Visit London Blog » regent’s park Enjoy the very best of London Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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

More London events

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What’s On This Weekend: 21-23 June 2013 Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:00:25 +0000 It’s the longest day of the year on Friday – use this weekend as a chance to stay late in London’s outdoor spaces and sample the best the city has to offer. If it’s raining, there’s always the indoor Pimm’s Summer Garden!

Taste of London, Regent’s Park

Don’t miss the tenth anniversary of this outstanding food festival, which features an unbeatable line-up of both chefs and restaurants. Highlights of this year’s Taste of London include appearances by celebrity chefs, including Raymond Blanc and three generations of the Roux family, as well as the presence of top London restaurants such as Le Gavroche, the Opera Tavern and Tamarind. Tickets start from £24 – you can find full details on these and Crowns, Taste of London’s currency, on the festival website. 20-23 Jun

Eye Nights at the EDF Energy London Eye, Southbank

Enjoy night-time London from an unbeatable angle on the EDF Energy London Eye, which is now allowing passengers to hop on board until 11.30pm on Fridays. Not only can you enjoy the bright lights of London after dark, but you can also augment your experience with special packages that range from champagne and canapés to special Sipsmith gin cocktails. Tickets start from £18.80. From 21 Jun

The Shubbak Festival 2013

Explore contemporary culture at this wide-ranging festival, which provides a window into Arab music, films, art and thought. Highlights include an exhibition of work at the Tate Modern by Sudanese and Lebanese artists, a discussion about faith and fashion, and a closing party at the Flyover Portobello. Events are staged around town and many are free: see the website for full details. 22 Jun-6 Jul

The Pimm’s Summer Garden

Enjoy the best of the English summer indoors at the Pimm’s Summer Garden! Wander in for a glass of Pimm’s at the bar and a cheeky game at Pimmbledon, or become part of the Pimm’s Picnic Club by reserving a blanket, which not only gets you Pimm’s and dinner, but also means you can take the blanket away as a souvenir. For full details see the Facebook page. 19-29 Jun

The Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

The Greenwich+Docklands International Festival is London’s largest festival of outdoor theatre, and features great free performances of theatre and dance in the area’s public spaces. For a list of the highlights and further details, see our event page. 21 Jun-29 Jun

West End Live in Trafalgar Square

For two days only, you can enjoy the best of London’s world-beating theatre for free in Trafalgar Square. West End Live features the best of London’s musicals, including Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia and Wicked, as well as exhibits and family activities. Get there early to secure your spot! 22-23 Jun

The St John’s Wood Classic and Supercar Pageant 

Between 11am and 5pm on Sunday you can ogle at more than 30 beautiful automobiles at this pageant in St John’s Wood. Not only can you view cars such as Fangio’s 1956 Mille Miglia Ferrari, a 1928 Speed Six Bentley and Stirling Moss’ 250 GT Ferrari, but you can also enjoy a funfair and the area’s splendid array of shops. 23 Jun

More London events

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London Video of the Week: Love Your Journey by Wallop Films Fri, 31 May 2013 09:30:48 +0000

Love Your Journey from Wallop Film on Vimeo.

World Freestyle Football Champion Andrew Henderson takes us on a tour of London with a difference in this video, showing off some very impressive ball skills as he wanders through the city.

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The Best Places to Picnic in London Sat, 25 May 2013 09:00:33 +0000 When the sun is shining, there are fewer more pleasant ways to relax than by having a picnic in one of London’s public spaces. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite spots below – grab a blanket, pack a hamper and stretch out on the grass for an afternoon to remember.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park has many attractions that make it a perfect picnic spot – not only is there oodles of space in which you can stretch out to enjoy some nosh, but you can also go roller-blading, play numerous sports and go boating on the Serpentine. Hyde Park is also the venue for fantastic events at which picnics are welcome – September’s Proms in the Park is just one of the great options. The wonderful Kensington Gardens is just a short stroll away, why not spend a day exploring both?

