entry to the exhibition is by advance ticket only (from £16).
224-238 Kensington High Street W8 6AG; designmuseum.org
9 Secret Garden Concerts, Streatham
London Concertante has launched Secret Garden Concerts, a new socially distanced alfresco summer concert series. With London Concertante’s spring-summer season wiped out, this new exciting series allows the chamber ensemble to reach audiences in a new way before concerts are allowed to resume. Taking place in a newly-formed outdoor garden venue at London Concertante’s HQ in Streatham Hill every Sunday in August, the series of five outdoor performances will be accompanied by a sparkling wine reception and delicious menu. Musicians include The David Gordon Trio, The Camarilla Ensemble, London Concertante’s Guest Director Jonathan Stone, harpsichordist David Wright and, of course, London Concertante itself. Tickets from £35 (£75 with food).
10 The Luna Cinema, various locations
Until 4 October
Following a stint of drive-in screenings in Hendon and Rotherhithe, The Luna Cinema is back in its original, cinema-under-the-stars format. Or as close as is possible while physically distancing… The open-air cinema experience will now involve a number of pitches, pre-laid out for groups of two-to-four with chairs set up ready for you. Following visits to Hampton Court Palace and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, The Luna Cinema is still to visit Chiswick House (17-19 August), Royal Hospital Chelsea (25 August-8 September), Dulwich Park (16-20 September) and Wimbledon Park (29 September-4 October).
11 West End Silent Disco Walking Tours
From 1 August
Silent Disco Walking Tours of the West End, voted Trip Advisor’s number one walking tour for London, is back to lead musical theatre lovers through the streets of London once again. Since musical theatre is still a no-go, Silent Disco Walking Tours offer a musical theatre fix via an all-singing, all-dancing tour of the West End. You’ll be given facts, anecdotes and music as you visit 20 theatres across the West End, all pumped into your Silent Disco headset as you walk, sing and dance your way through the streets of London. Guests are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Tours run Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2.30pm for 2-2.5 hours. Tickets £24 (£5 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Theatre Artist’s fund).
12 Horniman Museum & Gardens, Forest Hill
From 30 July
The Horniman reopens its doors from 30 July with an extended run of the Permian Monsters exhibition (till 3 January 2021), alongside the popular galleries of natural history, world cultures and musical instruments. The main café will reopen at the same time, while additional facilities such as toilets, Café Kiosks in the Gardens and the Sunday Market have been open for some time (the Horniman Gardens have remained open throughout the museum’s closure). Some attractions will remain closed initially, including the Aquarium and Butterfly House, and some interactive exhibits have been removed or covered up. Social distancing and other safety measures will be in place throughout the Museum, including hand sanitiser stations, an enhanced cleaning regime, updated signage and a one-way visitor route. Visitors, including members, will need to pre-book for a free, timed entry slot. Oh, and Plonk crazy golf is go as well!
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk
From 27 July
Tate reopens all four of its galleries – the Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, as well as Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives – on 27 July. Tate Modern will reopen with its major Andy Warhol retrospective and Kara Walker’s Hyundai Commission Fons Americanus, while Tate Britain will reopen with Aubrey Beardsley and Steve McQueen’s Year 3 installation. This autumn, Tate Britain will open Turner’s Modern World and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, while Tate Modern will open Zanele Muholi and Bruce Nauman. To manage numbers and ensure everyone can keep a safe distance from each other, all visitors to Tate, including members, will need to book a timed ticket online in advance.
14 Electric Playbox, Southwark
Electric Playbox, the futuristic group entertainment platform, has reopened the doors to its Southwark venue. The newest addition to London’s quirky experience scene, Electric Playbox is a first-of-its-kind immersive experience, offering a choice of four virtual adventures, from throwing players back to 1984 to outwit an alien race taking over the globe, to a trip to the future to rescue a royal family in need. The state-of-the-art ‘Playbox’ uses a series of projection mapping, touch screens and motion tracking technology to deliver an hour-long team adventure that requires six players to work together to complete a series of mini-adventures and challenges. The brainchild of Tough Mudder founder Will Dean, the experience swap mud for motion-sensors to bring people together through shared screenplay. From £19 per adult (£9 per child).
