Guide to what’s on in London in November 2015
Autumn is whizzing by and with the onset of November, we know that Christmas is almost around the corner. For those organised enough, there’s lots of Christmas-related events on this month so you can start your gift shopping. However, if you’re like me and don’t like anything Christmas-related until December, there’s plenty of non-festive fun on around town. Here’s my round-up of the best festivals and special events on in London this November.
For a guide to open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
- 1 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
Setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7 and 8.30am, 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. Free to spectate. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.
- Now until 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.
- 2 – 8 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair
For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £19.50. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- 2 – 8 November : Winter Olympia Art & Antique Fair
Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Open Tues-Thur 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm & Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: £15 advance, £20 on the door. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.
- Now until 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.
- 5 – 29 November : World Press Photo Exhibition
The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Free. Open 10am-11pm. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.
- 6 – 27 November : Richmond Literature Festival
A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough, including Marble Hill House, Hampton Library, Richmond Old Town Hall and St Mary’s University. Featuring talks and Q&As from authors, including Simon Singh, Vince Cable, Alwyn W Turner, Sonia Purnell, Henry Marsh and more. For more information, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.
- 6 – 28 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this two week long festival in South East London at various venues. Nearest station: Crystal Palace. For full listings and tickets, check the CPIFF website.
- 7 November : Wahaca’s Day Of The Dead Festival
A festival celebrating modern Mexico, including live music, film, street art, culture, food, talks, Mezcal & tequila Mexican market. From 1pm onwards. Tickets: £31.90. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping (Overground). For more information, visit Wahaca’s website.
- Now until 7 November :Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London
Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £16-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
- 9 November : Trader Vic’s Tiki Cinema
Monthly film screenings at tiki bar in Park Lane, with November’s movie Gremlins. Film starts at 7.30pm, food is served from 6pm. Tickets: £13 (including screening and a cocktail). Trader Vic’s, 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Trader Vic’s London website.
- 12 November : Launch of Christmas at Carnaby London
Christmas shopping event with 20% off in over 100 shops, bars and restaurants. There will also be pop-up bars, DJs, live music and complimentary food and drink. 5-9pm. Register online for your free ticket to obtain discount. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit Carnaby London website.
- 12 – 14 November : Mulled Wine Festival
Get into the festive spirit early with London’s first celebration of mulled wine. As well the capital’s best mulled wine, there will be mulled cider, mead, ice cream, candy, jelly shots and Christmas pies. 12-9pm. Live music and photobooths. Free entry, but you need to check in on the Yelp app. Covent Garden Market East Piazza, Covent Garden, WC1V. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Covent Garden London website.
- 12 – 14 November : Greenwich International Early Music Festival
The world’s largest early music festival, jointly promoted by The Early Music Shop, the Greenwich Foundation and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Concerts include St James’s Baroque, Red Priest, Emma Kirkby with Jacob Heringman, Phantasm, Charlotte Barbour-Condini & Sophie Westbrooke with the Zero Gravity Band, Trinity Laban Soloists and Baroque Orchestra. At various locations around Greenwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Early Shop website.
- 13 – 15 November : BBC Good Food Show
The travelling foodies fest comes to London’s Olympia for three days. Featuring appearances from Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin, Tom Kerridge and Michel Roux Jnr and more. Tickets start from £23.50 in advance, £28.50-£29.50 on the door. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the BBC Good Food Show website.
- 13 – 15 November : Doctor Who Festival
A celebration of all things Doctor Who, including the show’s stars Peter Capaldi, Michelle Gomez and Ingrid Oliver and writers, including Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Tickets: Adults £68, Children 16 and under £32.35. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the Doctor Who website.
- 13 – 22 November : London Jazz Festival
This 10 day festival sees international jazz stars coming together at venues all over the capital, including Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Cadogan Hall and many others. Gigs range from free to ticketed. For more information, visit the London Jazz Festival website.
- 13 November – 31 January 2016 : Hogwarts In The Snow
A must for all Harry Potter fans. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £33, Children £25.50. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- 14 November : Lord Mayor’s Show
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. For more information visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website.
