Histoire du Tango
Jason Allen 29/09/23
People are putting layers on, trees are taking layers off, and pumpkins everywhere are getting quietly cocky about how well things seem to be going.
But most importantly, our fair capital is delivering a ravishingly handsome platter of events, parties, popups, festivals, and supperclubs – this month you’ll find a little light belly dancing, Japanese mime & sitar jazz; a chance to see some cutting-edge movies with some truly cutting-edge tech; a full-on, neon-soaked brass band rave with UV dancers & LED cirque performers; a continents-worth of great art in a beautiful Neo-Baroque courtyard; an opportunity to eat like a literal king (courtesy of two chefs who have 25 Michelin Stars between them); and what is guaranteeably the world’s loudest whisky tasting, among many others…
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London Month of the Dead has been… resurrected. The annual series return for October with a line-up of nearly fifty mysterious and macabre events to choose from, many of which take place within the city’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Victorian cemeteries themselves (and none of which involve knocking on strangers’ doors and demanding sweets). Expect tarantulas, classic horror movies, talks on executions, Victorian séances, Halloween banquets, and a Poe-inspired ball across four floors of a members’ club in Soho…
Details: 30th September – 31st October | Across London
Outcrop has been an absolutely fantastic popup, so it’s a little disappointing to see that it really was a popup, and not a secretly permanent space that the owners were just hedging their bets over. And we know this because they’re having a closing party. Expect an all-day affair with DJs, live performances, and African-inspired small plates.
Details: 1st October | Outcrop, 1 Surrey St, Temple, WC2R 2ND | £10
Drummond Street – AKA the Brick Lane of slightly-more-central-London – has some of the finest samosas outside of the Indian subcontinent. And in an effort to spread the word, they’ll be spreading the love with a free samosa walking tour, in which you’ll get to hop from restaurant to restaurant eating & rating those delicious crispy parcels as you go.
Details: 4th October, 6pm | 115-119 Drummond Street, NW1 2HL | Free
Sara Kurig / Unsplash
The London Film Festival has a lot of great movies (obviously) but mostly, they’re using the same technology as the Lumière brothers: projection. Well, the festival’s little side hustle – LFF Expanded – is here to push the boundaries of movie-watching tech thanks to augmented reality installations, 3D short films, virtual reality documentaries, interactive movies, and more.
Details: 6th-22nd October | Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf | £20
Everybody’s favourite modern 10-piece brass band, the Old Dirty Brassards, are collaborating with another Glasto regular, Beyond Repair Dance, to hold a very special gig. In fact, something this rambunctiously psychedelic can only really be described as a brass rave. It’s all going down at the Scala, and it’ll involve club classics reworked on brass, as well as UV dancers, LED cirque performers, and more…
Details: 7th October | Scala, 275 Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL | £25
Pitch Black Playback might be hard to say… but it’s very easy on the ears. See, PBP is an itinerant listening club that stages dramatic album play-throughs in unusual and intimate spaces. Not that you’ll really see them, of course – because these events take place completely in the dark. This month, they’re pressing play on the likes of Beyonce’s Renaissance and Paul Simon’s Graceland.
Details: 7th, 15h, 19th & 24th October | Across London | £12+
1-54 refers to the 54 countries that makes up the 1 content of Africa, and this showcase of art reflects the ways you can find unity in such extreme diversity. Returning to Somerset House for the 11th year, you’ll get to see works from 60 international exhibitors with a refreshingly large number of them coming from the African continent itself, as opposed to Western galleries who simply carry African art. Expect painting, sculpture, mixed media, installations, talks, screenings, performances, workshops, readings, and basically a continents-worth of stuff…
Details: 12th-15th October | Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA | £25 (£10 conc.)
When someone mentions ‘Bloomsbury’, it’s unlikely that your mind immediately leaps to belly dancing, Japanese mime, and sitar jazz…
Because it’s all coming up in the Bloomsbury Festival, which returns for ten days this month. A fixture since 2006, it’s the district’s annual reminder to the rest of London that it’s a really creative neighbourhood, and, as always, the line-up isn’t short of things to see and do.
Details: 13th – 22nd October | Across Bloomsbury
The Curling Club is soon going to be sweeping the nation, but for now they’re satisfied with simply popping up at the Southbank. It’s going to be an Alpine themed pop up complete with curling lanes, some street food, a bar, and even live music to keep you entertained while you show off your stone-skimming skills.
