48 Things to Do in London in November 2020

London lights up in November, with dark nights lending themselves to light installations and festive pop-ups like Christmas at Kew and Miracle at Kingdom Street. The Resident picks out some of the best things to do in the capital

Lead image: Christmas at Kew (photo: RBG Kew)



COVID-19 lockdown update
Since Saturday’s announcement that the country will be entering lockdown from 00.01 on Thursday 5 November 2020, the majority of these events have been postponed until lockdown is over at 00.01 on Wednesday 2 December or later, or have been cancelled. Please check directly with the organiser. Fortunately, some events are taking place online and will still be able to go ahead. We’ve also put together a list of online events taking place in November here.



1 Houseplant Hideout at BOXPARK Shoreditch
4-8 November
Thejoyofplants.co.uk is launching a Houseplant Hideout this month to banish the winter blues for the 48% of Brits dreading the darker months more than ever this year. With half of us (52%) citing spending time in nature as our favourite part of lockdown in the research by Thejoyofplants.co.uk, the houseplant experts have set about bringing a rich, rejuvenating biophilic jungle to the heart of the concrete jungle. The Houseplant Hideout invites visitors to get lost in a lush green forest bathing immersion where every sense is stimulated by the magical power of houseplants. The interactive biophilic wonderland, full of plants selected for their wellbeing benefits, comes complete with a six-metre vertical kaleidoscope to create a magical moment for the ‘gram. Free. Booking recommended (click here to book).
BOXPARK Shoreditch, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road E1 6GY; eventbrite.co.uk/houseplant-hideout

2 ILLUMINATI at Box Galleries, Chelsea
4-13 November
ILLUMINATI by London-based artist Illuminati Neon channels the vivacity and rebellion of 1970s Punk through his witty, high-octane and exuberant works. Illuminati’s love of music has inspired his work throughout his professional career, and it was his behind-the-scenes-style filmmaking career that allowed him to work with the Punk bands he loved, while the ‘lightning bolt moment of his first Punk concert inspired his artistic work, a selection of which will be available to view at Box Galleries. Synonymous with the tartan-clad kids of the punk scene, The King’s Road has played no small park in helping to secure Punk’s place in history, from the likes of Vivienne Westwood to The Sex Pistols. ILLUMINATI will bring the genre, sub-culture and sheer attitude back to its roots in Chelsea. Admission free. Selected works available to purchase from £1,000-£11,000.
402 King’s Road, Chelsea SW10 0LJ; boxgalleries.com

3 International Sherry Week at José Pizarro, Bermondsey & Broadgate Circle
2-8 November
Spanish Chef José Pizarro is paying homage to International Sherry Week by pairing two of his favourite Spanish products together for guests to try at all Pizarro restaurants. Taste two of José’s favourite Osborne sherries, expertly paired with Iberico pork: Fino Coquinero will be served with the best hand-carved acorn-fed Jamón ibérico 100% 5J from famous producers, Cinco Jotas; and Oloroso Bailén will be paired with melt-in-your-mouth cured Presa Ibérica. Both tasting options include 50ml of sherry with 20g of Iberico pork for £20. You can also recreate the experience at home, with a special package of Fino Coquinero and Oloroso Bailén together with Jamón ibérico, available online for £47.50. José Pizarro has two restaurants in Bermondsey, one in Broadgate Circle and a gastropub at The Swan Inn in Esher, Surrey.
josepizarro.com

4 MADE MAKERS Online
5 November
This Christmas, join the #ShopSmallStartEarly movement to help support local makers and beat any postal delays. MADE’S makers have been hard at work handcrafting one-off pieces for the sale, from jewellery to textiles, ceramics to carvings, furniture to prints and more. The perfect coffee mug for warming hands, beautiful scarves, unique jewellery, hand-carved wooden spoons… there’s plenty of gift inspiration. As well as livestreams on Instagram, there will be daily showcases and a special discussion on the post-pandemic future of the craft industry (6 Nov, 6pm, register here). Plus, for the first time ever, MADE MAKERS will go live during the week, from 7pm on Thursday 5 Nov until Sunday 8 Nov.
mademakers.co.uk

5 Art on a Postcard Winter Auction
5-19 November
Art on a Postcard (AOAP) returns with its annual Winter Auction this month in partnership with Dreweatts Auction House to raise funds for the Hepatitis C Trust helpline. Since the global pandemic, the way artwork is made and viewed has changed. In light of this, AOAP has teamed up with art exhibition platform gowithYamo to present an online interactive show. The Winter Auction is no longer anonymous, providing an opportunity to discover in-depth the background and practices of the artists taking part, and, to accompany this year’s auction, there will be a full programme of podcasts and artists talks. There are 230 artists participating this year, all creating mini masterpieces in support of a worthwhile cause, including renowned Paraguayan artist Faith Wilding, known for her feminist performances and installations in the 70s, British artist Ryan Mosely, who has recently taken part in the group show Radical Figures at the Whitechapel Gallery, and Saint Lucian born artist Winston Branch, whose accolades include a Guggenheim fellowship. Bidding is online via dreweatts.com, starting at £50.
View the lots at artonapostcard.com

