Ink at the Almeida (Marc Brenner)

    The Diary: Things to do in July

    30 June 2017


    True to Life,  Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

    Blackpool by Fortunino Matania

    A reappraisal of British realist painting from the 1920s and 1930s, a form swept aside by the post-war abstract movement. Works by artists including Gerald Leslie Brockhurst and Meredith Frampton feature. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, from July 1.

    The Encounter, National Portrait Gallery

    From Leonardo da Vinci to Rembrandt, the varying relationship between the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods and their sitters, and what these encounters inspired, is examined in this display of artists’ drawings. National Portrait Gallery, from July 13.


    Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, a very young Peter Parker mixes web-slinging with high school in this latest franchise reboot. From July 7.


    Christopher Nolan is back with an all-star cast including Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and… (cough) One Direction’s Harry Styles, to tell the story of an evacuation of Allied troops during World War Two that was described as a “miracle” by Winston Churchill. From July 21.


    Tour de France

    Last year’s winner Tour de France winner, Chris Froome (Getty)

    Dusseldorf, Germany, is hosting the Grand Départ of this year’s race, with the picturesque landscapes of Belgium and Luxembourg also included. Will Britain’s Chris Froome triumph again? Various locations, starting in ITT Dusseldorf, July 1 – July 23.

    London Anniversary Games

    Usain Bolt, who is nearing retirement, will be taking part in these games, alongside hometown heroes such as Mo Farah and Kendra Harrison. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, July 9.

    Women’s Euro 2017

    England’s women footballers will hope to make a better fist of the Euros than the men did last summer. Let’s hope they don’t face Iceland. Netherlands, from July 16.


    Game of Thrones

    Epic battles, ferocious dragons and long overdue family reunions – everyone’s favourite riot of swords, sex and Jon Snow is back. Sky Atlantic, July 17.

    Top of the Lake: China Girl

    Elizabeth Moss returns as Kiwi Detective Robin Griffin. As well as trying to solve  a grisly murder, Griffin is also attempting to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption. Nicole Kidman co-stars. BBC2, late July.


    Sexy Brunch

    Mayfair restaurant Sexy Fish serves brunch classics with a twist such as tofu hash browns with smoked salmon, lobster eggs benedict on a black charcoal muffin with yuzu hollandaise, and heavenly king crab with bone marrow and truffle. Those with a sweet tooth can tuck into green tea waffles or milk and cookies — two very gooey, very nutty cookies served with malted milk ice cream. Tip: make sure you order the Bloody Mary that comes in a giant copper fish. Every Sunday, 11.30am – 4.30pm. To book call 020 3764 2000 or click here.

    Ransome’s Dock Framers Market

    This summer London Farmer’s Markets have teamed up with Gladwin Bros to launch Ransome’s Market in Battersea. Londoners won’t have to step out of the city to enjoy the best of the countryside and will be able to buy a load of fresh produce, in support of independent farms. The market even hosts a ‘Farmers’ Market Sweep’ and expect to be given recipe cards for inspiration. Battersea Park. Every Saturday, 10am – 2pm.

    UK Pie Fest

    As well as tucking into an array of pies from award-winning pie makers, visitors to this fine festival also get to enjoy talks, demonstrations and workshops, on everything pie-related. Melton Mowbray Cattle Market, July 29-30.

    The Rosé Festival

    Over 30 producers of the pink stuff will take part in London’s first rosé festival. You’ll be able to try wine, champagne, prosecco and cider while listening to opera and jazz. Plus they’ll be plenty of street food to help soak up all those ‘samples.’ The Geffrye Museum, 21–23 July.



    Out of the all the festivals (including Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and V) offering star acts and music from the more mainstream end of the spectrum, Latitude remains one of the best. This year’s edition, at Henham Park in Southwold, features performances from Fleet Foxes, The 1975 and Placebo, and a whole day curated by Mumford & Sons, which comes as either a recommendation or a warning, depending on your point of view. Henham Park, Suffolk, July 13-16.

    Proms 2017

    This years highlights include Daniel Barenboim, the Monteverdi Choir and Sir András Schiff. Various venues, from July 14.

    Camp Bestival

    This Dorset festival is aimed squarely at families and provides plenty of entertainment for all ages. For mums and dads, the line-up is a decent one, with Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds in its entirety. Kids will be equally amazed at seeing Mr Tumble or Dick and Dom live on stage. Lulworth Castle, Dorset, 27-28 July.


    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell

    Starring Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell, Benedict Andrew’s revives Tennessee Williams’ classic 1955 play which follows ex-sportsman and alcoholic Brick attempting to get over his best friend’s death, estrangement from his wife and then news of his own illness. Family tensions simmer with over inheritance, broody desires and confused relationships. Apollo Theatre, opens 24 July.


    This world premiere of James Graham’s play follows the young Rupert Murdoch in 1969, lifting The Sun from failure to success, and establishing it as one of the UK’s most influential newspapers. Read the Spectator’s review hereTicket availability is limited – returns or ‘rush’ tickets, released online every Tuesday at 1pm are your best bet. Almeida Theatre, on now. 

    Girl from the North Country

    The songs of Bob Dylan are woven into Conor McPherson’s new play. Set in Minnesota, 1934, the play tells the story of Nick, the owner of a guesthouse who is struggling to make ends meet. Things spiral totally out of control after the arrival of two visitors in the dead of night. The Old Vic, opens July 8.


    Summer Streets

    Every Sunday in July, Regent Street will become pedestrianised from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus, giving visitors a chance to go shopping without the close hum of traffic and enjoy an array of activities and entertainment on offer for free. Regent Street, July 2-23.