Author Archives: Metro Girl

Sculpture in the City 2021/2022 | Alfresco art exhibition is back in the Square Mile

The free contemporary art exhibition has returned to the City of London for its 10th edition, running until spring 2022.

Bloom Paradise by Jun T Lai is one of the artworks taking part in Sculpture In The City

The annual, outdoor exhibition of contemporary art is back in the City of London. Launched in June 2021, the 10th edition of Sculpture in the City runs until spring 2022. The exhibition sees the streets of the Square Mile turned into an alfresco gallery space for a variety of different sculptures.

Among the artists taking part in the 2021/2022 display include Alice Channer, Ruth Ewan, Isabella Martin, Mike Ballard, Oliver Bragg, Mark Handforth, Eva Rothschild, Laura Arminda Kingsley, Tatiana Wolska, Guillaume Vandame, Bram Ellens, Jake Elwes, Jun T Lai, Regitze Engelsborg Karlsen, Almuth Tebbenhoff, Rosanne Robertson, Laure Prouvost and Elisa Artesero. The sculptures and installations have been erected at various points around the City, such as Leadenhall Market and the ‘Cheesegrater’.

  • The 10th edition of Sculpture In The City is on from now until Spring 2022. 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 Sculpture In The City website.

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Find out what else is on in London in September 2021 here.

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Chila Burman’s neon installation lights up Covent Garden

Skylight Peckham review: Creative cocktails, luxe seating and sharing plates at London’s newest rooftop destination

The sister bar to Skylight @ Tobacco Dock has opened in south London, boasting fine views, cocktails, food and a new remote working destination.

Skylight Peckham offers views over the capital’s skyline and south London
© Skylight Peckham

With its position directly south of Tower Bridge and the City of London, Peckham is a great location for a rooftop bar. Having steadily become one of south London’s best nightlife destinations in recent years, Peckham has acquired a new drinking and dining spot with a view. The team behind the popular Skylight at Tobacco Dock have opened a second branch on top of the Mountview Academy of Arts. While the original Skylight is known for its outdoor games and multi-level spaces, the Peckham branch offers a more sophisticated lounge setting across one floor, open to Londoners looking to socialise with pals or work remotely.

Clarified Bees Knees cocktail

As a born and bred south Londoner living just a few miles away, I didn’t hesitate when I was invited to the recent launch of Skylight Peckham. Located a short walk from Peckham Rye station, it doesn’t take long before you are whizzed up from Peckham Square to the top floor. Having visited the original in Wapping many times, I was struck by how different the new branch was. Exiting the lift, you are greeted by an expansive, zinc bar overlooking a varied selection of tables, with a mix of comfortable benches, armchairs and chairs. The wide indoor space means Skylight Peckham will be an all-year round destination when alfresco terrace sessions aren’t so tempting in the winter weather. With the room flooded with natural light, the interior looks like it would be a great daytime spot for remote working, which has become so common in the past 18 months thanks to a pandemic I shall not name!

On the night of my visit, my friend and I grabbed a table on the corner of the L-shaped terrace, providing us the opportunity to enjoy views both north and east of the roof. The north-facing view of the capital’s skyline was fabulous, with The Shard, London Eye and the skyscrapers of the Square Mile all clearly visible. I recommend getting there in time to watch the sunset and the lights start to twinkle on as the sky goes dark. The mix of benches, booths and individual seats mean all parties, from large groups to couples are easily catered for. I could definitely imagine returning with a group of girl friends for a boozy weekend brunch on a sunny summer day. Read the rest of this entry

Tusk Lion Trail: Prowl around London with a big cat sculpture trail

Guide to what’s on in London in September 2021

Discover what’s on in the capital this September, including Chelsea Flower Show, Totally Thames, Open House Festival and London Fashion Week.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The Chelsea Flower Show is back

Autumn is here, but London is certainly open as many postponed festivals make a long awaited return after being postponed due to COVID-19. Horticulturists will be thrilled to see the Chelsea Flower Show back, while gin lovers will be looking forward to boozing away at Junipalooza. The hugely-popular Open House Festival returns, giving the public access to 100s of buildings normally off-limits.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 30 September 2021 : Totally Thames

Month-long festival celebration the river and its heritage. Featuring a host of online and in-person events focusing on the heritage, environment and culture of the Thames. At various locations. Some events are free. For more information and booking, visit the Thames Festival Trust website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 September 2021 : Lambeth Heritage Festival 2021

Month-long festival celebrates the diverse history of Lambeth, including workshops, lectures, history fair, exhibitions, harvest festival, talks, guided tours and walks. Most events are free, but some are ticketed. At various locations across Lambeth. For more information, visit the Lambeth Council website.