Ham Polo Club

Serve up some high-octane sporting action with your picnic on Sundays at Ham Polo Club, when spectators can lounge by the side of the pitch and watch London’s only polo team compete, whilst munching on sandwiches and scotch eggs. Entry to matches, which take place until 29 September, is £5 per person, or £20 for a car of up to four people.

Highbury Fields

If you like your picnics sizzling, head to Highbury Fields where you can BBQ in the park. As well as a warm welcome for your disposable barbecues, the park offers a children’s playground, sports facilities and a dog-free picnic area.

St James’s Park

Situated next to Buckingham Palace, St James’s is one of London’s prettiest parks. Not only can you have a picnic whilst admiring the surrounding architecture, the park’s foliage and the stunning expanse of water, but you can also see the park’s famous pelicans when they’re fed every day at 2.30pm.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which adjoins one of the four Inns of Court at which all barristers are members, is the largest public square in London. It’s a peaceful place for a picnic in between seeing the sights of central London – both Covent Garden and the British Museum are less than 10 minutes away.

Hampstead Heath

At 790 acres, you’re truly spoiled for choice as to where to picnic on Hampstead Heath. You could head to Parliament Hill, from which you can get an unrivalled view over London, sit in the grounds of historic Kenwood House or picnic next to the lido if you feel like an afternoon swim.

Greenwich Park

It’s not often you can picnic in a World Heritage Site, but London’s Greenwich Park allows you to do just that. Situated by the river Thames, the park offers stunning views of both the water and central London. Closer at hand are the magnificent Royal Maritime Museum and the old Royal Observatory, which provide a dramatic backdrop as well as the perfect post-picnic activity.

Victoria Tower Gardens

Picnic next to the Houses of Parliament in this riverside park, which gives you a chance to study the historical palace of Westminster up close. The park itself also contains a range of interesting features, including a replica of Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais and the Buxton Memorial Fountain, commemorating the emancipation of slaves.

The Regent’s Park

The stunning Regent’s Park is a wonderful place to have a picnic, especially if you’re having a relaxed meal before you see a production at the park’s Open Air Theatre.  Picnic-ers can enjoy views over the lake, the glorious expanse of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens or even the entire city of London from the heights of the park’s Primrose Hill.

Battersea Park

South London’s Battersea Park is full of picturesque picnic spots, as well as a host of attractions. Explore the children’s zoo, float on the boating lake or see an exhibition at the striking Pump House Gallery.

Where’s your favourite place to have a picnic in London?

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What’s On In London This Weekend. 12-14 October 2012 Thu, 11 Oct 2012 13:00:28 +0000

This weekend is all about expanding your horizons. You can browse through an enormous selection of contemporary art, try some of the world’s rarest rums or dip yourself into the world of chocolate.

RumFest at London’s ExCel Centre
More than 400 rums are available at this two-day event, which is the world’s largest celebration of rum culture. Not only do visitors have the chance to sample some of the world’s rarest rums, but they can also enjoy tropical food, live music, interactive workshops and spectacular demonstrations from some of the world’s best bartenders. Tickets start from £20 and include sampling tokens. 13-14 Oct

Frieze Art Fair, Regent’s Par
This colossus of the contemporary art fair world is now in its 10th year, and still the best place to find new work by the world’s leading modern artists.  More than 170 art galleries from around the world are represented, offering more than 1,000 artworks for sale. A ticket (£27) also provides access to the programme of talks and screenings, as well as the special Frieze Projects. Ranging from a field of incense to some zany dining experiences, the latter are sure to add an extra-special dimension to your experience! If you prefer your art a little less modern, however, seek refuge in Frieze Masters, the neighbouring show that provides a new perspective on historical art. 11-14 Oct

