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The June Diary: What to Do This Week

Culture /

The June Diary: What to Do This Week

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...


What’s on this week in London? And in the countryside? Wonder no more! Find out all the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions in London, restaurants to book into and more. Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead. In June & July; Royal Ascot, a Quentin Blake exhibition, and Wimbledon. 

21 June

Rick Stein Pop-Up Cinema

Why have popcorn when you could tuck into dinner at the cinema cooked by Rick Stein? The Pop-Up Picture Company has partnered with the chef, who will rustle up a seafood spectacular at Cliveden House during a classic film screening. Next month, the whole show moves to Chewton Glen. 21 June to 11 July. Get your tickets here.

26 June

Yoga at Sunrise

Yoga on The Solent

Rooftop yoga is de rigueur, sure, but have you ever done yoga on top of a Victorian fort? Yogi Sarah Highfield (who has taught everywhere from Bodyism in Westbourne Grove to Helios Retreats in Mykonos) is teaching a series of overnight escapes at Spitbank Fort in the Solent, which includes sunrise and afternoon yoga sessions on top of the 1859 fort, now a super smart hotel. £975 for two, per room. 26 June, 11 and 25 July. 

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary

Monday 26 July marks exactly 20 years to the day since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published.

Visit one of the hotels that inspired JK Rowling’s work, here.

The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia

In the market for a wool tapestry by Orphism artist Sonia Delaunay? What about a 1,500-year-old vessel with a shamanic carving from Peru, or a Neoclassical bust made by the creator of the Statue of Liberty? Whatever your taste, you’ll find something unique at The Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, the UK’s longest running vetted fair, which turns 45 this July. 26 June- 2 July.

27 June

Don’t miss the limited edition Barbie Afternoon Tea at Maison Assouline

Barbie Afternoon Tea

Until 1 July, enjoy an exclusive Barbie Afternoon Tea at Maison Assouline to celebrate the launch of ‘The Art of @BarbieStyle’ book. The all-pink tea includes limited-edition Ladurée macarons, salmon and cucumber sandwiches with crème fraiche alongside Bali Rooibos tea and a pink Barbie cocktail for the ultimate girly treat. £30 per person, at Swans Bar, Maison Assouline, 196A Piccadilly London W1J 9EY

Aspall Tennis at the Hurlingham Club

This week, experience one of London’s most cherished tennis events at the Aspall Tennis Classic at Hurlingham Tennis Club. This year, Andy Murray makes his much-anticipated return to the ultimate pre-Wimbledon warm-up. Set in the luxurious Hurlingham Club, enjoy the bubbling atmosphere in the run up to the tennis season’s biggest event. Sit back and kick off the British summer tennis season with the perfect appetiser to Wimbledon. Tuesday 27th – Friday 30th June 2017 .

28 June

Henley Royal Regatta

One of the highlights of the social season and the most famous regatta in the world, the Henley Royal Regatta sees over 200 races of international standard. Find out more, and learn where to stay and what to eat during your visit, in our C&TH Guide to Henley28 June – 2 July

If you’re more into clubbing than boating, you’ll be pleased to hear that Chinawhite returns for the fifth year running to Henley Royal Regatta on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July, headlined by Pete Tong. Tickets are available at

30 June

Mayfair Art Fair

Mayfair Art Weekend

Home to Britain’s longest-running art school since 1769 and the most exclusive arts club since Sickert’s time, Mayfair has one of the richest artistic backgrounds in town. For Mayfair Art Weekend 60 galleries and auction houses will throw open their doors to the public as the show launches a new partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts. 30 June to 2 July. 

Fashion Illustration Gallery

A suite of prints made from drawings of David Downton’s couture archive are among the pieces for sale at The Fashion Illustration Gallery‘s Art Fair at The Shop at Bluebird. The pop-up will showcase work from both established artists and emerging talents. In the two weeks leading up to the fair, Cocteau-esque renderings by Luke Edward Hall will be released each day on their website. 30 June to 2 July.


