Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Cocktails in the City.
AFRICA WRITES: A three-day celebration of contemporary literature from throughout the continent, Africa Writes brings writers and poets together for book launches, panel discussions, performances and workshops. British Library, various prices, book ahead, 5-7 July
WINGFEST: Rooftop chicken festival WingJam is back, celebrating the humble chicken wing by serving it up with a multitude of sauces from several vendors. Street food dishes and specially-made sauces are all on the menu, with a bar specialising in whiskey also on site. Wings are £1 each. Bussey Building (Peckham), £13.50, book ahead, 5-7 July
RIVER STAGE: Throughout the summer, weekends of free themed performances take place on National Theatre’s River Stage on South Bank. This weekend, East End drag pub The Glory hosts, with lip sync battles, a pop cover band, a tribute to Judy Garland, and plenty of drag. South Bank, free, just turn up, 5-7 July
JESTER FESTIVAL: Fortune Green’s summer fair is a typical local fete… with added jesters. Activities include a climbing wall, face painting and garden games among the jester shows, along with art and craft, food and drink and charity stalls. Fortune Green (West Hampstead), free entry, just turn up, 6-7 July
COMIDA FEST: Say hola to a weekend of Latin American food and entertainment. Comida Fest represents countries including Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and many more. Tuck into ceviche, quesadillas, margaritas and pisco sours while you watch puppet shows, take part in dance workshops and witness a live band. Cutty Sark Gardens (Greenwich), free entry, just turn up, 6-7 July
ICE CREAM VANS: The sound of an ice cream van is a nostalgic one, reminding many people of childhood summers. This weekend only, Southbank Centre’s outdoor spaces are flooded with the sound, at a pop-up which uses the vans and their individual chimes to create a mesmerising soundscape. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 6-7 July
CRAFT MARKET: Crafty Fox Market’s usual eclectic mix of traders comes to Elephant & Castle. Browse stalls selling jewellery, ceramics, candles, hats, cuddly toys, prints, badges, leather goods and more. You can also take part in workshops including pom pom making and brush lettering (some workshops free, others charge). Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free entry, just turn up, 6-7 July
Sip your way to summertime happiness
Listen up, cocktail lovers. If the sound of 25 top London bars, exclusive cocktail creations, a host of sensory experiences and sizzling street food gets you hot under the collar, then you need to book your tickets to Cocktails in the City’s summer festival, pronto.
On Friday 12 and Saturday 13 July, Cocktails in the City brings the best of London’s world-class bar scene together for one, glorious weekend of cocktail innovation. The location? Bedford Square Gardens, a stunning central London garden that is normally closed to the public. Soak up the sunshine while you sip on specially-crafted creations from the likes of Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, Artesian, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Ella Canta and many, many more.
There are a few surprises in store too. In between sampling each bar’s signature serves, you may discover secret botanical gardens, take on a tasting flight, or embark on a spirit journey. It’s the ultimate cocktail experience and tickets sell fast. What are you waiting for?
Entry costs £20 and includes a free cocktail from the bar of your choice. All additional cocktails cost £7.50. Tickets can be bought here, but you’ll need to get a wiggle on — this event does sell out.
