The gradual reopening of the capital has all of us looking forward to making the most of the summer season. Luckily there are plenty of exciting events and things to do in London this June, that are sure to tempt you to get out and explore the city. Celebrations of architecture, design and British blooms are all taking place over the coming weeks, with striking installations and conversations. London Fashion Week also makes its return this month, as well as the Open Aire floating cinema on Regent’s Canal. Here, discover all you need to know about June’s must-see events.
1 - 30 June
The world’s biggest annual celebration of architecture returns this month with an immersive programme of events, both digital and in-person. This year’s festival theme is care, reflecting on how a global pandemic has pushed us to take stock of what we care most about, and exploring ways in which we seek out reconnection. For architecture enthusiasts, there are a number of talks and conversations that delve deep into the symbolism and future of architecture, covering topics that range from what Nordic designs teaches us about the perfect sauna, to a debate on the experience of women in architecture. For those wanting to get out and explore the city, there are plenty of new installations to visit, including the colourful Quick Getaway bench in Bow Churchyard and Lisa McDanell’s colourful abstract seats in Whitechapel.
1 - 27 June
This year’s exploration of innovative new design at Somerset House is curated by Artistic Director Es Devlin, who has invited participants around the world to respond to the theme, Resonance. For her own installation, Devlin and her team brought trees into Somerset House’s courtyard for the first time, subverting the rules of the institution’s Enlightenment-era designers who had banned trees from the area when they first designed the building 250 years ago. The immersive installation is made up of four hundred trees, which will be permanently planted in London boroughs after the Biennale, and a soundtrack by Brian Eno of birdsong from around the world plays as you wander through until you reach the centre, where 17 colourful pillars tell you about the United Nations-backed global goals for sustainable development.
10 - 15 June
Get inspired to spruce up your garden at the Garden Museum’s annual exhibition of Britain’s best blooms. Hosted in partnership with the founders of the legendary New Covent Garden Market, this year’s exhibition will feature innovation installations by five of Britain’s top florists – Cyrill Tronchet, Hazel Gardiner, JamJar Flowers, Simon Lycett and Tattie Rose – each of which will explore the theme Healing. The installations will all be made using environmentally sustainable methods and will transform the Garden Museum into an immersive and inspiring floral wonderland of British-grown herbs, flowers and plants.
Until mid July
The beloved Walthamstow treasure trove of neon signs is teaming up with Leadenhall Market to offer a closer look at the artists and history behind the now Insta-famous neon signs. The shop, café and neon museum tucked in the east London salvage yard has drawn Londoners for 37 years, offering a wonderland of neon signs by the late owner and artist Chris Bracey, who designed pieces for the likes of David la Chappelle, as well as works from his personal collection. While the site has always welcomed visitors to wander the space freely and take pictures on their phones, this new exhibition with Leadenhall Market, titled ‘Electric City,’ sees the collection through a new perspective. Cinematic neon signs from films including Eyes Wide Shut and The Dark Knight cover the market to showcase its 40-year relationship with the film industry and the lasting creative connections.
2 - 27 June
This month the capital welcomes the UK’s first floating cinema back to Regent’s Canal for a month of outdoor screenings. Following on from its success last summer, the Openaire Float-In Cinema presented by Häagen-Dazs returns to the canal with 16 eco-boats and a tempting schedule of films. Pretty Woman, Mamma Mia and Joker are all on the roster, and there’s an assortment of sweet treats to enjoy with your film, as well as a selection of Italian dishes provided by award-winning pasta chef RaviOllie at a waterside pop-up. Enjoy a tour of Little Venice before settling in the watch your film projected on Merchant Square at dusk.
12 - 14 June
The celebration of exciting menswear and womenswear designers returns with a digitally-focused roster of Autumn/Winter 21 collection launches, conversations and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the lives of acclaimed designers. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Bethany Williams and Marques ‘Almeida are just some of the established names on the week’s schedule, while the platform’s DiscoveryLAB will provide an immersive showcase of new emerging brands and collaborations. Expect presentations to be creative and experimental — one highlight includes a short film titled ‘Parts of Me’ directed by Akinola Davis Jr to showcase the collaboration between menswear label Ahluwalia and Mulberry.
Tom Kerridge’s much-loved mini festival is back, and this time they’re heading South East to take over the bucolic plains of Dulwich Park. Joining Kerridge over the weekend is a host of the UK’s most exciting chefs, including Gizzi Erskine, Monica Galetti and Atul Kochhar, who’ll be knocking up some of their most famous dishes and taking part in cooking demos to reveal all their secrets. With the food taken care of, the party atmosphere will come courtesy of live performances by Basement Jaxx, Beverly Knight and Morcheeba. As part of the celebrations, Kerridge is also inviting 1,000 key workers to come and join for a special evening as his way of saying thank you for their incredible work over the last year.