POP UP EVENTS (October 2019)
Drink & Draw in Leighton’s Studio
Don’t drink and draw. Unless you’re safely embedded in the beautiful house of Frederic, Lord Leighton, the revered 19th century painter and president of the Royal Academy – where for one night this month, you’re invited to an Italian wine tasting before heading up to his studio for a sketching class with live music.
Details: 1st October | Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ | £20
Weapons officer. Helmsman. Engineer. Captain. Chances are none of these roles are a natural career progression for you. But now you have the chance to prove your worth: the theatrical minds behind For King & Country are unveiling their latest experience – part tech-infused escape room, part immersive theatre show, part interactive game. It’s set in the year 2143, by which point, unsurprisingly, humans have ruined everything and society’s been forced to move into space. You and your crew are awoken from cryo-sleep to command a starship, bargain with other survivors, crack codes and secure the future of the entire human race. No pressure, then.
Details: Until 20th October | COLAB Factory, 74 Long Lane, London, SE1 4AU | £25-35
BFI London Film Festival
The London Film Festival has been a BFI fixture for over six decades, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. This year, they’ll be screening hundreds of films, from blockbusters to the experimental – including the gala screening of Armando Iannucci’s anticipated new adaptation of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel; Cannes winner The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão; and new documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (plus ‘Surprise’ film screenings if you can’t choose). On top of that, there’s dozens of free events and talks, including a VR film pop up.
Details: 2nd-13th October | Venues across London | From £10
Now Is The Time To Say Nothing
Four years ago, a group of UK teenagers reached out to Syrian filmmaker Reem Karssli to find out what was really happening beyond the headlines. This month, you can see the product of that at Battersea Arts Centre. In a room with just 13 other people, you’ll settle into an armchair, plug into your own personal TV, and see this stirring work of art – a record of Karssli’s daily life – that’s been critically acclaimed by the likes of Emma Rice, Tom Morris and Lyn Gardner.
Details: 2nd – 9th October | Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN | £15
Laser art – it’s pretty cutting edge. And now a huge, free exhibition of the stuff is popping up in London for a few months. It’ll showcase three works by the United Visual Artists collective, each of which are vast, walk-in installations. Inspired by Renaissance artists like Dürer and Da Vinci and their obsessions with mathematics, perspective and proportion, Vanishing Point plays with lasers and horizon lines to create a kind of walk-through blueprint; The Great Animal Orchestra combines over 50,000 hours of recorded animal sounds made by a bioacoustician with a visual laser landscape created by the frequencies of those sounds (reflected eerily beneath your feet); and Our Time is a kinetic light show first exhibited in the Barbican, now rebooted as a new site-specific installation with a specially commissioned soundtrack… READ MORE
Details: 2nd October – 8th December | The Store X 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA | Free Entry
The Other Art Fair
Fancy scoring some of that art for your own home? Well, you won’t find any large-scale laser-beam installations here, but you will find (relatively) affordable artwork from 120 as-yet-undiscovered artists, hand-picked by curators and critics who reckon they’re going to be the next big thing. READ MORE
Details: 3rd – 6th October | Victoria House, Southampton Row, WC1A 2QP | £5-25
Art for Cure is a charity that raises funds for research into the genes causing tumour growth in breast cancer. And this month, they’re doing that by staging an exhibition of artwork made by women, about women – from established painters to emerging creatives. All 25 of the pieces are completely original, and all the commission from any sales will go straight into supporting that research.
Details: 3rd-6th October | Bankside Gallery, SE1 9JH | Free Entry
It’s October. You want to celebrate this fact. You could go down to your local, and have a pint. Or, you could head to this giant, festoon-lit, pop up beer tent filled with live German oompah bands and thousands of Lederhosen-clad revellers; toast 1.5 litre steins of Bavarian beer; chow down on schnitzel, bratwurst and potato salad; and try to avoid the shots of Jägermeister going around.
Details: 3rd-6th & 10th-12th October | Millwall Park, E14 3AY | Free entry – £65
It’s Oktoberfest literally every day in this Fulham pub, which celebrates the festival all year round. So to say they’ve got things down to a fine art here is an understatement: they import everything from the same suppliers of the Munich festival, and you’ll find a 60-strong line-up of German beers behind the bar. Naturally, there’s a menu of Bavarian grub – pork knuckles; pretzels; currywurst – and a raucous live band to go with it all.
Details: All month | 678-680 Fulham Rd, London, SW6 5SA
London’s biggest contemporary dance festival has elegantly pirouetted into town again, with a stellar line-up of shows. There’s al fresco performance parkour (featuring the voice of David Attenborough); a theatrical depiction of a rave; a pink catwalk and vogue ball in Shoreditch Town Hall; a show inspired by the streets of Belfast, set to a score by the Killing Eve composer; an appearance by celebrated South African dancer Gregory Maqoma (accompanied by a live African choir); a performance of Sounddance, choreographed by the lauded Merce Cunningham; and more.
