Guide to what’s on in London in October 2015
The summer is finally over (sad face) and the weather is sadly getting cooler. But fortunately, London is doing its best to lift our spirits with a whole lotta fun going on around town. Obviously there’s Halloween at the end of the month (a guide to come…), but there’s tons on around town for those who aren’t interested in the ghoulish holiday.
For a guide to Halloween activities and parties for adults and children, click here.
- Now until 1 October : St Martin’s Courtyard Film Festival
Three day free film festival in St Martin’s Courtyard. Films include Shaun Of The Dead, Atonement and Billy Elliott. Enter the online ballot to receive a free ticket at the St Martin’s Courtyard website. St Martin’s Courtyard, off Long Acre, WC2. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. To sign up for tickets, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.
- 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival
Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include Champagne Laurent-Perrier Gourmet Odysseys and American Express menus with Michel Roux Jr, Pierre Koffmann, Helene Darroze, Tomos Parry, Marcus Wareing, Jeremy Lee, Mark Hix, Philip Howard, Nathan Outlaw. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.
- 2 – 11 October : Wimbledon BookFest
Ten day festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Sebastian Faulks, Louis de Bernieres, Alexandra Shulman, Vince Cable, Brian Moore, Seann Walsh, Andy McNab, Steve Backshall, Boris Becker, Shirley Williams, Stella Duffy, Ben Fogle, and more. Tickets range from free to £90 and are recommend to be booked in advance. A majority of events take place in tents on Wimbledon Common, but also other venues nearby. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest website.
- 2 October – 3 January 2016 : Dressed By Angels
An exhibition of over 100 costumes from Angels’ archives, worn by Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier, Tom Baker, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep, among others, Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adults £16, Children £9. Old Truman Brewery, Loading Bay, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate. For booking, visit the Dressed By Angels website.
- 3 October : NFL Fan Rally
Fans of American football can warm up ahead of the New York Jets V Miami Dolphins match at Wembley Stadium that afternoon. Featuring a celebration of American football with players, cheerleaders and NFL legends. 12-4pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- 3 – 4 October : Classic Car Boot Sale
A boot sale with a difference, featuring vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia up for purchase from the boots of over 100 classic cars. Entry: £5. Lewis Cubitt Square (off Stable Street), Kings Cross, N1C 4AY. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- Now until 4 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in The Vue Piccadilly and Wes End. Tickets: £12. Passes range from £100 to £175. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 5 – 11 October : London Cocktail Week
Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 wristband so you can enjoy cocktails at participating venues for as little as £5. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website. For tips and highlights of this year’s LCW, click here.
- 7 – 18 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. For more information, visit the BFI website.
- Now until 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs
Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- 9 – 18 October : South Norwood & Thornton Heath Free Film Festival
Following last year’s inaugural festival, the free film event is returning to South Norwood and Thornton Heath. Screenings, talks, film quizzes and more at various venues across the South London suburb. Screenings include Northern Soul, Despicable Me, The Gruffalo, Quadropheniaand more. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- 9 – 18 October : Herne Hill Music Festival
Music festival in Herne Hill, South London at various venues across SE24 and neighbouring areas including the Prince Regent, Herne Hill Station, Carnegie Library, St Saviours’ Hall, St Faith’s Church, Brockwell Hall and The Charter School. Tickets range from free to £12. For more information, visit the Herne Hill Music Festival website.
- 10 October : Africa On The Square
A celebration of African culture, featuring live music, fashion, dance, stalls, food, plus fun activities for the kids. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- 10 – 11 October : VegFest
Festival for vegans and vegetarians, featuring food market, shopping, meet the experts, entertainment, cookery demos and kids’ cookery. Tickets: £10 (advance), £12 (on the door) adults, Free for under 16s. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest tube: Olympia. For more information, visit the VegFest website.
- 11 October : Diwali
Food and performances, lights and saris injecting colour into the square and floating candles in the fountains for the Hindu Festival of Light. 12pm onwards. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 11 – 30 October : London Horror Festival
Festival of live horror performance including cabaret, film screenings, Zombie weekends, midnight performances and a short horror play competition. Ticket prices vary, but many around £10-£16. Most events take place at the Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, Camden, NW1 7BU. Nearest station: Camden Town or Camden Road. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- 13 October – 1 November : Mademoiselle Prive
A journey through Chanel’s creations, highlighting the Haute Couture, Bijoux de Diamants jewellery and Chanel No.5. 10am-6pm. Free. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- 14 – 17 October : Frieze Art Fair
Contemporary art event in Regent’s Park, featuring over 150 galleries from around the world. 12-7pm daily. Tickets start from £17.20. Regents Park (Art Fair near the Outer Circle in SE corner of the park). Nearest stations: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street or Camden Town. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze London website.
