Things to do in London this Weekend

If you're stuck for things to do in London this weekend, we're here to help.

Whether you're a visitor in town for a couple of days or a local in need of some inspiration, this is where you'll find our pick of weird and wonderful London events every Friday, just in time for the weekend. We'll cover events where you can eat, drink, do something different or get a culture fix all over the city.

Last Updated: July 18, 2017

Things to do in London this weekend: July 21st-23rd

Best for: New Bars in London

Mint Gun Club

The vibe:

Globally-inspired teas, cocktails and delicacies

Need to know:

 

Stoke Newington is fast become the best neighbourhood to eat out in the city, with more than its fair share of inviting bars, cafes and restaurants.

And yet we’re still very excited about the area’s newest arrival – tea house, bar and delicatessen Mint Gun Club.

It’s the latest venture by drinks expert Richard Hunt – who’s previously served as bartender for the prestigious likes of Milk & Honey and Hawksmoor.

The menu will draw on his childhood experience of growing up in some very exotic locations, mixing Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean influences and ingredients.

Expect to find avant-garde cocktails, tropical aperitifs, tonics and sodas on the menu. Or you could try the Mint Gun Club’s signature High Tea, which will feature mochi, marshmallow, Turkish delight, semolina cake, cucumber kimchi sandwiches and a unique twist on the club sandwich.

Website and Facebook

When: From 21st July
Opening times: Check website for details
Getting there:  4A Brook Road, Stoke Newington, N16 7LS
Nearest Tube: Rectory Road (Overground)
Price: Free entry

 

Best for: Fine Dining in London

Galvin La Chapelle Garden/Summer Sale

The vibe:

Romantic Al Fresco dining (and great deals on exquisite dining)

Need to know:

The Galvin brothers run some of London’s most stylish restaurants. And if you’ve never experienced their take on classic cuisine (or are looking for an excuse to go back), now’s the perfect time.

Galvin restaurants around the city will be offering a summer sale from this weekend, with some of their most famous dishes available for bargain prices.

Their Spitalfields-based Galvin La Chapelle is particularly worth checking out. Not only is its Michelin-starred tasting menu available in the offer, but its “Secret Garden” is a perfect spot for al fresco dining when the weather’s good. A partnership with Moet champagne, the garden could be one of the city’s most romantic open-air dinnig spots, and is open for both lunch and dinner.

Website and Twitter 

When: Summer Sale until 4th September
Opening times: 12pm-10.30pm Monday-Saturday, 12pm-9.30pm Sunday
Getting there: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Price: Free entry

 

Best for: Not-So-Fine Dining in London

It’s Only Arctic Roll, But I Like It

The vibe:

Gourmet guilty pleasures

Need to know:

KERB normally offer some of London’s finest, hippest street food, at their weekday markets around the city.

This weekend, however, they’re forgetting all about the trends, and getting all nostalgic.

Taking place in their regular King’s Cross hangout, Granary Square, the KX Weekender – It’s Only Arctic Roll, But I Like It – sees some of the market’s best vendors celebrating their culinary guilty pleasures. Think sweet treats and delicious deep fried delights (but all with a bit of a modern twist).

Among the must-try dishes on the menu are Nonna’s and Le Choux offering gelato choux sandwiches and arctic rolls, Kolkati’s spicy take on fish n chips, served in a partaha roll with curry sauce on the side, chicken and waffles from Only Jerkin’s and strawberry milkshake filled donuts from Vicky’s.

There’ll also be guilty pleasure cocktails on offer, craft beer, live music and other classy entertainment (including Drag Queen bingo).

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 21st-Saturday 22nd July
Opening times: Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday 11am-9pm
Getting there: Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA
Nearest Tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras
Price: Free entry

 

Best for: Families in London

Zoorassic Park

The vibe:

A time-travelling safari

Need to know:

The summer holidays are just about upon us, and you might already be worrying about what to do to keep the kids occupied.

Fortunately, ZSL London Zoo have a brand new exhibit which will delight the little ones.

Zoorassic Park offers a safari-like experience, where you’ll be taking in a “time machine” back to the Mesozoic era (about 65 million years ago). Led by one of the ZSL’s tour guides, you’ll be able to come face-to-face with moving dinosaurs, dig up fossils, and find out about the work of the ZSL’s conservationists to make sure that no currently living animal goes the way of the dinosaurs.

As it’s the opening weekend, there are also several free live shows happening – Dinosaurs LIVE! – hosted by children’s TV presenter Andy Day.

