What’s on in August 2019: Glorious Things to do in London this Month

This August, enjoy retro-flavoured exhibitions; live jazz music, bottomless brunch and a late-night light show in Kew Gardens 

Your guide to what's on in London this August 2019

To See...

Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, Strand

Film4 Summer Screen returns to the Strand this August. The unique outdoor film festival is set in the dramatic grounds of Somerset House, with film screenings accompanied by live music, panel discussions and even some being introduced by directors and cast members. Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar will introduce Pain & Glory; Peter Morgan CBE will be interviewed before the showing of The Princess Bride and Francis Lee and Josh O’Connor will introduce the critically-acclaimed God’s Own Country. The series will also host live DJ sets inspired by each movie and an array of food and drink options. 

Film4 Summer Screen (c) James Bryant

Date: 8-21 August Time: Varies Price: From £20.75 Location: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA Closest Station: Temple

Website: somersethouse.org.uk

Chelsea Girls and Likely Lads at Iconic Images Gallery, Chelsea

Iconic Images Gallery is celebrating the Swinging Sixties this summer with its Chelsea Girls & Likely Lads exhibition. The work of seven photographers who captured the fame, fashion and frolics of Chelsea during the 1960s will be on display, featuring the heady days of the Chelsea Set – a group of creatives who frequented Kings Road during this pivotal era. Photographs by big names such as Norman Parkinson, Terry O’Neill and Terence Donovan capture the characters who defined a generation, including Michael Caine, Keith Richards, Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy, to name a few. A rare signed print of Alan Aldridge’s Chelsea Girls movie poster, designed for Andy Warhol’s cult film, is also on display.

Date: 20 June-31 August Time: 12pm-6pm (Tuesday-Friday) Price: Free entry Location: 13a Park Walk, Chelsea, SW10 0AJ Closest Station: South Kensington 

Website: iconicimages.net

Chihuly Nights Glass Sculptures at Kew Gardens, Richmond

Kew Gardens has been transformed into an outdoor gallery space by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. In Reflections on Nature, the towering crystal works bridge the gap between art and the natural world. The showstopper is the striking Temperate House Persians, a nine-metre long pendant of blue-green blooms, which hangs from the ceiling of the recently renovated glasshouse. From August, visitors can marvel at the resplendent works illuminated after hours as part of Chihuly Nights, a new evening event with a rotating roster of live musical acts and a chance to see the glass sculptors lit up in all their glory.

Date: Chihuly Nights runs 15 August-27 October Time: 10am-7pm/8pm on weekends Price: From £16.50 (adults), from £4.50 (child) Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB Closest Station: Kew Gardens 

Website: kew.org

BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, Westminster

One of the most anticipated exhibitions in the summer calendar, National Portrait Gallery's revered portraiture competition invites artists from around the world to draw or paint their own portrait. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the BP Portrait Award, which attracts both established artists and new graduates alike. Brighton-based artist Charlie Schaffer's winning portrait is displayed alongside 50 selected works, chosen from around 2000 entries. 

Imara in her Winter Coat by Charlie Schaffer © Charlie Schaffer

Date: 13 June-20 October Time: 10am-6pm/9pm on Thursdays and Fridays Price: Free Location: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, Westminster, WC2H 0HE Closest Station: Charing Cross

Website: npg.org.uk

To Do...

Ronnie Scott's Celebrates 60 Years, Soho

World-famous jazz institution Ronnie Scott's rings in its 60th birthday this August with a two-week immersive pop-up. An immersive replica of the original Ronnie Scott's club has been created, replete with archival artwork, photography and audio memories as the voices from the club's past regale their fondest memories. Coined The Old Place, the pop-up will host a toe-tapping, raucous line up of jazz musicians, who will play homage to the likes of Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery and John Coltrane. 

Read More: The Best Jazz Clubs in London

Date: 19-31 August Time: 6pm-3am Price: From £21.36 Location: Ronnie Scott’s The Old Place, 52 Dean Street, W1D 5BJ Closest Station: Leicester Square

Website: ronniescotts.co.uk

To eat...

Bottomless Seafood Brunch at Oblix at the Shard, London Bridge

This August, Oblix at The Shard unveils a new bottomless seafood brunch, brimming with crustacean dishes. Available every Saturday of the month, enjoy an indulgent bounty of fresh fish, sustainably-sourced scallops, crab salad and seared tuna, matched with free-flowing unlimited Billecart-Salmon Champagne and captivating views of London’s skyline. The menu also boasts vegetarian options and sweet dishes to finish.

Date: Every Saturday in August Time: 12pm-3.30pm Price: £70 per person Location: Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY Closest Station: London Bridge

Website: oblixrestaurant.com

Jamavar Women’s Club, Mayfair

Jamavar on Mount Street continues its Women’s Club calendar of events this August. The fine dining Indian restaurant started the group as a playful antidote to the traditional boys’ clubs of Mayfair, and has since gained deserved recognition for its monthly women-only meetings. Jamavar welcomes Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor on Monday 5 August, followed by gold medal Paralympian Liz Johnson on Monday 12 August. Champagne and canapés are followed by a 40-minute panel discussion and three-course meal. 

Date: 5 and 12 August Time: 6.30pm-9.30pm Price: £55 Location: Jamavar, 8 Mount St, Mayfair, W1K 3NF Closest Station: Green Park

Website: jamavarrestaurants.com