Guide to what’s on in London in April 2018

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Spring is here

Easter kicks off April with a long weekend and school holidays, meaning the capital’s attractions are pretty busy. As in recent years, the weather can still be unpredictable, so plenty of events are taking place indoors. Across the capital, there’s a host of foodie and booze festivals so there’s plenty of options besides chocolate. There’s also several cultural celebrations taking place, including St George’s Day and the Sikh New Year. Here’s Metro Girl’s round-up of the best events in London in April.

For a guide to what’s on over Easter holidays, click here.

  • Now until 1 April : London International Ska Festival

Four day festival of ska music at venues across the capital, including the O2 Academy Islington and The Garage. Acts include The Clarendonians, Doreen Shaffer, Otis Gayle, Alpheus, The Spitfires, DJ Little Diane, Ranking Joe, Clive Chin, Oxman & Gladdy Wax Sound System and many more. Wristbands for the whole festival £140, individual gigs range in price. For more information and tickets, visit the London International Ska Festival website.

  • Now until 1 April : BFI Flare

The British Film Institute hosts the 11 day festival of LGBT film featuring Tali Shalom-Ezer’s My Days Of Mercy and Steve McLean’s European premiere of Postcards From London. Ticket prices vary. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the BFI website

  • Now until 1 April : Le Beat Bespoke

Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, record fair, market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets: Individual gig tickets vary from £7-£25, or three-day pass £59. 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Oxford Circus. For more information and tickets, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.

  • Now until 2 April : Ideal Home Show

A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity guests include Rosemary Shrager, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, Martin Roberts, Craig Phillips, David Domoney, Ryan Simpson and Liam Trottman and many more. Open daily 10am-6pm (Thurs lates until 9pm). Tickets: Weekday £14 or Weekend £16 (also includes free access to Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.

  • Now until 2 April : Eat & Drink Festival

Next door to the Ideal Home Show is a new live experience, featuring modern cuisine, mixology and street food. Learn from the best at the Foodie Lab, Chef’s Table and Cook’s Academy. Tickets: Weekday £14, Weekend £16 (also includes free access to Ideal Home Show). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website.

  • 5 – 7 April : Cocktails In The City

Three-day extravaganza featuring some of London’s and Europe’s best cocktails bars coming together under one roof. A host of pop-up bars and food venues will be spread across four levels. Open 6pm-11pm. Ticket: £20 includes 1 cocktail. One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 4AQ. Nearest stations: Great Portland Street or Regents Park. For booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Cocktails In The City returns to One Marylebone

  • 5 – 15 April : London Games Festival

An event to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including the Trafalgar Square Game Festival (7 April) EGX Rezzed at Tobacco Dock, the British Academy Games Awards, Now Play This at Somerset House, Games Finance Market and the Games Character Parade (14 April). For more information, visit the Games London website.

  • 5 April – 18 May : Sense Of Space

Multi-sensory art pop-up installation featuring four different rooms and a bar to help you switch off from busy London life. Rooms include The Doodle Room, The Motion Box, The Infinity Garden and The Zen Studio. Events include live doodle art, silent cinema, yoga, art talks and more. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2M 3WA. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Broadgate website.

  • 6 April – 30 September : Underbelly Festival

Summer-long arts festival on the South Bank, featuring comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in the inflatable upside down cow venue, international street food, open-air bar. Festival grounds open daily until 11pm. Ticket prices for show vary, but a majority are under £20, free entry to festival grounds. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Underbelly Festival website.

  • 7 – 8 April : Cask Beer 2018

Cask beer festival featuring some of the country’s top breweries. Featuring 60 casks from 30 breweries with all beer at £5 a pint. Tickets: £5 (include branded festival glass, welcome half pint and a souvenir brochure). Affinity Brewing Company, Railway Arch 7, Bermondsey, SE16 3LR. Nearest stations: Bermondsey or South Bermondsey. For tickets, visit Billetto

  • Now until 8 April : Winnie The Pooh – Exploring A Classic

AA Milne’s beloved bear is celebrated with sketches, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion. Open 10am-5.45pm. Tickets: Adults £8, Student 12-17, NUS £5, Children 0-11 free. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website.