Details: 8th-27th October | Across London | Individually ticketed from ~£15
JARR Kombucha Brewery Tour + Masterclass
Handling boiling water whilst on a boat might not sound like a great idea. But rest assured this one – the majestic canal boat Alfred Le Roy, no less – will be completely stationary while you make your ‘booch, alongside the capable team at JARR. Kombucha cocktail in hand, they’ll then take you on a tour round their Hackney Wick brewery – the first time it’s ever been open to the public. We can only hope it’s filled with oompa loompas.
Details: 9th & 30th October | JARR Kombucha, Mick’s Garage, 8A Queens Yard, E9 5EN | £25
For most people, karaoke is proportionally more fun the less your individual voice can be heard. No wonder, then, that Massaoke – epic crowd singalongs accompanied by a full live band – has become so popular. This month, they’ll be running a special event in aid of youth homelessness in the big Victorian covered market in King’s Cross.
Details: 10th October | West Handyside Canopy, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BZ | £8-12
Hidden London – Friday Late
The next exhibition coming to Covent Garden’s London Transport Museum will showcase some of the rare gems unearthed from the abandoned parts of the underground network, like vintage posters and scraps of architectural salvage. And they’re launching it all with an after-hours romp around the collection, alongside a quiz on hidden bits of London, a covert mission to deliver information to a roaming secret agent, and stories from the guides who run Hidden London tours through the stations themselves.
Details: 11th October | London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB | £15
Every year, Bloomsbury throws a festival to celebrate the creatives in its community. Only this year, they thought they’d celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, too. So they’re hosting a load of celestial events, from stargazing walks where you’ll peek through telescopes and print your own photograph of the moon; to folktale storytelling with a theremin beneath a giant illuminated moon in a church.
Details: 11th-19th October | Across Bloomsbury
Cocktail Classes at Coupette
Yes, there are a lot of cocktail masterclasses in London. But Coupette is one of the best bars in the city (and the world, according to the World’s 50 Best Bars). And for two weekends this month, they’ll pull back the curtain on some of their most delicious cocktails, like the Strawberries & Cream (served with a white chocolate rim).
Details: 12th & 26th October | Coupette, 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN | £40
Little Mercies’ Birthday Party
One of our other top bars in the city, Little Mercies celebrates its 1st birthday this weekend. And unlike most toddlers’ birthday parties, there’ll be £6 cocktails, guest throwbacks from the summer menu like the Cheeky Cola and Blue Sour, and deep-fried lasagne bites to munch on.
Details: 12th October | 20 Broadway Parade, London, N8 9DE
For their next event, Bach’n’Eggs are serving you a two-course brunch alongside live performances by cellist Wallis Power and harpist Olivia Jageurs. They’ll be playing some of the great romantic compositions by Fauré, Rubbra and Debussy, while you sip mimosas. And if you plump for the bottomless option – just remember to compose yourself. READ MORE
Details: 12th October | Kindred, Bradmore House, Queen Caroline Street, W6 9BW | £35
The theremin is the only instrument you can play without touching it. And you can witness it in action, 100 years after its invention, in this cavernous ventilation shaft for the old Victorian tunnels beneath the Thames. There’ll be a full orchestra to accompany it, and the rooftop garden will be open for cocktails, too. READ MORE
Details: 13th October | Brunel Tunnel, Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, SE16 4LF | £20
Wilton’s goes back to its music hall roots in a thoroughly modern way, with an electric cast of drag, burlesque and cabaret performers holding court on its artfully crumbling stage. Expect appearances from Crystal Rasmussen (the Diary of a Drag Queen author who, according to The Scotsman, “makes Beyoncé sound like a mewling kitten”), Dinah Lux, Glamrou, and ‘intergalactic glitter rock band’, ACM.
Details: 18th & 19th October | Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, E1 8JB | £10-20
Ski & Snowboard Festival
The centrepiece of this huge winter sports festival may be the snow-capped, 50ft ski jump… but it’s not all downhill from there. When you’re not watching athletes demonstrating double somersaults, there’s dog sledding, ice skating, curling, roller-skiing, street food stalls, an après-ski bar from Redchurch Brewery, and something described as “karaoke with consequences”…
Details: 24th-27th October | Chelsea Gate Entrance, Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ | £20
Where Light Falls
Stroll past St. Paul’s Cathedral towards the end of the month, and you’ll see the huge light show that’s being projected onto its facade. It’s in honour of the wardens who guarded the cathedral during the Blitz, and combines archive photography with specially commissioned poetry.
Details: 24th-27th October | St. Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8AD
Get It While It’s Hot
For a few nights this month, Battersea Arts Centre is throwing open the doors to its rehearsal rooms, studios and stages to showcase the wide-ranging creativity that goes on inside its walls. You’ll be able to wander through the cavernous Victorian building (recently back in action after a huge fire) and dip into scratch performances from resident actors, dancers, comedians and spoken word artists, drink in hand, while DJs and live bands take over the main spaces – and it’s all topped off by a supperclub-style meal.