6 Kensington Mums x The Glorious Edit Christmas Shopping Fair, Online 
6-11 Nov & 4-10 Dec
Kensington Mums is partnering with The Glorious Edit for a Christmas online shopping spectacular. The Glorious Edit is a carefully curated collection of 80 of the best independent brands, saving you precious time when it comes to hunting out new and interesting gift ideas. The event will also raise money for the MeeTwo mental health app, which provides free, safe and anonymous support to young people. Shoppers are invited to donate a voluntary £4 entrance fee, but will also get a Glorious Edit code that gets you exclusive offers across all brands, ranging from 10% to 25% off. The Glorious Edit is designed with the shopper in mind, with inspiring present lists for everyone from the teenager to the teacher. Brands include Wyse London (exclusive to The Glorious Edit fair), Annabelle Hill Jewels, Crosslow London, Spots and Stripes, The Mews Fabrics and Furnishings, St Berts Clothing and more.
thegloriousedit.co.uk

7 VIPooch Day at Tower Bridge 
8 November
Did you know that Tower Bridge is London’s only major dog-friendly attraction? Well, now you do! To spread the word, Tower Bridge is hosting a VIPooch Day to make sure our canine friends get the pedigree treatment. Dogs and their owners will be given exclusive access to the East Walkway and its Glass Floor across the day, with the first 50 dogs receiving a free VIPooch treat bag (worth £20), donated by Pets Pyjamas. Dogs and their ‘hoomans’ can climb the iconic Towers and discover the stories of the people behind Tower Bridge, from the architects and coal stokers, to the women working on-site. They can sit, lie and pose on the Glass Floors in the Walkways, and look down at spectacular views of the city from 42m above the Thames. Standard admission price applies (adults £10.60, kids £5.30.
towerbridge.org.uk

8 The Drag Diva’s Brunch at The Folly, the City
1 & 8 November
Sashay down to The Folly with your five fabulous queens for the Drag Diva’s Brunch on Sunday 8 November. See your favourite drag stars dance, death drop and lip-sync while you enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless cocktails (Aperol Spritz, Pornstar Martini, London Spritz or Bloody Mary) and a selection of grazing plates, including fiery slow-cooked pork ribs and smoked aubergine and mozzarella arancini. The stars of the show have featured in top West End musicals like Kinky Boots and Pricilla Queen of The Dessert, and include Drag Idol 2019 winner Karla Bear as well as Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist, Ruby Murray. Doors open at 12pm. Tickets from £45pp including bottomless cocktails and grazing plates (champagne upgrade available). Click here to book.
The Folly, 41 Gracechurch Street EC3V 0BT; thefollybar.co.uk

9 Tiffany x Harrods Luxury Gifts Pop-up
From 9 November
The Tiffany x Harrods Luxury Gifts Pop-up brings a little bit of New York Christmas to London. The exclusive edit of luxury gifting and experiences features features some beautiful jewellery, homewares and even to pet accessories from the iconic brand, as well as complimentary one-of-a-kind masterclasses and experiences. From cocktail masterclasses with the Tiffany Cocktail Set to wine tasting with the Glassware set and table styling with the Tableware set, as well as diamond workshops and gemology classes with Tiffany’s Chief Gemologist.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge SW3 1RT; harrods.com

10 Guest Chef Series at Heliot Steak House, Leicester Square
9-22 November
Ioannis Grammenos, Executive Chef at Heliot Steak House, has teamed up with five of London’s most talented chefs to create a series of limited-edition menus. Running from 26 October until 17 January, the series see chefs including Vivek Singh of The Cinnamon Collection, Sameer Taneja of Benares and Guillaume Gillan of Bōkan whip up special dishes for Heliot Steak House. From 9-22 November it’s Great British Menu finalist and Executive Chef at Ormer Mayfair, Kerth Gumbs, who will be rustling up a côte de boeuf with aged beef ragu, foie gras, truffle wild mushrooms, caramelised shallot and triple-cooked chips.
Hippodrome Casino, Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square WC2H 7JH; hippodromecasino.com/restaurant

11 Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair: The Online Edition
12 Nov-13 Dec
The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair – the UK’s largest contemporary print fair, showcasing the best in international contemporary printmaking with over 500 artists and specialist galleries – goes online this year. The unique open-call process creates opportunities for upcoming artists to sit alongside some of the most prominent international printmakers and dealers, while the rigorous selection process means collectors have access to only the highest calibre of original contemporary print. As well as buying directly from artists working in the unique craft of printmaking – from etching and lithography, to woodblock and screen-printing – you can also take part in an accompanying programme of online talks, panel discussions and demonstrations.
woolwichprintfair.com

