Summertime is here and whatever the weather there is always something to do. If you need a little inspiration on where to go and what to do, check the Melan Magazine guide for some of the best things to do this summer.
Somerset House: BLACK VENUS, Reclaiming Black Women in Visual Culture
This summer at Somerset House an exhibition, BLACK VENUS, is on display examining Black women’s historical representation and shifting legacy in visual culture. Curated by Aindrea Emelife, the inspired exhibition brings together the work of 18 Black women and non-binary artists. Having debuted in 2022 at New York’s Fotografiska, this version at Somerset House features 19 new works and six UK-based artists in the lineup.
Date: 20 July – 24 September 2023
Price: Pay what you can
Location: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Book via Somerset House
In Cinemas: THE BLACKENING
From the director of Ridealong and Barbershop and the co-writer of Girls Trip comes a brand new movie The Blackening. Centered around a group of friends, including Yvonne Orji and Grace Byers, who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Forced to play by his rules, the friends soon realise “this ain’t no game!”
Watch the trailer
Date: In cinemas from 25 August 2023
Visit: The Blackening Movie
Black Cultural Archives: The Ascension Years Exhibition
‘The Ascension Years’, an exhibition by acclaimed photographer Tee Max, will be held at Black Cultural Archives (BCA). A captivating collection of never-before-seen images will showcase some of the most iconic hip-hop and R&B figures of the early 1990s, including Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Beyoncé. In ‘The Ascension Years,’ visitors will have the chance to dive into the vibrant world of hip-hop and R&B during its pivotal years.
Date: From 10 August until Sunday 3 September 2023
Location: Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, London, SW2 1EF
Visit: Black Cultural Archives
Blenheim Palace: Clementine’s on the Lawn Restaurant
Clementine’s on the Lawn restaurant at Blenheim Palace is available for a limited time. The UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts a stunning unique glass restaurant, with a special view across the South Lawn to the Palace. The venue offers afternoon tea served every day and hearty roasts are available on Sundays.
Date: Until 26 August 2023
Price: Prices start at £32 for afternoon tea
Location: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL
Visit: Blenheim Palace website
The Curl Bar London: Get Pampered
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Adding to their Crouch End location, The Curl Bar London has opened a brand-new space. In 2020, Nia Pettitt founded the hair salon to cater to the curly, coily and wavy hair community, giving them a space to feel empowered and embrace their natural hair. Curl Bar London 2.0 has been designed to pamper clients and to offer a wider range of services including hair colour and a private room for women who need more privacy.
Date: All summer long
Price: Prices start at £60 and depend on the treatment or service
Location: 79 Myddleton Road, N22 8NE
Visit: The Curl Bar London
The Africa Centre: FUJI: A OPERA
A multidimensional exhibition titled FUJI: A Opera will be presented at the Africa Centre in London, telling the story of the fuji music genre. The Afrobeats artists who are on the charts today (such as Burna Boy and Wizkid) are all influenced by the fuji music genre, one of Nigeria’s most important musical genres. In FUJI: A Opera, you will see never-before-seen archive footage, learn about fuji music’s belligerent past, discover its founding footprints, and celebrate its rich subculture.
Date: From 18 August until 28 August 2023
Price: From £8.29
Location: The Africa Centre, 66 Great Suffolk Street London SE1 0B
Visit: FUJI Opera website
Town Hall Hotel: Friends Night In Package
Guests at Town Hall Hotel can now enjoy a Friends Night In package, ideal for friends on staycations and overnight stays. As part of the package, guests will receive prosecco and canapes in their rooms, board games, as well as a mini-spa treatment through their spa partner Ruuby. Located in London’s burgeoning East End, this luxury hotel occupies the old Bethnal Green Town Hall. Central London is easily accessible by train.
Date: All summer long
Price: The package starts from £685.00
Location: Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9NF
Visit: Town Hall Hotel website
WICKED The Musical
The West End and Broadway phenomenon WICKED tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz. Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s musical is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. The show imagines the beguiling backstory and future possibilities of the lives of L. Frank Baum’s beloved characters of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, revealing how two unlikely university friends became Glinda The Good and Wicked Witch of the West through their decisions and events.
Date: New dates added throughout August and until June 2024
Price: From £27
Location: Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, Pimlico, London SW1V 1LG
Visit: Wicked The Musical
TALL London: Eat out in style
TALL is the latest Afro-restaurant situated in the heart of South London. It boasts a vibrant area rich in cultural heritage, history, and art that holds deep ties to the diaspora. TALL offers fine dining, cocktails, and an Afro-fusion atmosphere. In addition to the restaurant’s main dining room, there is an upscale bar and lounge that serves house cocktails, classic drinks, appetizers, and a roving custom cocktail cart.
Location: TALL 57-59 Camberwell Road London SE5 0EZ
Visit: Tall Restaurant and Lounge
Making of Black Britain (MOBB) – Acton Depot Open Days: Transport and Stories
The Museum Depot in Acton, west London’s final event of the year will feature stories about public transport in the city, the people who worked on it, and the passengers who travelled on it. On the Saturday and Sunday, (23 and 24 September), they will share stories from the Museum’s collection to spark conversations. Exploring the archive of stories about the contribution Black British people, people of African heritage, and people of Caribbean heritage have made to transport and life in London in partnership with The Making of Black Britain (MOBB)
Date: 23 and 24 September 2023
Price: From £17
Location: 2 Museum Way, 118-120 Gunnersbury Ln, London, W3 9BQ
Visit: London Transport Museum
This article was written by Catherine Wiltshire