- 14 November : Winter Wine Festival
One day wine festival featuring a choice of 600 wines to taste. As well as tastings, there is also a free wine walk, masterclasses and discounts on wine shopping. 12-6pm. Tickets: £25. Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, Southwark, SE1 9BU. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Wine Gang website. For Metro Girl’s review of Vinopolis, click here.
- 14 November – 2/3 January 2016 : Frostival @ London Eye
The Coca-Cola London Eye has a festive makeover for their Frostival celebrations, featuring the Eyeskate ice rink and special Winter experiences on the Eye, including cocktails and other treats. Jubilee Gardens, Southbank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the Frostival, click here.
- 15 – 22 November : Pillow Cinema @ Sutton House
Pop-up cinema screenings at the Tudor house run by the National Trust. Films include Inside Out, Wolf Of Wall Street, Still Alice, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and more. Beanbag for two: £27.50, chair for one: £10. Sutton House, 2 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6JQ. Nearest station: Hackney Central or Homerton. For more information and booking, visit the Pillow Cinema website.
- 16 November – 24 December : Adventure to Santa’s Grotto
Go on a magical, 4D cinematic sleigh journey to visit Santa with the help of Shrek and Donkey. At the end of the ride, children will get to meet Santa and receive a gift. Photo packages also available. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £8/£10 per person. Westfield London, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush, White City or Shepherd’s Bush Market. For more information, visit the Westfield London website.
- 17 November – 24 December : Eat Your Drink Pop-Up Store
The world’s first edible alcohol store is coming to London for a few weeks only selling cocktail-flavour sweets and boozy candy floss. Located downstairs at Benefit, 10 Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 9PF. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Smith & Sinclair website. Read Metro Girl’s blog on the store for more information.
- 19 – 22 November : Taste Of London Winter
Sister event to the hugely popular Taste Of London summer event which celebrates food. Four day festival at Tobacco Dock in Wapping offers tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and food theatre with Daniel Doherty, Mark Hix, Marcus Wareing, Sophie Michell and Tom Aikens among those giving their tips. Open Thur 6-10pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 11am-6pm & Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: £15-£19. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping (Overground). For more information, visit the Taste of London Winter website.
- 19 November – 28 January 2016 : Jimmy Cauty’s Aftermath Dislocation Principle
Jimmy Cauty’s alternative model village from Banksy’s Dismaland comes to London for two months. A quintessential English chocolate box village it is not! The artist and his team have created a Dystopian city scene of what looks like a post-riot housing estate full of destruction and police cars. Open Wed-Fr- 12-7pm, Sat-Sun 12-6pm. Tickets £4. America Street, Southwark, SE1 0NJ. Nearest station: London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit L-13 website.
- 20 – 21 November : An Evening With The Stars
Late night opening at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, including a planetarium show, opportunity to look through the Victorian telescope and a hot drink in the Meridian courtyard. Two hour slots at 3.25pm, 5.30pm, 6.45pm and 6.50pm. Tickets: Adults £18, Children (over 7s) £14. Royal Observatory Greenwich, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ. Nearest station: Greenwich, Maze Hill or Cutty Sark (DLR). For more information and booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
- 20 November – 6 December : Enchanted Woodland
Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £7, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 20 November – 3 January 2016 : Winter Wonderland
The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- 20 November – 17 January 2016 : Bump Rollerdisco
Mobile rollerdisco comes to London’s Southbank Centre for the festive season. 11am-11pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £7.50, Fri & Sat Club Nights: £12-£16. Under Hungerford Bridge, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 20 November – 17 January 2016 : Rekordelig Cider Lodge
Swedish firm Rekordelig are bringing a taste of Scandinavia to the South Bank with a pop-up cider lodge serving hot and cold drinks. Free entry. Open Sun–Thur 11am–11pm, Fri-Sat 11am–12am. Hungerford Car Park, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 20 November – 17 April 2016 : Alice In Wonderland exhibition @ British Library
Exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland, including his original landscape, hand-drawn illustrations, and an Alice In Wonderland pop-up shop. Opening hours vary. Free entry. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. To find out more, visit the British Library website.