Aerocene Explorer, launches at San Francisco, USA, 2016
Courtesy the Aerocene Foundation. © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017

REVEAL Festival

REVEAL, a free, week-long public festival has been announced in celebration of the opening of V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, designed by AL_A. The new quarter is the largest architectural project undertaken by the Museum in over 100 years. Exhibition Road is to be pedestrianised for a day of celebrations on Saturday 1 July. Find out more in our full preview of REVEAL Festival and the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, here

1 July

Exercising for Good: Barry’s Bootcamp Takes Over The London Eye

Barrys Bootcamp London Eye

On July 1, one of the best workouts in the world is coming to the iconic landmark the London Eye. Special trainers from Barry’s Bootcamp in the USA will be flying over to run a special HIIT class in the legendary glass pods, with all proceeds going to the wonderful Stand Up To Cancer charity. Tickets are in high demand, and it promises to be an unforgettable fitness experience where your exercise will directly help a charity. You can buy tickets here.

Alma-Tadema Art Exhibit

Alma-Tadema Art Exhibition 

This summer Leighton House Museum is presenting Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity, an exhibition which explores the famous Victorian artist Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Focusing mainly on Alma-Tadema’s fascination with the representation of life in Roman antiquity, as well as a look at his remarkable studio-houses in London, the exhibition follows his artistic career from his home in the Netherlands to his move to London. His detailed artwork of life in the ancient past has been influential in how the world perceives the past, and has been an inspiration to theatres and films to this day. Although the exhibition focusses mainly on Alma-Tadema’s work, it also explores his family life, and features many works from his wife Laura and their daughter Anna. This is the first time the exhibition has been shown since 1913, making this a very unique opportunity to witness this incredible artist’s work in one space. An event not to be missed – tickets from £6 – £14. July 7 – 29 October.

The Floating Cinema

The Floating Cinema

c. Hydar Dewachi

The Floating Cinema returns to Yorkshire’s waterways for its finale to present a series of eight short films by Leeds-based artist Harry Meadley. In On The Bench he interviews local residents that live near the berth where each short is being screened, highlighting the cultural differences between South and East Yorkshire. All eight will be played back to back once it docks at Hull Marina in August. 1 July to 13 August.

Duke of York British Fête

Start the month off with Duke of York Square and Pavilion Road who are throwing a traditional British fête for locals and visitors to Chelsea. Filled to the brim with activities, including live music and pop-up food stalls. The  National Army Museum will be hosting a ‘Build a Bridge Challenge’ for kids, while Chelsea’s very own Royal Hospital Pensioners will be selling handmade pottery with proceeds going to the UK’s veteran community. While your little ones are having fun, sit back and enjoy the sun with a Boutique 1 cocktail at their pop-up bar, or a large glass of wine at Pavilion Wine. The perfect day out for the whole family. July 1

2 July

One-off Ballet Central performance at London Cabaret Club

Ballet London Cabaret Club

This is the perfect Sunday afternoon family activity if you’re in town. The London Cabaret Club collaborates with Ballet Central (world-renowned Central School of Ballet’s touring company) for an exclusive matinee dance performance featuring London’s brightest young ballet stars. There will also be pointe shoe makers there explaining and displaying their craft, as well as a traditional afternoon tea which will be served during the performances. All set against the backdrop of the glamorous 1920s Art-Deco style club, this is an unmissable experience. Buy tickets here.

John Minton: A Centenary

John Minton Bridge from Cannon Street Station

John Minton, Bridge from Cannon Street Station (1946)

How can we have forgotten John Minton? He lit up the 1950s with colour, ambitious images from his travels to Corsica, Spain and, above all, Jamaica. John Minton: A Centenary at Pallant House Gallery reveals a vast and hitherto lost mural painting of a Jamaican street scene. Now shown for the first time since 1951, the work, which is mysteriously dark, deeply colourful, sorrowfully ambiguous, sums up the life of the artist himself. Cavalier in style and defiantly gay, ‘Johnny’s Circus’ was the gang of artists Minton dominated- in a world where homosexuality was criminal. Minton illustrated Elizabeth David’s famous A Book of Mediterranean Food, a bombshell of a work to brighten the grey austerity of a rationed and reduced post-war Britain. His paintings were part of the romantic revival- but eclipsed in the late-’50s by a new breed of abstract expressionists. Suddenly, his representative painting, for all its delightful nuance and intriguing layers of visual meaning, faded from view. Minton, always flamboyant yet emotionally unstable, committed suicide at the age of 40. Curated by Simon Martin, Director of Pallant House, and Frances Spalding, Minton’s biographer, it offers a resurrection of sorts. 1 July to 1 October. 

