15 of the best things to do in London this weekend including a CBD pop-up in Covent Garden, a Japanese Matsuri festival, EVE Riot Grrrls of Wrestling, Regatta London and Nunhead Arts Trail
Lead image: Wishful
1 Wishful, Royal Docks
Giant gliding swans and floating lanterns will take over Silvertown Quays with Wishful, a magical show of water and fire featuring pyrotechnics, giant puppetry, music and daring performances inspired by the Thai festival of Loi Krathong. First, you’ll be invited to wander and explore a gigantic illuminated mechanical garden and enjoy some food and drink before joining a carnival procession. Afterwards, floating wishing lantern shrines will be launched into the water, lighting the way for a show of gliding giant swans, an operatic moon goddess and dance pieces. The night will end in a shower of fireworks against the backdrop of Millennium Mills. The spectacular one-night-only event, organised by pioneering outdoor arts company Emergency Exit Arts, will be the finale to this year’s Join the Docks festival, which has been running all summer across London’s historic Royal Docks. 6pm-9.30pm.
Silvertown Quays, Royal Docks E16 2GL; eea.org.uk
*Update: Sadly Regatta London has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions*
2 Regatta London, Putney & Hammersmith
Regatta London is the UK’s newest waterborne mass participation sports event, set to take place this weekend on the river Thames. The event, the first of its kind, will see thousands of rowers, kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddle boarders come together as they take on either a 12-mile, looped course (The Big Ben Challenge, a looped course from Putney to Big Ben and back) or a 14-mile course (The London Crossing, which starts near Hammersmith and finishes at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich) along the River Thames through Central London. The day of the ground-breaking event coincides with the annual, planned test closure of the Thames Barrier, meaning the normal tides will be significantly reduced and Regatta London will be a truly unique experience. The event will also run a number of sustainability initiatives, with no single-use of plastic bottles on the course, compostable cups, cutlery, packaging and paper straws, and sustainable T-shirts made from bamboo, charcoal and recycled polyester for the finishers. The event is part of Totally Thames.
3 Japan Week, various locations
23 September-3 October
Calling all Japanophiles! Foodism’s Japan Week, sponsored by JFOODO, is a city-wide celebration of London’s thriving Japanese food and drink, with restaurants and bars across London taking part. Big names including Sexy Fish, Sushi Samba, ROKA, Aqua Kyoto, Wagamama and Sushi Daily are on board, as well as Ametsa, Tramp, Gingerline and other venues not necessarily associated with Japanese food also hosting sake food pairings or offering Japanese fusion dishes. This weekend’s highlights include the Sexy Fish Lunch Club on Friday 27 September, when you can dine on special dishes like Salmon Teriyaki with Yuzu Hollandaise while enjoying a sake tutorial guided by expert Raul Diaz (1pm-5pm, tickets £60pp, only 20 places available); a Sushi Masterclass & Sake Tasting at Mikayo at the Andaz Hyatt hotel near Liverpool Street station on 28 September (12.30pm-2.30pm, tickets £90pp); and the Foodism x Japan Matsuri Festival, an exciting festival of Japanese culture featuring food, music, karaoke, dance and family fun at at Trafalgar Square on 29 September.
4 ESENIA CBD Mindfulness Pop-Up, Covent Garden
27 & 28 September
Take a break from the busy city life at ESENIA CBD’s Mindfulness Pop-Up, a peaceful oasis in Covent Garden. The mindfulness pop-up, a holistic, multi-sensory experience, will encourage you to connect with your mind and body through three zones – the Reset Zone, Mood Maze and Cocoon Room. The Reset Zone is where you can try ESENIA’s natural hemp CBD spray for the first time in the UK, before moving on to the Mood Maze where you will be able to participate in a light-projected breathing exercise displayed on the wall so that, while you breathe, the room breathes with you. Then comes the Focus Cocoon, where you can relax through a guided meditation. The experience ends at the ESENIA CBD pop-up shop, where you can get exclusive deals on ESENIA CBD natural products, which safely deliver the power of hemp and other plant extracts to bring balance to your life. 11am-9pm.
Unit 6, Langley Street, Covent Garden WC2H; eseniacbd.com
The START Art Fair is returning to the Saatchi Gallery for its sixth edition to showcase the best UK and international emerging contemporary artists to collectors, investors and art lovers in London. This year the selection includes nearly 50 galleries and artists, including BiHop from South Korea, Bermon Contemporary from South Africa, The Gallery STEINER from Vienna and lluminati Neon from Shepherds Bush. After the success of the inaugural Art World Forum symposium at START 2018, this year’s programme has been expanded to include a half day conference as well as additional talks and Collectors Club events.
