What’s On In London This Weekend | 17th – 19th January 2020
Main image: Winter Lights Canary Wharf
Looking for more great things to do in London this weekend? Check out our guides to art exhibitions on now; recently opened restaurants and your January Agenda.
FRIDAY 17th January 2020
The Actual Reality Arcade
If you’ve ever wanted to play games like Pac Man, Tetris, Space Invaders, or Donkey Kong in virtual reality, then tough luck. Because this weekend you can play them in actual realty, thanks to the Actual Realty Arcade. It’s a festival-hopping interactive game zone throw together with inventive craft & creativity, and it’s all free to play…
Details: 15th-26th January | The Former Royal Mail Delivery Office, Malthouse Road, Nine Elms, SW8 5DD | Free
We won’t write a monograph on this Japanese supperclub. Suffice to say that you’ll be treated to some of the country’s most delicious dishes (udon, soft tofu, matcha dorayaki) in a secret warehouse conversion with evocative Japanese A/V projections splashed across the walls. Oh, and it’s all BYOB.
Details: 17th & 18th January | Secret Whitechapel Location | £36.90
Not to be outdone by the flurry of interactive light shows that have been dazzling the capital of late, Canary Wharf has brought back their annual outdoor exhibition of luminous artwork. This year, you’ll find a giant illuminated storm cloud made of foam; a kaleidoscopic video screen made from 7,344 recycled plastic milk bottles; an infinitely reflected tunnel of light; an illuminated ‘bra tree’; and a huge, high-tech canvas that allows you to paint with light.
Details: 16th – 25th January | Throughout Canary Wharf | Free
SATURDAY 18th January 2020
Neon Art Rave
The neon art rave is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a ’90s house & dance music spectacular in an East London bar with a huge communal canvas for you to collectively daub on. The people behind it – Paint Jam – will provide paints, protective t-shirts, and an individual canvas should you want to go rogue. You’ll be raving about it.
Details: 18th January | The Lighthouse, 62 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY | £32
Kødbyens Fiskebar pop-up at Bloomberg Arcade
Kødbyens Fiskebar restaurants represents a pretty decent reason to travel to visit Copenhagen in and of itself, so it’s quite convenient that it’ll be coming here this weekend. It’ll be popping up at the Bloomberg Arcade this Saturday a Nordic multi-course tasting menu for both lunch and dinner. Expect a seafood-heavy lineup including brill with burnt onion & rye; squid with lemon verbena; and horse mussels with pine & parsley.
Details: 18th January | Ekte Nordic Kitchen, 2 -8 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR | £60-£120
Wassail at the Midnight Apothecary
Here to cure wassails you, rooftop garden bar the Midnight Apothecary is honouring the old folk tradition of blessing the forthcoming apple harvest with wassail carolling, a candlelit procession to the apple trees, and plenty of cider. And unlike the old folk tradition, there’ll also be marshmallows to toast by the fire, hot cocktails, street food, and late night dancing to live folk music in a subterranean Victorian tunnel.
Details: 18th January | Midnight Apothecary, above the Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £10
Calçotada at Brindisa
It takes a lot of skill to do the Catalan Calçotada festival justice.
Luckily, the people at Brindisa really know their onions.
Every weekend from January to March, their Shoreditch and Battersea restaurants will be holding traditional feasts in honour of the calçot (a long, green onion), scorching them over an open flame and serving them up with fresh romesco sauce. And to go with the main dish, there’ll be roasted poussin, grilled Spanish artichokes, flame-roasted veg and jugs full of cava…
Details: Weekends from 18th January | Brindisa Shoreditch & Battersea| £35
The Candlelight Club
The Candlelight Club – the roving 1920s party lit almost entirely by candles – is decking the halls of their secret ballroom space for a special festive edition this month. There’ll be live music from the Swing’It Dixieband, vintage DJ’ing by The Bees Knees, and MC’ing from the compère without compare, the inimitable Champagne Charlie. READ MORE
Details: 18th January | A Secret Location | From £25
No Fit State
An eclectic, bohemian collective, No Fit State hit the Roundhouse this weekend with their both poetic and exhilarating brand of circus. From the quirky (playing chess on unicycles) to the downright impressive (try three performers simultaneously riding the ‘Wheel of Death’), it’s a beautifully presented cabaret of jaw-dropping skill.