Details: 13th October – February 2024 | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | £24+
These guys shoot a lot of wild animals.
And the best of those shots are put onto the shortlist for The Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum. Now in its 59th year (!), the judges have trawled through tens of thousands of entries from 100+ countries before landing on the winning images, which will be displayed on special lightboxes (alongside dozens of runner-up shots) throughout the Natural History Museum’s gallery when the show opens this month.
Details: 13th October 2023 until 30th June 2024 | The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD | £15
Illusionaries bills itself as ‘the UK’s first story-based immersive art experience’, and although the story isn’t a particularly traditional narrative, it’s interesting nevertheless. For the autumn season, they’ve created a whole new show called Latent Spaces, featuring “An Immersive Exploration of Artificial Intelligence and Humanity’s Collective Unconscious”. Basically, it’s three rooms of ever-changing, ultra-trippy digital art. And if you’re into that kind of thing? Then you’ll probably love it.
Details: October 14th – November 15th | Crossrail Pl, Canary Wharf, E14 5AR | £24
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx
Truer words have never been spoken. And to celebrate this fact, the London Literature Festival is gearing up to mark its 16th year of excellent prose-worshipping events. It’s all taking place at the Southbank Centre over an eleven-day stretch later this month, which will be stuffed full of talks, recordings, performances, masterclasses, readings, and more… see what’s in store.
Details: 18th – 29th October | Southbank Centre | Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
If the idea of listening to John Williams’ original Star Wars score live in the Royal Albert Hall sounds good, then we’ve got a new hope for you – the Royal Philharmonic are going to be banging out hits from the original trilogy & beyond for one day this month.
Details: 22nd October | Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, SW7 2AP | £20+
If there’s one thing you can say about Jack & Boule, a laid-back boules court popping up on the Southbank, it’s that they really do give a toss.
In fact, they’re packing 10,000 sq ft of space with 8 sand-filled lanes at their temporary venue for lots of people to give a toss, by playfully flinging both jacks and boules as if they were on the French Riviera itself. Only with street food (like mac & cheese croquettes, fattoush salads, and burritos bigger than your head) and a cocktail-filled pop up bar.
Details: Until 22nd October | 101 Upper Ground, SE1 9PP | £25
The Swiss Church in Covent Garden is going to be painted in laser-mapped digital light this month in a display so trippy it’s almost, well, religious. It’s called Genesis, and it’ll be a “30-minute, four-part journey through the elements of light, water, earth, and plants, representing the first three days of creation in Genesis.” So, completely on theme, then.
Details: Until 22nd October | The Swiss Church, 79 Endell Street, WC2H 9DY | £13.20+
Most people will do anything to get out of jury duty. But the verdict on this immersive show has been so overwhelmingly positive, it seems like it’s worth courting the idea after all. The idea is pretty solid: the justice system has been overwhelmed, so they’ve outsourced cases to you and your plucky fellow jurors, and you only have a couple of hours to reach a decision. You’ll have to work together to examine evidence, interview the defendant, and determine whether he’s guilty or innocent. It’s like an escape room meets an immersive theatre show, and by all accounts it’s very slick… but you be the judge.
Details: Until 28th October | Theatre Deli, 107 Leadenhall Street, EC3A 4AF | £24.23 -£32.50
Frieze Sculpture is back, at it again, turning Regent’s Park into “a museum without walls” by filling it with sculptures from 21 of the biggest names in modern art. It’s free of course, and there are even regular curator tours so you can find out precisely why there’s a semi-naked middle aged man seemingly lumbering towards you.
Details: Until October 29th | English Gardens, Regent’s Park, NW1 4LL | Free
Halloween is at its most terrifying… when you don’t have anywhere to go. Gives us the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. So remedy that with one of the many parties or events going on later in the month, from London Month of the Dead, to palm reading & absinthe drinking at The Last Tuesday Society, to Halloween at the Sky Garden, or a decadent party at The Candlelight Club.
Details: Throughout October | Across London
Depending on what kind of stars you like seeing photos of you should either buy a copy of Hello!, or go to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Maritime Museum, where you can see shimmering constellations, vast galaxies, mesmerising eclipses, and feel a sense of genuine awe wash over you as you’re confronted with the sheer vastness of the universe we live in.
