Your Weekend Agenda: 21-23 July
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We blinked, and it's already midway through July. We spent seven months with a seasonal affective disorder for a millisecond of summer. It's an injustice of staggering magnitude. Might as well make the most of the little bit of happiness we have left - before it's too late.
#1 Cram some Cuban delights in your mouth
Cuba's having a moment. Since it resumed diplomatic relations with the U.S., exports from the colourful island nation seem to be everywhere we turn. One export we're particularly happy about: the food. Lee Andrews, of Chiltern Firehouse fame, is riding the Cuban wave with his new restaurant, focussing on British ingredients with Latin flavours.
#2 Have a tipple and a nibble
Unfortunately, the French invented the moustache, arrogance, and Marine Le Pen. But they also invented cheese platters, champagne, and panache. You'll find all of those things at Coupette, a new cocktail bar in Bethnal Green, specialising in divinely-mixed cocktails with chic, French-influenced flavours. We say a big oui to that.
#3 Do the night thing
So, it feels like Gilles Peterson is always kicking about in London, but if you miraculously managed not to see him yet - what are you waiting for? The man's sets are legendary for a reason - smoov, dancey jazz jams that'll have you vibing late into the night. And it's at the Jazz Cafe, one of our favourite London venues. We give this night a gold star.
#4 Fight the power
Art is powerful, art is political, art is resistance. Artists who were part of the civil rights movement in the 60s knew this, and they created works that set the streets on fire and gave a voice to the legions of POCs fighting for basic human rights. See this incendiary exhibition before it goes.
#5 See a master close up
Long before Sundance and mumblecore, John Cassavetes was indie film. The pioneering director is often credited with launching independent film as a genre, his mostly self-financed films now bona fide classics in the cannon of arthouse cinema. Close-Up Cinema in Shoreditch is revisiting this master's masterworks - including 1977's Gena Rowland -starring drama Opening Night this weekend.
#6 Get rad
Damn. This year's Afropunk lineup is stacked: The Internet. Nao. Thundercat. Little Simz. Saul Williams. Even Willow Smith, if you dig that. It's a who's who of rad POCs making boundary-pushing music right now. Taking up shop at newly-minted venue Printworks, Afropunk promises to be an inspiring weekend of diverse, subversive grooves.
#7 Brunch around the world
This snug Marylebone cafe - owned by the impossibly stylish Monocle Magazine - is a Scandi design dream. But we're here to talk about their globally-minded brunch: where do you want to go, Sweden or Japan? Choose between a Japanese or Scandinavian breakfast, sit back on one of their impeccably-curated chairs, grab a Monocle magazine and chill out.
#8 Get wet and wild
If you've spent a little too much time thinking about those dancing albatrosses on Planet Earth, then take a wild expedition of your own at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. This wildlife reserve is home to some seriously lush vegetation that is just begging to be explored on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Do your best David Attenborough as you scavenge the untamed wilds of this peaceful place.
#9 Have a waterside chill
This waterside boozer is old. Really old. Like, 14th century old. It's got some serious wisdom to impart and plenty of sudsy ales on tap. Take one out to their patio, where you can watch the sun go down on another weekend well spent. Good job, you.