Visit London Blog » Caroline Roddis Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What’s On This Weekend: 9-10 November 2013 Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:00:15 +0000

From The Lord Mayor’s Show to the Regent Street Christmas Lights Switch On, there are loads of exciting events taking place in London this weekend!

The Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks

Not only does the City of London have a new Lord Mayor (who will preside over the City for one year), but for only the second time in its long history, the Lord Mayor is a woman. Fiona Woolf will celebrate her election with the traditional Lord Mayor’s parade from Guildhall to the Royal Courts of Justice, where she will swear an oath of loyalty to The Queen before setting off on the return journey. The parade, which features colourful floats from a wide variety of City institutions, commences at 11am and starts its return journey at 1pm. For full details on the route and timings, visit the website. Early risers can also watch the Lord Mayor’s flotilla, which sets off in the QRB Gloriana from Westminster at 8.30am. The day’s events will culminate in a spectacular firework dsplay at 5pm – see our guide for tips on where to stand. 9 Nov

Fortnum and Mason St Pancras opens

For the first time in 307 years, a new Fortnum and Mason shop will be opening in London. Situated in St Pancras International station, the mini version of Piccadilly‘s most famous shop will feature a selection of their best-loved treats as well as a chance to relax in the tea salon. From 8 Nov

The Nordic Ja Ja Ja festival

Head to the Camden Roundhouse for a lively festival of Nordic culture. The first ever Ja Ja Ja Festival features the region’s music, film, art, and of course cuisine. There will even be a Nordic Fika! Day tickets are £25, or you can get a weekend pass for £40. 8-9 Nov

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War

It’s almost 100 years since the start of the First World War, and with Rememberance Sunday this weekend it’s a perfect time to see Stanley Spencer’s poignant depictions of war at Somerset House. The large-scale paintings are scenes from the artist’s own wartime experiences and evoke the sometimes surprising ordinariness of wartime life and the domestic tasks in which Spencer found solace. This is a rare chance to see the paintings outside of their usual home at the National Trust’s Sandham Memorial Chapel. Admission is free. Until 26 Jan

Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain at the British Library

Whether you believe they were decorous or riotous, you can’t deny that the Georgians left a significant mark on London and British culture. This new exhibition explores Georgian life through their everyday objects, and charts the rise of fashion, celebrity and conspicuous consumption, as well as the rise of the arts and information. You can see unique items from the Library’s archive, including rare books and maps, as well as loaned objects and artwork. Tickets are £9 for adults. Until 11 Mar

The Regent Street Christmas Lights

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, and you can get into the early festive spirit at the official switching on of the Regent Street Christmas lights. As well as the lights, which are themed around new animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman, you can see performances by Leona Lewis, Passenger and Eliza Doolittle. The event is free. 9 Nov

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What’s On This Weekend. 1-3 November 2013 Mon, 28 Oct 2013 08:15:54 +0000

The start of November sees some fantastic events in our capital – check out a world-beating range of cars, listen to a beautiful and innovative new piece of classical music, or head to London’s green spaces for some spectacular fireworks.

The Regent Street Motor Show

Regent Street will be closed off to traffic this Saturday to host a spectacular display of cars from throughout automotive history. From examples of early steam cars to the latest and greatest supercars, there is something for every petrolhead at this free event. Find out who won the Concours d’Elegance,  in which 100 veteran cars are entered, see a special display of Aston Martins to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary and have a go in their Pit Stop Challenge. Entry is free and the event runs from 10am to 4pm. 2 Nov

Secular Requiem

There are some exquisite pieces of music used at religious funerals, but what about ceremonies of death for those without religion? For the very first time, a large-scale work has been created that provides a musical exploration of death and bereavement for a secular audience. There are five movements, each representing a different stage of grief, and the traditional Latin text has been replaced by readings from literary figures such as Thomas Hardy and John Donne. Hear the work performed for the first time in London at Cadogan Hall on Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £22. 2 Nov

Tube150: Behind the Scenes Open Weekend

What better way to enjoy the 150th anniversary of the London Underground than with a tour of the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton? Visitors can browse the collection of more than 400,000 items, which include tube art, vehicles, photographs, photographs and much more. You can also enjoy talks, miniature railway rides, demonstrations, heritage bus rides and much more. Adult tickets are £10. 1-3 Nov

Fireworks Night in London

Celebrate Guy Fawkes’ failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament at the many bonfire night celebrations around London.  The city hosts many spectacular displays, and this year sees the much anticipated return of the Alexandra Palace display, which has long been one of the biggest and best. See our event page for individual event dates and times. 1 – 5 Nov

The Stylist’s Rail

Head to Dalston to bag some unique fashion bargains at The Stylist’s Rail this Saturday. Held at the Birthdays bar in Dalston, the monthly event features stalls from independent London stylists, vintage collectors and ASOS marketplace traders. You have between 12pm and 5pm to bag a bargain, and entry is free2 Nov

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What’s On This Weekend. 25-27 October 2013 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:00:04 +0000

This weekend in London is hugely colourful, with spectacular free events in Trafalgar Square, world-leading art exhibitions and plenty of Halloween-themed fun.