We recommend the latter.
Details: Throughout October | National Maritime Museum, Romney Rd, SE10 9NF | £10
This is an art show that you watch with your eyes closed. Which, ironically, makes it something of an eye-opening experience.
The strikingly colourful works are entirely created by your own brain, thanks to computer-controlled flashing lights that project onto your eyelids, designed to trigger a pseudo-hallucinogenic state. Thus, everyone sees something different, and very few people are prepared for the vividness of the waking visions created by the Dreamachine…
Details: Throughout October | Hackney Downs Studio, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT | £15
If you head to Earl’s Court this month, you’ll get to witness the sheer majesty of one of our planet’s most precious resources: David Attenborough.
He’s provided his velvety, highly informed, and hypnotically engaging voice to the BBC Earth Experience, which is an extremely ambitious affair to say the least: it’s all housed in a new, massive, purpose-built venue in West London into which they’ve stuffed some vast, 360-degree, multi-angle digital screens for you to submerge yourself into the natural world…
Details: Until January 2024 | The Daikin Centre, Earl’s Court, Empress Place, SW6 1TW | £28.50
One of the great advantages of living in London is that you have access to more culture than a librarian face-planting into a petri dish. And we’ve collated the best places to go in our guide to… the best exhibitions on in London.
You may laugh. You may cry. You may throw up, or potentially do all three. See The Best Shows On At The Theatre Now
The guys at Fallow are opening an all-chicken popup restaurant. And when you consider that their last pop up restaurant won a Bib Gourmand, expectations are, well, high. And for this one, poultry is involved in every part of the menu. Even dessert.
Details: Opens 3rd October | Norris St, St. James’s Market, SW1Y 4RJ
Apparently Cinnamon Kitchen is fifteen years old, and as a present to itself, us, and the culinary universe in general, it’s assembling a dream team of chefs for a one-off feast. Expect Will Bowlby of Kricket, Adriana Cavita of Cavita and Gavin Malleappah of Rambutan (who are easily three of the most adept spice-jockeys in the city), all teaming up for a four-course banquet. Oh, and Vivek Singh will be cooking too.
Details: 6th October | Cinnamon Kitchen, 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL | £95
GOTA is one of the best wine bars in Madrid. Cave Cuvée is one of the best wine bars in London. When the two come together, it’s relatively simple maths to figure out that this will be a hell of a night. Expect music, wine, hot dogs, and a thoroughly good time.
Details: 8th October | 250a Bethnal Green Rd, E2 0AA | No bookings, but RSVP essential here
Between them, chefs Yannick Alléno and Anne-Sophie Pic have 25 Michelin Stars across their various restaurants. Yes, 25. So, if anyone can cook a meal fit for a king, it’s probably them – but they’ll be cooking it for you. For one night this month, they’re taking the menu that King Charles was served at the grand banquet in his recent visit to Versailles, and serving it up in Pavyllon London in their own perfectionist style. So if anything, it’ll actually be better.
Details: 9th October | Four Seasons Park Lane, W1J 7DR | £275
7 Mehmet is a legendary Turkish restaurant which has been considered one of the best in the country for the past 86 years – and now it’s coming to London. Well, it’s coming to The Counter in Notting Hill, for one night this month at least. And The Counter is already a stunning place in its town right, so all signs point to this being an excellent evening.
Details: 13th October | 108 Golborne Road, Notting Hill, W10 5PS | £90
Maene is in a pretty beautiful space, set atop a four-storey former Victorian clothing factory on Fashion Street. And in the spirit of keeping up with the latest fashion, they’re inviting in some guest chefs for a Sunday Brunch series starting this month. Things kick off with Dom Fernando of Paradise on October 15th followed by Akwasi Brenya-Mensa, founder of Tatale on October 29th. They’ll be using the place as their own blank canvas, taking over everything – the music, the menu, the moonshine, everything.
Details: 15th & 29th October | Maene, Top Floor, 7-9 Fashion Street, E1 6PX
Rowley Leigh at Laylow.
If you think that’s a mouthful, just wait until you eat there.
