Things to do in London this weekend (June 7 – 9)

London is rapidly moving into its top events season and this week’s guide has a distinctly global feel, reflecting the culture in the capital.

There is a celebration of Uzbekistan, a peace market to raise vital funds for Gaza, a newish Greek restaurant and an even newer place with an upscale Japanese feel.

Elsewhere, the capital is buzzing with the very best in culture and, in addition to Pride and a handful of wider cultural happenings, there’s a strange art exhibition by photographer Dean Sameshima, a four-day film festival and a bunch of naked people on bikes.

What a city, what a weekend.

The Hot Table: Akira Back

    (Press handout)

(Press handout)

The new Mandarin Oriental in Mayfair is the latest luxury hotel to open in the capital and Akira Back is the gold-plated flagship restaurant within. Back’s eponymous dining room is the latest addition to the chef’s vast portfolio of restaurants, some 18 worldwide and counting, so expect the trappings of a luxurious, high-end dining room: high-end fixtures, expensive artwork and some seriously sumptuous food. The “tuna pizza” is already making the rounds online (thinly pounded tuna, cut into wedges to look pizza-like), but perhaps even more interesting are the turbot with sake butter or the traditional bento box lunches.

22 Hanoverplein, W1S 1JP,

The (other) hot table: Grandma

    (Gilles Drap)    (Gilles Drap)

(Gilles Drap)

Agora in Borough is the modern little ground floor Greek taverna that preceded the opening of Oma upstairs, the fairly grown-up spot that is probably one of London’s most in-demand restaurants at the moment. The menu is an attractive excursion with dishes from Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, such as lobster bisque börek, mussels aganaki and squid and sausage skewers. The wines are also predominantly Greek: a treasure trove of top labels that represent considerable value. Go here.

3 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL,

The food fundraiser: Souk el Salam

    (© Safia Shakarchi)    (© Safia Shakarchi)

(© Safia Shakarchi)

Souk el Salam means ‘peace market’ and raises vital funds for Palestinians through the Amos Trust’s appeal in Gaza. This weekend Souk el Salam returns to London. Organizers include authors Sami Tamimi, Noor Murad, Melissa Thompson, Nicole Pisani and more. Restaurants, including Akub, are also slinging produce, which can be purchased on the day, to raise more money. With the ticket including two plates from the menu, but many more available, you can expect delicious things on the day.

Tickets £20, June 9, St. James’s Piccadilly Church, W1J 9LL,

The Film Festival: Sundance London

London’s very own Sundance Film Festival returns to the city this weekend with 20 independent films screening at Picturehouse Central. From Kneecap, the highly anticipated Irish film starring Michael Fassbender that opens the season, to the Indian film Girls Will Be Girls with an introduction and post-film Q&A with director Shuchi Talati, the films and events over the four days are a must see for lovers of the silver screen.

Until June 9, Picturehouse Central, 15 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7DH,

The art fix: Boscoe Holder and Geoffrey Holder at Victoria Miro

Boscoe Holder and Geoffrey Holder (courtesy of the artists and Victoria Miro)Boscoe Holder and Geoffrey Holder (courtesy of the artists and Victoria Miro)

Boscoe Holder and Geoffrey Holder (courtesy of the artists and Victoria Miro)

After previewing the London Gallery Weekend last week, the Boscoe Holder and Geoffry Holder exhibition continues this weekend at Victoria Miro. The two brothers, independent artists in their own right, are shown here together for the first time in Britain, highlighting the similarities and differences between these two mid-20th century Trinidadian artists. On view in the two main rooms of Victoria Miro, this is a double exhibition that considers, in the words of the gallery, “two siblings, as parallel painters”.

Until July 27, 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW,

The (other) art fix: Dean Sameshima is alone at Soft Opening

    (Courtesy of the artist and Soft Opening, London)    (Courtesy of the artist and Soft Opening, London)

(Courtesy of the artist and Soft Opening, London)

Dean Sameshima’s latest show at Soft Opening explores loneliness and human connection, but also touches on sexuality that is usually ‘hidden’ from view. Through a series of stark, arresting black-and-white photographs taken behind patrons of a Berlin porn theater, these images silhouette figures who are without exception alone. This little show explores desire and fantasy alongside its own documentation of queer spaces and is essential.

Until June 8, Minervastraat 6, E2 9EH,

The culture fix: Uzbek Culture and Food Festival

    (Press handout)    (Press handout)

(Press handout)

This weekend, the Uzbek Culture and Food Festival returns for the second time for two days celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of Uzbek culture. Expect dishes including Samsa; soft savory pastries filled with meat, potatoes or pumpkin, and the Uzbek national food; plov, a pilaf rice dish with meat, carrots, onions and raisins. Celebrating art, culture, dance, music and food, this is truly an opportunity to discover something new.

June 8 and 9, Potters Fields Park, SE1 2QX,

London’s Oddity: World Naked Bike Ride

Cyclists near Hyde Park, central London (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)Cyclists near Hyde Park, central London (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Cyclists near Hyde Park, central London (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The global nudie phenomenon hits London again this weekend for its 20th anniversary, as thousands of riders ditch their Rapha slings and take to the streets of the capital in nothing but a birthday suit. Originally launched as a protest movement against the increasing use of fossil fuels, the city’s multiple bike rides (there are 11, each starting at different locations) now attract a range of cyclists risking sore bottoms and keeping an eye on pedestrians. If getting starkers for a bike ride isn’t quite your thing, riders in pants and socks are also common.

June 8, throughout London,

The ticket you need to book now (for later): Pophams x Capezzana

    (© Adrianna Giakoumis)    (© Adrianna Giakoumis)

(© Adrianna Giakoumis)

Capezzana is a Tuscan wine and olive oil producing family with almost 100 years of heritage. This month they’re teaming up with Pophams for a rather special-sounding Italian celebration. The Tuscan dinner includes dishes such as a mushroom formato, a few handmade pasta dishes and a venison Wellington main course with a croissant dough crust. The dinner reflects the Pophams team’s recent visit to the region, so expect Tuscan authenticity throughout the six amazing courses.

Tickets £85, June 13, 197 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ,

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