Details: 25th & 26th October | Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN | £20 (inc. meal)
Rocketman at The Shard
Watch Elton John along with some other (very literal) stars at this evening screening of Rocketman on the 69th floor of The Shard. Right beneath the night sky, you’ll be able to take in the film with a welcome Mermaid G&T in one hand, and some freshly popped popcorn in the other. Outlandish glasses very much encouraged.
Details: 30th October | The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9QU | £45
BBC Music Introducing Live 2019
BBC Music Introducing Live is for aspiring musicians, “whatever your stage in the music industry.” And assuming that stage isn’t the Pyramid at Glastonbury just yet, this three day festival at Tobacco Docks aims to help you get there. There’ll be talks, panels and masterclasses, from Jamie Cullum on the art of improvisation, to the people who choose the music for Love Island – as well as loads of industry advice on scoring gigs, marketing yourself or working as a manager. Plus, there’ll be appearances from Trevor Nelson and Jo Whiley, as well as late-night DJ sets courtesy of Annie Mac and Pete Tong.
Details: 31st October – 2nd November | Tobacco Docks, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | £11.50-£33
Do Something Spooky
With a little help from our London Halloween 2019 guide…
London Month of the Dead
The city’s most morbid festival has been resurrected for another year, promising mystical talks, events and workshops held in various unsettling locations around London. This year, you can go to a talk on the apocalypse; take a guided tour through the catacombs of Nunhead Cemetery; hear why the Victorians were so keen on post-mortem photography; learn about the execution sites of London; watch magic lantern shows and candlelit concerts; and drink a gin cocktail or two to help you through it all.
Details: Throughout October | Across London | From £12
Journey To The Underworld
There’s a special place in hell for people who refuse to ask for directions.
Not that they’ll ever find it.
So to save you any hassle getting into Satan’s playground, the people at Funicular Productions are going to take you there by train. It’s the return of their second immersive, locomotive-based supper club experience (their other shows, the Murdér Express and The Jewel of The Empire, were also set on a steam engine), and they’ve recruited Masterchef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis to feed you onboard… READ MORE
Details: Until 10th November | Arch 63 Pedley St, E1 5BW | £63
Hackney Flea Market
London’s trusty second-hand marketplace is behind several events this month – there’s the classic fleas in Hackney and Peckham, a vinyl market, and a ceramics and plants day. They’re free to enter, and you can bop your head to the sound system as you browse.
Details: Various dates throughout October | Hackney & Peckham | Free Entry
Want the thrill of eating airline food without having to deal with the pesky holiday at the other end? Head to Gastronomic. It comes to us from the people at Curious Directive, a scientifically literate immersive theatre company who aim to use cutting-edge technology & techniques to push the envelope of what’s possible on stage. It’s an immersive show set onboard the first class cabin of a plane, and involves augmented reality, conveyor belts, and a five-course tasting menu with floating Yorkshire puddings and champagne mousse… READ MORE
Details: Until 12th October | Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT | £27.50
Hit the Theatre
Ever since the dawn of time, human beings have gazed at the stars in awe and asked themselves “Where can I get a list of only the absolute best theatre shows playing in London right now – divided into musical, comedy, drama, and immersive categories – in which I can also discover a heap of nearby bars and restaurants to help me make a night of it?”
Well the answer is… right here: The Best of London Theatre right now.
This month, London’s best museums will see the return of Wildlife Photographer of the Year; a vast exploration of the interplay between Western and Middle Eastern art over the last half-millennium; a display of rare Buddhist manuscripts, and more…
SEE THE HIGHLIGHTS | SEE LONDON’S MORE UNUSUAL MUSEUMS
Peruse London’s Best Art Galleries
And over in the art corner, we have new entries from William Blakeand Antony Gormley(who’s filled an entire room with seawater sludge at the Royal Academy); indoor rainbows, mirrored tunnels and a room full of fog at Olafur Eliasson at the Tate; a showing of colourful, surreal images by photographer Tim Walkerat the V&A; revolutionary Cuban graphics at the House of Illustration; and a trippy jaunt through the commercialised land of modern spirituality and wellness by Shana Moulton. SEE WHAT’S ON IN LONDON’S ART GALLERIES
Go To The Best Restaurants In London
If we simply wanted to round up the 39 best restaurants in London… we’d just say 40. But we’re not. We’re rounding up the single best restaurant in every London neighbourhood.
Or, at least, 39 of them. Selected on the basis of a strict set of criteria, namely 1) supreme deliciousness, 2) a superlative atmosphere and 3) being located somewhere; we’ve picked out each area’s classic, must-visit eatery. It’s the most delicious tour of London you’ve ever been on.
Check out the best restaurants in London.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the Best Things To Do In London