12 Miracle on Kingdom Street at Pergola Paddington
12 Nov-Feb 2021
Miracle on Kingdom Street, a rooftop winter wonderland launching at Pergola Paddington on 12 November. One of summer’s most popular alfresco rooftop destinations, Pergola Paddington’s seasonal transformation will offer up a winter wonderland forest with 200 real Christmas trees, as well as warming tipples like hot toddies, and an Alpine pop-up restaurant serving raclette, boozy cheese fondue and Christmas burgers. Set across two floors, the upper deck – which is outdoors, but covered – will take the shape of a winter forest against backdrop of snow-covered hills, while the lower level will become a Bavarian-style hall with eight cosy Moët & Chandon winter lodges with log fires, cosy blankets and a private bar. A line-up of special winter events – including Christmas gospel choir singalongs, winter brunches, Christmas movie screenings, wreath-making classes and a puppy party – is soon to be announced. Open daily 12pm-10pm.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolapaddington.com

13 JR: Chronicles at Saatchi Gallery
13 Nov-9 Feb
Saatchi Gallery is to host the largest ever museum exhibition and first major UK solo show of internationally renowned street artist JR. JR: Chronicles will feature some of the internationally recognised French artist’s most iconic projects from the past 15 years, tracing his career from his early documentation of graffiti artists as a teenager in Paris, to his large-scale architectural interventions in cities worldwide. JR has received critical acclaim for his global art projects, which create dialogue around social issues like women’s right, gun control and immigration. One of the largest illegal photography exhibitions ever made in Israel, JR’s Face 2 Face, will be showcased through photography and video. The exhibition is an expansion of the highly successful presentation of his work at the Brooklyn Museum in New York earlier this year. Tickets from £9.
Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 4RY; saatchigallery.com

14 The Lee Green Open Studios
14-15 November 
Lee Green Open Studios, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year with a bumper event, will be going ‘phygital’ this year, with both a physical and digital event. Taking place at one venue for one weekend only – the Church of the Good Shepherd on Handen Road, with Covid-secure procedures in place – the open studios will also be running online during the months of November and December. For details of works available online, from more than 25 artists, visit the artists shop here. The physical event is free to enter from 11.30am-5pm.
Church of the Good Shepherd, Handen Road, Lee SE12 8NR; leegreenopenstudios.com

15 Rugby Portobello Trust Christmas Market, online
15-18 November
The Rugby Portobello Trust Christmas Market is going online for the first time this year. The annual market is a mainstay of the Notting Hill Christmas diary, supporting the work of The Rugby Portobello Trust in North Kensington, and the market intends to do the same this year, with the same quality of handpicked artisans, designers and brands available at the click of a button. In celebration of the 31st annual Rugby Portobello Trust Christmas Market, you can get a special discount off all vendors using the discount code RPT31 at checkout. This year’s market features the much-anticipated Silent Auction (live from 6pm 4 Nov to 6pm 18 Nov) and the opportunity to have your donation doubled by match-funders. Sales go live from 15 Nov to 18 Nov. All funds raised go directly to supporting programmes for children, young people and families in North Kensington.
rptchristmasmarket.co.uk

16 Miracle at Henrietta, Covent Garden
16 Nov-23 Dec
Miracle on 34th Street is crossing the pond this Christmas, thanks to innovative US-based hospitality entrepreneurs the Experimental Group. Their festively famous Miracle pop-up bar phenomenon will park up at Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden, morphing into Miracle at Henrietta. The Christmas-themed pop-up bar, renowned across America for its creative cocktails garnished with a side of kitsch, will transport you back in time to Christmas past, with a space inspired by a 70s Christmas home featuring retro decorations and coloured lights. The nostalgic space will offer the Miracle pop-up’s renowned roster of Christmas concoctions, designed by original Experimental Cocktail Club alumni Nico de Soto and served in festive glassware. A selection of top-notch snacks, such as gnocco fritto and sardine and lemon skewers by the highly-acclaimed Italian Supper Club, are also available.
Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street WC2E 8QH; henriettahotel.com

17 All That Jazz! Ronnie’s Cabaret Brunches, Soho
From 14 November
West End star Cassidy Janson is to host brand new weekly slot at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. All That Jazz! is a new cabaret brunch hosted by 2020 Olivier award-winner, Cassidy Janson. Musical theatre has long had a powerful affinity with jazz, from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess to John Kander’s Chicago, it has welcomed the swinging syncopation, the thrilling saxophones and hot brass that lend productions a certain razzle dazzle. Each week, Cassidy invites a special West End star, most of whom have been unable to perform since March due to Covid, to join her for a musical theatre celebration. Tickets from £55pp including a two-course brunch and two cocktails. Saturdays from 11am-2pm.
47 Frith Street, Soho W1D 4HT; ronniescotts.co.uk 

18 Bronze Jewellery Masterclass at Museum of London
14 & 28 November

As part of the Museum of Dockland’s current Havering Hoard: A Bronze Age Mystery exhibition, exploring the mystery of the largest Bronze Age hoard ever found in London, the museum is hosting a two-day Bronze Jewellery Masterclass. Discover the art of bronze jewellery making in this two-day masterclass with Debbie Armstrong of Fable Jewellery. Using lost wax casting – a technique that dates back to the Bronze Age – you will learn the skills to design, mould and shape your own brilliant bronze ring to take away with you. During the first session on Sat 14 Nov, you’ll learn wax carving techniques and create several different ring designs from wax. You can select your favourite design and get it cast in bronze. The second session on Sat 28 Nov will focus on finishing and polishing your bronze piece of jewellery. No previous experience is necessary. All tools and wax will be provided and the casting will be organised for you. The fee for the workshop includes the casting of one bronze ring. Ages 16+. £160. 2pm.
museumoflondon.org.uk