- 15 – 18 October : Stylist Live
A four-day urban festival hosted by Edith Bowman and Dawn O’Porter featuring the best of Stylist magazine, featuring fashion shows, learning labs, pop-up boutiques, farmers’ market, culture lounge, comedy, debates, street food, cocktails and talks and interviews from the likes of Caitlin Moran, Katie Piper, Salman Rushdie and Nigella Lawson and more. Opening times vary. Tickets £17-£25. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest tube: Angel. For more information, visit the Stylist Live website.
- 15 – 18 October : The Other Art Fair
The bi-annual fair is a great place to buy art from 130 emerging and undiscovered artists. There will also be guest artists, immersive theatre, live music and G&T bar. Opening times vary. Tickets start from £8.80. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and tickets, visit The Other Art Fair website.
- 15 – 31 October : Dance Umbrella
A festival bringing new dance to the capital and a wider audience who may not usually access the art form. Various events at locations across the capital, including the Sadler’s Wells, Unicorn Theatre, The Place, Village Underground, Shaw Theatre, The Pit (Barbican) and the Rooftop of the NCP Car Park in Farringdon. Tickets range from £7-£20. For more information and tickets, visit the Dance Umbrella website.
- 16 – 18 October : Chocolate Show London
A celebration of chocolate with top firms from both the UK and international giving demonstrations, talks and interactive workshops from acclaimed chocolatiers and chefs, with plenty of opportunities to try. Open 10am-7pm (Fri & Sat), 10am-6pm (Sun). Tickets: Adults £15 on the door, £12.50 in advance. Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. To find out more, visit the Chocolate Week website.
- 16 – 18 October : Dulwich Literary Festival
Talks, readings, discussions and storytelling, with authors and speakers including Vince Cable, Prue Leith, Huw Edwards, Kate Mosse, Melvyn Bragg and Helen Lederer. Old Library at Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, Dulwich, SE21 7LD. Nearest station: West Dulwich (Victoria/Brixton) or North Dulwich (London Bridge). For more information, visit the Dulwich Literary Festival website.
- 17 – 18 October : RumFest
The world’s biggest rum festival takes place over two days in West London. Includes chance to sample from a choice of 400 different rums, live music and cocktail masterclasses. 12-6pm. Tickets start from £49.95 per day. ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1UD. Nearest station: West Brompton or West Kensington. For more information visit the Rumfest website.
- Now until 18 October : Merge Festival
The annual arts, music and performance festival returns to Bankside, drawing upon the area’s heritage and contemporary culture. Events include the TV Times 60th Anniversary, ‘On Your Wavelength’ interactive installation, Bioluminescent Wishing Well by Bompas & Parr, The Riverside Stage and Caravan Theatre. For more information, visit the Merge Festival website.
- Now until 18 October : Serpentine Pavilion
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Spanish architects Selgascano. Free to visit, but also contains a café inside. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s post on this year’s Pavilion, click here.
- Now until 18 October : Audrey Hepburn – Portrait Of An Icon
Exhibition of photographs of the late, great Audrey Hepburn. Featuring images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, plus family snaps and behind-the-scenes. Tickets: £9-£10. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- Now until 18 October : Louis Vuitton Series 3
Find out the inspiration behind the fashion brand’s autumn/winter collection in an ‘experimental’ exhibition, making an immersive fashion experience. Open Tue-Sun 11am-6pm. Free, but it’s advised to register for a time slot online. 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Louis Vuitton website.
- 22 – 25 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. There is over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Advance tickets start from £12.96. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest rail: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea or short complimentary bus ride (every 15 minutes) from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.
- 23 – 24 October : RHS London Shades Of Autumn Show
Horticultural show including fruit and vegetable competition, pumpkin display, nursery and harvest displays, harvest games, cocktails and live music. Opening times: 10am-7pm Tues 21st, 10am-5pm Wed 22nd. Tickets: Free for RHS members, £20 for non-members in advance. RHS Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PE. Nearest tube: Victoria. For more information, visit the RHS website.
