Guide to what’s on in London in February 2016
Winter is in full swing with chilly temperatures. But with spring only a few weeks away (here’s hoping!), London is really starting to come alive again with the onset of February. Of course, bang in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day to inject some love and romance into Londoners’ hearts.
- Now until 3 February : Found & Lost
A new promenade opera will move from room to room after the five-star Corinthia Hotel London. Tickets: £27.50, Under 26 and Concessions: £20, Premium tickets: £35. Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, Whitehall, SW1A 2BD. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. For booking, visit the Corinthia-Air website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s post on Found & Lost.
- 3 – 9 February : Carnival 2016 @ Guanabara
If you can’t afford to fly to Brazil for the real thing, let the spirit of Rio come to London as Guanabara hosts a week of celebrations. Including performances from Samba, percussion and capoeira artists, parade, Brazilian street food and the best rum cocktails in town. Open hours vary. Entry ranges from free to £10. Guanabara, Parker Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PW. Nearest station: Holborn or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the Guanabara website.
- 3 February – 6 March : Magical Lantern Festival
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with an immersive journey through a sea of lights. Over 50 life-sized sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with light depictions of animals and nature. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5-10.30pm. Tickets: Adults £16 (online), £18 (on the door). Child £10 (advance), £12 (on the door). Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For booking, visit the Magical Lantern UK website. For more information on the festival, click here or for photos of the festival, click here.
- 3 February – 10 April : Hard Rock Couture @ Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
To celebrate the original Hard Rock Café in London’s 45th birthday, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not will be hosting a collection of Hard Rock’s pop and rock fashion memorabilia. Free entry to exhibition with all Ripley’s tickets. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, 1 Piccadilly Circus, Soho, W1J 0DA. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. To book tickets in advance and save up to 25%, visit Ripleys London website. For more information on the exhibition, read Metro Girl’s blog piece.
- 4 – 7 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show
Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as lots of travel companies, there is photography masterclasses, health advice and meet the experts. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance, £13 on the door. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- 5 – 6 February : London Remixed Festival
A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Fri 5 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £10-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.
- Now until 6 February : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Tickets range from £7-£27.50. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, Shaw Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Tate Modern and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.
- 6 February – 6 March : Orchid Festival
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £14 adults or £2.50 children. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- Now until 7 February : 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.
- 10 – 21 February : Imagine Children’s Festival
Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music and workshops and a celebration of the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. Including readings and appearances from Judith Kerr, Laura Dockrill and Candy Gourlay and Holly Smale. 10.30am-4pm daily. Lots of activities and events are free. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 10 – 14 February : Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival
Five day festival in Ealing featuring musical performances, film screenings, talks and exhibitions. This year’s theme is Ealing’s Cultural Heart. Ticket prices vary, with some free. Events take place at various venues, including St Mary’s Church in South Ealing, University Of West London, Ealing Club Red Room, St Barnabas Church. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For more information, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.
- 11 – 14 February : Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show
The UK’s largest exhibition for adventurous people who like travelling, photography, climbing, watersports and exploring the British countryside. Open hours vary. Tickets: £14-£19 (also includes entrance to the London Bike Show, Triathlon Show and the International Dive Show. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show website.
- 11 February – 22 May : Vogue 100 – A Century Of Style
An exhibition of the stunning photography commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. Open 10am-6pm. Open late on Thursday and Friday until 9pm. Tickets: £17/£19, Concessions £15/50/£17.50. 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.
- 14 February : Chinese New Year
Festivities to mark the Year of the Horse take place across Chinatown, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square. The parade from Duncannon Street to Shaftesbury Avenue will start at 10am. From 12-6pm there will be performances from Chinese artists in Trafalgar Square. Free. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Chinatown website.
- 16 – 28 February : Flamenco Festival
Sadler’s Wells’ annual season of flamenco music and dance returns for the 13th year, featuring performances from Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Vicente Amigo, Farruquito & Farruco, Gala Bienal de Sevilla, Compañía Olga Pericet, Marco Flores & Olga Pericet, Niño de Elche, Belén Maya, Patricio Hidlago & Guests, Esperanza Fernández and Daniel Casares and Adam Ben Ezra. Tickets: £12-£45 depending on show and seating. Sadler’s Well Theatre, Roseberry Avenue, EC1R 4TN. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.