  • 3 – 5 September : Meatopia 2021

A festival for carnivores, for those who love cooking with fire. Featuring over 60 of the world’s top fire chefs, bars, live music, DJs, and more. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 11.30am-6.30pm. Tickets from £23.85. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Meatopia website.

  • 4 – 5 September 2021 : Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

Shop for vintage fashion, accessories and textiles from the 1900s onwards from over 50 dealers at the striking Art Deco Freemasons Hall. Open 11am-5pm. Tickets: £5. Freemasons Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AZ. Nearest stations: Holborn or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the fair website.

  • 4 – 12 September 2021 : Open House Festival

Step inside some of London’s most interesting buildings, from innovative new builds to historic centuries-old structures. Featuring nearly 700 events, including 100 walking tours and children’s activities. Many of these buildings are usually off-limits to the public. Free. Various locations. For more information, visit the Open City website. Read Metro Girl’s guide to this year’s festival. 🐻 

  • Now until 5 September 2021 : IQL Summer Screen @ Stratford

Enjoying screenings of classic movies, sporting events (Tokyo Paralympics) and new releases on the big screen, as well as yoga classes. Times vary. Tickets are free, but need to be booked in advance due to limited numbers. IQL Summer Screen (near Layard Street), Stratford, E20 1JN. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information and listings, visit the International Quarter website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 September 2021 : Summer Festival @ Hammersmith BID

A season of free, family-friendly activities in Hammersmith city centre. Featuring Tokyo Paralympic screenings, alfresco film nights, opera, wellness classes and more. Times vary. Free. Events take place at St Paul’s Green, Lyric Square and 245 Hammersmith. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information, visit the Hammersmith BID website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 September 2021 : Dub London – Bassline of a City

A new exhibition explores dub reggae and its influence on the capital. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Museum of London website.

  • Now until 5 September 2021 : The Romance of Ruins @ Sir John Soane Museum

Exhibition showcases watercolours from a 1764 expedition to ancient Ionia (modern Turkey), against the backdrop of the Sir John Soane’s museum. Open 10am-5pm. Entry: free (timed ticket). Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane Museum website.

  • 8 – 12 September 2021 : Hampstead Heath Outdoor Film Festival

The Hideaway Cinema sets up camp in Hampstead for five days, screening new releases, classic and family movies. Times vary. Tickets: Adults from £15, under 15 yrs from £5. Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, NW3. Nearest station: Hampstead or Hampstead Heath. For booking, visit the Hideaway Cinema website. 🐻

  • 8 September – 2 October 2021 : Openaire Float-In Cinema

Watch your favourite film while sitting on a boat floating in the Paddington Basin. Hire a boat and enjoy a ride around Little Venice before mooring by the big screen. Times vary. Tickets: Boat for up to 8 people £248.40. Deckchair £19.25. Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington or Edgware Road. For more information and booking, visit the Openaire website. 🐻

  • 9 September : Beerfest Lite

Beer festival outside historic Guildhall, featuring live music, food and drink. 12pm-9pm. Free entry. Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s or Monument. For more information, visit the City of London website

  • 9 – 12 September 2021 : Photo London

Exhibition of world-class photography, featuring galleries, publishers, talks, guided walks, workshops and more. Open Thu 1pm-9pm, Fri 1pm-7pm, Sat 12pm-7pm and Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £29, Youth (13-17yrs) £19. Somerset House, Strand, Aldwych, WC2R 1LA. Nearest stations: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the Photo London website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Head to Somerset House for Photo London

