What's on in August 2018: 9 Glorious Things To Do In London

Abi Sritharan

31 July 2018

Your curated guide to all that's good in August, from festivals and alfresco film screenings to a royally good exhibition

The finest things to do in and around London this month

31 July 2018 | Abi Sritharan

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Film4 Summer Screen returns this August for a fortnight of film, set within the dramatic grounds of Somerset House. Alfresco screenings are complemented by on-stage introductions from directors and cast members, as well as live DJ sets, panel discussions and interactive workshops. This year’s esteemed line-up includes The Wife, Sleeping Beauty, Call me by Your Name and Inception, which will be introduced by Sir Michael Caine. 

Date: 9 – 22 August 2018 Time: Doors open at 18.30 Price: from £19.75 Location: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA (closest station: Temple) 

Website: somersethouse.org.uk

BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall

The BBC Proms continues throughout August at the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted the prestigious event since 1941. The Proms presents a global roster of performers and orchestras for an eclectic array of spellbinding symphonies covering centuries of composition. Celebrate the annual event at the nearby K Bar, which is hosting an elegant string quartet every Thursday evening from 6pm-8pm. The K Bar has also created a bespoke Chase Vodka cocktail menu, available throughout the month. 

Date: Until 8 September 2018 Price: £7.50 to £41 Location: Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP (closest station: South Kensington)

Website: bbc.co.uk/proms

Prince & Patron at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace

The newly opened summer exhibition at Buckingham Palace presents 100 works of art, personally handpicked by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Pieces from Prince Charles’ personal collection, spanning paintings, ceramics and textiles, are shown alongside work created by three charities that The Prince has founded and is patron of: The Royal Drawing School, Turquoise Mountain and The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts.

Turquoise Mountain revives traditional crafts to create jobs in Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Middle East and is supported by Notting Hill-based jeweller Pippa Small. An emerald necklace that she co-designed with an Afghan designer stars in the exhibition, alongside a curious selection of royal portraits, ancient costume and interiors. Visitors to the exhibition can also explore the historic palace grounds and gardens, retracing the royal steps of Queen Victoria and George VI. 

Date: 21 July – 31 September Price: £24 per adult ticket (concessions available) Location: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA (closest station: St James's) 

Website: royalcollection.org.uk

Michael Jackson on the Wall, National Portrait Gallery

The King of Pop takes his place at the National Portrait Gallery this August for a landmark exhibition. The extraordinary showcase explores Jackson’s influence on contemporary artists and brings together various mediums spanning art, collage, archive photography and video. 


Date: 28 June-21 October Time: 10.00-18.00 (Fridays until 21.00) Price: from £15.50 Location: National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE (closest stations: Charing Cross and Leicester Square) 

Website: npg.org.uk

Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire

While not strictly London, the crème of the capital flock to Oxfordshire each August for Wilderness Festival, a highlight of the summer calendar that brings together music, gastronomy, art and wellbeing within the rolling green hills of Cornbury Park. Headliners this year include Bastille and Chic ft Nile Rodgers, alongside jazz music in the Ronnie Scott's tent and a glittering, late-night forest party. Partake in a yoga workshop, voice your opinion in a live debate or quench your thirst in the Veuve Clicquot champagne garden. Culinary highlights this year include The Counter, a convivial new dining space helmed by Som Saa, The Quality Chop House and Salon and The Cellar, a festival-friendly wine bar.

Date: 2-5 August Price: from £189.70 per person; Location: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, OX7 3DG 

Website: wildernessfestival.com

The Big Feastival, Cotswolds 

The Big Feastival is a regaled foodie festival held on Alex James's farm in Kingham. The frontman of Blur hosts the annual event alongside Jamie Oliver, presenting three days of art, music and gastronomy. Chefs headlining this year's intimate banquet include Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Mark Hix and Gizzy Erskine, alongside street fare from Le Bab, Made of Dough and Smokestak. There will be live music from Craig David, Clean Bandit, Paloma Faith and Professor Green, alongside children's entertainment from Dick and Dom and Peppa Pig.

Date: 24-26 August Price: from £69.50. Location: Alex James’ Farm, Oxfordshire, OX7 6UJ 

Website: thebigfeastival.com

Secret Cinema Presents Romeo and Juliet

Secret Cinema returns this August for an immersive film experience like no other, featuring action, war and star-crossed lovers. An undisclosed outdoor location will be transformed into fair Verona and bolstered by live music, transporting set design, theatrical costumes and of course Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The experiential production will be the largest Secret Cinema showcase to date and adopt a festival-style format, with food and drink vendors, bands, DJs and nightly surprises. So, are you a Montague or a Capulet?

Date: 8-25 August Time: 18.00-23.00 Price: from £49 Location: on request/purchase 

Website: tickets.secretcinema.org

Carlos Cruz-Diez: Luminous Reality

A pioneer of kinetic art, Carlos Cruz-Diez creates interactive pieces that blur the usual boundaries of colour and shape, producing a kaleidoscope effect. His art-work is now on show at Phillips X, the new exhibition space from the Mayfair auction house, where highlights from his portfolio will be available to purchase.

Date: 16 July-6 September Time: 10.00-18.00 (closed on Sundays and bank holiday weekends) Price: Free Location: Phillips X, 30 Berkeley Square, W1J 6EN (closest station: Bond Street) 

Website: philips.com

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up

The Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum is the first to showcase her belonging outside of her home country of Mexico. Borrowed from her eponymous Mexican Museum AKA The Blue House, the artist’s possessions are artfully curated to explore how her appearance became one of her greatest works.

Date: 16 June-4 November Price: £15 Location: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL (closest station: South Kensington) 

Website: vam.ac.uk