- 23 – 31 October : London Fields Free Film Festival
Free 10 day celebration of film at various venues in the London Fields area of East London. Nearest stations: Hackney Central or London Fields. For more information, check out the Free Film Festivals website.
- 23 – 25 October : MCM London Comic Con
The popular convention celebrating film, TV and games featuring superheroes, cartoon characters and sci-fi. Including memorabilia stands, comic village, retro gaming, a fringe festival, the chance to meet the stars from your favourite film or TV show and much more. Opening times vary day to day. Tickets start from £15. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the ComicCon London website.
- 23 October – January 2016 : British Museum Of Food
Food wizards Bompas & Parr are opening a new British Museum Of Food, celebrating the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of food. Open Wed-Fri 12-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £5, Children £4. One Cathedral Street, Borough Market, SE1 9DE. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the British Museum Of Food website.
- 24 October : NFL on Regent Street
The iconic London shopping thoroughfare is shut off for traffic to celebrate America’s National Football League (NFL) coming to London. Including appearances from and interviews with NFL teammates, cheerleaders, mini American football field, NFL Lab, NFL memorabilia and merchandise and food and drink. 12-6pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the NFL website.
- 24 – 25 October : Parallax Art Fair
Over 200 artists showcasing their painting, drawing, sculpture, jewellery, textiles and crafts available to buy commission free. 11am-5pm. Register on the website for free entry. Chelsea Town Hall, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EE. Nearest tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Parallax website.
- 24 – 25 October : Fabula Festival
Four day celebration of libraries and the arts in Redbridge, covering arts, music, theatre and reading. Featuring workshops, performances, demonstrations, readings, Q&As, children’s activities and more. Many events are free, but some require tickets and advance booking. Most of the events will be taking place at the Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1EA. Nearest train: Ilford. For more information, visit the Redbridge council website.
- 25 October : October Plenty
Beginning at Bankside by the Globe, this free harvest celebration by the Lions Part theatre company features ancient seasonal customs, performances 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 stations: London Bridge, Southwark or St Paul’s. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- 28 October – 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival
The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.
- 29 October – 3 January 2016 : Natural History Museum Swarovski Ice Rink
A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £15.95, Children 12 and under from £11. Nearest tube: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- 30 – 31 October : Museums At Night
Museums across the capital are opening their doors for some after-hours action, such as performances, lectures, balls and sleepovers, including the Brunel Museum, Freud Museum, The Fan Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Transport Museum, Benjamin Franklin Museum and much more. For more information, visit the Museums At Night website.
- 31 October : Regent Street Motor Show
Three hundred cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on 1 November. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website.
- Now until January 2016 : Alcoholic Architecture
Food wizards Bompas & Parr have created a unique experience allowing people to walk through clouds of alcohol, inhaling cocktails. Tickets for hourly slots: £10 off peak (Mon, Tues and Wed all day, Thurs & Fri before 5pm), £12.50 peak (Thurs post-5pm, Fri post-4pm and Sat all day). One Cathedral Street, Borough Market, Borough, SE1 9DE. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit Bompas And Parr’s official website. For Metro Girl’s post on Alcoholic Architecture, click here.
And some of London’s pop-ups…
- Now until 3 October : Cuisson Presents POP-Down-Dining and Desserts
Turning pop-ups upside down, diners can enjoy a creative and high-quality menu at an affordable price compared to other supper clubs. Takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7.30pm onwards. Tickets: £39 for 4 courses at the restaurant, £25 for three dessert courses (available to purchase in advance through Grubclub). Borough Barista, 15 Charles II Street, St James, SW1Y 4RW. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information, visit the GrubClub website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on POP-Down, click here
- Now until 31 October : London Riviera
Enjoy some alfresco pop-up bar and café serving cocktails, brunch, Mediterranean street food and entertainment. Open daily 8am-10pm. Queen’s Walk, More London (next to City Hall), SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London Riviera website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post about my visit to London Riviera.
- Now until 21 November : The Owls Are Not What They Seem
A pop-up Twin Peaks immersive experience, featuring a three-course meal and entertainment. In a secret London location. Tickets: £65. Bar-only: £5. For more information and tickets, visit NotWhatTheySeem.com. For Metro Girl’s blog post on TOANWTS, click here.
For a guide to open-air ice rinks in London this winter, click here.