  • Now until 9 September 2021 : Summer Staycation Live Music Sessions @ Paddington Basin

Enjoy free, live music every Thursday lunchtime at the Paddington basin. Thursdays only 12.30pm-2.30pm. Free. Floating Pocket Park, Paddington Basin, W2 1AN. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • 9 – 19 September 2021 : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival

Eleven day film festival at various venues across Peckham and Nunhead. Including screenings of short films and feature-length movies, and pub quiz. All events are free. Nearest stations: Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Queenstown Road Peckham. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 9 September – 2 October 2021 : Crystal Palace International Film Festival

Independent film festival returns to south London, featuring screenings and premieres of full-length, short films and documentaries, culminating in an awards night presented by Johnny Vegas. Tickets: £9-£25. At various locations in SE19, SE27 and SE25. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace, West Norwood or South Norwood. For more information, visit the festival website. 🐻

  • Now until 11 September 2021 : Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF)

Two week festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts returns. Installations, theatre, dance, circus, street games, music and kids’ entertainment will be taking place at various locations. Most events are free. For more information, visit the GDIF website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Open House Festival 2021: All you need to know about the festival of architecture

Highlights of this year’s Open House festival, which takes place 4 – 11 September 2021.

Leadenhall Building view of Gherkin

Open House Festival returns to London in September

The full programme of events and buildings for this year’s Open House Festival 2021 is now live. Previously known as Open House London, what was a weekend is now a nine day festival. For the uninitiated, Open House gives the public the opportunity to step inside some of the capital’s most interesting buildings, from heritage landmarks to modern creations. You’ll be able to see historical features, and dramatic design up close by looking in buildings that are usually off-limits the public. Among the variety opening their doors will be government departments to offices to private homes. As well opportunities to enjoy guided and self-guided tours, there are also walking tours, workshops and children’s activities.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many participating buildings will be following a booking system and enforcing limited visitor numbers. Last year, many buildings were offering online tours, but fortunately a good chunk of those will be re-opening in 2021 for in-person visits. In previous years, some popular spots have seen long queues to gain access, so it’s worth planning in advance and checking which buildings are offering walk-ins.

On 11 September, the festival will host Open City Families at Canary Wharf, featuring a host of architecture and design-inspired activities and events for children.

As a seasoned Open House London visitor and an Open City supporter, here are some of Metro Girl’s recommendations for 2021:

Open House Festival 2021 highlights

Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens, Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, SW2 5DA. Nearest stations: Brixton or Streatham Hill. Built in the early 18th century, it’s the only surviving windmill in inner London. Open Sat 11 and Sun 12, guided tours at 1pm-5pm.

Caroline Gardens Chapel, Asylum Road, Peckham, SE15 2SG. Nearest station: Queen’s Road Peckham. Ageing Georgian chapel now used as an arts centre and events space. Open Sun 5 10am-5pm.

Charlton House, Charlton Road, SE7 8RE. Nearest station: Charlton. London’s only surviving Jacobean mansion, originally built for the tutor of Prince Henry, son of King James I. Open Sun 5, guided tours at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.

City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. Step inside the London government building overlooking the River Thames. Open Sat 4, walking tours between 10am-4pm.

Dorich House Museum, 67 Kingston Vale, SW15 3RN. Nearest station: Norbiton, Putney or Kingston. Striking 1930s artists’ house, formerly owned by sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband, the Hon. Richard Hare. Open Sat 4 and Sat 11, self-guided visits between 9.30am-5pm. Read the rest of this entry

Totally Thames 2021: Celebrate the capital’s river as the heritage and culture festival returns

Enjoy walking tours, talks, workshops, art exhibitions and more as the annual festival returns 1 – 30 September 2021.

The Rivers of the World exhibition returns for the Totally Thames festival
© Milo Robinson

Without the River Thames, London wouldn’t be the city it is today. With the capital returning to life following the end of lockdown, why not head to this year’s Totally Thames? The annual festival returns for the 25th year from 1 – 30 September 2021, boasting a host of events celebrating the heritage, environment and culture of the Thames. From mudlarking to art exhibitions to light installations and walking tours, there’s a variety of events for all ages. While many events are in-person, there will also be plenty to enjoy online as well.

