These are the best events happening in London this week

After the couple of weeks we’ve all had, we’ve decided we need something a little soul-soothing, which means we’re squarely in the mood to take in a bit of local culture with a lovely dinner nearby.

So how about a barge on the water after going to a flower festival? Or basking in Italian art and then feasting on a comforting pizza? Or if you still can’t decide, there’s always an immersive art show or one of the world’s best design events to visit.

Go forth and fill your life with beauty and good food. We deserve it…

Flower Power

If there’s one thing we do spectacularly well in Britain, it’s flowers. And the best of the best will be showcased this weekend at the Strawberry Hill House Flower Festival, where the cream of British growers will be wowing us with sustainable, planet-friendly blooms in the beautiful surroundings of this gothic revival palace.

Whether they’re fresh or dried (it’s very on-trend, the whole dried flower thing), the installations are set to be mind-boggling under the expert curation of Leigh Chappell and Janne Ford.

There are guided tours, demonstrations and, when it’s all done and dusted, you can try and recreate the magic in your own home with a couple of bunches from the garage on the corner.

From Friday to Sunday, Strawberry Hil House, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1

Exhibitionists welcome

Fancy something to stare at on a wall just down the road, instead? We love finding new places to see art, especially when they are in as lovely a spot as Twickenham.

At Orleans House Gallery, you have two exhibitions to peruse, the first of which is Lines of Dissent, artist Dzifa Benson’s show inspired by the lack of work made by women in her local borough collection.

By going through the archive, she has unearthed some incredible pieces and has got creatives from the worlds of poetry, theatre and music to respond to them.

Add to that a show called Objects of Disquiet, which speaks for itself, and you have a pretty cultured day out in a beautiful building that dates back to the early 1700s.

Orleans Road, Twickenham, TW1

Barge your way down to the river

After all that visual/natural loveliness down the road in Twickers, we reckon there’s nothing more soothing than some nice food and drink on a boat, which is why we’re excited at the launch of Peggy Jean, a Thames-side floating restaurant in Richmond.

The boat itself is a beautifully restored former Jesus College barge while the project is actually Daisy Green Collection’s 12th opening, so we presume they know what they’re doing.

The vibe is Aussie – so great calamari, T-bone steak, pizza, their Very Fancy Bacon Roll and award-winning banana bread sandwich – while the 360-degree views across the water are to die for. And with the weather playing ball at the moment, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the sun trap pontoon.

Peggy Jean @ Riverside, Richmond, TW9

Consider yourself a Renaissance man?

If modern Italian painting is more your thing – and if you’re into art, it’s most people’s thing – then you might already know about Estorick Collection, where they specialise in the stuff.

Right now, you can explore the work of Luigi Pericle, a bit of a renaissance man whose work featuring sweeping calligraphic brushstrokes would look amazing over our telly.

And if you fancy rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of the art world, there’s an Aperitivo Night in the venue’s new café tomorrow after hours. And even if Signor Pericle’s work is not quite your bag, it’s a beautiful spot to visit anyway.

39a Canonbury Square, N1

Get a pizza this

And what goes with Italian artworks, you say? Pizza, we say.  Why not hop on a bus and get thee to Finsbury Park?  As locals, we never thought we’d see the day that Finsbury Park – once upon a time somewhere you would only go to catch a Tube – become a destination.

Now with theatres and fancy cinemas and patisseries and even an M&S Foodhall (the ultimate sign a spot has arrived), it’s become the place to be. And now, the cherry on top is the opening of the latest branch of Pizza Pilgrims, purveyors of perhaps the tastiest pizzas this side of Napoli.

And with a restaurant crammed with retro arcade games like Pac-Man and Street Fighter and a range of house ice teas, sodas and cocktails, it looks very much like the Finsbury Park renaissance is complete.

266 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, N4


Immersive works from the Masters more your bag? Most people say they don’t know anything about art but they know what they like. We’re the opposite.

We know everything about art but have no idea what we like, which is why we’ll be down at Frameless, the UK’s biggest and London’s first digital immersive art experience.

With digital interpretations of classics from the likes of Cezanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt – all of whom we’ve actually heard of – the show is set to be spectacular broken up, as it is, into four themes: Beyond Reality, Colour in Motion, The World Around Us and The Art of Abstraction. You never know, you might actually start your own collection.

From tomorrow, 6 Marble Arch, W1

Spice up your life

After all that tech art wizardry, you’ll want to hotfoot it from Marble Arch – a mere 15 minute away – and try this hot Indian restaurant.  And we’re not talking any old Indian food either, this is equally world-famous chef Ravinder Bhogal (pictured above), of Marylebone restaurant Jikoni, whose vegetarian Indian fusion menu is even more colourful than some of the art.

Dhal croquettes with Montgomery Cheddar? Come on! Or spiced cauliflower Mac ‘n’ cheese? You can get a preview at the restaurant in the next week or so, or save yourself for Frieze, the world-famous London art fair in Regent’s Park, which starts on 12 October, and pop along after for a bite. We don’t think we can wait that long, though.

19-21 Blandford Street, W1

Design-er quality

Lastly, we couldn’t sign off without a mention of Design London. Think you know design? Well, prove it at Design London, part of the London Design Festival, where the crème de la crème of contemporary design will be there for you to coo over.

Twice as big as last time, it is a showcase for the world’s most delicious design, whether it’s furniture or lighting, whether it comes from Portugal or further afield.

With names like HAY, Urbantime, Christian Watson and Tuuci joining in (they mean nothing to us but if you’re a design buff…) it’s where you pick up ideas for totally redoing your own place… with something similar from IKEA.

Until Saturday, Magazine London, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10

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