Embrace the New Year! From Adele to dinosaurs to a whole new Greenwich Market, here are nine things for south east Londoners to look forward to in 2016
Words: Trish Lesslie
1 Greenwich Market relaunches
Improvement works to Greenwich Market will be completed in the spring. The enhancements include a new glass roof and revamped historic cobblestone flooring at the southern end plus new granite paving on the modern walkways. Look out for the new pavilion that will host the Food Court where you’ll be able to sit and sample all kinds of street food under one roof.
2 Adele comes to the O2, Greenwich
The record-breaking national treasure returns to her native south London to perform tracks from multi-award winning albums 19, 21 and 25. Adele added two extra nights at the O2 after tickets for the first four nights sold out within minutes of release. Resale sites could be your only hope if you haven’t already bagged yourself one of the hottest tickets in town.
Shows on 15, 16, 18, 19, 21 and 22 March, plus 4-5 April. See adele.com
3 Polpo set to open in Lewisham
Renowned restaurateur and Blackheath resident Russell Norman is set to open a branch of his Venice-inspired restaurant chain Polpo in Lewisham in early 2016. The first of his award-winning bàcaros – Venetian for a humble restaurant serving simple food and young, local wines – opened to rave reviews in Soho in 2009 and has gone on to receive the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand for the last five years. Expect trademark bare walls, candlelight and small plates of delicious Italian-style dishes.
Keep a close eye on polpo.co.uk
4 Even more fun in a Peckham car park
The team behind Pop Brixton is launching a new creative community in Peckham Town Centre Car Park on the floors between the Peckham Plex cinema and the rooftop Frank’s Café. Peckham Levels will be a new home for the area’s thriving creative community. The plans for the development include artists’ studios, maker workshops and shared workspaces spread over 20,000 sq ft, plus another 20,000 sq ft of gallery, performance and multi-purpose events space, alongside retail, food and beverages.
5 Second site for SLG
The former Peckham Road Fire Station is being converted into a new exhibition space and cultural centre by the South London Gallery (SLG). Dating from 1867, the Grade II listed building is the earliest surviving example of a purpose-built fire station in London. Gifted to the SLG by an anonymous benefactor, the new site will allow the gallery to expand its acclaimed contemporary exhibitions and events. You’ll have to be patient though, the new site isn’t set to open until 2018.
6 Winifred Knights at Dulwich Picture Gallery
The Dulwich Picture Gallery’s summer exhibition will showcase painter Winifred Knights (1899-1947), whose work reflects the fighting spirit of British women artists in a post-suffragette world. She rose to acclaim at the then male-dominated Slade School of Fine Art. Her masterpieces, along with nearly 120 intricate preparatory studies, will come together for the first time from 8 June-18 September 2016.
7 Dinosaur’s take over the Horniman Museum
Discover the world of dinosaurs and their young in a family-focused interactive exhibition at the Horniman Museum. Dinosaurs: Monster Families will show how dinosaurs looked after their eggs, nests and babies. Touch a real dinosaur bone, come face-to-face with a life-size skeleton cast and meet ‘Baby Louie’, the near-complete skeleton of a dinosaur embryo. Running 13 February-30 October 2016.
8 Woolwich’s new culture hub
A new commercial and cultural quarter is coming to Woolwich as part of the £1.2 billion regeneration of the area’s historic riverside. Working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Berkeley Homes is supporting investment in arts and culture in the 88-acre site where 5,000 new homes are being created. It’s hoped the new art spaces, bars, restaurants and shops will plant Royal Arsenal Riverside Explore (RARE) on the tourist map.
9 The Queen’s House turns 400
Greenwich landmark the Queen’s House celebrates the 400th anniversary of its commissioning and design this year. To mark the occasion the building will reopen on 4 July with refurbished galleries, new displays and the grand Tulip Stairs renovated. A masterpiece of 17th-century architecture, the house was designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 for the wife of James I, Anne of Denmark.