Arch 3, 83 Scoresby Street, Southwark SE1 0XN; electricplaybox.com
15 StreetEat by Underbelly, Wimbledon Park, Victoria Park & South Bank
Underbelly, which usually hosts a huge cultural festival on the South Bank each summer, has launched StreetEat, a new series of socially distanced food and drink pop-ups. The summer series is running on the South Bank until 10 October, Wimbledon Park until 23 August and Victoria Park until 31 August. Free to enter and completely outdoors, each StreetEat site will offer socially distanced seating pods from which visitors can watch free live performances by musicians, DJs, cabaret performers and singers, while enjoying street food and drinks from open-air bars. StreetEat South Bank is open 12pm-9pm daily. StreetEat Wimbledon Park is open Tues-Fri, 12pm-8pm, and Sat-Sun, 11am-8pm. StreetEat Victoria Park is open Tues-Fri 12pm-7.30pm and Sat-Sun 11am-7.30pm.
16 Cecil Court Summer Showcase, West End
August is usually the quietest month of the year for the London art and antiques trade, but this year things are a little different. With so many July fairs either cancelled or postponed, Cecil Court, an arts and antiques mini-district in the West End, has decided to host the Cecil Court Summer Showcase. Taking place on Saturday 15 August in the Cecil Court arcade, the window-shopping event will afford those not too comfortable with enclosed spaces to browse the displays in the large, Victorian shopfronts. LAPADA Members Serhat Ahmet, Daniel Bexfield Antiques and Panter & Hall are amongst the participants, and Sworders’, whose London Gallery is nestled in the picturesque thoroughfare, will be previewing its upcoming auction highlights. 10am-5pm.
Cecil Court WC2N 4EZ; lapada.org
17 Play Zone at Boxpark Wembley
From 25 July
BOXPARK Wembley has pressed play on its popular games and activities, including Meetspace VR, Bad Axe and the family-friendly ‘PlayBox’ area. Meetspace VR has introduced a new game, Undead Arena, that’s perfect for zombie hunters. Other games include Free Roam, VR Escape Room and VR Arcade, and all are now conducted in private sessions of five or more players (open daily 12pm-10pm, from £20pp). The world’s biggest urban axe throwing club, Bad Axe, is back with a new WATL Live app, enabling axe throwers to play online live against anyone, anywhere in the world (open daily 4pm-10pm weekdays and 11am-10pm on weekends, from £25pp). To gain entry to BOXPARK Wembley, you need to download a BOXPARK Black Card. BOXPARK Shoreditch and Wembley are also launching a new Film Club screening cult classics and family favourites from Monday to Wednesday in August with bargain tickets.
18 Olympic Way, Wembley Park HA9 0JT; boxpark.co.uk
18 Vinegar Yard’s Cocktail Passport, London Bridge
Wednesdays from 5 August
Vinegar Yard outdoor dining and beer garden in London Bridge is launching a Cocktail Passport offering visitors a cocktail drinks trail around the site’s brilliant open-air bars for just £20. Your passport, free to collect on-site will get you five signature serves – four priced at just £5 each (usually £7-£11) and a free surprise Bacardi cocktail at the end. There’s also the chance to get your hands on one of 50 free Bacardi Coconut Mugs and win a £150 drinks tab. Cocktails include a Martini Fiero Spritz at the brand-new mezzanine bar, a Bombay Bramble at the Instagram-friendly Bramble Bar, and a Bacardi Coconut cocktail served at a secret location in the yard. Available every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the rest of August.
St Thomas Street, London Bridge SE1 3QU; vinegaryard.london
19 Chiswick Festival at Chiswick House & Gardens
21 August-6 September
A team of local event organisers have come together to put on a festival to help Chiswick House & Gardens get back on its feet after having to cancel all of its events due to coronavirus. Kicking off in the gardens on 21 August, there will be 20 days of live, alfresco, socially distanced acts – one per evening – from big-name comedy to local bands and classical performances, as well as inspirational speakers and daytime fitness classes. Highlights include stand-up with Dara Ó Briain, Suzi Ruffell and Nathan Caton on 4 September, the razor-sharp acerbic wit of Tom Allen on 26 August, comedy bingo game-show with Bogan Bingo on 27 Aug & 3 Sept, and Queen Tribute Band The Bohemians on 29 August. The festival will help to cross-promote Chiswick House & Gardens own fundraising initiatives, while running their own fundraisers and sharing some of the revenue from ticket sales. Times and ticket prices vary.
20 The South London Gallery Reopens, Camberwell
From 15 August
The South London Gallery will reopen both its main building and the Fire Station on 15 August, with new opening hours of Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm. The galleries reopen with four exhibitions: Sophie Cundale: The Near Room in the Main Gallery, Abbas Zahedi: How to Make a How from a Why? and Working Progress, both in the Fire Station Galleries, and The Rita Keegan Archive (Project) in the Archive Room – all running until 13 Sept. The gallery is also maximising its outdoor areas, with the Clore Studio doors open onto the Orozco Garden throughout the summer and the Fox Reception and Fox Garden all open to the public. Crane’s Kitchen and The SLG bookshop will be open. Drop-in education programmes are currently paused, but this will be reviewed regularly. Entry is free but you’ll need to book a timed entry slot online in advance, although a small number of walk-up tickets will be made available daily. Please wear a face covering.