  • 12 – 15 April : London Coffee Festival

A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. Tickets start from £14.50 (advance). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website. 

  • 13 – 15 April : London Spanish Film Festival Spring Weekend

Three day film event ahead of the London Spanish Film Festival in September, featuring several new Spanish language releases. At the Regent Street Cinema and Cine Lumiere. For more information, visit the London Spanish Film Festival website.

  • 14 – 28 April : West Norwood Free Film Festival

The hugely popular free film festival comes to SE27, featuring screenings of E.T., Hidden Figures, North By Northwest, La La Land, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Clueless, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and more. Venues include Knowles Of Norwood, St Luke’s Church, Elmgreen School, Bon Velo, The Clockworks and more. For more information, visit the FreeFilmFestivals website.

  • Now until 16 April : London Handel Festival

Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks in venues, including Frederick Handel’s own parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Britten Theatre (Royal College of Music), the Foundling Museum, Grosvenor Chapel, Duke’s Hall (Royal Academy of Music), Cadogan Hall, The Charterhouse, St Lawrence Little Stanmore and Wigmore Hall. For more information, visit the London Handel Festival website.

  • 19 – 21 April : Creative Craft Show

An event for stitchers, sewers and hobbycrafters, featuring workshops, demonstrations and talks. Open Thu and Fri: 10am-4.30pm, Sat: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Seniors £9. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 19 – 21 April : NTV Spring Break

From the team behind Mile High and Carousel London is a new immersive party experience. Inspired by MTV’s Spring Break parties in the late 1990s and JM Barrie’s Neverland is a journey through food, booze, music and more. Tickets: Standard £40pp (early bird £35pp), includes entry, 1x cocktail, 2x street food tokens and all the entertainment. VIP £65pp, includes access all areas pass, min. 4x cocktails, 4x street food tokens and all the entertainment. Park Village Studios, Park Village East, Regents Park, NW1 7PX. Nearest station: Mornington Crescent. For tickets, visit the Shuttlecock website. Find out more in Metro Girl’s blog post.

  • 20 April : Tea Dance

Celebrate National Tea Day with St Kats’ annual tea dance. Featuring vintage music, glamorous costumes, dance performances and lessons. The World Food Friday market will also be open. 12pm-2pm. Free. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website. Find out the history of St Katharine Docks.

  • 20 – 21 April : Sonica

Glasgow’s sonic art festival Sonica comes to the capital for two-days, featuring an array of live sonic installations. Times vary depending on show. Tickets: £4.50. Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Sonica website.

  • 20 – 30 April : La Linea

London’s Latin Music Festival features a series of gigs across the capital over 10 day. Featuring an eclectic mix of music such as traditional Cuban music, Latin rumba, Spanish ska and punk, Chilean classics, Mexico’s genre-spanning sounds, and future Iranian/Afro-Cuban inspired electronica. Venues include Barbican, Village Underground, Royal Albert Hall and the Jazz Cafe. For more information, visit the Como No website.

  • 20 April – 6 May : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Showcasing the winning and shortlisted diverse photographs from this year’s awards. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm. Tickets: £6-£18. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Celebrate St George’s Day in Trafalgar Square

  • 21 April : Feast Of St George

Celebrate the patron saint of England’s feast day with a day of fun and fare in Trafalgar Square. Includes English food, cookery demos from celebrity chefs, stalls, banqueting area, family games and live music. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the website.

  • 21 April : Prohibition Party

Vintage-style party, featuring live music, DJs, gambling, dancers, cocktails and more. From Bourne & Hollingsworth, the people behind the Blitz Party and Cocktails In The City. Fancy dress expected. 8pm-3am. Tickets: £30-£40. In a secret London location. For tickets, visit the Prohibition Party website.

  • 21 April : Masonic Masquerade

A Curious Invitation hosts a macabre night of cabaret, circus and cinema in the stunning surrounds of a Greek Masonic Temple. 7.30pm-2am. Tickets from £15. Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, City of London, EC2M 7QN. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit A Curious Invitation’s website.

  • 22 April : Virgin Money London Marathon

Cheer on an estimated 36,00 runners raising money for charity in the world’s biggest marathon. The 26 mile marathon starts in Greenwich/Blackheath and ends in The Mall. Free for spectators. For more information and spectator maps, visit the Virgin London Marathon website. For Metro Girl’s blog on a previous London Marathon, click here.