19 Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens
18 November-3 January
Kew Gardens are magical all year round, but at Christmas they are extra special, thanks to the hugely popular annual after-dark trail. Now in its 8th year, the trail will embark on a new route, leading you for the first time through the beautifully illuminated Rose Garden. Old favourites and brand new light installations will sparkle and glow around you, from a glittering tunnel of bells and giant illuminated seed heads to a dazzling treetop waterfall, where beams of light interplay in a breath-taking aerial dance. The iconic Temperate House will be a beautiful spectrum of Christmas colour, with dynamic laser projections enveloping the glasshouse, and you can also stroll through the sparkling Tunnel of Light, twinkling with thousands of fairy lights. Plus, the much-anticipated Palm House Pond finale returns with a light show playing to an atmospheric soundtrack of festive classics. Street food vendors and festive drinks will be available. Adult tickets are from £17.50, young people aged 16-24 from £9, kids aged 4-15 from £5.50.
Kew Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AE; kew.org 

20 Wimbledon Art Fair Online
19-22 November
Wimbledon Art Fair goes online this year, delivering original, affordable art straight to your home. The online platform will allow you to browse, discover and buy online from over 100 artists and makers. You’ll find themed collections to suit all budgets and can join artists and makers for online Q&As and studio tours. Plus, you can book a studio appointment directly with the artist you would like to visit to see the work in person. Pre-book your free ticket for exclusive early access to the mini-masterpiece sale and Wimbledon Art Fair Online.
10 Riverside Road, Wimbledon SW17 0BB; wimbledonartfair.com

21 Unearthed: Photography’s Roots at Dulwich Picture Gallery
21 Nov-9 May 
Dulwich Picture Gallery re-opens this November with a major new exhibition exploring the history of photography from the 1840s to today. The gallery’s first major photography exhibition, Unearthed traces the rich history of the medium through depictions of nature, with over 100 works by 41 leading international artists. As well as revealing the fascinating technical processes and narratives behind these images, the exhibition will showcase innovations in photography by key figures like William Henry Fox Talbot and Imogen Cunningham, as well as several overlooked photographers and rare works by Japanese artist Kazumasa Ogawa and the English gardener, Charles Jones. Jones’ striking modernist photographs of plants remained unknown for 20 years after his death, until they were discovered in a trunk at Bermondsey Market in 1981. The mausoleum will host a contemporary installation from renowned video artist Ori Gersht. Called On Reflection, it reimagines a still life painting by Jan Brueghel the elder, and has never before been on show in the UK. Adults £16.50, under 18s free.
Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

22 Join the Docks at The Royal Docks
Until 31 December

The Royal Docks’ cultural programme, Join the Docks, is offering up an autumn line-up of free online and live activities ranging from theatre, light installations and photography exhibitions to film, performances, music and dance workshops and heritage projects. Highlights include Marcus Lyall’s interactive light installation, Presence, due to be unveiled in a building in Royal Docks on 10 December; ARGH! Mateys, presented by the University College London, which will use digital portholes to take you on an augmented reality-led journey of discovery around the Royal Docks (26 Nov-31 Dec); Unfamiliar to Us, a new and immersive video installation around the making of a queer family (14 Nov-5 Dec); and Drum & Docks, a new installation full of music and visual media that will see percussionists play everything from railings to landmarks themselves that will be screened on 20 November.
royaldocks.london

23 The 5G Bus at Samsung KX, King’s Cross
Ongoing
With faster connectivity shaping the future, Samsung KX has launched the 5G Bus, a supercharged experience within London’s hub of innovation. Designed as a one-of-a-kind replica of the city’s most iconic form of transport, this new permanent installation uniquely portrays the endless capabilities of Samsung 5G technology while on the go. It boasts a home office and gaming zone, interactive shelter and a life-sized bus installation. Situated in the west wing of the 20,000 sq ft experience space, these three stations fuse work, gaming and entertainment with Samsung’s ecosystem of 5G products, promising to educate on the power of 5G with a connected journey like no other.
Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross N1C 4DQ; samsung.com

24 DNA VR at Battersea Power Station
Ongoing
DNA VR – a new virtual reality venue at Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station – offers the perfect solution to the Covid-19 winter of discontent. Household groups can meet with people from different households virtually – without physical interaction – to engage in more than 50 fun experiences. DNA VR’s new flagship entertainment space features individual VR pods, which can be separated into different rooms to accommodate groups of up to 11 from different households. The venue can also organise gaming sessions for groups between their three London venues – Battersea Power Station, Camden and Hammersmith – so that gamers from the different venues can talk to and interact with each other virtually. The company’s signature Free-Roaming Experiences, which will take place on a separate mezzanine level within the new venue, are also available for same household groups of up to four people.
batterseapowerstation.co.uk

