15 of the best things to do in London this weekend from workshops at the Samsung KX innovation hub to SAMPLE urban craft fair on Greenwich Peninsula and Thames TideFest, with fun on the river for all the family
Lead image: The Classic Boat Festival at St Katherine Docks
1 Greenwich Comedy Festival at the National Maritime Museum
The critically acclaimed Greenwich Comedy Festival is back celebrating its 11th anniversary this month with an all-star line-up including Stewart Lee, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Josh Widdicombe, Jason Manford, Sean Lock and Reginald D Hunter, as well as alt-comedy heroes like Bridget Christie, Tim Key, Nina Conti, David O’Doherty, Lou Sanders and rising star Rosie Jones. Each show presents a mood-enhancing medley of comedians that raise the roof of the Big Top in the glorious surrounds of the National Maritime Museum, alongside craft-beers, cocktails and top street food vendors. Each year over 10,000 comedy-lovers make their annual pilgrimage to this event, launched in 2009 by sibling team Will Briggs and Cass Randolph, who spent a lot of their childhood at Up The Creek club with their step-father Malcolm Hardee. Tickets from £20.
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich SE10 9NF; greenwichcomedyfestival.co.uk
2 Butterfly Biosphere at Grosvenor Square, Mayfair
Discover the Pleasures of the Nectar Dome at the Butterfly Biosphere, the latest installation by multi-sensory visionaries Bompas & Parr. Immerse yourself in the colourful and enchanting world of butterflies, sip nectar and watch them hatch in this unique butterfly biosphere located in Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. It’s the world’s first Lepidopterarium – that’s butterfly house to you and me – to combine butterfly ecology, nectar tasting and an abundance of photo opportunities in a shimmering, pink-lit paradise. After an experiential walk to the biosphere, a wildlife guardian will guide you into the enchanting world of butterflies, advising you on how best to appreciate the fascinating creatures. You’ll also don a pair of rainbow spectacles to enhance your butterfly vision and be able to sit on a throne for a selfie with brightly-coloured wings. The experience will also highlight the fact that London’s butterfly population is in trouble – having declined by 76% over the last four decades – and help capital dwellers learn how to help their winged friends. Open 10am-7pm.
Grovesnor Square, Mayfair W1K 2HP; mayfairandbelgravia.com
3 Concours of Elegance 2019, Hampton Court Palace
The Concours of Elegance returns to Hampton Court Palace with another splendid parade of classic, rare and unique cars. This year you’ll get to see two of the most beautiful race-winning Ferraris of the 1950s – the 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial and 1956 290MM (later 250TR) – not only exceedingly rare, but with impeccable history. More than 10 extraordinarily special Ferraris have been confirmed to attend Concours of Elegance 2019, alongside five of the rarest Aston Martins ever built, from the track-focused 1932 Le Mans Lightweight ‘LM9’ to the 1985 V8 Vantage that formed the template for the fabled X-Pack Vantages, and an art deco-inspired Stout Scarab – the world’s first production ‘minivan’ and one of only nine ever constructed. Of course, there’s also the Concours of Elegance’s central display of more than 60 of the rarest vehicles ever built, telling the story of the motor car from the pioneers of the 1890s right through to the latest bespoke hypercars. Adult tickets from £40 (under 5s and carers free).
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU; concoursofelegance.co.uk
4 Classic Boat Festival at St Katharine Docks
The Classic Boat Festival celebrates its 11th anniversary at St Katharine Docks this month. The festival is set to welcome around 40 colourful boats from around the world, from vintage sailing boats to motor boats, which you can climb aboard, alongside an assortment of waterside activities and live music. Some of the most highly anticipated boats this year include historic wooden sailing vessel Lady Daphne (on board which you can take a Thames tour), and a number of Dunkirk’s Little Ships. There will also be free adult craft workshops including lino cutting, flag sewing or illustration, live music from the Barnet Hill Lifeboat Crew Shanty Singers on Saturday and the Thames Youth Jazz Orchestra on Sunday, street food from KERB and a Kids Club where little ones can embark on a treasure hunt to find hidden signal flags and use the code to spell a word and win a model boat kit.
St Katharine’s Way E1W 1UH; skdocks.co.uk
5 SAMPLE Autumn, Greenwich Peninsula
SAMPLE Autumn returns to Greenwich Peninsula to showcase everything you need for the new season, from sassy streetwear to cool kids clothes and beautifully designed homeware, all curated by Hemingway Design. A modern design-led take on a traditional market, the team at Greenwich Peninsula have created SAMPLE to support sustainability, small-scale enterprise and locally-sourced goods with 100 traders from across the capital and beyond. You can also sip cocktails at the outdoor bar, browse the latest designer makers, take part in workshops or be preened and pampered at the Beauty Bar while listening to live DJs. You can even get involved in a collaborative art project to form the market’s entrance with Extreme Stitch, and Peckham-based 1831 Shop have handpicked a collection of satirical fanzines and comics with DIY Space Print Collective at the Peninsula’s NOW Gallery. 11am-7pm.
Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10; greenwichpeninsula.co.uk
6 The Soul Exchange at Pop Brixton
The Soul Exchange is heading for Brixton this weekend for a day-to-night time party with Jazz FM Late Lab star and Jazz Cafe resident Anne Frankenstein. Best known for her smooth soul, funk and dancing disco discoveries, she’ll be bringing some varied vinyl platters to the turntables. Saffiyah Khan, who features on The Specials most recent UK No 1 album, Encore, with her track 10 Commandments, will also be delivering eclectic tracks, as well as veteran DJ Jack Gadsden, who is highly regarded throughout the soul scene, and James Curry of the Over Easy DJ collective. Last but not least is Scarlett O’Malley, party-loving crate-digging founder of The Soul Exchange. DJs are spinning from 4pm all the way through to midnight and it is free entry.
49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton SW9 8PQ; popbrixton.org
7 Thames TideFest, Kew
Totally Thames, running 1-30 September, brings the river to life via an exciting season of arts, cultural and river events down the 42-mile stretch of water. This weekend, Thames TideFest celebrates fun on the river in all forms with kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding taster sessions, boat trips round the Thames Islands, river dipping, water testing, games or a foreshore walk with the London Mudlark. It runs form 10am-5pm and is suitable for all ages. Other highlights include the ever-popular Bascule Chamber Concerts, an atmospheric concert featuring an amazing line up of renowned and upcoming performers in a cool subterranean space by Tower Bridge (18-22 September), Regatta London, the UK’s newest and most exciting mass participation paddle sports event (29 September) with races from Hammersmith to Greenwich and Putney to Big Ben, and Mid-River Milonga, where you can tango down the Thames in style aboard the Dixie Queen paddle steamer (19 September).
Kew Bridge Piazza, Strand on the Green TW8; totallythames.org
8 City of London Distillery’s Harvey Nichols Terrace Takeover, Knightsbridge
Until 8 September
Soak up some of those last rays of summer with the City of London Distillery x Harvey Nichols Terrace. The Fifth Floor Terrace has been transformed with decor inspired by bars from across the City to honour London’s rich gin history. Drop in and enjoy some of the city’s finest gin cocktails any time – from a Grapefruit Gimlet featuring City of London Distillery Authentic Dry Gin, to a Rhubarb 75 made with City of London Distillery Rhubarb & Rose Gin. You can also book a Make Your Own Gin experience with gin expert Joe Brayford on Friday 6 September. You’ll be introduced to the history of gin – from the gin craze of the 1700s to the present-day gin revival – before designing a recipe to make your own personal gin to take home and then enjoying a three-course botanical-led dinner (£100pp).
109-125 Knightsbridge, Belgravia SW1X 7RJ; cityoflondondistillery.com
9 Samsung KX at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross
The Samsung KX experience space in Coal Drops Yard is an inspirational hub offering a range of awe-inspiring experiences, events and workshops, from film nights and gaming tournaments on the world’s first 10 metre-wide Samsung curved screen to cocktail masterclasses in the connected kitchen. You can explore revolutionary automotive tech in the Digital Cockpit, create virtual graffiti with Galaxy Graffiti, record bespoke beats with DJ Galaxy, or simply visit the cafe where you can hot-desk or meet friends. Special events this weekend include a Frame Vinyasa Yoga Class (6 September from 1pm-2pm, tickets from £10), S10 Travel Masterclasses to help you capture travel memories on your Samsung Galaxy S10 (6 & 8 September from 3pm-4pm, free but you need to register), and an Origin Coffee Brew Demo (7 September from 4.30pm-5.30pm, free but you need to register).
Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross N1C 4DQ; samsung.com
10 Nahoko Kojima: Sumi at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 8 September
Don’t miss your last chance to see Nahoko Kojima’s eight-metre-long crocodile, Sumi, cut entirely from one sheet of paper. The beautiful beast hangs in the gallery’s entrance hall as a visual spectacle for all to admire. A key protagonist of the paper cut sculpture movement, Kojima is renowned for turning majestic animals into works of art and questioning our relationship to nature. While you’re at the gallery, catch Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, a showcase of 120 prints, posters and drawings by revolutionary artists from the Grosvenor School of Modern Art including Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and Lill Tschudi (also ending 8 September). Take a tour of The Colour Palace before it closes on 22 September, too.
Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
11 Tobiah In Concert at Burgh House, Hampstead
6 September 2019
Singer songwriter Tobiah returns to Hampstead for a magical evening of songs and stories from her acclaimed new album Are We Angels with special guests Colette O’ Leary on piano accordion, Rowan Piggott on fiddle and Simon Callow on piano. Janet Jackson and Will Smith have vied to record her songs and she has worked with music legends including Rod Argent, Derek Bramble (David Bowie, American Idol) and Robin Black (Paul McCartney, Cat Stevens). Tobiah’s original and melody led songs often draw on her own life and connect in a way that everyone understands. She is known for her poignant lyrics, life-affirming stories of love and endurance, and for a voice described by the BBC’s Doug Welch as ‘outstanding’. Tickets £10 from eventbrite.co.uk. All profits go to Animals Asia. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. A donation bar is available.
New End Square, Hampstead NW3 1LT; burghhouse.museumssites.com
12 Pub in the Park, Chiswick
Pub in the Park, launched by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge in 2017, combines great food, chef demos, shopping and – since a proper pub wouldn’t be complete without it – live music. Also on the line-up are Toploader, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Stereo MCs, Soul II Soul Sound System and Natalie Williams and the Soul Family. Taking place at Chiswick House & Gardens, you’ll find pop-up pubs at including London favourites like Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern, as well as Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred Marlow pub, The Hand & Flowers, and Heston Blumenthal’s The Hinds Head from Bray. London restaurants like Claude Bosi’s Oyster Bar at Bibendum, Jose Pizarro, Rick Stein (Barnes) and Angela Hartnett’s Café Murano will also host pop-ups. Tickets from £30 for adults and £20 for under 16s.
Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP; pubintheparkuk.com
13 Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today at Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
Until 14 September
Sweet Harmony: Rave | Today is an immersive retrospective exhibition celebrating the birth of dance music and the club scene of the 80s and 90s. Multimedia installations and audio-visual works by some of rave’s most prolific and authentic visual commentators chart the acid house revolution through photo stories, live music events, talks and panel discussions. Accompanied by Spotify-curated playlists by music personalities related to the sub-genres of Detroit Techno, Acid House, Happy Hardcore, UK Garage, and Grime, the exhibition recaptures the new world that emerged from the acid house scene. On Friday 6 September, a special Saatchi Lates from 6.30pm-9pm features live DJ sets by Badgirlz (SP23), Chris Liberator, Steve Bedlam and Jam Scones to raise awareness of the work of the Refugee Community Kitchen (tickets £15 with £5 going to RCK).
Duke of York’s, King’s Road SW3 4RY; saatchigallery.com
14 Anno’s Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa at Japan House London, Kensington
Until 27 October
This family-friendly exhibition showcases the life’s work of award-winning illustrator Anno Mitsumasa, who has been producing picture books and imaginative paintings for over 50 years. Mitsumasa, born in 1926, trained as a primary school teacher in Yamaguchi and worked in Tokyo before becoming an illustrator, mostly of children’s book. ‘Anno’s Journey’ depicts a small figure journeying through the cultural and literary landscapes of Europe, with scenes from London, Windsor, the Cotswolds and beyond on display, and you’re invited to hunt out famous places and characters hidden among the detailed landscapes. This is his first UK exhibition. Free admission. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sundays 12pm-6pm.
101-111 Kensington High Street W8 5SA; japanhouselondon.uk
15 The So Extra So Chic Suite at The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch
Until 29 October
Hotels.com has unveiled the So Extra So Chic suite – the world’s first half and half hotel suite split right down the middle of the bed, where one side of the room is a maximalist’s paradise, full of colour, plants and golden accessories, and the other side is minimalist’s dream, dominate by sleek lines and the minimum of fuss. The battle of the designers see ‘so extra’ stylist Johnny Wujek, the powerhouse behind the likes of Katy Perry and Mariah Carey’s iconic looks, take on ‘so chic’ minimalist fashionista Kaitlyn Ham at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch. Wujek’s maximalist décor features clashing prints, layered colourful rugs, bright wallpaper, plenty of plants, a flashy cocktail trolley, brass palm and monkey lamps, mirrors and a bold sofa full of cushions. On the other side of the room, Ham’s minimalist décor features clean lines, calm monochromes a classic Eames lounge chair dominate, arched floor lamp and neat little desk finish the look. Available to book for one night at a time from now until 29 October from £250 per night.
45 Curtain Road, Hackney EC2A 3PT; uk.hotels.com