This year’s festival will feature a series of mudlarking events, including an exhibition of fascinating finds, portraits of mudlarkers, an immersive talk, an online writing workshop and Archaeological Foreshore Walks. Meanwhile, the riverside neighbourhoods of Silvertown and Woolwich will be the focus of heritage events, such as walking tours, a photography exhibition and history talks.

The Rivers of the World exhibition will return to the riverside by the Tate Modern with children’s artwork inspired by the river. Children and youth from Greenwich have teamed up with Ghanian schools and professional artists to produce a collection of artworks.

There will also be a series of events marking the completion of Leo Villareal’s Illuminated River project. The world’s longest public art installation sees the bridges of Lambeth, Westminster, Golden Jubilee, Waterloo, Blackfriars, Millennium, Southwark, Cannon Street and London lit up from sunset to 2am. Illuminated River will curate a three-day celebration from 23 – 25 September, including guided tours, talks and sketching workshops.

  • Totally Thames runs from 1 – 30 September 2021. At various locations on and around the River Thames. Prices for events vary, but many are free. For more information and booking, visit the Thames Festival Trust website.

Find out what else is on in London in September 2021 here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in August 2021

There’s a host of events on in the capital this summer, including plenty of family-friendly fun.

A host of festivals are returning to London this August

Summer is in full swing, lockdown has been eased and the kids are off school. Without a doubt, August is surely London’s busiest month when it comes to capital dwellers and visitors seeking leisure fun. Of course, there’s the August bank holiday at the end of the month, offering some carnival alternatives to the postponed action in Notting Hill. This month, expect plenty of festivals, from music to beer to cocktails and food. There’s also plenty of free events if you’re feeling a little short.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 7 August 2021 : Queen’s Park Summer Festival 2021

One-day summer festival featuring live entertainment, MCs, Sound Systems, food and drink, bouncy castles and children’s activities. Open 12pm-6pm. Register online for a free ticket. Queen’s Park Public Open Space, 67 Ilbert Street, W10 4QH. Nearest station: Queen’s Park. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page. 🐻

  • 7 – 8 August 2021 : London Jerk Fest 2021

Celebrate Jamaican independence with a festival of food, drink, music and culture. Open Sat 7 11am-8pm, Sun 8 11am-7pm. Tickets: Free (register via Eventbrite). Bohemia Place, Hackney, E8 1DU. Nearest station: Hackney Central. Find out more on the festival’s Eventbrite page. 🐻

  • 7 – 8 August 2021 : Classic Car Boot Sale

Vintage lovers can shop pre-loved and upcycled goods, including fashion, homewares, fashion and more at this retro festival. 10am-6pm. Tickets: £5, free entry for under 12s. Granary Square, Lewis Cubitt Square and Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event

  • 12 – 15 August 2021 : Roy’s Art Fair

Roy’s Art Fair aims to make art more affordable and accessible. Meet and buy direct from the artists, take part in workshops and check out installations. Open Thurs 5pm-8:30pm, Fri 12pm-7pm, Sat 11am–7pm and Sun 11am-5pm. Register online for a free ticket. Bargehouse, Barge House Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars, Southwark or Waterloo. Find out more information on the Roy’s Art Fair website.

  • 13 – 15 August : London Craft Beer Festival 2021

Popular beer festival returns to London, featuring over 100 world-class breweries. There will also be street food stalls and live music. Open Fri-Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Tickets (early or evening sessions): £45-£53. Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and booking, visit the London Craft Beer Festival website.

  • 13 – 24 August 2021 : Hampton Court Palace Festival

Annual concert series returns to the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Including Bastille ReOrchestrated, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Tom Jones, Keane, Van Morrison and Björn Again. Tickets from £87.50. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For more information, visit the Hampton Court Palace Festival website.