Chocolate Unwrapped at the London Film Museum, Covent Garden
Chocolate-lovers will be in heaven at Chocolate Unwrapped, the delicious culmination of London’s Chocolate Week. Not only can you meet some of Britain’s best chocolatiers and sample their products, but you can also enjoy demonstrations, talks and film screenings dedicated to all things cocoa. Tickets start from £5 for children and £10 for adults. 13-14 Oct

 The BFI London Film Festival, Various Venues
There’s something for everyone at the 56th BFI London Film Festival, which features more than 250 films from throughout the world. Watch the latest animated short films, attend a celebrity gala or pick from one of the festival’s seven categories to suit your mood. Visit the festival website for film times and tickets. 10-21 Oct

Richard Hamilton: The Late Works, National Gallery
Considered by some to have created the first work of Pop Art, Richard Hamilton is one of Britain’s greatest artists. The late painter and collage artist was planning this free exhibition before he died – head to the National Gallery to see his specially-designed exhibition space, late works and final, unfinished, masterpiece. Until 13 Jan

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 10-12 August 2012 Fri, 10 Aug 2012 15:00:25 +0000 The London 2012 Olympic Games may be drawing to a close, but events aren’t slowing down in London. Our top events this weekend allow you to master Indian drumming, sip 800 beers or take on an outdoor tango.

London International Arts Festival
Nearly 2,000 international music acts applied to perform at the first ever London International Arts Festival, but only 14 were selected to play at Grade II listed Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford this weekend. They hail from countries as varied as Cyprus and Serbia and include Dhruv Ensemble, a London-based South Indian youth orchestra and Latin-Balkan beat band La Internacional Sonora Balkanera. Workshops in nearby Vine Church Hall on Saturday mean you could come away schooled in Indian drumming or Mexican traditional music. Concert tickets start from £8 and workshops are £5.
10-12 Aug

London Live
It’s the last few days of the Olympics and there’s a good chance Team GB medallists will drop into the two London Live sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park. Both are great spots to catch the final events on big screens in a festival atmosphere: Hyde Park is home to the interactive chocolate experience that is Cadbury House, while Victoria Park boasts a 55m-high observation wheel, bungee trampolines and the zip wire that Boris Johnson recently got stuck on. The sites are free but book online for guaranteed entry before 2pm.
Until 12 Aug

Great British Beer Festival
It’s big, it’s British, and it’s full of beer. The Olympia Exhibition Centre becomes one enormous pub for this annual celebration of the good old pint. More than 800 British real ales, ciders, perries, and foreign beers will be available to sample – though we don’t suggest you try them all. You can learn about the brewing industry from producers, or just choose a glass (a third, half or a full pint) and get tasting.
Until 11 Aug

Dance Al Fresco in Regent’s Park
Head to Regent’s Park for a spot of outdoor dancing at Dance Al Fresco. DJ Jacky Logan will lead “The Broadwalk Ballroom” on Saturday, taking visitors through some Latin, salsa, line dancing and more, while Sunday’s session is dedicated to the Argentinean tango. Both days kick off at 1pm with a class for beginners, followed by a demonstration at 4.30pm and dancing until 6pm. Tickets are £10 and proceeds go to the Royal Parks Foundation charity.
11-12 Aug

Where will you be this weekend? Let us know by commenting below.

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 22-24 June 2012 Thu, 21 Jun 2012 10:30:44 +0000

From outdoor musicals to adult face-painting and a very expensive Scotch egg, there’s plenty of excitement to be found in London this weekend. Here are our recommended things to do.