25 The Last Five Years at Southwark Playhouse, Elephant & Castle
Until 14 November 
The Last Five Years returns to Southwark Playhouse after its critically acclaimed run was cut short in March. The award-winning musical, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, is an emotionally powerful and intimate show about two New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The The Last Five Years unfolds as Cathy tells her story in reverse, from the end of their turbulent relationship, while Jamie tells his story chronologically from the spark of their initial meeting, with the two characters meeting only once – at their wedding in the middle of the show. The iconic musical – given five stars by both WhatsOnStage and The Stage – returns in a bold new production with the actors on stage at all times. Tickets £27.50.
77-85 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle SE1 6BD; southwarkplayhouse.co.uk

26 Tadesse Mesfin: The Pillars of Life at Addis Fine Art, South Kensington 
Until 15 November
Addis Fine Art London is permanently relocating to South Kensington’s Cromwell Place and relaunching with an exhibition of 10 new paintings by Ethiopian modernist Tadesse Mesfin. A giant of the Ethiopian art scene, this will be Mesfin’s first-ever European solo show. He holds a unique position as both a figurehead of the Ethiopian modernist movement, and as a long- time educator through his role as a professor at the influential Alle School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Ababa. Mesfin’s latest work is a continuation of his ongoing The Pillars of Life series, an ode to the women who work as small-holder vendors in markets across Ethiopia. As a visual paean to them, Mesfin pays homage to their occupations and personae by placing them front and centre, celebrating their importance within the social and cultural framework of Ethiopian life.
1-5 Cromwell Place, South Kensington SW7 2JE; addisfineart.com

27 Andy Warhol at Tate Modern, Bankside
Until 15 November
Initially due to run from March till September, Tate Modern’s major Andy Warhol retrospective – the first Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern for almost 20 years – has been extended until November in the wake of the coronavirus closures. As well as his iconic pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans, it includes works never seen before in the UK. Twenty-five works from his Ladies and Gentlemen series – portraits of black and Latinx drag queens and trans women – are shown for the first time in 30 years. Warhol was the son of immigrants who became an American icon. The artist embraced consumerism, celebrity and the counter culture – and changed modern art in an age of immense social, political and technological upheaval. Tickets £22.
Bankside SE1 9TG; tate.org.uk

28 Moët & Chandon’s ‘London Calling’ Champagne Bar at Selfridges 
Until November
Moët & Chandon’s has created a London Calling champagne bar at Selfridges. Located within a space inspired by the classic red telephone booth, the bar will serve a range of Moët & Chandon wines, including its iconic Moët Impérial and Rosé Impérial, which have been known to make an appearance throughout London’s most glamourous moments. You can also opt to sit within the glass telephone box (it’s somewhat posher than your standard street corner effort, fret not), and order personalised Moët gift boxes. A curated exhibition of 10 iconic celebratory photographic moments of London life from 1908 to the 1990s are showcased on the walls of the spacesuch as Lulu celebrating her first American number one from her London flat in 1967. The pop-up will also run a series of champagne masterclasses from bars including Mr Foggs, Coupette, Heads + Tails and Disrepute between 6 October and 25 November. Find it in the Beauty Workshop on G. 
400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com

29 House of Vans London x The Auction Collective, online
Until 18 November
House of Vans London and The Auction Collective combine fine art and skate culture in a virtual 360° exhibition, followed by a live fundraising auction to raise funds for leading youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. Titled Objects of Art | The Skateboards, the exhibition and auction will feature 19 customised skateboards transformed into works of fine art by a mix of street artists, emerging artists and Royal Academicians including Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Charley Peters, Trust Icon, Olly Fathers and Camille Walala. Plus, those who hunt out a hidden image of Vans’ legend Tony Alva among the exhibition could win a prize – find out more via @houseofvansldn and @theauctioncollective on Instagram. The public can start bidding when the exhibition opens on 30 October, with the live stream auction on November 18 drawing the exhibition to a close.
theauctioncollective.com

30 Queen’s House Ice Rink, Greenwich 
20 Nov-10 Jan
The ice rink at the Queen’s House in Greenwich, which made its debut last year, returns in 2020 to once more stake its claim as south London’s only outdoor ice rink. Set against the backdrop of a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site, the ‘instagrammable’ ice rink will be even bigger this year – all the better for social distancing! New measures have been introduced this year in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with hygiene standards ‘fit for royalty’ that include enhanced cleaning regimes, hand washing sanitations and staggered skate sessions to ensure there are fewer people on the ice at any one time. The Queen’s House ice rink offers the chance to skate in front of the ‘House of delight’, built especially for James I’s Queen, while also soaking up the beauty of Greenwich Park and the spectacular views across the river to Canary Wharf. Open 11am-8pm (last skate 7pm) on off-peak days and 10am-9pm (last skate 8pm) on peak days (peak dates are 12 December-3 January inclusive; super peak day is on 24 December). Skate hire is from £7.25 for kids and £14.50 for adults (u25s/student, £9). Skate aids are available to hire for children but must be pre-booked.
Queen’s House, Greenwich SE10 9NF. For tickets see rmg.co.uk/skate