65-67 Peckham Road SE5 8UH & 82 Peckham Road SE15 5LQ; southlondongallery.org
21 Canopy Market at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross
Weekends until 7 September
The ever-popular Canopy Market is moving to Coal Drop’s Yard for the summer to create a canal-side open-air shopping experience. The area, known for its independent craftspeople and brands, has undergone a huge regeneration in recent years to combine Victorian heritage and contemporary architecture to dramatic effect. The market is free to attend and will trade Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Coal Drop’s Yard has become quite the alfresco district of late, with outdoor exhibitions, installations and FRAME’s outdoor workouts, from canalside yoga to 80s aerobics in the park. Check out Games We Play, a new exhibition from The Photographers’ Gallery capturing the joys of summer through a subversive lens; Pools by German artist Stephan Zirwes’ is a striking installation of two ‘pools’ in Granary Square that take the place of the fountains for the summer; and the Lollypop Lounge on the Canalside Steps, where 12 giant ice lollies ‘melt’ into the grass among stripey, socially distanced deckchairs.
King’s Cross N1C 4DQ; coaldropsyard.com
22 The Big London Bake, Tooting
The Big London Bake – the UK’s first and only live baking competition – has returned IRL! After offering remote tutorials, 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, 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, but you can get 20% off tickets for July, August and September if you book before 31 July using the code BAKINGSBACK20 (click here to book).
38 Tooting High Street SW17 0RG; thebiglondonbake.com
Until 9 September
Rooftop Film Club, which has hosted alfresco film screenings on London rooftops from the Bussey Building in Peckham to Stratford’s Roof East and The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, is returning to its old stomping ground of Alexandra Palace with another summer of drive-in movies. Rooftop Film Club’s previous drive-in cinema, which visited Sandown Park and Brent Cross, as well as Ally Pally, won awards, so these guys have got previous in roller-skating popcorn right to your parking spot. You can take your own snacks and drinks, or order concessions like popcorn and chocolate, Popdogs hot dogs and drinks online. Classics screening this weekend include Grease, Dirty Dancing, E.T. and Jurassic Park. Tickets £27.50-£29.50 per car.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; rooftopfilmclub.com
24 Market on the Mews, Selfridges
Until 30 August
Selfridges has launched its first ever alfresco market! Market on the Mews, running every weekend this summer, brings together a rotating edit of food, flowers, furniture, bikes and more. The outdoor market has been curated with the local community in mind, providing those who live in central London with the opportunity to shop more locally and, since many are nervous of entering busy spaces, to shop alfresco. In addition to the stalls, all decked out in the department store’s trademark yellow, there will be live entertainment throughout the day and family-friendly activities, from live DJs to street art. Health and safety measures include a limit to 16 customers at any one time in the market, a one-way system, contactless payment, perspex screens at each stall and hand sanitiser stations. Sat-Sun 9am-4pm.
Edwards Mews, at the rear of Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street W1A; selfridges.com
25 Spaced Out Brunch & Suppers Series at POW Brixton
From 17 July
POW Brixton’s new Spaced Out brunch and suppers series will run on one of Brixton’s most famous rooftop from this weekend, with a soundtrack supplied by residents and special guests from the likes of Up On The Roof, Shabba, Brixton Disco Festival, Supa Dupa Fly and ByDayByNight. Slide into your own party booth, seating four to six, and enjoyed food and drinks with friends. Friday’s Spaced Out Sunset Supper and Saturday’s Balearic Brunch have already sold out, but you can still get involved in Sunday’s Supa Dupa Fly x Rooftop Brunch. Tickets from £100 for a table of four with one drink and a brunch dish per person.
To book see designmynight.com
26 Visit The Painted Hall, Greenwich
The iconic Old Royal Naval College, part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site, reopened on 13 July, once again offering public access to its buildings and expansive grounds. The magnificent Painted Hall, King William Undercroft and interpretation gallery are now open with limited tickets each day, so advanced booking is recommended (online tickets are £11). The grounds will be open daily from 7am-7pm, while The Painted Hall, King William Undercroft, Visitor Centre Shop and Ticket Desk will be open from 10am-5pm. The Victorian Skittle Alley and The Painted Hall café will remain closed but there will be food and drink available to enjoy alfresco on the grounds. A free virtual tour of Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside masterpiece, narrated by Game of Thrones’ Tara Fitzgerald, is also available. Plus, Cutty Sark, the world’s last-surviving tea clipper, reopened on 20 July, with plans to reopen the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory Greenwich in a phased approach over the summer.