For anyone who’s not immediately scrolling for the booking link at the mention of his name, Rowley Leigh is, simply put, one of the country’s culinary national treasures. He’s the man who launched the much-loved Kensington Place, a restaurant that marked a new wave of dining in London around the same time The River Café and Bibendum opened their doors. Having him cooking in the capital again is a serious boon, and he’ll be here right up until Christmas with his pop-up restaurant, Chez Rowley.
Details: Until 22nd December 2023 | Chez Rowley, 10 Golborne Road, London, W10 5PE
Chef Jackson Boxer is taking over The Corner in Selfridges this autumn for a popup (albeit one with no end date) to fill the gap while he sorts out another of his own restaurants. His first couple – including Orasay and Brunswick House – weren’t too shabby, so this ought to be a belter. Dishes are set to include “chilled peeled XL langoustine tail on ice, with a mayonnaise made from the roasted heads and shell” and a fried veal sandwich. Yes please.
Details: Throughout October | Selfridges, W1A 1AB
The Prince Arthur just got a new monarch in their kitchen.
His name is Joe Couldridge, and you should be excited for three reasons: 1) Hawksmoor, 2) Leroy, and 3) The Clarence Tavern. That’s where he’s previously manned the pans – aside from the Lockdown Years, which he spent on a farm in Cornwall absorbing what we can only assume was vast amounts of knowledge about ingredients, organic farming methods, and seasonality.
Details: Throughout October | The Prince Arthur, 95 Forest Road, E8 3BH
Kebab Queen, everyone’s favourite secret-tasting-menu-only-restaurant-within-a-restaurant just got a new chef. That chef’s name is Pamir Zeydan, and it’s one you’re going to want to remember. His culinary style has been imbued with Kurdish and Mediterranean influences from his upbringing in Turkey, as well as the fine dining techniques he’s picked up working in some of the world’s most elegant restaurants. And his tenure is going to mark a brand new direction for Kebab Queen, infusing the menu with echoes of classic Turkish and Mediterranean dishes in a one-of-a-kind, super-intimate dining experience served to just eight people at a time…
Details: Throughout October | Kebab Queen, Downstairs at Maison Bab, Mercer’s Walk, WC2H 9QE
If you’re familiar with Caribbean restaurants in London, you’ll probably know that they a) mostly operate as take-away restaurants and/or b) never have any food left.
But The Good Front Room is breaking this tradition.
It’s a pop-up restaurant brought to you by Chef Dom Taylor, who’s just won Channel 4’s Five Star Kitchen: Britain’s Next Great Chef by impressing Le Gavroche’s Michel Roux with his unique cooking style that blends his Caribbean heritage with his South London upbringing…
Details: Throughout October | The Langham Hotel, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, W1B 1JA
Embers is the work of a pair of friends (one of whom has helpfully trained under multiple Michelin Starred chefs) who’ve been working their way up the London food scene ladder, residency-by-residency, impressing pretty much everyone along the way with their flame-driven menu. Their latest stop will be in the Renegade Urban Winery, where they’ll be cooking up the likes of BBQ’d octopus with hot nectarine chutney; coal-roasted potatoes with miso & chives; and 400g aged ribeye with stuffed onion & bone marrow.
Details: Throughout October (Weds-Sat) | Renegade Urban Winery, 7 Lockwood Way, E17 5RB
The Sun & 13 Cantons has had some stellar kitchen residencies in its past. It even helped launch Darjeeling Express into the stratosphere. Currently, however, it’s the domain of the fried chicken specialists at Coqfighter. They’re putting out a menu that involves fiery Nashville hot chicken burgers, Korean fried wings, Laska style butter wings, overnight brined on-the-bone joints draped in miso butter gravy, and even – get this – some vegan options too.
Details: Throughout October | The Sun and 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG
The Rajiv behind Rajiv’s Kitchen is a Nepalese chef who has been making waves with his highly popular residences across the capital recently. Currently, you’ll find him manning the pans at The Crooked Well down in Camberwell, where he’s cooking up fluffy mommos, tender Nepali-spiced pork ribs, fiery goat curry, coconut & lime panacotta, and more.