West End Live

Fans of musicals should pay a visit to Trafalgar Square this weekend for West End Live, a huge free festival on Saturday and Sunday afternoons which celebrates London’s West End shows from Phantom of the Opera to Wicked. For the first time ever this year, the line-up includes performances from every single West End musical currently playing. 23 – 24 Jun

Taste of London

Forty of London’s best restaurants will dish up feasts as part of Taste of London, the capital’s fine dining festival which is returning to Regent’s Park. There is also a boutique food market, delicious demonstrations from top chefs like Jason Atherton and Michel Roux Jr, a masterclass in matching champagne to the scent of flowers and the chance to win the world’s most expensive Scotch egg – priced at a mere £500. 21 – 24 Jun

BP Portrait Award

Young New York artist Aleah Chapin has won the renowned portrait-painting award with a nude picture of her family friend. The artwork, titled Auntie is on show at the free exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, alongside 54 other finalist portraits which were whittled down from 2,187 entries. Until 23 Sept

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is an outdoor arts extravaganza that will bring theatre, dance and eccentricity to spots around Greenwich like the Cutty Sark Gardens and Greenwich Market. Don’t miss Prometheus Awakes on Friday night – a spectacular retelling of the Greek myth featuring an enormous glowing puppet at the National Maritime Museum. Another highlight this weekend is the recreation of the 19th century Greenwich Fair, which includes a show inside a 30ft pig and gravity-defying piano. 21 – 30 Jun

Zoo Lates

See the animals but leave the kids at home: ZSL London Zoo is offering grown-up fun by opening its doors after hours every Friday in June and July for Zoo Lates. A silent disco, street food, music, comedy and cabaret performances transform the zoo into a festival – and you can even turn into a creature with costumes and face-painting (we all know we’re tempted when the kids get it done). Over 18s only. Fridays until 27 Jul

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 8-10 June 2012 Thu, 07 Jun 2012 13:14:52 +0000

Jubilee mania might be over, but there’s still plenty going on in London. Here are our top picks for what to do in the capital this weekend.

London Nocturne

Smithfield Market will become a bicycle battleground on Saturday as top cyclists race on its surrounding streets in this year’s IG Markets London Nocturne. The free event also includes a penny farthing race and a challenge to achieve the longest skid on a fixed-gear bike. The brand new City Criterium will see cycling teams from central London firms fight to be crowned the fastest company in the square mile. 9 Jun

Open Garden Squares Weekend

More than 200 of London’s private squares are unlocked to the public for one weekend only each year. Admire the Victorian stump garden and beehive in Camden’s Bedford Square or take tea in Fitzroy Square, the communal garden used by prime minister Lord Salisbury and Virginia Woolf, who lived there at different times. One ticket allows entry to all the squares over the weekend and you can calculate distances between them using the handy ‘My Gardens’ tool on the website. 9 – 10 Jun

Dickens and London

It’s the last chance to catch the Museum of London’s much-praised Dickens and London exhibition charting Charles Dickens’ relationship with the capital. Entry is by timed ticket and pre-booking is advised. Until 10 Jun

The London Green Fair

The Regent’s Park is getting even greener this weekend as London’s biggest eco-festival takes over with music, talks and activities for the environmentally-minded. Try out electric bikes, learn about permaculture, browse organic and fairtrade wares at market stalls, check out exhibitions from Ecotricity and Zipcar and listen to bands at the Global-local stage and Pea Pod Arena. 9 – 10 Jun

MINT Polo in the Park

The Jubilee got our juices flowing for all things British, and what could be more proper than a spot of Polo? Six teams play each other over three days at MINT Polo in the Park at Hurlingham Park, with entertainment from the Devil’s Horsemen equine stunt team. It’s as much about the glamour as the matches – there’s also the Harrods Food Court, a luxury shopping village and opportunity to whet your whistle at numerous pitch-side bars. 8 – 10 Jun

Comedy Store Players

For anyone who feels comedy is too formulaic, here’s your antidote. This top improvisation group puts on a brilliant night of unscripted fun, with members who have worked together since the 80s. Paul Merton is the top name to catch and will be part of the antics on stage at the intimate Soho club on Sunday evening. 10 Jun

Plan your weekend in London at

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Cyprus in London: The Philhellenes Dancing Group and the Yasar Halim Bakery Tue, 21 Feb 2012 12:30:54 +0000

Journalist Marina Soteriou is a long-term London resident. Writing as part of our World in London series, Marina adds her experiences of Cypriot culture in the capital.

