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If you’ve always longed to learn the polka or fancy a bit of umbrella jousting, the event line-up in London this weekend is looking peachy.
The Chap Olympiad
If you’d rather be stroking your pipe and adjusting your moustache than running the 100 metres, Bedford Square in Bloomsbury is the place to be this weekend. Gentleman’s magazine The Chap invites well-mannered men (and ladies) to its seriously silly event, The Chap Olympiad. The “celebration of athletic ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases” will see contestants throwing cucumber sandwiches instead of the discus and battling in Ironing Board Surfing, Umbrella Jousting and the Pipathlon. 7 – 8 Jul
Hampton Court Flower Show
Look out for energetic scarecrows at the annual flower show at the majestic Hampton Court Palace. The well-loved scarecrow competition has adopted a ‘porting Champions theme this year to reflect – what else? – the Olympic Games. Green-fingered experts will be on hand, along with displays like this year’s central feature which is focused on community gardening. A topical addition to the line-up is the ‘low cost/high impact’ gardens, showing how a much you can do with a limited budget. Until 8 Jul
The London Open at The Whitechapel Gallery
Spot the art stars of the future at The Whitechapel Gallery‘s open submissions exhibition which showcases current London art trends. The 35 contributors were chosen by a panel of experts and their pieces range from a directory of fictitious telephone numbers by conceptual artist Martin John Callanan to a print of Saddam Hussein’s gold bath taps on an imitation Versace silk scarf by Pio Abad. Until 14 Sept
Soane Museum’s new spaces
This little-known museum is a hoard of treasures kept by architect Sir John Soane at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The first phase of the £7 million restoration of his neoclassical townhouse is now complete, and this weekend is the first chance to poke around parts of the building never seen before such as the geometric staircase painted to look like the walls of a Roman catacomb. There’s also a brand new gallery with an exhibition exploring the design of Olympic venues. Exhibition until 22 Sept
The Kensington Palace Party
All abilities are welcome at these free outdoor dancing lessons and demonstrations in the gardens of Kensington Palace. This year’s workshops pay tribute to the two Queens who have celebrated a diamond jubilee: polka and Morris dancing reflect trends in Victoria’s reign, while a rock and roll class led by the London Swing Dance Society will honour us “new Elizabethans” and today’s queen. Head to the Gold Gates to find a spot – it’s first come, first served. 7-8 July