Diwali on the Square

Celebrate the festival of lights in Trafalgar Square this weekend. Hosted by the Mayor of London, this colourful annual celebration brings together a vibrant programme of entertainment from the Hindu and Jain communities. A delicious selection of vegetarian snacks will be available to purchase from around the square. Entry is free. 27 Oct

Witch Academy at the London Eye

Take the kids for a Halloween treat this weekend on the London Eye, where the special Halloween Storytelling Capsule allows them to embark on a Halloween adventure while soaring above the London skyline. Each child gets a special badge after they’ve foiled the evil witch. Tickets start from £15.66 for children. 26 Oct-2 Nov

The Candlelight Club’s Halloween Ball

Step back in time at this glamorous vintage ball, hosted by 1920s pop-up, the Candlelight Club. Taking place in a secret art deco ballroom, this masquerade ball features period-style, occult-themed acts including burlesque, magic and jazz, alongside a divinely decadent range of vintage cocktails and a deliciously dangerous speakeasy atmosphere.  Tickets are £25. 26 Oct

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting

See rare works of Chinese art at the V&A’s new exhibition, which has brought together pieces from all around the world. As well as finished works, including some of the earliest surviving Chinese paintings, you can learn about how they were made thanks to a fascinating array of original artists’ tools and materials. The director of the V&A has described this as a once-in-a-lifetime experience – book tickets now (from £12) to ensure you don’t miss out. 26 Oct – 19 Jan

Dark Circus Party Halloween Special

Terrifying fun awaits you at the Dark Circus Party, which features the best of the dark, decadent and debauched. Get in touch with your dark side and watch curious circus performances, listen to mesmerising music and get a spooky makeover. There’s a strictly spooky dress-code at this event and tickets are £20. For more information visit the event website. 26 Oct

NFL Fan Rally

Celebrate the joys of American Football at this popular free event at Trafalgar Square, which is now in its fourth year. Celebrating the impending game at Wembley Stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the rally features appearances from NFL stars, interactive games, American food, cheerleader performances and much more. The excitement kicks off at 12pm and entry is free. 26 Oct

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What’s On This Weekend. 18-20 October 2013 Mon, 14 Oct 2013 09:00:13 +0000 Chocolate, gold and art – these are a few of our favourite things that you can expect to see in London this weekend.

Chocolate Week 2013 

Prepare your tastebuds for serious indulgence at London’s Chocolate Week, which celebrates the best cocoa-based products and the people that make them. All of London’s top chocolatiers are taking part, and you can enjoy exclusive tastings, lectures, workshops and special restaurant menus as part of the festivities. One of the festival highlights is the Salon du Chocolat this weekend: an enormous exhibition of chocolate-related goodness in Olympia, which features demonstrations, tastings and an extraordinary Chocolate Fashion Show alongside exclusive shopping opportunities. For more information on all Chocolate Week events, visit the website. 14-20 Oct

Frieze Art Fair at Regent’s Park

The Frieze Art Fair is one of the world’s most famous art festivals. Located in the beautiful Regent’s Park, the fair gives art fans the chance to view 150 of the globe’s leading galleries in one place. As well as seeing an astonishing range of contemporary art, you can attend film screenings and listen to talks and music. Adult  tickets are £34.40. 17-20 Oct   

Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia

Track down the truth about South America’s lost city of gold at this fascinating new British Museum exhibition, which explores what Colombia was like in the three millennia before the Spanish arrived. You’ll see an array of rare objects including textiles, stone necklaces and spectacular gold masks, and learn about how gold was used as both a symbol of power and a way to get in touch with animal spirits. Adult tickets are £10. 17 Oct-23 Mar

The Family Arts Festival

Following on from last year’s hugely inspiring London 2012 Festival, this event takes place across the UK and features dance, music, arts, theatre and much more. In London, highlights include jazz at the artsdepot, a family performance of ‘Muse of Fire’ at Shakespeare’s Globe, and Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. For full details of what’s on near you, visit the festival website. 18 Oct-3 Nov