- 19 – 21 February : London Gin Festival
This year’s Gin Festival is bigger and better than ever, with over 100 gins being showcased. Opening times split into afternoon or evening ticket sessions. Open Fri 6.30-11pm, Sat 12.30-11pm, Sun 11.45am-10pm. Tickets: £12 (includes Gin Festival glass to take home). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping. For more information, visit the Gin Festival website.
- 22 February : Spice World @ Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Café will be showing Spice World: The Movie as part of their new monthly film screening nights. Guests are encouraged to dress the part with a red carpet arrival, have a Spice Girl-approved make over from top stylists, pose in the GIF booth, enjoy popcorn and exclusive cocktails before settling down to watch the 1997 movie. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets from £10. Hard Rock Cafe London, 148 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QY. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For tickets, visit Billetto.
- 22 – 23 February : Lee Skeet @ The Shop
Acclaimed chef Lee Skeet (who has worked for Ramsay, Aikens, Wareing and Hedone) is hosting a two-night pop-up restaurant in Kensal Rise. Diners can expect a four-course meal and snacks influenced by his Devon roots and time in London’s top kitchens. 4 courses for £32. The Shop, 75 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, NW10 3ND. Nearest station: Kensal Rise. To book in advance, visit Billetto.
- 22 – 28 February : London Beer Week
A celebration of beers, ales and ciders alike with venues across the capital hosting tastings, master classes, pop-ups and parties. To have access to the special deals of £3 speciality beers or £5 boilermakers in over 100 of the best beer bars, all you need is a £10 wristband. For more information and to purchase your wristband, visit the London Beer Week website.
- 22 February – 5 March : Asia House Film Festival
A diverse programme of 19 films that includes several European premieres and UK premieres. 11 feature films, three documentaries and five short films coming out of countries including Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Afghanistan. Venues include Ham Yard Hotel, Regent Street Cinema, The Cinema Museum and Asia House. For more information, visit Asia House website.
- 24 February : Sexuality – Lates @ Science Museum
The theme of this month’s Wednesday Lates opening for adults is sexuality. As well as talks and activities such as speed dating and penis drawing, there will also be live music, the Punk Science comedy show and a silent disco. 6.45-10pm. Free entry, but entrance fee applies for special exhibitions. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.
- Now until 25 February : Broadgate Ice
Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London. This year’s rink will be accompanied by a pop-up Alpine Bar, where you can warm up and enjoy a Choc-tail and cheese or chocolate fondue. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13, Children £9. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, City of London, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.
- 25 – 28 February : London Fashion Weekend
London Fashion Weekend follows London Fashion Week, giving access to everyone who loves fashion. Tickets must be bought in advance. Bronze package starts from £20, Silver from £40, Gold from £60. Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- 26 – 27 February : CBR London 2016
The Craft Beer Rising festival has been rebranded, taking place towards the end of London Beer Week. Will feature over 150 exhibitors, including talks and tastings, a special area for cider producers, live music and food. Tickets: £15 (includes branded glass and programme). Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For booking, visit the Craft Beer Rising website. To find out more about CBR, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival.
- Now until 27 February : Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Skate in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops. Non-skaters can watch the action from a heated viewing terrace. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £14.95, Children £9.95. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
- Now until 6 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across eight venues, three bars and a restaurant. Ticket prices vary. Entertainment includes live music, dance, drama, comdy and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary, although venue entry is free. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest stations: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Vault Festival website. To find out about the Mardi Gras celebrations at The Vault, click here.
- Now until 3 April : Easter Rising 1916 Sean Sexton Collection
Exhibition of the role of photography of keys events in the battle for Irish independence between 1840 to 1930s, including the Easter Rising in 1916. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £3/£2.50. The Photographers Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, Soho, W1F 7LW. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit The Photographers Gallery website.
- Now until 17 April : Alice In Wonderland exhibition @ British Library
Exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland, including his original manuscript, 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 20 April : Painting The Modern Garden
Exhibition of gardens portrayed in art from the 1860s to the 1920s, featuring works by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Manet, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt and Klee. Tickets: £17.60, Under 16s with fee-paying adult go free. Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park. For booking, visit the Royal Academy’s website.