Saturday 6 July
NORTH SHORE: Take a guided walk along London’s North Shore, running along the Thames from Westminster to the City. Visit architectural secrets including watergates, palaces, hotels, medieval cloisters, churches and Parisian boulevards along the route, and learn about the history of the area through the centuries. Villiers Street (Embankment), £12/£10, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm
PARSONS GREEN FAIR: The whole community is invited to Parsons Green Fair, which offers live performances, street food, and over 100 stalls to browse. Stock up on everything from antiques to Indian kaftans, visit the petting zoo, have a go on fairground rides and much more. Parsons Green, free entry, just turn up, 11.30am-4.45pm
PRIDE: It’s Pride parade day, so expect to see plenty of rainbow flags, glitter, and outrageous outfits if you’re in London today. It’s an extra special celebration this year, as it marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, which sparked the LGBT rights movement. The parade begins at Portland Place, winding through Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall — with plenty of entertainment along the route. Starts at Portland Place, free, just turn up, from 12pm
COMEDY ALL-DAYER: Josie Long, Ahir Shah, Jess Fostekew and Tony Law are among the names at this all-dayer of Ed Fringe previews, in this pint-sized venue. Expect to leave with your sides truly split. 2Northdown (King’s Cross) £27.50, book ahead, 12pm-11pm
EXPLORE ZOOLOGY: Get hands-on with some of the Grant Museum’s interesting and unusual zoology artefacts. The family-friendly Explore Zoology session is a chance to touch some of the specimens, and learn all about them from museum staff. Grant Museum of Zoology (UCL), free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm
RIPPER VICTIMS: Katie Wignall of Look Up London leads a walking tour, taking a feminist look at the story of Jack the Ripper. Instead of focusing on murderer, hear the tales of his victims, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly, and the lives they led in 19th century London. Aldgate East station, £30.44, book ahead, 2pm
GIN OPEN DAY: Hayman’s Gin throws open the doors of its south London distillery to the public for an open day. Meet the Hayman family behind the brand, see where the magic happens, and sample the gins in seasonal cocktails. Hayman’s Distillery (Balham), free entry, just turn up, 2pm-6pm
SUMMER CONCERT: The British Museum and British Library singers perform a free drop-in concert, conducted by Peter Hellyer. The programme includes JS Bach’s Magnificat and excerpts from Handel’s Alexander’s Feast. British Museum, free, just turn up, 2.30pm-3.45pm
LIVE AT THE CHAPEL: Comedian Ed Byrne headlines this month’s comedy show in the gorgeous surrounds of Union Chapel. Other comics on the bill are Aisling Bea, Larry Dean and Kiri Pritchard-Mclean. Union Chapel (Islington), £20, book ahead, 7.45pm
Sunday 7 July
ANTIQUES FAIR: Rummage through goods belonging to antiques dealers from all over Europe at Adams Antiques Fairs. Over 140 stalls are expected at the event, selling everything from jewellery to furniture to art. The Royal Agricultural Halls (Westminster), £4, booking recommended, 10am-4.30pm
THE INCREDIBLES: Take the kids along to a free matinee film screening of Disney Pixar film The Incredibles. The pop-up outdoor cinema has an urban lake backdrop, with beer, sodas and traditional sweets available nearby. Republic London (Poplar), free, book ahead, 12pm-3pm
DOG BRUNCH: Rooftop bar and restaurant Savage Garden launches its dog brunch, which pooches and their owners can enjoy together. Dogs can tuck into bottomless pawsecco (prosecco for the humans), and the food menu (for owners) includes panko chicken, bourbon glazed beef short rib and charred sourdough. Savage Garden (Tower Hill), various prices (bottomless upgrade for £20 extra), book ahead, 12pm-4pm
LIMEFEST: Live music, fun, games, entertainment, face painting and street food are all promised at LIMEFest 2019 an annual free festival in Limehouse. Ropemakers Fields (Limehouse), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-5pm
BANDSTAND MUSIC: Spend the afternoon in Regent’s Park, enjoying free live music at the bandstand. The Mardi Gras jazz band and Belvedere Concert Band are scheduled to perform today, against the backdrop of the park’s lake. Deckchairs available to hire, or bring your own blanket. Regent’s Park, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-5.30pm
ALI BABA: Head to Fulham Palace for a family-friendly performance of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Take a rug and settle down to watch the folk tale, about a carpenter who stumbles across a thieves’ den full of jewels and treasures. Your kids’ll be shouting ‘open sesame!’ at doors for weeks to come. Fulham Palace, £14/£8.50, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.50pm
THE GUILTY FEMINIST: ‘I’m a feminist, but…’ Popular podcast The Guilty Feminist concludes its live tour with a special matinee performance. Expect comedy from London Hughes, Jessica Fostekew, Sindhu Vee, Felicity Ward, Alison Spittle, Kemah Bob and more, plus a chat section with Mhairi Black MP, and theatrical readings from various actors. Royal Albert Hall, £23-£54, book ahead, 3pm
VAN MORRISON: Saturday tickets are sold out, but Sunday tickets are still available to see legendary singer Van Morrison perform live. He showcases a selection of tracks from his impressive 50 year career, including some from his most recent album, The Prophet Speaks. Roundhouse (Camden), £55-£85, book ahead, 6.30pm