  • 14 August 2021 : Drag Fest London

Live music festival featuring a host of drag superstars over three stages. Featured names include Todrick Hall, United Kingdolls, Crystal Methyd, The Frock Destroyers, Symone and Priyanka, and many more. Over 14s only. Open 1pm-9pm. Tickets: £54.43-£97.55. Studio 338, 338 Boord Street, North Greenwich, SE10 0PF. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For booking, visit the Eventbrite page.

  • 15 August 2021 : BMW Classics presents London Symphony Orchestra

A free, alfresco concert by the London Symphony Orchestra in Trafalgar Square. Featuring young musicians from the LSO’s East London Academy and teenage violin prodigy Leia Zhu, guest soloist for Saint-Saëns’ great showpiece, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso. No glass or furniture allowed. 6.30pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the LSO website.

  • Now until 17 August 2021 : Be in Vauxhall presents Summer Screen

Enjoy alfresco cinema in Vauxhall over four consecutive Tuesday evenings for free. Films include Mamma Mia! (3 Aug), Paddington 2 (10 Aug), and Black Panther (17 Aug).  There will also be local vendors selling food and drink. Register on the website for your free ticket. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Vauxhall Walk, SE11 5HL. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Be In Vauxhall website. 🐻

  • 20 – 21 August 2021 : Cocktails In The City Summer Series

The last of the London summer series of the popular cocktail festival has been taking place monthly since June. London’s top bars host their own pop-ups, alongside live music, street food, tastings and demonstrations. Open 12pm-4pm and 5pm-10pm. Tickets: £20 (daytime or evening slots). Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

  • 20 – 22 August 2021 : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

Huge food festival featuring Chefs Theatre, Cake & Bake Theatre, Drinks Theatre, Kids’ Cookery Theatre, Kids’ Zone, Craft Tent, street food, live music, vintage cider tent, vintage tea tent and more. Open Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £19, 12-18yrs £5, Under 12s free. Syon Park, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane or Brentford. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website. 🐻  Read the rest of this entry

Serpentine Pavilion 2021: Counterspace’s tribute to London’s community spaces

Leadenhall Market celebrates 700 years with a series of free events

Enjoy live music, art exhibitions and guided history tours at the City of London’s iconic market hall.

Leadenhall Market will celebrate 700 years of history with a series of events
© Leadenhall Market

With so many of London’s original market halls no longer serving their original purpose, it’s a notable feat to still be trading centuries later. This summer, Leadenhall Market will market 700 years of selling with a series of events.

The City of London market was established in 1321 on the heart of what was Roman London, meaning people have been trading on the spot for nearly two millennia. The site is still owned by the City of London Corporation, who were gifted it by former Lord Mayor Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington back in 1411. When the current Sir Horace Jones-designed building was erected in the Victorian era, Leadenhall was known for being a meat, poultry and game market. Today, it is now a destination for diners and drinkers, as well as boutique shopping.

This July and August, there will be a series of free events exploring the market’s vast history. From live music to exhibitions, to organised tours and self-guided walks, there will be plenty of activities on offer.

  • Leadenhall Market guided tour (Wednesdays 6.30pm-7.45pm, 7 July – 4 August)

Discover the secrets of the Victorian arcades of Leadenhall Market on a guided walking tour. They are free to join, but limited spaces require booking.

  • Lunchtime Lives (Thursday and Friday lunchtimes, 15 July – 6 August)

Enjoy live music from across the decades, from Victorian music hall to ’50s jazz and street bands.

  • Legends of Leadenhall self-guided tour

Discover the characters of Leadenhall’s past and its fascinating tales with an interactive audio guided tour. Find the QR code on posters within the market to download the app and play at your leisure.

  • Electric City exhibition (open daily until midnight, now until 31 July)

The team behind God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow have curated an exhibition of stunning neon art, from film sets of the past 40 years. Free to visit. An information hub is open 11.30am-7pm Wed-Sat.

  • UAL Graduate Showcase (Open daily until late August)

Check out the designs of final year students from the University of the Arts London. One of the market’s shop windows will be displaying costumes for theatre productions, animal models, set design maquettes and creative boards.

  • Leadenhall Market are celebrating 700 years during July and August 2021. At Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.

Find out what else is on in London this August.

Read more on the history of Leadenhall Market.

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