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This weekend really highlights the incredible cultural diversity to be found in London. Not only can you enjoy large-scale festivals that celebrate the best of the city’s museums and traditions, but there are also many smaller events which epitomise the myriad interests that you can explore in the capital.
The Chelsea Fringe
Commencing on Saturday, the Chelsea Fringe celebrates the forthcoming RHS Chelsea Flower Show with an extended programme of horticultural events around London. There is a huge variety of events – most of which are free – on offer: visitors can enjoy everything from treasure hunts to floral-themed cocktails. See the Chelsea Fringe website for full programme details. 18 May-9 Jun
Museums at Night
An inspirational festival for those of a nocturnal persuasion, Museums at Night opens up most of London’s cultural institutions for three evenings of learning, exploration and fun. Whatever your interests, there should be something for you; whether that’s a pyjama party at Hampton Court Palace, a 1940s-themed event at the RAF Museum or a tour of the magnificent Banqueting House. For a full list of events, times and ticket prices, visit the Museums at Night website. 16-18 May
Propaganda: Power and Persuasion at the British Library
A must for anyone who is curious about how governments communicate with and influence their citizens, the British Library’s new exhibition promises to be a fascinating insight into international state propaganda. Concentrating on the 20th and 21st centuries, the exhibition uses posters, films, cartoons and texts to illustrate the sometimes surprising ways in which people can be informed, mis-informed or persuaded. Entry is free for under 18s or £9 for adults.. 17 May-17 Sep
Curiosities and Quirky Fans at the Fan Museum
Celebrate the quirkier side of fan-making at this wonderful small museum in Greenwich. At this new exhibition you can explore the history of ‘alternative’ fan-making and see how craftsmen have incorporated both unusual objects and designs into their beautiful creations. Admission is £4 for adults. 15 May-1 Sep
Get the best challah, falafels and bagels in town at the Gefiltefest London Jewish Food Festival. Taking place at Ivy House, the former home of ballerina Anna Pavlova, the festival will offer a mix of food stalls, cooking demonstrations, lectures, tastings and workshops. Highlights include talks by award-winning Jewish authors, a chance to find out who won the 2013 Jewish Food awards, and a debate on the merits of eating locust. Adult tickets are £25. 19 May