Your Weekend Agenda (20th-22nd January)
Magical Lantern Festival
If you enjoy standard, run-of-the-mill lantern festivals, you’re going to love the Magical Lantern Festival. It involves a 15-metre wide lantern of London’s Houses of Parliament, moving animal lanterns, an ice rink, funfair rides, VR games, and an ice bar.
Details: 19th January-26th February | Chiswick House Gardens, W4 2QN | £16.50
Burns Night Ceilidh at the Battersea Arts Club
No, it’s not just what the people at the hospital refer to Guy Fawkes as – it’s also a celebration of the life of Scottish poet/legend Robbie Burns, who the people at the Battersea Arts Centre will be honouring with a fairy-lit feast of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by a raucous ceilidh-calling hoedown from Fiddle Paradiddle into the wee hours.
Details: 20th January | Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN | £30 (incl. dinner)
Inauguration at Boondocks
N.B: This is not a fake event. Below Boondocks will be screening the Presidential Inauguration alongside 2-for-1 Drown Your Sorrows cocktails, £10 wings and beer offers and unlimited cajun popcorn all night long.
Details: 20th January, from 4.30pm | Below Boondocks, 205 City Road, EC1V 1JN | Free entry
Luckily for you, this is exactly what it sounds like: a voyage across 5 different venues, from secretive bars to local distilleries, in the noble pursuit of trying lots of gins, and then trying them again in cocktail format.
Details: Various dates throughout January, 6.30-10pm | Shoreditch and Bermondsey Tours | Tickets from £63.30 HERE.
The Museum of Happiness
Open for 4 weeks from this Saturday, the MoH have put together a giant, 1m tall, adults-only ballpit filled with 24k balls. It’s ticketed, so there’ll only be a few people allowed in at a time, and it’s all attached to the Canvas Cafe.
Details: 21st January-19th Feb | The Canvas Cafe, 42 Hanbury St, E1 5JL | £5 (for 15 mins)
Oliver Rowe in residence at Calvert 22
It’s the last weekend of the pop-up revival of chef Oliver Rowe’s café Konstam at Calvert 22, where he’s offering simple European café cuisine prepared with ultra-local produce. On Friday he’s co-hosting a last supperclub with 26 Grains’ Alex Hely-Hutchinson, and on Saturday there’ll be all day brunch and a screening of The Commissar in the evening courtesy of KinoVino. It’s probably the best comeback since McBusted.
Details: 12th-22nd January | 22 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP
The Hot Gin Roof
Of course if you wanted to follow up a Gin Journey with more gin, you could always head over to the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, where Sipsmiths are popping up to serve hot gin cocktails to a backdrop of the London skyline. And if that sounds amazing, that’s because it is – unfortunately leaving the event sold out online. But, keep a beady eye on Twitter, because they’ll be releasing more tickets soon.
Details: 20th January – 14th February | Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, W1D 7DT | £18
A one-day music and DJ festival in aid of the London-based charity Eat or Heat, which runs a food bank for the benefit of disadvantaged East Londoners. And for the benefit of you, they’ve got their friends at Wild Card Brewery, Mother’s Ruin, and Pillars Brewery involved, alongside neon paradise, God’s Own Junkyard to help host various acts and activities throughout the day.
Details: 21st Jan, from 2pm | Various venues | Free entry
Winter Brunch (Nudge Members’ Prix Fixe)
We’re not sure what could ever stand in the way of brunch, but if, for you, it’s the mere season of winter, allow us to allay your fears – for Sardine in Old Street (from Stevie Parle’s protogée Alex Jackson) knocks up an excellent breakfast cassoulet (a traditional Provencale winter warmer). And if you’re a Nudge member, you’ll also have access to an exclusive prix fixe deal (psst: it contains Bloody Maries).
Details: Every weekend (Members’ deal until 31st Jan) | 15 Micawber Street, N1 7TB | £25 for members
The London Art Fair
Showing no sign of stopping after 29 years, the London Art Fair is back with its main space showcasing work taken from over 100 galleries as well as 2 smaller curated exhibits focusing on overseas up-and-coming talent, and a photography exhibition along the theme of ‘gravitas’. It’s seriously good.
Details: 18-22 Jan | Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH | £14-£40
Discover the Meaning of Life
Turns out, it’s been at the Southbank Centre all along. So pop along to the first weekend of this year-long festival, where you’ll find talks and workshops on mysticism and mindfulness, atheism, religion and politics, life and death. And everything in between.
Details: Until 16th Dec | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Day pass £15
Main image: Magical Lantern Festival
Like being in the loop about London’s newest bar and restaurant openings? Check out our excellent guide to new bars in London and new restaurants in London.