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 4RY; startartfair.com
6 Watch This Space at Lazinc Gallery, Mayfair
24 September-21 December
Watch This Space is an immersive live exhibition bringing together more than 25 international artists for a unique cultural presentation that develops right in front of your eyes… The unique initiative, presented in collaboration with renowned curator Magda Danysz of Danysz Gallery, will transform Lazinc gallery over the course of three months, creating a dialogue within the space as artists create works live on site. The disruptive exhibition will house an array of multi-disciplinary works, touching on themes of urban art, rebellion and multi-culturalism. Artists such as YZ and 1010 adopt building facades and concrete surfaces as their canvas, transforming them into monumental public artworks. During Watch This Space, they’ll be bringing the walls and floors of the gallery to life. Other artists including prominent figures from the Lazinc roster – namely Mark Jenkins and the Miaz Brothers – will feature alongside international artists selected by Danysz, notably, Charles Petillon and Ludo, as well as south London street artist Remi Rough.
29 Sackville Street, Mayfair W1S 3DX; lazinc.com
7 Gig at the Greenhouses, Brockwell Park
As part of Urban Food Fortnight, which connects restaurants and retailers with London’s edible gardens and small producers to showcase the best food and drink in the city, this weekend sees Lucy Farrell, who won Best Group in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, play a Gig at the Greenhouses in Brockwell Park on 28 September. Not only do you get to enjoy great live music, you can also enjoy the lovely Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses gardens, local beers and home-grown food With the Furrow Collective (4pm-7pm, tickets £7-£10). Other hot tips for this weekend are the Brixton Pound Cafe & Naked Larder Waste Less Supper Club, a pay-what-you-can supper club showcasing clever use of surplus food at South London Botanical Institute on 28 September (7.30pm-10.30pm, suggested price £35pp), and the Notting Hill Farmers Market 20th Birthday Party with cake, live music and competitions to win produce from the market, also on 28 September (9am-1pm). Urban Food Fortnight runs across London until 6 October.
8 EVE – Riot Grrrls of Wrestling Present: She Regrets Nothing, Stratford
EVE Riot Grrrls of Wrestling, a ground-breaking feminist-punk-rock wrestling experience, is taking over Stratford Circus with its critically acclaimed live-action stunt show experience. She Regrets Nothing is an entertaining and empowering show of strong, real-life ‘wonder women’ – the kind of role models that will inspire both young boys and girls. The event will not only showcase the very best wrestlers from around the world but it also marks the retirement match of the amazing EVE performer Jayla Dark, who will be taking on Japan’s Woman Wrestler of the year, Tsukasa Fujimoto. All ages are welcome. Tickets from £15 (kids from £10). 7pm-10pm.
Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square E15 1BX; evewrestling.com
9 The Wolf of Wall Street Immersive Experience, the City
19 September-19 January 2020
The Wolf of Wall Street has had the immersive treatment. The high anticipated production launches with previews from 5 September, taking over a 2,000 sq m landmark building in the City this month complete with four floors and 25 rooms. The building will be transformed to recreate 90s New York and the world of infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort, whose life was depicted by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s movie of the same name. This new production, from the creators and producers behind The Great Gatsby – the longest-ever running immersive show in the UK – will see a cast of 16 play multiple characters from Belfort’s memoirs, plunging audiences into a world of greed, power and excess in a night of top-notch entertainment. Stratton Oakmont is hiring. The FBI is closing in. You’re either with him or you’re against him… Tickets from £59.95. Currently booking until 19 Jan 2020.
5-15 Sun Street EC2N 2PT; immersivewolf.com
10 Mix It Pop-Up Cocktail Experience at The Montague on the Gardens, Bloomsbury
25 September-3 November
Returning for a second residency, the Mix It Pop-Up Cocktail Experience at The Montague on the Gardens is an interactive bottomless cocktail-making experience. Over two hours, you’ll create your own drinks using the venue’s full and unlimited complement of spirits, mixers and garnishes, or you can enlist the help of your own personal bartender, who will be on hand to provide expert mixology guidance. For a truly indulgent experience, ask your bartender to mix up your personally designed drinks, or order one of the delicious cocktails available from a bespoke menu specially created for Mix It by Pernod Ricard. Tickets from £39.