  • 22 April : Feast of St George @ Borough Market

Day of celebrations to mark St George’s Day, showcasing the English and international origins of the patron saint. Including food stalls, cookery demonstrations, maypole dancing, theatre, storytelling, children’s activities and more. 12pm-4pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post.

  • Now until 22 April : Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz In Britain

Exhibition exploring the impact of jazz on Britain from 1918, featuring painting, printmaking and cartoons, moving film, instruments and, of course, jazz. Open Mon, Thur-Sat: 10am- 4:30pm, Wed: 10am-9pm, Sun: 11am-4:30pm, closed Tues. Two Temple Place, 2 Temple Place, Temple, WC2R 3BD. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Two Temple Place website.

  • 25 – 28 April : Mrs and Mr Bateman

A new installation concept featuring art, fashion, interiors and more. Three creatives have transformed a Soho building into the home of the fictitious Batemans. Expect discussions, workshops, shopping and more. Open 10am-6pm (evenings for activities). Mrs and Mr Bateman, 15 Bateman Street, Soho, W1D 3AQ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road. Check out the Mrs and Mr Bateman website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post to find out more.

  • 25 – 29 April : Made London

Design and craft fair featuring the country’s best contemporary makers. Wed-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm. Free admission. East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Made London website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Support the runners at the London Marathon

  • 26 – 29 April : Country Living Spring Fair

Spring fair from the team behind Country Living magazine, featuring shopping exclusive products, lamb feeding petting Insta-famous dogs, hen keeping advice, paint workshops with Annie Sloan, learning to cook, bake and roast with Heston Blumenthal’s Chefs and Konditor & Cook. Open Thu-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm. Tickets: £14.50. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

  • 26 – 29 April : Prosecco Springs Festival

Four day festival featuring Prosecco, Italian food, masterclasses and live music. Open Thur 7pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-5pm and 7pm-12am, Sun 12pm-5pm. Tickets: £40-£55. Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Bethnal Green, E2 9DT. Nearest station: Cambridge Heath or Bethnal Green. For booking, visit the Prosecco Springs website.

  • 27 April – 2 June : London Burlesque Festival

The world’s finest burlesque performers gather in the capital for an extended five week festival. Doors open 7pm, shows start at 8.05pm. Tickets: General £24, Priority £35. Shaw Theatre, 110 Euston Road, NW1 2AJ. Nearest station: Euston or Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the London Burlesque Festival website.

  • 27 – 28 April : The Cognac Show

From the team behind Whisky Exchange over 150 different Cognacs available to sample, plus masterclasses, food pairings and Cognac cocktails. Fri 5.30-9.45pm, Sat 12.30-6.30pm. Tickets: Fri £40, Sat £45. Bloomsbury House, 2-3 Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2RL. Nearest station: Holborn. Fore more information, visit the Cognac Show website.

  • 28 April : Margarita Rumble – Bottomless Margarita Festival

Mixologists from over 15 of the best bars and restaurants compete for the title of Best Margarita in London. Including Wahaca, DF / Mexico, El Patron, The Alchemist, Cielo Blanco, Roadhouse, Cafe Pacifico and more. Featuring two hours of unlimited cocktails. 1pm-9.45pm. Tickets from £35 (two-hour session). The Yard, 89½ Worship Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 2BF. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Old Street. For booking, visit DesignMyNight.

  • 28 April : Vaisakhi Festival

Celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture, marking Sikh New Year and 1699, the year Sikhism was born. Featuring live performances, kirtan (spiritual music), arts, food, community groups and charities, children’s activities, turban tying and sporting have-a-go activations 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment. For more information, visit the website.

  • 28 April : Cheese Street NW5

London’s cheese festival returns to Hampstead, featuring local and sustainable food traders, tastings and samples, masterclasses, poutine and more. 10am – 3pm. Tickets: £6. Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market, William Ellis School (off Highgate Road), NW5 1RN. Nearest station: Tufnell Park or Gospel Oak. For more information, visit the London Farmers Market website or to buy tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • Now until 28 April : Paint Pigment Photography exhibition

Exhibition inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi featuring Rob and Nick Carter’s stunning images of coloured powder captured at 1/8000th of a second. Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Free entry. RN at 5a, 5A Bathurst Street, Connaught Village, W2 2SD. Nearest station: Paddington or Lancaster Gate. For more information, visit the Rob and Nick Carter website.

