Champagne snobs, look away – London is getting its very own marble-clad altar to all things bubbly and Italian. The wine here is sourced from family winemakers in Veneto. Savour it neat, in a zingy Aperol Spritz or a fruity Bellini.
Even by his prodigious standards, 1932 was a pivotal year in Picasso’s artistic development. This major exhibition at the Tate Modern retraces it – month by month – through a collection of more than 100 paintings, sculptures and paper works. Each opens a window into the artist’s creative processes and experiments with surrealism. .
Shown together for the first time since their feverish creation in just five days, three sensual portraits of Picasso’s lover Marie-Thérèse Walter are the highlight of this landmark show. 2 for 1 entry with your Eurostar ticket
Before his untimely death in 2017, Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaïa spent a year working with London’s Design Museum on a retrospective celebrating his 35 years in fashion. Curated by the master craftsman himself, the more than 60 pieces on display explore his meticulous, innovative approach to cut, fit and tailoring. Sultry, sculptural and thoroughly modern, his gowns form the centrepiece of a posthumous show that is as poignant as it is flamboyant.
One of London’s most beloved dance weekenders returns in 2018, taking up residence in Gunnersbury Park. Expect good things: previous years have drawn the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Sampha, Frank Ocean and a host of top-drawer DJ talent. With stages programmed by some of the capital’s hottest clubs and food courtesy of a well-curated crop of street vendors, it’s an unmissable summer date.
This O2 exhibition traces the evolution of DC Comics’ Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, alongside a line-up of villains. See original storyboards, iconic memorabilia (Reeve’s cape, Bale’s bat pod) and comic book issues from the very first.
Anthea Hamilton (sculptor of the Turner 2016’s gilded buttocks), transforms Tate Britain with sculptures and a performer with a squash for a head. Costumes by Loewe’s creative director and a minimal set create a strikingly strange experience
Ten years of seismic shifts in global politics told through the lens of graphic design. The show’s name references Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster and its many wry reworkings, but work here reflects a whole world’s worth of struggles.
For the tenth year in a row, the giant Underbelly cow arrives on London’s South Bank to play host to comedy, circus acts, cabaret, street food and all-round summer revelry. This edition features a bumper crop of more than 70 shows, ranging from family fun to burlesque battles.
Exploring the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world over 400 years, this V&A exhibition touches on inspiration, craft and sustainability. Highlights include a spectacular Victorian feather cape and dresses made from grape waste and recycled plastic bottles, as well as a collection of protest garments, such as Katharine Hamnett's provocative Clean Up or Die collection. 2 for 1 entry with your Eurostar ticket.
Riverside supper club Amateur Table gives fresh talent a platform to shine. The summer line-up is tantalising: a Middle Eastern feast in June and a mid-summer Swedish celebration from founder Lily Gjertsen in July.
This photographic display examines London after dark, from the end of the 19th century to the present day. It casts the capital in moonlight and streetlight, sketching an evocative, sometimes uneasy portrait of its distinctive beauty.
Last Days of Shoreditch is a dose of summer living just off the Old Street roundabout. Expect street food, clever cocktails, top-drawer DJs, a karaoke room and, if last year was anything to go by, a deckchair-dotted beach to recline on.
Orla Kiely’s bold, stylish patterns have adorned everything from mugs to cars. This Fashion and Textile Museum show delves into the designer’s archives for a behind-the-scenes look at her inspiration, methodology and wider impact.
Lee Bul’s politically charged art was influenced by South Korea’s move from military dictatorship to democracy. Her new immersive installations, drawing from sci-fi and anime, invade and overtake the Hayward Gallery on its 50th anniversary.
In the shadow of City Hall, the Scoop amphitheatre is the setting for a heady summer programme of free outdoor events, tasty treats and riverside sundowners. Plus live music from the likes of vintage trio The London Belles.
In a 60-year career spanning pop art, minimalism, conceptualism and surrealism, Ed Ruscha’s subject matter has remained the same: America. His new show offers a contemporary riff on Thomas Cole’s paintings – also currently on show at the National Gallery.