15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 5BJ. To book see designmynight.com
11 Urban Arts Festival, Wembley Park
Wembley Park is hosting its inaugural free Urban Arts Festival this weekend. The two-day celebration brings together six elements of hip-hop culture, from graffiti to breakdancing, DJ-ing and skateboarding. Market Square will come alive with a stage showcasing local talent performing live music, poetry, rap, beatbox and dance from 12pm-7pm on both Saturday and Sunday, alongside vegan food and drink pop-ups. Olympic Way’s pedway will be the host of a custom-built skateboard park, where you can show off your skills on wedge ramps and grind rails, and there will be temporary Instagrammable art installations underneath the pedway, as well as vibrant new semi-permanent installations at Wembley Park Market. You can also get involved in open jam sessions throughout the day on Olympic Way, as well as free rapping and dancing workshops and 1:1 dance battles. Finally, Brent charity United Borders will be parking their mobile music recording studio bus on Olympic Way, and Boxpark Wembley will host a special afterparty. 12pm-7pm. Click here to register for free tickets.
Wembley Park, Olympic Way, Wembley HA9 0JT; wembleypark.com
The Nunhead Art Trail offers local artists and craftspeople the opportunity to showcase their work in their own homes, studios or public venues. As well as arts & crafts, from jewellery to ceramics and large-scale artworks – with many pieces for sale – the event also features music, dance, performance and poetry. Highlights include a free Pom Pom Workshop by Mockingbird Makes at 25 Buchan Road SE15, Saatchi-featured artist Inga Street, exhibiting at 32 Nunhead Green SE15, painter/sculptor Rafael Klein at 10A Athenlay Road SE15, and Steve McCracken, exhibiting at The Beer Shop on Nunhead Green SE15, so you can grab a craft beer while viewing! Look out for the beautifully designed Nunhead Art Trail brochure in local business for a list of artists taking part this year, or find on the map here. Exhibition spaces open 11am-6pm.
Bavaria heads for Fulham this weekend as Neverland London is transformed into a traditional German Oktoberfest venue with sloshing steins, brotzles (intriguing pretzel alternatives), authentic German wurst and staff dressed in traditional Dirndl and Lederhosen. Gone is this summer’s tropical paradise of cabanas, beer pong and frozen cocktails, replaced by an immersive autumnal wonderland with a jungle filled pergola, long wooden tables and bunting, fit for a decadent bohemian schloss. Live music will come from a traditional drum and brass band ensemble playing covers, classics and oompah favourites, while an eclectic mix of DJs will get you dancing. Fancy dressed is fully encouraged. Oktoberfest will also run over the weekend of 4-5 October. Entry is £5, table packages are available (click here to book).
364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2TY; designmynight.com
14 #IlluminatedRiver, various locations
Until 29 September
Celebrate London’s historic bridges over the Thames with Illuminated River’s continued events programme. The public art commission, which will see 15 of London’s bridges gradually lit up by 2022, has seen London Bridge, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium Bridges already illuminated. Highlights in late September include an Illuminated River Walking tour led by Team London Bridge on 25 September (6.45pm-8.15pm, free), and Night Mudlarking with Mud God and Foreshore Pirate Steve Brooker using head torches outside the Globe Theatre on 28 & 29 September – the lowest tides of the year (7.30pm, tickets £10, kids go free).
For further details and to book see illuminatedriver.london
15 25 West End theatre shows for just £25 with TodayTix, West End
23 September-7 October
TodayTix, the mobile app dedicated to providing on-demand access to the best prices for theatre tickets, is offering 25 West End theatre shows for just £25. Kicking off on 23 September 2019 for just two weeks, you can get tickets to some of the hottest West End theatre shows for just £25 through the TodayTix app and website. Participating shows include established West End hits like The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Fiddler on the Roof, Come From Away and Waitress, as well as buzzworthy new shows like Death of a Salesman, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, & Juliet and The Prince of Egypt.
Download TodayTix for iOS or Android or see todaytix.com to find out more
- Where to Watch the Rugby World Cup Final in London
- Ad Feature TodayTix Offers £25 Tickets to 25 West End Shows for Two Weeks
- Ad Feature Everything You Need to Know about the Chelsea Rare Book Fair 2019
- London’s Best New Restaurant & Bar Openings: September 2019
- Ad Feature Moniker Art Fair Moves to Chelsea for 2019 London Edition
- 55 of the Best Things to Do in London: September 2019