From Christmas events and the start of the festive season, to new exhibitions, here are the some of the best things to do in London, this November 2023. 

1 My Neighbour Totoro, Barbican

The beguiling stage production of the magical Studio Ghibli tale is back. The coming-of-age tale about two girls who discover a fantastical realm and an ancient protector in the Japanese countryside. Adapted for stage by Oppenheimer’s Tom Morton-Smith and featuring puppets by Basil Twist and a refreshed take on Joe Hisaishi’s original score.

Date: November 21 to March 23, 2024

Tickets: From £25

Address: Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS


2 Hamnet, West End

Maggie O’Farrell’s award winning and best-selling novel of the same name has been adapted for the stage by Lolita Chakrabarti (Life of Pi) and reveals the woman behind Shakespeare’s life, his wife Agnes Hathaway, and how the couple cope with the death of their young son.

Date:  Running until February 17, 2024

Tickets: From £25

Address: Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH


3 Fondue Thursdays at The Cheese Bar and The Cheese Barge, Camden and Paddington

The cheesy series returns to The Cheese Bar and The Cheese Barge, for a little bit of comfort eating as the weather turns crisp. Guest chefs of the likes of Freddie Janssen,  the Chick’N’Sours team and Tom Browne from Decatur will prepare their take on cheese fondue and dippers. Expect to find pickle dippers or a fondue sauce perfect for fried chicken and a cheesy sauce ideal for New Orleans-style seafood boils.

Date: Thursdays

Tickets: From £30 pp

Address:  : Unit 93 - 94, Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, NW1 8AH; Sheldon Square, Paddington W2 6DL

Website:; to book

4 Tottenham Literature Festival

Featuring gal-dem founder Live Little as headliner, Tottenham Literature festival celebrates black writers and authors while exploring what it means to live as whole selves today. Little will talk about her debut novel, Rosewater, and there’s a talk on the role imagination has in forming black identity as well. For families, there’s a day of activities lead by authors and illustrators led by CBBC’s Operation Out presenter and activist Dr Ronx.

Date: November 13-19

Tickets: From £5

Address: Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green N15 4RX


5 Christmas stuff

Winter Wonderland, switch ons, immersive experiences; Christmas fun in London starts in November, so what festive frivolities do you want to do? Carnaby is the first switch on, taking place on November 2, but London has many other switch ons and trails too. Also look out for festive afternoon teas – for a treat head to one of central London’s big hotels, or take a stroll through one of London’s many Christmas markets.

6 Thanksgiving

Have a hankering for pumpkin pie? Lucky for you there are plenty of hotels and restaurants around London putting on a spread. Top notch pubs The Cadogan Arms in Chelsea, and The George in Fitzrovia’s are preparing a feast (£80pp). The Colony Grill Room in The Beaumont in Mayfair will also put on a turkey-centric feast for the American holiday (£85pp). Also try Carousel in Fitzrovia, Galvin Bar &Grill in Bloomsbury and Oblix at The Shard.

7 The Missing Thread at Somerset House

This exhibition connects how the political and cultural landscapes of the 209th and 21st century shaped the identity of black style, which then in turn impacted mainstream fashion culture. Going well beyond catwalk looks, it puts a spotlight on black creativity in music, photography, art and design.

Date: Running until January 7, 2024

Tickets: £12/£9.50

Address: Strand WC2R 1LA


8 The Enchanted Cinema at Horniman Museum, Forest Hill

One for the kiddies, this interactive cinema show invites children to create the sound effects to popular animations using instruments, hands and voices. Kids can recreate the sound of  creaking porch, feet in snow, and chimes for a giant tree. Where the Wild Things Are and My Neighbour Totoro are first up, then The Snowman will screen on the second date.

Date: November 12, 26 at 11.30, 1.30pm, 3.45pm

Tickets: £10/£5

Address: 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ


9 Turn It Up: The power of music, Science Museum

This interactive exhibition explores the power music has over us. Specially commissioned interactive installations, unique instruments and pioneering inventions, as well as first-hand accounts from musicians and the public reveal why music plays on our emotions, while a look at AI and tech investigates the technological advancements that have made, and are making, music more accessible.

Dates: On until May 6

Tickets: £10

Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD


10 Peckham Levels’ new private karaoke room

A private karaoke room is a potentially ear-bleeding thing. With the threat of making a fool of yourself in front of a crowd removed, people tend to release what they think is their inner Mariah. Let your inner diva out at this new south London private karaoke room now installed in Peckham Level’s bar and food hall. Fits groups of up to 20 and the song catalogue has more than 80,000 bangers to choose from.

Cost: From £8

Address: 95a Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST


11 El Anatsui: Behind the red moon, Tate Modern

Installed in the Turbine Hall, this monumental installation is made up of thousands of metal bottle tops and fragments which have been stitched together into three expansive abstract pieces. Created by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, the huge artwork reflects on the “expanse of human history and the elemental power of the natural world” and reference the artist’s interest in the movement goods and people during the transatlantic slave trade.

Dates: On display until April 14, 2024

Cost: Free

Address: Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG


12 Bonfire Night

The first weekend of November is going to go off with a bang as Bonfire Night celebrations take hold of London. Ally Pally puts on a spectacle, or go for one of the sustainably minded display in Walthamstow. Find the full Bonfire Night guide here.

13 L’Atelier Robuchon, Mayfair

Celebrating the culinary styles of Joël Robuchon, ‘Chef of the Century’ and the most starred chef of his time, L’Atelier Robuchon has relaunched in Mayfair, after closing in Covent Garden in 2018. Expect refined French cuisine with touches of Asian flourished, and attention to detail.

Address: 6 Clarges Street, Mayfair W1J 8AE


14 Fire and Fromage pop up, South Bank

South Bank’s Alpine-inspired igloos return for the festive season, along with a raclette bar and a winter street food kitchen. Boasting full après-ski vibes, the private dining snow globes fit up to 10 people, come heated and with views looking across the Thames. The menu focuses on dishes such as fondue and raclette, and there’s also sharing steaks, and vegan options are available. 

Date: November 2 - December 31

Price: From £35 per person

Address: Queens Walk, under Waterloo Bridge, Southbank SE1 8XX


15 Ice skating

A winter activity staple, ice-skating season is now upon us and you don’t have to wait until December to get your skates on. Skate at Somerset House has a packed programme of fun to suit various ages, while Glide at Battersea Power Station sees you skating around a tree in a river-side setting. Greenwich’s ice skating rink makes the most of the splendid architecture in the area, and is another attractive rink. Find the full guide to ice-skating in London here.

16 Curling, King’s Cross and South Bank

If skating is not your jam, King’s Cross and South Bank will both host a curling pop up. Club Curling in King’s Cross comes with 90s vibes and DJs on Thursday nights. Over at South Bank, the Curling Club is part of the Southbank Centre’s festive programme, and you’ll find it among all the frivolity and festive street food vendors filling up South Bank this festive season

Date: November 9 – February 29/October 13 – February 11

Tickets: From £8 /from £24

Address: Coal Drops Yard N1C 4D; Queen’s Walk, South Bank  SE1 8XX