Provocateur-in-Chief Grayson Perry is handed the curator’s hat for this year’s Royal Academy summer spectacular. It’s the world’s largest open-submission art show, so expect a suitably eye-popping array. 2 for 1 entry with your Eurostar ticket.
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Famed for her reimagining of urban spaces, Mexico City’s Frida Escobedo is the youngest ever architect to tackle the Serpentine’s prized pavilion. Her Hyde Park structure plays with light and reflection in a nod to Mexican courtyards of old.
This power couple famously covered Paris’s Pont Neuf in cellophane, and wrapped Berlin’s Reichstag. When Jeanne-Claude died in 2009, Christo continued their work. This exhibition is accompanied by his first UK public sculpture, on the Serpentine lake.
Hosted by four culinary whizzes in an East London distillery, these intimate pop-up dinner parties are summer’s hot ticket. Expect menus ranging from Georgian feasts to West African fusion, paired with perfectly chilled vodka cocktails.
Mozart’s legendary lothario, Don Giovanni, returns to the Royal Opera House stage in the tragicomic opera that has entranced since 1787. Kasper Holten’s dazzling production incorporates award-winning set design and inventive video work.
Celebrating contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic traditions, the V&A’s Jameel prize makes for a remarkable exhibition. This year’s nominees include a fashion designer, a collective of embroiderers and an architect.
Completed in 1726, London’s Sistine-rivalling ceiling is hidden away in Greenwich’s Royal Naval College. For the first time in 50 years you can see it for yourself, up close and personal, while it undergoes painstaking preservation.
Tennis’ grand dame of grass-court tournaments is the star of the British sporting summer. Its atmosphere is unrivalled, whether you’re gathered round Murray Mound or snacking on strawberries courtside. Take an umbrella just in case, mind.
Culinary experimenters Bompas & Parr are at it again, this time with a kooky immersive exhibition at King’s Cross. Celebrate the past, present and future of ice cream, then try madcap flavours (glow-in-the-dark, anyone?) at the Conehenge café
Every summer, the world’s largest flower show takes over Hampton Court Palace, an historic royal residence just outside London. Explore horticultural displays, take gardening workshops, attend talks by experts, and more.
Step into the world of Disney’s Fantasia with this new immersive experience at the Vaults. Explore underground worlds, dance through the stars, and lose yourself in a new kind of performance art.
For one night every summer, London’s South Bank is transformed into a public thoroughfare of the city’s best contemporary art. This year’s edition includes 12 works and exhibitions curated by the Hayward Gallery.
One of Europe’s biggest LGBTQ+ street parties takes over Trafalgar Square for a day of colour, cheer and campaigning. If you can’t get near the rainbow-draped square, stake out a spot in Soho and soak up its come-one-come-all celebrations.
Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and settle in for one of the more refined dates in summer’s musical calendar. Sing along to Steps, gyrate to the Gypsy Kings and boogie to Jools in the famed botanical gardens.
Can 2018’s BBC Proms top Jarvis Cocker’s Scott Walker homage or pianist Hiromi’s piano-string strumming? Classical music’s top brass play the Albert and Cadogan Halls. For coveted tickets to the Last Night, try your luck on the open ballot.
Every year, Buckingham Palace opens the doors to its state rooms for a few summer weeks. Take this opportunity to spend time in majestic surroundings and see the lavish dignitary-hosting drawing rooms in all their elegant detail. The tour takes in the grand ballroom, an art gallery and the John Nash-designed throne room.
Forget the Tube: the best way to cross central London is via this 225-metre zip wire, which whizzes riders past the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben at up to 30mph. Note it’s over-eights only, and kids have to be accompanied.
This Tate Modern show celebrates the Weimar era, from 1919 to 1933 – a Golden Age for culture. Artists such as Otto Dix and George Grosz created work shot through with political tension, bold new art philosophies and sultry jazz rhythms.