Dahl’s Right Hand Man

Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake’s work scales new heights

His illustrations are instantly recognisable and trigger fond childhood memories for generations of readers. Now, another side of the much-loved illustrator emerges, with the opportunity to explain some serious issues. Quentin Blake: The Only Way to Travel will use his usually playful pen to explore mental health, creativity in education (or lack thereof) and the refugee crisis. Blake plans to draw entirely from his imagination on a canvas, so large he needs a cherry picker to life him metres off the ground. Jerwood GalleryFrom 14 June-15 October

3 July

Wimbledon: 3-16 July



The wait is finally over for the biggest social event of the season. Wimbledon, of course! Two weeks of tennis, Pimm’s, copious amounts of strawberries and cream and some rather dashing tennis players thrown in there for good measure… It’s the place to be seen this July, so whip out your best summer gear and practice your tennis expert concentration face and you might even make it onto the telly! 3-16 July

Read our insider’s guide to Wimbledon written by a former court attendant, for tips on everything from queuing and bagging tickets, to making the ball boys laugh…

And for the true tennis enthusiasts, take a look at our round-up of the best properties with tennis courts on the market right now, and the best properties on the market in Wimbledon.

4 July

Jake and Dinos Chapman The Ugly

Jake and Dinos Chapman, The Ugly (2007)

Enfants terribles Jake and Dinos Chapman have scandalised the art world with their crude and gory exhibitions. At CASS Sculpture Park in Sussex, a posse of enormous iron dinosaurs loom over delighted toddlers in the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights– while parents ponder the question: who owns the land and the oil below it? Inside, Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good creates an animal farm dystopia complete with a mad farmer. Much of their work was lost to the fire that engulfed Saatchi’s warehouse in 2013, inspiring a return to childlike ways of working. Until 16 December

5 July

Henley Festival

For Henley Festival you’ll need to put your glad rags on- there’s nothing quite like watching a black tie-clobbered crowd mooring their boats to get down to the Pet Shop Boys’ It’s a Sin. Other headliners include Blondie, Chaka Khan and Jess Glynne, and it boasts arguably the best culinary line-up of the festival season. 5-9 July. 

Find out about more festivals here.

7 July

Ark Sculpture Exhibition

Steven Gregory, 'Midnight Rambler'

Steven Gregory, ‘Midnight Rambler’

Head to Chester Cathedral this summer to see the Ark Sculpture Exhibition, which is taking residence between 7 July and 15 October. Containing works by the likes of Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and Lynn Chadwick, the show will have sculptures travelling from as far as Italy, Belguim and Iceland to be installed for the show. Read our full guide here. 7 July – 15 October

8 July

Heveningham Concours d'Elegance

Revving into gear in Suffolk

Bentley Blowers are so rare that the government put a temporary ban on their export in 2013. The four and a half litre engine Bentley cemented the marque’s association with Le Mans, the world’s oldest sports car endurance race. See one in the flesh, exhibited alongside 50 more of the most iconic cars ever produced at the Concours d’Elegance at Heveningham Hall in Suffolk. 8-9 July

Tate Britain Jazz

Tate Britain Jazz Brunch

This Summer, Tate Britain will be launching a series of Saturday Jazz brunches on their terrace lawn. A live three-piece Jazz trio will perform, while the Rex Whistler restaurant will be serving dishes from its new seasonal summer brunch and lunch menu. While sitting back and enjoying the music you can take it all in with a glass of wine from the Tate’s award-winning wine cellar, or if you fancy something different try one of their new gin cocktails. Look out for Blind Tigers, a quirky New Orleans style jazz group made up of some of London’s finest young musicians. What more could you want? Tickets start from £5 on July 8.

