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August Events in London: Our Top Picks

Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (hellojenuine.)

August is a funny old month in London, and even more so when we’re hosting The Olympics. I’ve decided it’s impossible to escape the O word, even though I said last month I wasn’t going to mention “The Games” as we’re supposed to call them.

Annex East and the Meltdown festival (meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk & annexeast.co.uk)

Where cultural events are concerned, a lot of those that would normally be scheduled to take place during “The Games” had to be scaled down or were cancelled because all the funding went to Olympic events.

The Crate Brewery (Alan Perryman)

Add to that the confusion over transport arrangements and over exactly how many millions of extra visitors would be swarming everywhere, the result has been an eerie emptiness in many places, with Londoners choosing to escape or stay at home and seemingly less trade, not more, for businesses.

The Annex East (annexeast.co.uk)

But if you venture out – and I have been – there’s still a lot going on, especially in the east end of London. It must be said, many more derelict warehouses have been spruced up in the east than would have been possible were it not for the Olympics. And these newly renovated warehouses lend themselves beautifully to imaginatively cool stuff being hosted in them. So that’s one step toward an Olympic legacy.

Below is my pick of what to do this August in London if you’re culturally inclined.

The Tanks at Tate Modern (tate.org.uk)

18 July – 28 October: The Tanks – Tate Modern. The old oil tanks at what was once Bankside Power Station, lately Tate Modern, have been uncovered and opened up for a 15 week long festival dedicated to installation and performance art.

The tanks form part of the new expansion of Tate Modern. Both the raw concrete space itself and choice of programming are thrilling to visit and one of the spaces has a changing program of events. This one is worth multiple visits.

The Tanks at Tate Modern (tate.org.uk)

Until 16 September: Philip Haas: The Four Seasons and Andy Warhol: The Portfolios at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Four huge sculptures by Philip Haas, inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Renaissance paintings of the four seasons, currently dominate the lovely garden of the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Andy Warhol exhibition (dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk)

The installation here is the first ever display of these works to the public and entry to the gardens is free. The current gallery exhibition is Andy Warhol: The Portfolios, which features a selection of 80 works from the artist’s print portfolios seen for the first time in the UK, including the iconic portraits of Muhammad Ali and Marilyn Monroe.

The Meltdown Festival (mermaid99 & Bradford Timeline)

4 -12 August: Meltdown Southbank Centre. Antony of Antony and the Johnsons is the director of this year’s Meltdown Festival. His program includes performances from Lou Reed, Elizabeth Fraser and Boy George as well as dance and concert events and collaborations. Grab a ticket for whichever event you can lay your hands on.

Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (felibrilu)

Until 12 August: Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege – in London at various locations, then on tour around the UK until 9 September. Crossing paths with the Olympics is unavoidable this month, but the most fun to be had at the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 Festival is probably, almost definitely, jumping around on this life size bouncy castle replica of Stonehenge by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller.

Jimmy’s Supper Club (annexeast.co.uk)

Annex East – Jimmy’s Supper Club. Getting even closer to the Olympics is Annex East: the 1800 square foot warehouse arts space within meters of the Olympic Park. There’s enough culture here to keep you occupied, but the main draw is Jimmy’s Supper Club, run by young star chef Jimmy Garcia, which is popping up here for the duration of the Olympics. Expect fine dining and five course meals featuring delights such as Cornish Crab Bon-Bon and Wild Mushroom Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding.

The Crate Brewery (Alan Perryman)

Crate Brewery. What’s better than beer and pizza? Craft beer and pizza in Hackney Wick, next to the newly dredged sparkly canal, in yet another renovated warehouse, that’s what. Serving beer brewed in its on-site microbrewery and dreamy pizzas, this newly opened space has everyone raving about how brilliant it is.

Written by Clair Oldman for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Claire Oldman

Claire OldmanClaire Oldman is a travel, fashion and lifestyle writer who was born and raised in London, but she'd usually rather be in Paris. She founded the blog Lola is Beauty on a whim in 2005, to cover her favourite subjects of clothes, Paris, places that are not Paris and cats. Living like a local, not a tourist is always her aim when traveling. She was a fashion stylist for a decade, and now writes press releases and web copy for fashion brands, but only ones she loves, like Toujours Toi-Family Affairs. Claire is currently a contributing editor at Fathom: the travel website re-invented, and she has written on Paris and London for publications including Bust magazine and the Guardian. She was the London correspondent for online urban travel guide Gridskipper in its glory days and was given an award by The Paris Tourism Board for an article on what her perfect day in Paris would be. Happily, the prize was a trip to Paris.

Website: Lola is Beauty

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