31 Live at Ally Pally, Alexandra Palace
Until 22 November
Live, indoor events have returned to Alexandra Palace with Live at Ally Pally, a season of music, comedy and entertainment. Featuring some of the most exciting acts in comedy and music, Live at Ally Pally will mark the re-opening of The West Hall, which has remained closed to the public since March. The series features comedian Richard Herring live recording his hilarious Leicester Square Theatre Podcast on 13 November, Sh!t-faced Shakespeare’s unique take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 18 November, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars on 18 November, and stand-up comedy from Mark Watson and Zoe Lyons on 19 November. Ticket prices vary.
Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; alexandrapalace.com

32 Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock
From 26 November
Popular east London rooftop destination, Skylight, is set for a winter overhaul that will create one of the city’s biggest Christmas destinations. To cater to social distancing guidelines, the venue will transform into Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock, offering a number of indoor and outdoor drinking and dining experiences including an igloo village and Après Ski Lodge bar. Located across the existing rooftop and on a new ground-level area across the Grade I-listed warehouses and cobbled lanes of Tobacco Dock, the expanded venue, launching in late November, will also play host to a real ice rink, Feast in the Forest dining experience, Off-Piste Speakeasy bar, Christmas market and Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience. You can also book cocktail experiences created by expert mixologist Sebastian Hollingworth. Special events will also take place throughout the season, including a soon-to-be-announced New Year’s Eve party. Open Thurs-Fri, 3pm-10pm & Sat-Sun, 12pm-10pm. Ticket prices vary.
Tobacco Dock, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com

33 The Murder of John Dory: A Murder Mystery Cruise, Paddington
Until 27 November
London Shell Co. is launching a new series of Murder Mystery Cruises aboard The Prince Regent. Running every Thursday and Friday throughout November, with the first cruise on Saturday 31 Oct, the night will unfold around the fishy murder of Admiral John Dory. Brutally murdered while out at sea, the murderer has to be hidden among the passengers and crew. Everyone aboard is a suspect, and dining on a five-course seafood meal, passengers will have to crack the clues and discover the killer. Each guest will be vital to the story and assigned a character profile and script the week before so they can prepare to hide their guilt or come ready to defend themselves. Could it be the friendly lady at the table next door, or even the smiling sommelier? While cruising along the Regent’s Canal, you’ll pass iconic landmarks such as London Zoo and Regents Park, passing through the iconic Maida Hill Tunnel before returning to Paddington for 9.30pm. Boarding from 6pm. £65pp.
Sheldon Square, Paddington Central W2 6PY; exploretock.com/londonshellco

34 Pioneers by Nick Smith at Rhodes Contemporary Art, West End
Until 28 November
Pioneers is a new solo exhibition by Nick Smith that examines the American canon of art and cultural heritage through a personal lens of word-colour associations. The exhibition features a new series of works Nick Smith created during lockdown. Thematically, the exhibition explores and remasters canonised North American art and culture, from Grant Wood, Edward Hopper and Chuck Close to The Simpsons. It is a celebration of iconic American art and design, and how a simple bottle of Coca-Cola has intertwined with art, design history and culture. In this series, Smith incorporates his method of word-colour associations he has coined ‘psycolourgy’, combining text and image to create intriguing and provocative collaged works. Colour-chips playfully pixelate iconic artwork and popular culture, but step closer and the image is abstracted and the words become readable, each pixel corresponding to a word.
42 New Compton Street, West End WC2H 8DA; rhodescontemporaryart.com 

35 Horse-drawn Carriage Rides of Richmond Park
28 Nov-3 Jan
The crisp air, the clip clop of hooves, jingle of bells, and the sight of the park’s famous deer and wildlife up close… Richmond Park’s famous horse-drawn carriage rides are back this Christmas, offering you the chance to experience the beauty of a wintery Richmond Park like never before. The 90-minute experience begins at Holly Lodge, where you’ll be met with sloe gin and a mince pie to get you into the spirit of things. You’ll then hop aboard the six-person carriage (ideal for social bubbles) to enjoy a 60-minute ride through the park pulled by majestic Shire horses. The rides are run by Operation Centaur, which works to promote working horses, like the now-rare Shire horse. Tickets are priced £450 for a carriage of six, including refreshments and a behind-the-scenes tour of the working stables. Unfortunately, due to social distancing guidelines, tickets are not available in pairs this year.
To book see eventbrite.co.uk

36 Ann Veronica Janssens: Hot Pink Turquoise at South London Gallery, Camberwell
Until 29 November
South London Gallery, which has just been announced as an Art Fund Museum of the Year 2020 winner, is currently hosting the first major presentation of Belgian artist Ann Veronica Janssens’ work in London. Hot Pink Turquoise spans the SLG’s Main Gallery and three floors of the Fire Station, with works ranging from an expanse of glitter through to a coloured light installation exploring ideas around perception. Janssens’ Untitled (Blue Glitter), an expanse of blue glitter scattered across the floor, occupies the Main Space for the first half of the show after which, on 28 October, it will be replaced by Janssens’ reflective wheeled Bikes, 2001, where visitors are invited to cycle round the Main Gallery on one of five custom-made bicycles with mirrored wheels. Janssens’ sculptures, projections, light works and installations also occupy three floors of the Fire Station.
65-67 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UH & 82 Peckham Road SE15 5LQ; southlondongallery.org

