Throughout the whole of June 2019, the London Festival of Architecture celebrates London as the global hub for architecture. There’s an extensive programme of more than 500 unique events delivered by a diverse mix of independent organisations and individuals. While the festival takes place across London, we’re delighted that London Bridge is a focus area meaning there will be lots to see and do near to London Bridge Hotel.

Science Gallery London

One of the biggest and most profound mysteries in contemporary physics today is what exactly makes up our Universe, and why 95% of it is seemingly missing. From 6 June 2019 at the Science Gallery London, the Dark Matter season examines the fundamental nature of reality. It attempts to make sense of what we deem to be ‘real’ through artistic, scientific and philosophical investigation, and research from King’s Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

While normal matter, which we can see and touch, accounts for a mere 5% of what exists in the universe, Dark Matter makes up over a quarter and the rest is the even more mysterious Dark Energy. Dark Matter is invisible as unlike normal matter it doesn’t reflect or absorb light. And it is everywhere – scientists think that billions of Dark Matter particles are passing through the human body every second.

The Dark Matter season features newly-commissioned and existing works by a diverse group of international artists including Desire Machine Collective, Andy Holden, Carey Young, Aura Satz, Semiconductor and Enrico Sachetti, alongside research from Theoretical Physicist, Professor Malcolm Fairbairn from King’s College London and the university’s Theoretical Particle Physics & Cosmology Group.

BP Big Screens

The Royal Opera House BP Big Screens returns this summer with three opera and ballet performances broadcast live from the Royal Opera House for free.

Head to Trafalgar Square on Tuesday 11 June 2019 to see Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers encounter passion and tragedy in Kenneth MacMillan’s 20th-century ballet masterpiece. The pre-screening starts at 7pm and the performance begins at 7.30pm. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy a summer evening in London at no cost.

Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, is now in its 251st year. Opening on 10 June 2019, it provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their works to an international audience, comprising a range of media from painting, printmaking and photography, to sculpture, architecture and film.

Around 1200 works are on display and the majority are for sale offering visitors an opportunity to purchase original work. A significant part of funds raised continues to contribute to financing the postgraduate students at the RA Schools.

Acclaimed British painter, Jock McFadyen RA is the coordinator of the 251st Summer Exhibition. This year’s committee members are Royal Academicians Stephen Chambers, Anne Desmet, Hughie O’Donoghue, Timothy Hyman, Barbara Rae, Bob and Roberta Smith and Jane and Louise Wilson. Spencer de Grey is curating the Architecture Gallery. The Summer Exhibition Committee is chaired by the President of the Royal Academy, Christopher Le Brun.

© David Parry / Royal Academy

Bridge Theatre

Following the success of this year’s immersive Julius Caesar, Nicholas Hytner is also directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre. Opening on 3 June (and on until 31 August 2019) there are 300 £25 immersive tickets available for every performance.

The theatre becomes the forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels. While the seating is wrapped around the action, immersive tickets allow the story to be followed on foot.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Bridge Theatre

Gun Salutes

June is a good month for royal gun salutes in London. The basic royal salute is 21 rounds. In Hyde Park and Green Park an extra 20 rounds are added because they are Royal Parks. At the Tower of London 62 rounds are fired on royal anniversaries (the basic 21, plus a further 20 because the Tower is a Royal Palace and Fortress, plus another 21 ‘for the City of London’). Everyone can watch but, obviously, it is very loud!

On Monday 3 June, HM The Queen’s coronation is marked at 12pm noon at Green Park with 41 rounds and at 1pm at the Tower of London with 62 rounds.

On Saturday 8 June, HM The Queen’s official birthday is marked at 12.52pm at Green Park with 41 rounds and at 1pm at the Tower of London with 62 rounds.

Of course, it’s also Trooping the Colour (the Queen’s Birthday Parade) on Saturday 8 June 2019.

And on Monday 10 June, HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday is marked at 12pm noon at Green Park with 41 rounds and at 1pm at the Tower of London with 62 rounds.

Gun Salute in Green Park© Royal Parks Foundation

Weavers of the Clouds

Showcasing some of the world’s oldest and most colourful art and textiles, Weavers of the Clouds is at FTM on Bermondsey Street. Open from 21 June to 8 September 2019, this new exhibition brings the captivating designs of Peru to the UK. The exhibition explores the processes and practices of both historic and contemporary Peruvian costume via garments, textiles, photographs, tools, illustrations and paintings, dating from pre-Hispanic to present day.