- 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.
- 22 – 29 November : Hyper Japan Christmas Market
A Christmas edition of the popular summer celebration of Japanese culture and products. Includes cuisine, shopping, mix of pop and traditional culture. Tickets: £13-21. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- 23 November – 31 January 2016 : The Height Of Winter @ View From The Shard
View From The Shard has a special festive makeover, with wizards Bompas & Parr transforming the viewing gallery into an immersive sensory experience, with ice crystals, frost, snow dunes, glowing crystal benches, grotto and carolling plants. Drinks include Snow White Hot Chocolate, Mulled Champagne and Christmas Candy Floss. Tickets: Adults £25.95. Child: £19.95. The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest tube/train: London Bridge. For more information, visit View From The Shard website. For Metro Girl’s review of a trip up The Shard, click here.
- 23 November – 7 February 2016 : Take A View exhibition
Exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images from this year’s Landscape Photographer Of The Year are on display on the balcony at Waterloo station. Open during station hours. Free. Mezzanine level, Waterloo Station, SE1 8SW. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Take A View website.
- 25 – 29 November : Ideal Home Show @ Christmas
A Christmas edition of the popular homewares and interiors show. Featuring appearances from experts Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Gino D’Acampo, Ellie Jarvis, Alyn Williams, Louisa Fletcher and more. Tickets: Adults £12-£14, Children free. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 25 November – 2 January 2016 : Christmas at Kew
A one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be vintage rides, festive food and Santa’s Snowflake Grotto. 5-10pm. Tickets: Adults – £16, Children – £10. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 26 November – 23 December : Winterville
An alternative festive wonderland in East London, featuring Christmas markets, ice rink, pantomime, cinema, circus, crazy golf, fairground and Spiegeltent. Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E9 7DD. Nearest station: Hackney Wick, Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Winterville website.
- 27 – 28 November : Foodies Festival Christmas
The popular food festival returns to London. Featuring food stalls, chefs theatre, whisky arena, ski bar, drinks theatre, Christmas feasting table, children’s cooking school, ceilidh dancing and live music and more. Open Fri: 12-7pm, Sat: 11am-7pm & Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets £12-£18. Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- Now until 28 November : Arcane
A pop-up immersive horror event from the people behind Zombie Apocalypse London. Explore a strange town and interact with locals as you become a character in this experimental experience. Age 16 and over. Timings generally 5-11pm. Tickets: £16pp. In a secret East London location. For more information, visit Zombie Apocalypse London.
- 29 November : Hampstead Christmas Festival
As well as stalls serving gifts, food and drink, there will also be a fairground, Santa’s Grotto, reindeer, face-painting, circus acts and performances from Babs Savage, Charlie Manning, Mad Dog Bites, The Runner Brothers and Rock Choir. A mystery celebrity will be turning on the Christmas lights. 12-5pm. Free. High Street, Hampstead, NW3. Nearest station: Hampstead. For more information, visit the Hampstead Christmas Festival’s website.
- 30 November – 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival
The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.
- Now until 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.
- 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.
- Now until 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. For Metro Girl’s post on the British Museum Of Food, click here.
- Now until 31 January 2016 : Time Run
A new live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape the room’ games. For groups of three to five people, you will join Edwardian inventor Luna Fox on a journey through time. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit the Time Run website. Read Metro Girl’s post on Time Run for more information and to see the trailer.
20 November – 10 January 2016 : Red Riding House @ Greenwich Theatre. Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.
21 November – 3 January 2016 : Cinderella @ Lyric Hammersmith. Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.
21 November – 3 January 2016 : Jack And The Beanstalk @ Hackney Empire. 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.
27 November – 3 January 2016 : Aladdin @ Churchill Theatre. High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1HA. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
- 25 November – 3 January 2016 : The Snowman
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman comes to the Peacock Theatre. Performances at 11am, 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets: £15-£35. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT. Nearest station: Temple or Holborn. For booking, visit the Sadlers Wells website.