37 GAIKA’s A New Dawn – The Era of Reclamation at House of St Barnabas, Soho
Until December
The House of St Barnabas – the Soho members’ club on a mission to break the cycle of homelessness – is examining its relationship to slavery after Director of Engagement Gillian Jackson came to realise that the House was built by slave owner Richard Beckford, one of the biggest Jamaican plantation owners of the 18th Century. To address the House’s links to slavery, they have invited British artist and musician Gaika – whose family were enslaved by Beckford – to reclaim a room in the house and create a unique new art installation, Flight Recorder, centred around an inflight black box as a metaphor for a slave ship retaining memories of the ship’s journey. Audiences can interact with the black box, touching it at various points to reveal different sounds. The GAIKA installation is the first of a series of culture and impact events called A New Dawn – The Era of Reclamation, which will also be digitally streamed. It will be open to members of the public through pre-booked tours. The exhibition will be on show at House of St Barnabas until December 2020.
1 Greek Street, Soho Square W1D 4NQ; hosb.org.uk

38 Atelier Picasso at BASTIAN, Mayfair
Until 12 December
Following the success of Atelier Picasso so far, the exhibition, originally due to end on 31 October, has been extended until 12 December. Atelier Picasso at BASTIAN recreates Picasso’s Cannes studio as an immersive experience, offering a rarely seen glimpse into the ingenious mind of one of the greatest talents of the 20th century. Picasso moved to the South of France to escape war-torn Paris following WWII, and despite an already remarkable career, he was determined to keep experimenting. A hoarder, Picasso piled the surfaces and floors of his studio with a treasure trove of source material and original works, from furniture and sculptures to ceramics, drawings and prints, as seen in this exhibition. Atelier Picasso also features a number of photographs from André Villers, a close friend of Picasso’s who took many photos of the artist at work, as well as The Complete Set of 20 Visage plates from 1963. Open Tues-Sat, 10am-6pm. Admission free.
8 Davies Street, Mayfair W1K 3DW; bastian-gallery.com

39 Brent Biennial, various locations
Until 13 December
The first ever Brent Biennale mark its year as London Borough of Culture – and what a year it has turned out to be! But it’s not over yet… more than 20 brand new artworks inspired by the cultures, places and people of Brent can be found in public spaces right across Brent, on buildings and billboards, in laundrettes and across 10 community and council libraries. From sculptures to sound art, large-scale murals to intimate installations, Brent Biennial features international and Brent-based artists including Rasheed Araeen, Imran Qureshi, Dawn Mellor, Jude Wacks, Jaykoe, Yasmin Nicholas and Ruth Beale, and every work has been specially commissioned by and created for then event. Download the map here.
brent2020.co.uk

40 Dante’s In Furlough at The Vaults, Waterloo
Until 30 December
The devil is getting hitched, and given the Covid chaos, there’s no better time to accept an invitation to the underworld… The bottom line of this socially distanced interactive show – inspired by Shel Silberstein’s epic poem, Billy Markham and the Devil, written for PlayBoy in 1977 – is betray or be betrayed. Travel down into the many circles of Hell and navigate your way to the wedding of the millennium. But to prove yourself worthy of a seat at Devil’s table, you’ll need to lie, sin and cheat your way there. Should your morals interfere, your punishment will be to return to the altogether more disappointing plains of Earth and miss out on all the hedonism down below. Covid-secure measures include a limit of six attendees at a time, with ample space to stand two-metres away from those not in your bubble. Face coverings are mandatory. Tickets from £20 (previews), drinks tokens £6. Open Thurs-Sat 5.30pm-8.30pm and Sun 4.30pm-7.30pm.
The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN; thevaults.london

41 Lockdown Town, London Bridge 
Until 30 December
Immerse yourself in five musical worlds from 1950s rock ‘n’ roll to 1918 Ragtime in a maze of tunnels under the tracks near London Bridge station. Created for the age of social distancing, Lockdown Town offers five immersive gigs over two hours with limited spaces available so that you can dress up as your favourite decade, cut loose and enjoy live music accompanied by themed food and cocktails. According to Gigwise, ‘You’ll find gems you’ve never heard before and also see and hear the hits and legends of the future”⁠’, while Music News says the experience is ‘propelled by some of Britain’s most ground-breaking and exciting underground food pioneers’. Running Weds to Sat from 2 October till 30 December. Tickets £30 during the week, £52 at weekends.
Wardens Grove, London Bridge SE1 0HT; onenightrecords.com