Website and Twitter

When: 22nd July-3rd September
Opening times: 10am-6pm
Getting there: ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY

Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Price: £24.30 (concessions available) – Additional tickets for Dinosaurs LIVE! with Andy Day are free, but must be booked in advance

Best for: Festivals in London

Camberwell Fair

The vibe:

A modern return for an historic festival

Need to know:

The Camberwell Fair ran in the same spot in South London for hundreds of years – from 1279 until 1855, when it was shut down for being too rowdy and raucous.

However, in the past few years, the local community have revived this historic tradition, and it’s back for its 2017 edition this Saturday.

Co-organised by some of the area’s music promoters, this new version of the Camberwell Fair reflects the area’s diverse community, and features a line-up of performers from both London and further afield.

Among the acts set to perform are hip-hop act The Mouse Outfit, Afrikan Boy, Ghanian drumming and singing from Kakatsitsi, the first UK performance by French band Balaphonics and local choir Owl Parliament.

The festival’s market area will showcase the best of Camberwell’s shops, bars, restaurants and designer makers. There’ll also be a pop-up cocktail bar, real ale bar and a “drinking experience” inspired by legendary New York rock venue CGBG’s.

Website and Twitter

When: Saturday 22nd July
Opening times: 12pm-9pm
Getting there: Camberwell Green, SE5 7AS

Nearest Tube: Denmark Hill (Overground)
Price: Free entry

Best for: Beer in London

Ales Tales

The vibe:

London’s first Belgian beer festival

Need to know:

The greatness of Belgian beers are no secret. So it’s about time that London celebrated the country’s amazing craft brewing scene.

Taking place at Bethnal Green’s Oval Space, Ales Tales is the city’s first Belgian beer festival. Showcasing both historic breweries and talented newcomers, Ales Tales aims to provide a complete overview of Belgian beer.

And, fittingly, the food menu’s very much on point, offering some of the country’s classic dishes, including fries and meatballs.

Website and Twitter

When:  Friday 21st-Saturday 22nd July
Opening times: 6pm-11pm Friday, 12pm-5pm and 6pm-11pm Saturday
Getting there: Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, E2 9DT
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green
Price: £9 entry (or £40 for The Complete Belgian Experience) from the official website

 

Best for: Exhibitions in London

Plywood: Material of the Modern World

Patkau Architects, Ice skating shelters, Winnipeg, 2012 © Patkau Architects

The vibe:

Celebrating a unsung design icon

Need to know:

Plywood might be the stuff that cheap and boring flat-pack furniture is made of. But there’s actually much more to it than that.

In their latest exhibition, the V&A Museum are highlighting this unfairly overlooked material, showing just what else it can do.

The collection includes some early plywood pieces, dating back to the Victorian era. There are also tributes to the role plywood played in aviation history, pieces by world-famous designers like Charles and Ray Eames, and exciting modern pieces, including skateboards.

Website and Twitter

Workman carrying a complete Deperdussin monocoque fuselage, Deperdussin factory, Paris, about 1912 © Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace-Le Bourget- INV.Prim

When:  Until 12th November
Opening times: 10am-5.30pm daily, except 10am-9.30pm Fridays
Getting there: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Price: Free entry

Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie

In the Mood for Frankie 2017, Photographed by Laurent Philippe

The vibe:

An exhibition that’s very much in vogue.

Need to know:

Trajal Harrell might not be a household name. But he’s one of New York’s most exciting choreographers, having just had a two year residency at the prestigious MoMA.

The Barbican are aiming to bring Harrell to a wider audience in London too, turning their Art Gallery into an immersive performance space for the next three weekends, for an exhibition dedicated to Harrell’s work.

Hoochie Koochie features the choreographer’s entire body of work, from 1999 through to the present day, with a company of 18 dancers (including Harrell himself) performing live throughout the exhibition.

Raising questions about the body, gender, race, sexuality and culture, it’s a fantastic way to discover world-leading contemporary dance. And the Barbican will also be staging some special events throughout the exhibition’s run – including classes in Vogue-Chi (a combination of Tai-Chi and Voguing) and a late night performance that showcases the best of London’s “Ballroom” scene.

Website and Twitter

Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure) 2012, from the series Twenty Looks or Paris is burning at the Judson Church. Photographed by Paula Court

When: Thursdays-Sundays until 13th August
Opening times: Thursday-Friday: 2pm-9pm (last entry 8.30pm), Saturday-Sunday 12pm-6pm (last entry 5.30pm)
Getting there: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Nearest Tube: Barbican
Price: £12.50 (free for members, concessions available – under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

 

 

 

Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We’ve also pulled together a guide of 50 brilliant things to do in London in the summer, and a list of the city’s best riverside pubs and bars, if you want to make the most of the pleasant weather. (And a list of 28 things to do in London when it rains, just in case)

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you’re planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.