27 Visit the Tower of London, the City
From 10 July
Now is a great time to for residents to play tourist in London, given that most of the capital’s oversees visitors are ‘staycationing’ just like us. Plus, the news that the Tower’s Beefeaters, who live on site, are facing redundancies for the first time in their long history broke our hearts a little, so let’s get out there and spend some money! The Crown Jewels exhibition has reopened, with social distancing measures actually making it easier to see the remarkable treasures close-up, without the crowds. All outdoor areas are also open, as is the White Tower. The Tower’s ravens are also present. Booking online is essential. Tickets £25 (kids £12.50). Open Weds-Sun 10am-6pm.
City of London EC3N 4AB; hrp.org.uk
28 Sky Garden’s Summer Sound Sessions, the City
From 17 July
Sky Garden, the City’s green oasis in the sky, has reopened its Sky Pod Bar with a new line-up of DJ nights. Running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until midnight, it’s one of the few places to reopen with DJs spinning the decks, thanks to a generous amount of space for social distancing. Thursday & Friday 6pm-12am and Saturday 9pm-12am. Tickets start from £11 and include a ‘cocktail of the day’ with table bookings available. Sky Garden’s Darwin Brasserie reopened on 22 July, but Fenchurch Restaurant is yet to confirmed a reopening day.
1 Sky Garden Walk EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london
29 Rosé on the Roof at Coq d’Argent, the City
From 11 July
Brunch is back! Coq d’Argent, the popular rooftop restaurant in the City, has launched Rosé on the Roof, a new weekly brunch menu created in partnership with premium rosé, M de Minuty. Executive Head Chef Damien Rigollet has created a menu full of classic French dishes inspired by the laid-back lunches of the South of France, to be accompanied by the aromatic M de Minuty Rosé (sold separately). Coq d’Argent’s terrace has been transformed into a botanical retreat filled with lavender, lemon trees, orange blossom and plants inspired by alfresco restaurants found on the French Riviera. £29.50 for two courses or £34.50 for three courses. Available every Saturday from 12pm-4pm.
1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk
30 Sherlock: The Official Live Game, Shepherd’s Bush
Sherlock: The Official Live Game is now open, 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
31 Titian: Love, Desire, Death at National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
Until 17 January 2021
The National Gallery was London’s first major gallery to reopen, and its lead exhibition, Titian: Love, Desire, Death, has resumed and will now be on show in the Main Floor Galleries until 17 January 2021 (tickets are £12). You can also see Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age in the Ground Floor Galleries until 20 September 2020. There are new one-way art routes, two-metre social distancing rules, additional cleaning, hand sanitiser stations at regular intervals, and visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings. Plus, visitors must book in advance, even to see the main collection, which remains free, in order to control numbers and help reduce contact.
Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN; nationalgallery.org.uk
32 Damsel Outdoors, various locations
13, 17, 21 & 23 August
This month, Damsel Outdoors will take over outdoor spaces in west and south London with four compelling new pieces of theatre. Created by an all-women and non-binary inclusive team, this exciting collaborative project from Damsel Productions is a chance for the artists to explore creativity without walls. On 13 August, Take Back Control The Virus, which plays on rising anti-immigration sentiment in a Britain heavily reliant on frontline services dominated by immigrant workers, will take place at Under the Canopy, Portobello Road (5pm & 6pm). A park bench in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith will host Vixen, a piercing looking at identity politics and stigma (17 August, 3pm & 4pm). Transcendent, a lyrical celebration of Black Love in a world dominated by racial injustice, will open outside the Tate Modern on Bankside on 21 August (3pm & 4pm). Finally, on 23 August, Clapped will take over Giffin Square in Deptford to explore the hypocrisy of clapping for the NHS as growing protests fight to be heard (3pm & 4pm).
33 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Until 13 September
The National Maritime Museum is celebrating its reopening by offering free access to the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition. In 2019 the competition attracted 4,602 entries from 90 different countries, with just over 100 awe-inspiring images making the cut to feature in the exhibition. From spellbinding skyscapes and galaxies to extraordinary photographs of aurorae, the exhibition showcases the world’s greatest space photography, including the winners and runners up of each of the eight different competition categories. On display in the National Maritime Museum’s dedicated photography gallery until 13 September 2020. Book in advance to visit. Open 10.30am-4pm. The 2020 competition shortlist has also been revealed, click here to see this year’s entries.
Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk
34 Somerset House Fountains Reopen, the Strand
From 6 August
It’s been an absolute scorcher these last few days, so you’ll undoubtedly be pleased to hear that the glorious Somerset House Fountains in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court have reopened, as has the River Terrace. The 55 fountains not only form a beautiful spectacle, but also offer a fun place for children – and big kids – to play and cool off. The fountain water has been treated and will be checked thoroughly. Also, in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, you’ll now find Spring to Go, a new pop-up food experience by Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant. Housed inside a pale pink shipping container, Spring to Go will offer summertime treats from ice creams to toasted sandwiches (open Thurs-Sun, 12pm-6pm). Inside, Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi continues until 13 September in the Terrace Rooms (pre-booking and face covering required). Somerset House’s online programme also continues, including a digital adaption of Film4 Summer Screen 2020.
Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
35 Fulham Comedy Club Official Launch Show, Fulham
The new Fulham Comedy Club launches on Saturday 29 August with pro comedians as seen on shows like The Stand Up Sketch Show and Live At The Apollo. Taking place on the roof terrace at Broadway Bar And Grill in Fulham, the socially distanced event will feature some of the best club and TV comedians on the comedy circuit. The shows runs from 7pm-9pm but you can stay until 2am for the after party. Tickets from £30 for two people. To book see facebook.com/events
474-476 Fulham Road SW6 1EY; facebook.com/Fulham-Comedy-Club
36 New Sunday Market at Eccleston Yards, Belgravia
From 16 August
Last Sunday, Eccleston Yards, the lovely little spot tucked away off Eccleston Place, near Victoria Station, launched a new Sunday Market. Each weekend, vendors from across London will offer some unique finds, such as illustrated children’s books from Telling Tales, handmade candles infused with Reiki energy from Clarity Candles, beautiful ceramics from Eccleston Yards’ Studio Pottery London, bespoke jewellery from Roccabella, and wood-fired pizza from Ross & Ross foods. There will also be live music from a host of local musical talent, a creative workshop each week – think flower arranging and pottery wheel workshops. Wild By Tart and The Jones Family Kitchen have now reopened, plus there’s a newly opened coffee spot, Morena. Open 11am-5pm every Sunday.
Eccleston Yards, Belgravia SW1W 9AZ; mayfairandbelgravia.com
37 Sophie Tea’s Art Shop, Carnaby
From 31 July
Viral Instagram artist Sophie Tea has opened her first ever art shop in the capital. The Carnaby store launched at the end of July with a powerful Nude Catwalk by 21 painted volunteers, bringing the busy shopping destination to a standstill. The Nude Catwalk was inspired by the artist’s popular Send Nudes collection, where Sophie issued an open invitation to her dedicated Instagram following, asking them to send in nude images of themselves and act as real-life muses. After receiving more than 1,000 nude images in a single night Sophie felt compelled to share their inspiring stories of body image struggles and acceptance alongside their naked image. The store will stock art and merchandise from Sophie’s current collections, including Send Nudes, and will also host life drawing sessions, panel discussions and the artist’s infamous art parties.
5-7 Foubert’s Place, Carnaby W1F 7PY; sophieteaart.com
38 UEFA Champions League Final 2020 at Drive In Film Club, Alexandra Palace
Things will look a little different for this year’s UEFA Champions League Final, with the game being played behind closed doors at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal (cheers, ‘rona). But you could still have a great Champions League Final experience, thanks to Pepsi MAX presents the UEFA Champions League Final 2020 at Drive In Film Club, Alexandra Palace. Celebrate the return of European football and enjoy the buzz of the beautiful game with this unique experience from the comfort of your own car. Doors open two hours before kick-off and it’s first come, first served. Tickets are £13.50 per vehicle and there’s plenty of food and drink available to order contact-free to your car.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; rooftopfilmclub.com
39 Save Live Comedy at Clapham Grand
The Clapham Grand is hosting its final Save Live Comedy show on Sunday 23 August. Performers include Jayde Adam, Ed Byrne, James Acaster, Desiree Burch, Jen Brister, Kane Brown, Richard Herring, Felicity Ward, Lost Voice Guy, Tony Law, Catherine Bohart, Sarah Keyworth, Sikisa Bostwick-Barnes, The Scummy Mummies, Myra Dubois and Shesus and the Sisters. Limited seats are available inside, starting at £35 for two people, and live streaming tickets are available for as much as you are able to pay or would like to donate to the cause. Click here to book.
21-25 St John’s Hill SW11 1TT; claphamgrand.com
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