Russell Square Weekend

Both children and adults can expand their minds at this fun festival in the heart of Bloomsbury. Running from 10am until 7pm on Saturday and from 10am until 5pm on Sunday, the festival offers a mix of projects, installations, performances and events guaranteed to entertain and intrigue. Highlights of the diverse programme include the SOAS World Music Stage, a lecture on the history of poo and the performance of a dance inspired by insect bites. Entry is free. 19-20 Oct

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What’s On This Weekend: 11-13 October 2013 Mon, 07 Oct 2013 09:00:46 +0000

There are loads of fascinating things to see in London this weekend, from seeing movies at a world-class film festival to viewing a stunning array of early Elizabethan jewellery at the Museum of London.

BFI London Film Festival

The acclaimed BFI London Film Festival returns for its 57th year of screening world-class film in the heart of the city. Featuring more than 450 films in total, the festival is a perfect opportunity to see new films before anyone else.  The festival opens with the European premiere of Tom Hanks’ new film Captain Phillips, and you can see the full two-week programme and ticket options on the BFI website. 9-20 Oct 

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013

This year more than 1200 people entered this prestigious competition, which is run by the Royal Observatory. Visitors to the exhibition can see the spectacular winning entries, including the overall winner ‘Guiding Light to the Stars’. You can also see the images featured in a new planetarium show. Tickets to the Royal Observatory cost £7 for adults. Until 23 Feb 2014

Rumfest at ExCel

Love rum? Then don’t miss Rumfest, an annual event showcasing the best – and rarest – versions of the spirit.  Not only can you sample more than 400 different varieties, but you can also enjoy a variety of masterclasses and demonstrations that will teach you everything you’ll ever want to know about rum! Tickets start at £25 – check out the festival’s many ticket options to make sure you get the right Rumfest experience for you. 12-13 Oct

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels at the Museum of London

Discovered buried under a cellar floor in the City of London 101 years ago, the Cheapside Hoard is a spectacular collection of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery. You can see more than 500 pieces, including necklaces, rings and perfume bottles, as well as learn more about the fascinating history of the find. Book using our special offer to get 2-for-1 tickets (normally £10 for adults). Until 27 April 2014

Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art at the British Museum

Visit the British Museum to discover the art of Shunga – erotic Japanese pictures that were created between 1600 and 1900. Not only can you learn about the taboo artform’s complex history and see a variety of exquisite pictures, but you’ll also discover the way it has inspired modern Japanese art and Western painters. Adult tickets are £7. Until 5 Jan 2014

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What’s On This Weekend. 4-6 October 2013 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 09:30:48 +0000 The days might be getting colder but that won’t stop Londoners getting out and having fun – check out these great events if you want to join in!

Japan Matsuri

Discover Japanese culture at this free one-day festival in Trafalgar Square. Opened by the Japanese ambassador at 11am, the festival runs until 9pm and offers you an opportunity to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance and fashion. A huge variety of entertainment will take place on the festival stage, including the Joji Hirota London Taiko Drummers, a Lolita fashion show and a display of ceremonial samurai armour with Usagi Juku, while experts will give dazzling demonstrations of their skills on the martial arts stage. 5 Oct

The SS Atlantica

Yearning for a more elegant life? Step back in time aboard the SS Atlantica, a 1930s-themed river cruise and boat party. You can sip champagne while watching the sights of London drift past, try your luck on the gaming tables or dance the night away to live bands playing music from the era. Tickets are £25. 5 Oct

Late Night Opening at the Churchill War Rooms

Enjoy an adults-only adventure at the Churchill War Rooms this Friday, when the attraction’s late opening provides a chance to discover your inner spy. Venture into the Prime Minister’s wartime bunker for a night of fun activities that include spy games, film screenings and your chance to win prizes. Refreshments will also be available from the pop-up bar.  The event starts at 6.30pm and tickets are £17. 4 Oct

London Lit Weekend at King’s Place

Listen to some big literary names at this small – yet perfectly formed – festival at King’s Place. Blending fiction, poetry, history, biography, music, horticulture and much more, the festival is set to be a thought-provoking immersion into contemporary literature. Speakers include Jeremy Paxman, Lotte Moggach, Jonathan Coe and Alfred Brendel. For full details of the programme and ticket options, visit the festival website. 4-6 Oct

Drive-in Film Club 

Ever wanted to experience the magic of American drive-in cinema? Head to Brent Cross this weekend to do just that, as the team behind the ever-popular Rooftop Film Club turn their hand to the traditional American cinematic experience. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October they will show a classic, popular or new film on their big screen – all you have to do is drive in, settle down and perhaps order a traditional American snack from the waitresses on rollerblades. Tickets are £22 per car. From 4 Oct

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What’s On This Weekend. 27-29 September 2013 Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:37:36 +0000 There are lots of unique shopping events taking place this weekend in London, but if none of them float your boat you could try a world famous film festival or traditional London celebration instead!