With many artists of all forms now looking to Peru for fashion, textile and culinary inspiration, this is a very exciting time to examine the history and future of Peruvian textiles. Weavers of the Clouds examines the vibrant applied crafts, heritage and traditions of Peru, celebrating the culture and customs of the artisan and their influence on design, fashion and beyond.

Weavers of the Clouds - FTM

Open Garden Squares Weekend

Over 130 of London’s most exclusive and unique gardens are open on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019 for the annual Open Garden Squares Weekend. London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend allows members of the public to visit and explore some of the capital’s most exciting private gardens, and to take part in a whole range of special events, activities and tours.

The Weekend is organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust to highlight the significant social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens, squares and green spaces make to the capital and the well-being of its inhabitants, many not usually accessible to the general public. Visitors can explore a vast range of gardens, including traditional and historic as well as new and experimental. There are wildlife gardens, community gardens and allotments, medicinal gardens, gardens on rooftops, in schools, hospitals, churches and on railway platforms.

A single ticket gains access to all gardens (excluding those with special conditions for entry) for both days. There are some really interesting guided walks available this year too.

© Diana Jarvis

Cutty Sark

There’s always something fun happening in Greenwich, isn’t there? These two after-hours events at Cutty Sark stood out to me.

Settle back in the hold for an evening of magic, myth and music on 7 June 2019 at Ships in the Night: Mother River, Father River. In the Cutty’s Sark’s Michael Edwards Studio Theatre, storyteller for adults Olivia Armstrong tells the story of the Cutty Sark, Queen of the Seas. Sally Pomme Clayton is performing ‘Mother Danube’, celebrating the vibrant histories and languages of the river with music and songs by Emma Clare.

Then on 14 June 2019, you can see a fresh take on one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most famous operettas, performed by the Charles Court Opera Company in the dry berth underneath the hull of the Cutty Sark. HMS Pinafore tells the story of Josephine the Captain’s daughter and her love for a lowly sailor Ralph Rackstraw, despite being promised in marriage to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Joseph Porter. This brand new production promises an evening of rollicking choruses and tender tunes imbued with unique wit and infectious energy.

Cutty Sark

Green Room

The Green Room, Casa do Frango’s hidden cocktail bar in the heart of London Bridge, officially launched in May with a monthly Jazz and Cocktail Night. Guests are invited to a heady evening of Portuguese-inspired cocktails and Latin Jazz.

You’ll find the secret speakeasy behind an unmarked door within the dining room at Casa do Frango on Southwark Street. Until now, The Green Room has been a secret only discovered by those who stumble upon it but it is now officially open for bookings from Tuesday to Saturday.

The jazz nights are on the third Wednesday of each month, so this month’s is on 19 June. Events are totally free, with cocktails and petiscos available to order from the bar. The Jake Goss Quartet is made up of four of London’s best Jazz musicians, all internationally acclaimed and regular performers at Ronnie Scotts.

Casa do Frango - Green Room

Even More

If you would like even more ideas for this month, do have a look at last month’s recommendations as many are still valid for June too.

LOOKING AHEAD

Somerset House Summer Series is back from 11 July 2019. It brings a festival atmosphere to the heart of London and offers a programme of pioneering musicians across a range of genres. It’s a rare chance to see critically acclaimed artists plus some of the best up and coming performers in a spectacular yet intimate setting.

For eleven nights, the magnificent Somerset House courtyard is transformed into the ultimate open-air destination. Highlights include Grammy-nominated five-piece The Internet, modernist supergroup The Good, The Bad and The Queen fronted by Damon Albarn, BBC Sound of 2019 nominee Rosalía, East London’s Nao and the Mercury Prize-shortlisted Sons of Kemet.

The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival is back in July. The annual festival on London’s South Bank runs throughout the summer with leading arts and performance companies celebrating the best of British and international culture, drag artists and London’s green and blue spaces, including the River Thames.

The Idler Festival is back at the National Trust’s Fenton House in Hampstead from 12 to 14 July 2019. There will be dancing lessons, local walks, beekeeping, gardening, calligraphy, ukulele, harmonica lessons and wandering minstrels, plus the Idler Good Stuff market featuring independent British makers. Headliners include Dr John Cooper Clarke, Sally Phillips and Louis Theroux.

Michael Palin, who was featured last year, said, “The Idler Festival at Fenton House is an Arcadian idyll. A beautiful house and garden embraces a whole host of activities. The ideas and talks are all the better for being aired in the open, and the home-made sausage rolls are the best this side of heaven. Immensely civilised… a balmy, magical atmosphere.”

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Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon, on Instagram as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

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