10 July

Picasso Bull's Head Mask Golfe-Juan Vallauris

Picasso with a bull’s head mask, Golfe-Juan, Vallauris (1949)

Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors

To Picasso, bulls and red-cloaked matadors were both sources of inspiration and, later, obsession. This exhibition at Gagosian in Mayfair reveals that he would often create almost identical versions of the same piece ten times over, pausing only on Christmas Day, before returning to the same series. Some are intricate drawings of the whole scene- bullring cavalcade and crowds- and others are like a splashed glass of wine- effortless bull silhouettes that only Picasso could conjure. The repetition highlights his sincere passion for the impact of a line; a flick here, a foot slightly more forward than the version the previous day. They also give an insight into the intensity of his other passion: women. Curated by Sir John Richardson, this exhibition is an impressive passion project too. The works have come from all over the world to explore Picasso’s mind and, no doubt, needed Sherlock-levels of investigatory skills to find them, having been privately owned and not loaned for decades. Picasso- ever vibrant, and always open for another look. Until 25 August.

14 July

Tate Modern Carousel

Carousel comes to Level Nine

Food and art go hand in hand, from Renaissance still lifes to Andy Warhol’s soup cans. Marylebone’s rotating guest chef space Carousel comes to Tate Modern for a three-week residency at the Level Nine restaurant. Coming up: Melbourne’s sushi master Shaun Presland (14-16 July), Sebastian Mazzola cooking Nikkei (21-23 July) and nomadic Mexican chef Santiago Lastra (28-30 July).

19 July

Ballet United

Ballet United

Why go to see a performance of just one ballet company when you could see a production of all the best dancers in Europe? United Ballet brings together talent from The Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and Semperoper Dresden, among others, for an electrifying showcase at Cadogan Hall, ranging from pas de deux to a modern repertoire by Benjamin Millepied.

21 July

Curious Arts Festival

The Curious Arts Festival at Pylewell Park, on the coast of the New Forest, will bring out your inner child, with Jabberwocky hunts, midnight bat walks and cricket matches. With Tom Odell and Izzy Bizu among headliners. 21-23 July. 

22 July

War Horse V&A

Joey at the V&A

More than 20 years after Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse was first published, the stage version rocked to success at the National Theatre- a production seen by over seven million people worldwide. Five years later, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation created a cult film from the original- a blockbuster. Now the V&A’s Bethnal Green wing celebrates the author’s 40-year career with Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories. The puppet Joey, the War Horse himself, will be guest of honour alongside handwritten drafts penned in orange exercise books and even a replica of Michael’s writing caravan. All intriguing components of the legacy of War Horse. 22 July to 25 February.

24 July

No Artists, No Art, Lights of Soho

Lights of Soho – No Artists, No Art

This month, Lights of Soho, kick of their campaign No Artists, No Art, to raise awareness and gain recognition to keep Soho as London’s hub of creativity. With rent prices sky-rocketing, property developers moving in and chains taking over, Soho’s art scene is under threat. Lights of Soho is a culture hub for upcoming artists, a Member’s club for those seeking a creative space and exhibition space to help kick-start careers – all for free. With support pouring in from big name artists such as Banksy and David Bailey, who are auctioning off some of their art for the cause on the 24th July so you really don’t want to miss out. Now is the chance to grab a piece of art history and save the centre of creativity. Head over to Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street and get bidding. 24 July.

28 July

Though the popping of guns that heralds the start of the shooting season feels worlds away, you don’t have long to don your tweeds before it all kicks off on August Twelfth. Thankfully everything you could need for huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ can be found at The Game Fair at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. 28-30 July. 

29 July

Krug Festival

Last year they brought you a night with Mick Jones on a private island off the coast of Essex. This year, Krug champagne brings you Patagonian chef Francis Mallmann for an evening of theatrical wild fire cooking at The Grange in Hampshire, with immersive music performances curated by Mahogany Sessions, the talent-spotters who first showcased artists including James Bay, Bastille and Leon Bridges. Krug Festival29 July.

31 July

Rolls Royce: Fred Astaire Phantom I

Rolls Royce ‘The Great Eight Phantoms’ Exhibition

At the end of July, Rolls Royce will be gathering together the greatest Phantoms from the past 92 years and showing them in London. It is to celebrate the introduction of the all-new Phantom VIII, while remembering and commemorating the past generations of this iconic car. Each week a new Phantom will be announced and will travel to London from across the world, telling the story of their history and origins. To kick things off, the Fred Astaire Phantom I from 1927 will exhibit.

MORE CULTURE: Cristóbal Balenciaga: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Couturier / Things to Do This May Bank Holiday / The C&TH Festival Guide 2017

Topics: Art / Books / Country / Design / Exhibitions / Film / Little Black Book / London / Music / Town /

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