Suffering post ‘Lympic blues? Guide to what’s on in London in autumn 2012
Feeling blue after the euphoric summer of sporting greatness of the Olympics and Paralympics? Yes, me too. Well, although we can’t fight the fact that the temperatures are dropping and nights are getting darker, there is plenty of things to look forward to in the next few months and to keep our spirits up in the countdown to Christmas.
- 28 September-10 October : London Spanish Film Festival
A 13 day celebration of the best of Spanish cinema, with UK premieres for many films at the Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français. Some directors and actors will be in attendance to promote their films and answer questions. The Institut Francais, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2DT. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the LSFF website.
- 3 October-3 February 2013 : Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits exhibition
It’s been a bumper two years for the Royal Family with 2011’s wedding of Prince William and Catherine and the Diamond Jubilee earlier this year. Acclaimed photographer Mario Testino is displaying his collection of Royal portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in four-month free exhibition. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- 10-21 October : BFI London Film Festival
Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience. Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at venues including Leicester Square, BFI Imax, BFI Southbank and the Renoir. Big draws include the European premieres of the latest adaptation of Great Expectations and Frankenweenie 3D and a screening of This Is England with a live score. Visit the LFF website for more information.
- 13-14 October : Rumfest
The world has got enough beer festivals so its time for one of the world’s favourite spirits to get some attention. The world’s biggest rum festival takes place over two days at the ExCel in Docklands at the climax of London Cocktail Week (8-14 October). Attendees will be given the chance to sample from a choice of 400 different rums (!), listen to live music, cocktail masterclasses, visit the Daiquiri area and play dominoes and watch the world’s top mixologists in action. General admittance costs £25 on Saturday or £20 on Sunday (includes sampling glass and five sampling vouchers and water). Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information visit the Rumfest website.
- 20 October – 27 January 2013 – Hollywood Costume @ V&A
Special exhibition of over 100 costumes from some of Hollywood’s classic movies, including Wizard Of Oz, Singin’ In The Rain, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Star Wars. Although entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum is free, this particular exhibition costs and is highly recommended that timed tickets are bought online. Adult tickets online £15.80. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the V&A’s website.
- 23 October – October Plenty
Beginning at Bankside by the Globe, this free harvest celebration by the Lions Part theatre company features ancient seasonal customs, theatre and general festivity, ending at the food stalls of Borough Market. Attendees can take part in apple-bobbing, conker fights, dancing, eating and drinking. Nearest tube: London Bridge, Southwark or St Paul’s. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- 25-27 October: Zombie Horror Camp @ Old Vic Tunnels
The original London venue that is the Old Vic Tunnels are hosting a three-day extravaganza all things zombie in its subterranean wonderland. There will be voodoo doll making, a grotesque stripclub, a zombie run and DJ sets from The Horrors, Izzy Lawrence (Apocalipstick, MTV), Gary Powell (The Libertines), Dee Plume (Robots in Disguise), Adam Ficek (Babyshambles), Nick Hollywood (White Mink, Freshly Squeezed) and Sean Rowley & Anna Greenwood (Guilty Pleasures). Tickets cost £25, with the venue open until 2am. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Old Vic Tunnels’ website.
- 25-28 October : Affordable Art Fair Battersea
For those among us who aren’t loaded, this annual event is a chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. Also with a base in Hampstead, there is over 100 galleries at each fair, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Admission costs £10-£12 in advance, £12/£15 on the door. Nearest rail: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. Visit the Affordable Art Fair website for more information.
- 26-27 October : London Freeze Festival
Annual festival for snowboarder, skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts in the grounds of Battersea Power Station. As well as the sports, there is live music from top DJs and musicians (Cypress Hill, The Streets, Groove Armada, Friendly Fires, Pendulum, Orbital Zane Lowe, Mark Ronson, Roni Size and The Enemy), alpine-style bars, shopping and gourmet food and drink. Tickets cost £40 for one day adult pass, £65 for two days or £20 for child day pass. Nearest train: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road. For more information and tickets, visit the London Freeze Festival website.
- 28 October : Diwali Festival in Trafalgar Square
Food and performances, lights and saris injecting colour into the square and floating candles in the fountains for the Hindu Festival of Light. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Diwali in London website for more information.
- 31 October-3 November : Day Of The Dead Festival @ Old Vic Tunnels
Mexican restaurant Wahaca is bringing the Mexican festival to the Old Vic Tunnels. As well as music from Rodrigo y Gabriela and communion DJs, there will also be a tequila and Mezcal bar, a Mexican street kitchen and exhibitions of photography by Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and art installations. Daytime tickets cost £5 (2-6pm), evening entrance tickets cost £31 (early bird) or £41. Nearest tube and National Rail: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Old Vic Tunnels’ website.
- 3-4 November : Regent Street Motor Show and London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
On Saturday, 100 of the classic cars taking part in the London To Brighton Veteran Car Run will be on display between 10am and 3:30pm on Regent Street for a free motor show so spectators can take photos and talk to the owners about their history. On Sunday its the Veteran Car Run. Setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7 and 9am, spectators can line the 64-mile route all the way from the capital to Brighton to watch 500 classic cars show off their prowess and vintage style. Entrance rules stipulate cars must be built before 1905 and will be either of the three or four-wheel variety. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Visit the Veteran Car Run website for more information.
- 9-18 November : London Jazz Festival
This 10 day festival sees international jazz stars coming together at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, Barbican, Jazz Cafe, among others. Gigs range from free to ticketed, with stars including Terence Blanchard, Salena Jones, Imaani and Mary Pearce. For more information, visit the London Jazz Festival website.
- 10 November : Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks Display
The spectacle is known as the oldest and largest civic procession in the world. The three-mile procession includes floats, music and animals and a fly-past and normally starts at Mansion House at 11am with spectators free to line the route. In the evening, a spectacular fireworks show takes place between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges. Visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website for more information.