Details: 3rd-18th January | Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH | From £15
Cabaret Fledermaus is an iconic jazz bar. It’s a little tricky to visit, however, given that it’s in Vienna, and closed in 1913. However, as part of their exhibition on early 20th century club culture, the Barbican have painstakingly recreated the venue – including all 56 handmade decorative tiles – from just one black and white postcard. And if you swing by the exhibition on a Friday or Saturday night, you can pop in to the Fledermaus for a cocktail, before catching live jazz in another recreated bar, L’Aubette.
Details: Thursday-Saturday until 19th January | Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
The Light Festival at Battersea
The Light Festival, has just been ported over from Amsterdam to the banks of the Thames by the people at the Light Art Collection. The light art they’ve got lined up has never been seen in the UK before, and they’re showing it for just over a month. It’s all free, and it’s got beautiful, interactive, and mind-blowing installations… READ MORE
Details: Until 16th February | Battersea Power Station,188 Kirtling Street, SW11 8EZ | Free
SUNDAY 19th January 2020
The Mindful Drinking Festival
Ready to absolutely battered on good vibes? Completely paralytic on peace of mind? Then the Mindful Drinking Festival is for you. You’ll have a chance to get rip-roaringly conscientious thanks to booze-free drinks from the likes of Drop Bear Beer, Amplify spirits, and Binary Botanicals, among many others who’ll have stalls (to go with talks, DJs, etc.).
Details: 18th & 19th January | Ely’s Yard, The Truman Brewery, E1 6QL | Free Entry
The Adventure Travel Show
If you like to travel, and think that the unbeaten track is like that because it can’t be beaten, then the Adventure Travel Show is for you. It’s taking place this weekend in Olympia, and it’ll showcase dozens of bucket-list worthy treks, alongside talks from the likes of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a photography competition, and a lot more.
Details: 18th & 19th January | Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, W14 8UX | £11
Adam Kay – This Is Going To Hurt
Britain’s most famous junior doctor will be sharing bizarre festive anecdotes from his time working in hospitals over Christmas alongside his award-winning stand-up comedy. He’ll have you in stitches.
Details: 19th January, 4.30-5.30pm | The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB | £13
This miniature pop up alpine village has thought of everything – there’s sourdough pizzas from Radio Alice; DJs; a heated terrace; private log cabins for hire; and bars serving mulled wine and hot spiced plum ciders. So nobody will be left feeling piste off.
Details: Mon-Sat until 29th February | Canada Square, E14 5AB
London International Mime Festival
If you haven’t heard of the London International Mime Festival… well, they’re probably doing something right. For their 44th year, they’re returning to the capital with an incredible line-up – there’s puppetry on a barge; breathtaking physical theatre; silent movies with live jazz accompaniments; a tribute to Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin in the crumbling Wilton’s Music Hall; hand dancing in a miniature set; and a show about two clowns featuring ‘disappointing nudity’.
Details: 8th January – 2nd February | Across London
London Short Film Festival
Taking place over nine days, this is actually a pretty long short film festival. Which is understandable, considering they’re fitting in industry talks; music videos with live accompaniments; dozens of experimental, heart-breaking and uplifting shorts; and quirky collections, including a screening dedicated to the internet phenomenon of ASMR; and compilations of 70s PSAs on subjects from sex ed and gateway drugs to hand safety for industrial workers, and the joys of pork.
Details: 10th-19th January | Across London
Need sustenance before you tackle everything that’s on in London this weekend? Peruse our guide to the best bottomless brunches in London