The Goldsmiths Fair

Browse exquisite pieces of jewellery at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, an annual event showcasing the work of skilled independent craftsmen. The fair takes place in the beautiful Goldsmiths’ Hall, home to one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies. Admission granted through purchase of a show catalogue, and one week’s entry to the fair costs £10. 23 Sep-6 Oct

NFL on Regent Street

Can’t wait to see the Minnesota Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday? Head down to Regent Street the day before for a special, traffic-free celebration of everything American football. From 12pm to 6pm you can take part in special NFL activities, see cheerleaders perform, sample American food and even see your favourite players. 28 Sep

Canary Wharf Fashion Weekend

Is it time to update your wardrobe? This weekend Canary Wharf is the perfect place to do so, as its annual fashion weekend will be highlighting the best of this season’s collections. As well as enjoying fashion shows, you can listen to music from pianist Tokio Myers and benefit from exclusive discounts in stores. 27-29 Sep

The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

See London’s other royalty at the Guildhall this weekend, at the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival.  Resplendent in their pearl-covered suits, the Pearly Kings and Queens – members of a 19th century fundraising society – will be celebrating the bounty of the harvest with traditional entertainment outside Guildhall before proceeding to St Mary-le-Bow church for a service of thanksgiving. The event is free and takes place from 1pm to 3pm. 29 Sep

The Raindance Film Festival

Feted as one of the world’s top 50 independent film festivals, Raindance is a fantastic opportunity to see the newest talent in cinema. Taking place near Piccadilly Circus, the festival will be screening more than 100 films and more than 150 shorts, and also features a bevy of workshops, talks and parties. The festival is known for attracting some of the world’s best filmmakers, and you can secure access to every screening and event by buying a festival pass for £100. Other ticket prices vary, see the website for details. 25 Sep – 6 Oct

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What’s On This Weekend: 20-22 September 2013 Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:09:35 +0000

Indulge your aesthetic senses this weekend – browse the latest fashions, see a fabulous selection of ceramics or explore London’s finest buildings.

Ceramics in the City at the Geffrye Museum

Visit the acclaimed Geffrye Museum of the Home to browse a great range of ceramics, crafted by more than 50 talented ceramicists. Not only can you admire the wide range of styles and materials, but all of the works are also available to buy. The show is free to enter and there are also free workshops and demonstrations for families. 20-22 Sep

Vodafone London Fashion Weekend

Experience the excitement of London Fashion Week at the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend, a public-facing shopping experience that features fashion shows, pop-up shops, and exclusive opportunities to shape your style. The event is based in the exquisite Somerset House, and tickets start from £18. 19-22 Sep

Open House London 2013

Open House London is a fantastic annual event in which some of London’s most fascinating venues throw their doors open to the public. You can stroll around London landmarks such as Battersea Power Station, Mansion House and the Gherkin, as well as lesser-known but equally beautiful edifices all over the city. Best of all, entry is free. For a full programme, as well as details on which venues need to be booked in advance, visit the Open House website. 21-22 Sep

Dark Circus Party

Head to the Bloomsbury Ballroom for a darkly entertaining evening courtesy of speakeasy bar Bourne and Hollingsworth. Not for the faint-hearted, the Dark Circus Party features delicious cocktails, a seductive atmosphere and scintillating entertainment from an eclectic range of circus performers. For more information and tickets (£20) visit the event website. 21 Sep

The Tour of Britain Finale

Stand on Whitehall to see the thrilling finish of the Tour of Britain, the eight-day cycle race that culminates in London on 22 September. Now in its 20th year, the race takes cyclists past many of the most beautiful parts of England in eight separate stages, the last of which is a loop around the centre of London that finishes by the Houses of Parliament. 22 Sep

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What’s On This Weekend: 13-15 September 2013 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 09:00:58 +0000

This weekend features some fun free outdoor events, plus a great opportunity to learn more about baking delicious cakes!