  • 28 – 29 April : Classic Car Boot Sale

Buy music, food, fashion and more surrounded by classic cars and bikes. Also featuring street food and cocktail stalls. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £4 in advance. Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.

  • Now until 29 April : Travel Photographer Of The Year Awards

Outdoors exhibition featuring the winning images of the Travel Photographer Of The Year Awards. Open 24 hours. Free to view. Located on the Queens Walk by the Thames near City Hall and The Scoop, Southwark, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the TPOTY website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Harmonics in Space is an immersive light, colour and sound exhibition at the Now Gallery in North Greenwich

  • Now until 29 April : Harmonics in Space @ Now Gallery

New exhibition by Fred Butler uses colours, shapes, textures and sound to relax and uplift. Open: Mon–Fri 10am–7pm, Sat–Sun 11am–4pm. Guests can spend up to 30 minutes in the exhibition. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. Headphones supplied with bank card as guarantee. NOW Gallery, the Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. To book a time slot, visit the Now Gallery website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

  • Now until 6 May : Somnai

Experience a live, multi-sensory experience with immersive technologies. Somnai is said to be the biggest theatrical event since Punch Drunk and offers a ‘lucid dreaming’ experience. Over 18s only. 90 minutes long. Times vary. Tickets: £50. 2 Pear Tree Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 3SB. Nearest stations: Old Street, Barbican or Farringdon. For booking and more information, visit the Somnai website.

  • Now until 6 May : Life With The Kennedys @ Proud

Exhibition of LIFE magazine photojournalist Mark Shaw’s intimate portraits of late US President John F Kennedy and the first family. Open Mon-Sun 11am-6pm. Free entry. Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, WC2N 6BP. Nearest station: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Proud Galleries website.

  • Now until 2 June : An Evening Of Meat

An immersive culinary experience celebrating fierce femininity. Featuring dance, performance art and a six-course feast created by Michelin-trained Head Chef Chavdar Todorov. Vegan and vegetarian options available. Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets: From £35 (inc pre-dinner lounge, six-course meal, performance and post-event dancing). The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit The Vaults website.

  • Now until 17 June : Ocean Liners – Speed And Style

Exhibition examining the golden era of ocean liners from the mid 19th century until the 1960s, featuring over 200 artefacts from the Titanic, Mauretania, Normandie and Queen Elizabeth. Open 10am-4pm (tickets available in time slots). Tickets: Adults £18, Seniors £17, Child 12-17yrs £15, Child 11 and under free. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition here.

  • Now until summer TBA : Backyard Cinema – Mission To Mars

Watch your favourite sci-fi film in a ‘spaceship’ for an immersive cinematic experience. Tickets: Adults from £17.50, Children (under 12) from £9.50. Date night package for two: £75 (includes snacks, bottle of Prosecco and blankets). Backyard Cinema, Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle or Borough. For booking and listings, visit the Backyard Cinema website. Read Metro Girl’s review to find out more.

  • Now until June : Sculpture In The City 2017/2018

Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s exhibition.

  • Now until 8 July : Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner – The Final Cut

Secret Cinema returns with an live immersive experience of Blade Runner. Over 18s only. Dress code TBA. Starts from 6-7.30pm until late. Tickets start from £45. In a secret Zone 2 London location to be revealed nearer the time. For more information and booking, visit the Secret Cinema website.

  • Now until 2 September : Painted Hall Ceiling Tours

The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College is undergoing a huge restoration. For a limited time only, visitors will be able to ascend 60ft to see the painted ceiling up close. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £5. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest station: Greenwich, Maze Hill or Cutty Sark (DLR). To book, visit the Old Royal Naval College website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the tour here.

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About Metro Girl

Media professional who was born, brought up and works in London. My blog is a guide to London - what's on, festivals, history, reviews and attractions. All images on my blog are © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl, unless otherwise specified. Do not use without seeking permission first.

Posted on 30 Mar 2018, in Entertainment, Families, Festivals, London, Tourist Attractions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

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