42 I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now at Gallery 31, Somerset House
Until 10 January 2021
Somerset House Studios presents the second season of its new permanent exhibition space, Gallery 31. In light of recent world events, this exhibition theme has also been expanded online. In our current state of acceleration, change seems to have become the very basis of existence and an operational model for modern life. Bringing together digital collage, print material, sound and sculpture, I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now explores the idea of change and its transformative or violent power through dynamic layered compositions. Highlights include Vivienne Griffin’s sculptural compositions exploring the power in changing oneself, questioning whether self-obsession is superficial or a powerful tool for progress; and an interactive work by rkss & Laura Fox that explores gender as a relational process, using excavated music and objects in conjunction with AR to create an immersive digital experience. Free.
Terrace Rooms, Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk

43 Titian: Love, Desire, Death at National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
Until 17 January 2021
The National Gallery was London’s first major gallery to reopen, and its lead exhibition, Titian: Love, Desire, Death, has resumed and will now be on show in the Main Floor Galleries until 17 January 2021 (tickets are £12). You can also see Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age in the Ground Floor Galleries until 20 September 2020. There are new one-way art routes, two-metre social distancing rules, additional cleaning, hand sanitiser stations at regular intervals, and visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings. Plus, visitors must book in advance, even to see the main collection, which remains free, in order to control numbers and help reduce contact.
Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN; nationalgallery.org.uk

44 Icons at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
Until 31 January 2021
Riverside Studios has collaborated with Cambridge’s Art Hound Gallery to launch Icons, featuring portraits of Amy Winehouse, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie and Princess Diana, among others. The exhibition celebrates some of the many pop culture legends associated with Riverside Studios throughout the venue’s diverse history. But what makes an icon? From Hollywood legends to rock and roll superstars and theatrical celebs, icons have been an inspiration for a wave of artists exploring pop culture and beyond. This selection of artwork by some of the most exciting contemporary artists on the scene – including David Studwell, Lauren Baker, Mark Illuminati and Terry Pastor – explores the symbolism of iconography and the very notion of what makes a ‘star’.
101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith W6 9BN; riversidestudios.co.uk

45 Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers at Design Museum, Kensington
Until 14 February 2021
The Design Museum marks its reopening on 31 July 2020 with the launch of the hugely anticipated Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers. Originally due to open on 1 April, the exhibition features the museum premiere of The Chemical Brothers’ sensory spectacle by creative studio Smith & Lyall, featuring mesmerising visuals for the Grammy Award-winning track Got to Keep On. New COVID-secure measures at the museum include reduced capacity, mandatory face masks, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and extended opening hours. Entry to the exhibition is by advance ticket only (from £16).
224-238 Kensington High Street W8 6AG; designmuseum.org

46 Black Greenwich Pensioners at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Until 21 February 2021
The ORNC’s Black Greenwich Pensioners exhibition explores the hidden histories of the Black Royal Navy personnel, who formed one of Britain’s earliest Black communities when they became pensioners at the Royal Hospital for Seamen (where the Old Royal Naval College stands today). Co-curated by Black British heritage consultant S. I. Martin, this vital and fascinating exhibition looks at the presence and impact of the recorded Black communities that have been resident in Greenwich for over 200 years. Telling the stories of Black seamen, some of whom were volunteers and others who were enslaved or impressed, the exhibition traces their dangerous and unpredictable lives in the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibition examines the role Black Mariners played in British naval conflicts as well as the personal histories of prominent Greenwich pensioners such as John Thomas, who escaped slavery and was later returned to enslavement in Barbados, and John Simmonds, a Jamaican veteran of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar whose descendants still reside in the UK. There will be related workshops and tours during the exhibition.
Mezzanine Gallery, Visitor Centre, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk SE10 9NN; ornc.org

47 London Never Dies at London Cabaret Club, Bloomsbury
Until March 2021
London Never Dies is a new, re-vamped show from The London Cabaret Club. The James Bond-themed show – the name of which also seems profoundly apt during this time of crisis for the hospitality industry – returns with a host of brand new surprises, from beautifully choreographed dance routines to gravity defying acrobats, iconic tracks from the Bond movies and pioneering 4-D special effects. The show will be accompanied by a fine dining menu created by new head chef Burim Asllanaj, a talented culinary expert with over 20 years of experience working for exclusive private clients, along with LCC’s signature cocktails and martini’s galore. Channel your inner Bond girl or super-spy as some of the capital’s most talented West-End performers immerse you in a glamorous world of romance and espionage. Tickets from £45.
The Bloomsbury Ballroom, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Holborn WC1B 4DA; thelondoncabaretclub.com

48 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Until 8 August 2021
French photographer Nicolas Lefaudeux has beaten thousands of photographers from around the globe to win the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s title of Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020. As well as securing the £10,000 top prize, his image takes pride of place in the exhibition of winning photographs, opening at the National Maritime Museum on 23 October. Winning images of the other categories include the breath-taking Aurora Borealis above Hamn i Senja, Skaland, in Norway by Nicholas Roemmelt; Łukasz Sujka’s image showcasing the alignment of our moon and Jupiter; a remarkable illustration of the satellite trails between earth and the Albireo double star by Rafael Schmall; and the captivating Dark River by Julie F. Hill – the inaugural winner of the Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation. Adults £10, kids £6.50.
Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk



 

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