Summer’s hotting up in London this week, with a whole host of fun things to see and do. Here are my top tips for your week ahead:
Proms, Royal Albert Hall, 12 Jul-7 Sep
If you’ve never experienced the BBC Proms, put it on your list of things to do this summer. The original informal and inexpensive classical music concerts (Prommers pay just £5 for a ticket and stand in the centre of the amazing Royal Albert Hall), the Proms are a London tradition going back more than 100 years. With more than 90 concerts in the programme, you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. Highlights for 2013 include the Oslo Philharmonic, Wagner’s Ring cycle, and a Doctor Who Prom.
Unleashed – A Carnival of Cabaret, Shoreditch Town Hall, 12-28 Jul
Unleashed is a new summer festival of cabaret produced in Shoreditch Town Hall’s atmospheric basement spaces known as The Ditch. Organisers promise a heady mix of roller skates, hula hoops, burlesque, song, comedy and magic. Look out for stars such as Miss Behave, Marawa the Amazing (see right), The Boy with Tape on his Face, Piff the Magic Dragon, and The Ruby Dolls.
The Chap Olympiad, Bedford Square, 13 Jul
Don’t miss your chance to witness Britain’s most eccentric sporting event: The Chap Olympiad in Bedford Square on Saturday. This famous “celebration of athletic ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases” features events like the pipeathlon, iron board surfing and umbrella jousting. And prizes at this quirky get together tend to reward panache rather than sporting prowess. Fancy dress (elegant finery, military wear, cricket whites and NO denim) is positively encouraged.
Bastille Day, Bankside, 14 Jul
Celebrate all things French without crossing the channel on France’s National Day. Fun-filled activities on London’s Bankside include a traditional 14 July waiters' race, pétanque, party games, bi-lingual storytelling, face painting and gastronomic film screenings. There’ll be live music, DJs and performance artists, plus dancing and singing. Most importantly, French traders will take over Borough Market, giving you the chance to sample the best of la cuisine française. Vive la France!
Nomad Cinema, 14 Jul-21 Sep
The ever-brilliant Nomad cinema returns to the capital on Sunday. London’s only roaming open-air cinema will be popping up in a variety of funky locations, including the atmospheric Brompton Cemetery (for Donnie Darko and Edward Scissorhands), the Hyde Park Lido (for In the Mood for Love and Breathless) and Coram’s Secret Garden (with kids’ classic The Neverending Story).
Of course, this is just a taster of all the exciting things happening in London this week. To get a comprehensive list of what's on, go to visitlondon.com/things-to-do.
What have you got planned this week in London? Let us know in the comments below.