Details: Throughout October | The Crooked Well, 16 Grove Lane Camberwell SE5
The Compton Arms always gets in great residencies. The last two – Four Legs and BELLY – both impressed massively, so they took a slight risk with Tiella because a) it’s not named after a body part, which seems to be the theme here, and b) it’s the debut of Italian chef Dara Klein, who has not yet helmed her own restaurant. But luckily, it turns out that she almost literally grew up in her family’s restaurant kitchen, and soaked up experience the whole time, then worked her way up through the ranks at places like Brawn, Trullo, and Sager + Wilde. So – surprise surprise – that risk has paid off…
Details: Throughout October | Compton Arms, 4 Compton Avenue, London, N1 2XD
If you’ve never had Australian-Greek fusion food before – and we’ll take a wild, stab-in-the-dark guess here and say no, you probably haven’t – then get ready to say an Aegean g’day to the latest popup to hit TT Liquor. It’s called esti (the lower case is intentional), and it’s the work of head chef Sal Galasso, who’s spend the last decade working at some of Oz’s finest restaurants. Now, he’ll be cooking up ‘straight-off-the-coals’ pork souvlaki, twice-cooked lamb ribs with Australian ‘desert dust’ spice mix, and smokey aubergine with brown butter & fried peanuts. It’s due to stick around for six months… but that’s just an esti, mate.
Details: Until October 19th | TT Liquor, 17B Kingsland Rd, E2 8AA
Novelty Automation has some truly weird arcades. There’s a Money Laundering cash drop, an ‘Auto Frisker’ that will pat you down like a mechanical bouncer, and a ‘Small Hadron Collider’ among many others. It’s like satire meets surrealism meets stainless steel. And for one night a month, there’s a pop up bar there too.
Details: 5th October | 1a Princeton St, Holborn, WC1R 4AX | 5pm-9pm
London Cocktail Week is something of a misleading name. First of all, it takes place over 11 days. Second, it involves bars from all over the world. And third, there’s nothing weak about these cocktails. Well, it’s back, and it’s turning the whole city into one big popup bar. Snag a wristband for £15, and you can get £8 cocktails all across town.
Details: 12th – 22nd October | Across London | £15
As part of London Cocktail Week, the folks at the Umbrella Workshop are bringing together a Voltron-like team of the best bars across London, and slapping their best cocktails onto one menu. Turn up to the Umbrella Workshop with a wrist band, and you can score drinks from A Bar With Shapes For A Name; Three Sheets; Funkidory; and Happiness Forgets. Oh, and The Umbrella Workshop.
Details: 12th – 22nd October | The Umbrella Workshop, Cleeve Worshops, E2 7JD
Settling into Bourne & Hollingsworth as of this month, The Rebellious Wine Club invites first class female talent from the UK’s wine industry in to start debates, bust myths, dive into grape-based rabbit holes, and generally mix things up. First up is Ruth Spivey (founder of the Wine Car Boot) who’ll be asking the horrifying question: is it okay to put an ice cube into your wine? And how does temperature affect the drink?
Details: 19th October | Bourne & Hollingsworth | £39 (inc. wine & snacks)
Seating up outside Nine Lives cocktail bar down in London Bridge, this party/whisky tasting is basically a promotional stunt for Monkey Shoulder, but if the idea of a DJ spinning tunes through massive speakers while everyone takes in a guided sip of the brown stuff appeals to you, then there’s no reason not to get involved.
Details: 21st October | Nine Lives, 8 Holyrood Street, SE1 2EL | Free
How’s this for a wick-ed idea: candle making & absinthe cocktails, courtesy of the macabre Last Tuesday Society. Head down, and your host will wax on about the candle-making process from start to finish, while also teaching you about “the magical properties of botanicals”. Plus, there’ll be absinthe cocktails.
Details: 22nd October | 11 Mare Street London E8 4RP | £32
Apothecaries already sound kind of spooky. Midnight Apothecaries, doubly so. And for this Halloween special, the botanical cocktail gardeners on the roof of the Brunel Museum will be throwing incredibly carved pumpkin lanterns, cobwebs, firepits, toasted marshmallows & s’mores kits, ghoulish cocktails, and “strange blue fire” into the mix.
Details: 27th & 28th October | The Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £8+
LOAH are a non-alcoholic beer brand. Not a beer brand who happen to also make a couple of low-percentage numbers, but a dedicated, hangover-free company. And they’ve launched what they claim to be the nation’s first completely non-alcoholic taproom in Hackney Downs, featuring an in-store record shop, a rotating gallery and exhibition space, and plans for movie nights & supperclubs too…
Details: Throughout October | Arch D, Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
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