Every Thursday evening at a church hall in Waterloo, a group meet to perform dances which have been danced for centuries. They are the Philhellenes Dancing Group.

I joined nearly three years ago as I wanted to feel closer to my family on the other side of Europe, in Cyprus. The only thing I can remember from my dancing class at primary school in Nicosia was somebody finding a centipede in their shoe, but last October I performed seven Pontic dances at the annual Dance Around the World Festival at Cecil Sharp House in Regents Park.

The group has been running for 21 years, and has performed in Cyprus, Athens, Lesvos and Andros. In London, they’ve danced at the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and the British Museum.

Cypriots love a debate and since the so-called “Cyprus problem” has remained unsolved since 1974 – as a result of a Turkish invasion which followed a coup by the junta ruling Greece at the time – we are never short of a topic. Following the division, thousands of Cypriots came to live in London, when the Greek Cypriots fled to safety in the south and the Turkish Cypriots went north.

My grandfather, Andreas Soteriou, was from the beautiful village of Agios Epiktitos in the Kyrenia district in the North, perched high with breathtaking views of the coast. But being born in 1982, these lands were not known to me. The Cyprus I knew stopped abruptly where the rusty barbed wire and UN soldier was. The bullet holes in the Nicosia church we went to every Sunday morning were testament to the violence which was followed by decades of stalemate.

It was not until 2003 when the border crossings opened that the link with my ancestors could be restored and I could visit the house where my grandfather was raised, see his father’s grave and share gifts and stories with the Turkish Cypriot neighbours.

There is something restorative in folk dancing, knowing these intricate steps, double steps and jumps have been replayed for thousands of years and that now is just another dot on the timeline. Although we do not know what the future holds for Cyprus, we know these dances will survive.

Whenever I go back to Nicosia, one of the first things I like to do is go to Ledra Street in the city centre and buy a Papaphilippou ice cream and do as the locals do and promenade.

On one such visit, the first thing I saw was a group of Pontics in traditional costume performing their dances in the public square, the very same dances I have performed with my Bulgarian, Greek, English and Cypriot friends in the church hall in Waterloo on a rainy Thursday night.

For another slice of Cyprus, you can choose one of the many Cypriot restaurants all over London, but I prefer the hive of activity at the Yasar Halim Bakery in Haringey. The bakery was opened by a Turkish Cypriot in 1981 and has everything you can imagine, from the sweet Tahini tachinopites, to the Cypriot doughnuts dipped in syrup, “loukoumades”, which are eaten with the semolina-filled shiamishi at fairs.

To join the class or attend a Greek folk dancing workshop visit or email The next Dance Around the World folk dancing festival, which has performances and workshops, takes place on 20 and 21 October. Visit to find out more.

Do you know any other instances where you can sample Cypriot culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Autumn Art Exhibitions in London Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:29:08 +0000

The leaves are turning brown, the weather’s getting chillier and it’s time for a bumper crop of autumn art exhibitions in London.

Two major shows open this week: the British Museum’s Grayson Perry exhibition, which combines new work with objects chosen by Perry from the museum’s collection, and Tate Modern’s retrospective of Gerhard Richter, marking the German artist’s 80th birthday.

Tacita Dean’s installation for The Unilever Series is unveiled in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall on 11 October. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei covered the hall in ceramic sunflower seeds for last year’s commission. We can’t wait to find out what Dean has in store!

Frieze Art Fair returns to Regent’s Park in mid-October, bringing together 170 of the best art dealers from around the world, along with arty talks, films, music, installations and a sculpture park.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year returns to the Natural History Museum, displaying the best wildlife images chosen from 41,000 submissions. And then, in November, one of this year’s most anticipated exhibitions opens: Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery, which is sure to be another London blockbuster.

Which London exhibitions are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

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