Triathlon Square on Trafalgar Square

As the PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final takes place this weekend, why not experience the excitement at this free Triathlon Square event in Trafalgar Square. The festival features lots of triathlon-related activities for the whole family to enjoy, as well as live BBC coverage of the elite races, an exhibition and lots of photo opportunities. 11-15 Sep

London Design Festival

The London Design Festival is one of the world’s most important annual design events. Over 300 events and exhibitions take place over the course of the festival, and you’ll be able to see some fantastic works of design placed throughout the capital. Many of the London Design Festival activities are free, see the website for the full programme. 14-22 Sep

The Cake and Bake Show at Earl’s Court

Inspired by the Great British Bake Off? The Cake and Bake Show is a great chance to learn about baking and stock your cupboards. Highlights include baking demonstrations by the likes of Eric Lanlard, cake competitions, classes, workshops and the chance to purchase top baking equipment and ingredients. Adult tickets start at £14.50. 13-15 Sep 

Feast 1st Birthday
Celebrating a year of serving up street food with a side of festival atmosphere, Feast is throwing a 1st birthday bash in Guy’s quadrangle. The event gives you the opportunity to enjoy food from a variety of renowned street food providers, such as Big Apple Hotdogs and Patty and Bun, as well as a selection of carefully selected drinks.Tickets are £9. 13-15 Sep

1513: A Ships’ Opera by Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski

As part of the last weekend of the Thames Festival, a spectacular and innovative opera will take place on the River Thames. 1513: A Ships’ Opera features an armada of historic vessels from the age of sail, steam and diesel, performing a work of music with their steam whistles, bells, horns, hooters, sirens and cannon. The opera is also dynamic: starting at the mouth of the Thames Estuary the floating orchestra will proceed up the Thames in a series of acts, culminating in the main performance which takes place in the company of HMS Belfast by Tower Bridge. See the website for timings and an idea of the best spectator spots. 14 Sep

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What’s On This Weekend: 6-8 September 2013 Mon, 02 Sep 2013 16:00:05 +0000 The Mayor's Thames Festival 2013: The Deluxe River Cruise, photo credit: Doug Fishbone (USA) This weekend you can celebrate the last vestiges of summer at a series of great outdoor events, which show off everything from sporting achievements to London’s river-based history.

The Mayor’s Thames Festival

The Mayor’s Thames Festival is always one of the highlights of the London calendar. This year is extra special as, for the first time, the festival will extend over 10 days, allowing time for a wider range of ambitious and exciting events. Centred on the stretch of water between Lambeth Bridge and St Katherine’s Dock, the festival features unique events such as a night-time river opera, a floating art fair and a rally of Dunkirk little ships. To discover the full programme, visit the Thames Festival website. 6-15 Sep

The Great River Race

Watch more than 300 boats compete in a water-based marathon that takes in many of London’s most famous landmarks on its way up the river Thames. The Great River Race is a fantastic annual spectacle in which any traditional-style boat, powered by at least four oars, can participate. You’ll see a colourful array of different nautical craft, many of which are raising money for charity, race down the Thames from the Docklands to Ham House in a bid for one of the 35 trophies available. For more information on timings and the best viewing points, see the event website. 7 Sep

Carnaby Echoes

Trace the century-old musical history of Carnaby Street and its environs with this fascinating exhibition and self-guided walking tour.  First. visit 20 Foubert’s Place for a free exhibition that features archive material from many different musical eras, then download the app and take a tour of the area, stopping off at each specially-commissioned plaque to learn more about key points in Carnaby’s musical history. 5 Sep – 20 Oct

National Paralympic Day featuring Liberty Festival

This free event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Copper Box Arena  marks one year since the London 2012 Paralympic Games took place, and celebrates the skill of top Paralympic athletes. You can see sports such as Boccia and Wheelchair Basketball, as well as participate in family activities, watch film screenings and see a range of outdoor theatre, music and dance performances. National Paralympic Day coincides with the Liberty Festival, which highlights the talents of disabled artists through exibitions and events across London. 7 Sep

Victoriana, The Art of Revival

Visit the Guidhall Art Gallery for the first-ever exhibition to examine the enduring popularity of Victoriana in all its forms. Featuring work from the last two decades by 28 renowned contemporary artists,  including Grayson Perry, Paul St. George and the Chapman Brothers, the exhibition demonstrates our ongoing fascination with the Victorian era and the pervading effect it has had on our cultural output. Tickets are £7 and can be purchased on the door. 7 Sep – 8 Dec

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