Wimbledon is spoilt for choice with things to do this weekend, as artists across the borough prepare for Merton Arts Festival, and the Wandle Beer Festival gives us the chance to sample the best brews in the region.
If you do only one thing this Saturday, pop down to Centre Court Shopping Centre between 11am-4pm and support the 25th birthday celebrations of Wimbledon’s very own mall.
The organisers are promising discounts of up to 25% in many shops, including Phase Eight, Oasis, Accessorize and Gap.
The centre has installed a stage which will be showcasing live entertainment by local acts, including a performance from the stars of Tenderly from New Wimbledon Theatre.
Clarins, Benefit and No.7 beauty treatments will be available, and you can enter a competition to win a free personal styling appointment with Charlotte Loves, the Lady Wimbledon style blogger and former fashion editor of Hello!, plus £250 to spend in Centre Court shops.
Everyone can get a free goodie bag with voucher books and samples from retailers, and a taste of the giant birthday cake that will be cut courtesy of Lakeland.
And for any adults who are, shall we say, less hooked on the allure of shopping, Wimbledon Brewery is installing a pop up bar on the mall’s lower level.
Centre Court Shopping Centre’s 25th birthday party is on Saturday from 11am-4pm
Beer lovers, the second Wandle Beer Festival opens its doors at the football stadium on Bishopsford Road at 12 noon today. There will be 60 real ales to taste from blondes to porters, plus ciders and perries, and a selection of food on offer, in this bumper three day event organised by the South West London branch of Camra. Wimbledon Brewery will be there, of course, plus the Hop Back brews served at the Sultan in Wimbledon, and many, many more. Here’s the list, with the usual exotic names from Golgotha to Pagan Queen.
There is a big car park, but you might want to take the 280 bus or the tram home.
Wandle Beer Festival runs from noon to 11pm on September 14, 15 and 16 at the Tooting and Mitcham United F.C. stadium on Bishopsford Road. Entry £3.
It is incredible the amount of artistic talent tucked away behind the closed doors of studios and private homes in this borough. Now, as the first weekend of Merton Arts Festival arrives, the doors are about to open to let the public go in and see the visual riches created by amateur and professional artists alike. There are too many venues for me to mention individually, so pick up a leaflet at the library or the council offices or go online to download a map of the arts trail, and start exploring what’s on your doorstep. For a quick foretaste, Lady Wimbledon has already interviewed five of the artists taking part who are helping to raise money for a worthy local health charity: read more here.
Merton Arts Festival runs on September 16-17 and September 23-24. Entry is free.
They were heavily tattooed, ate cheese and smoked marijuana, and studded their shoes with crystals. No, not hipsters in east London – I’m talking about the ancient, warlike race known as the Scythians, who are the subject of this autumn’s big exhibition at the British Museum. Their tomb artefacts and even their clothed bodies were well-preserved by the Siberian permafrost for two millennia, and are being seen in London for the first time. The show opens today, September 14, and if it’s like the quality of previous BP-sponsored blockbusters it will be a humdinger.
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia is at the British Museum until January 14
Families should try to catch The Night Pirates, a rambunctious, swashbuckling storytelling show with masses of audience participation for kids of CBeebies age, at the Rose Theatre Kingston. It’s a wonderful, high energy show – an hour zips by. Read my review for more details.
Watch The Night Pirates at Rose Theatre Kingston today (Thursday September 14) at 11am and 1.30pm, or on Friday and Saturday at 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm.