Author Archives: Metro Girl

Guide to what’s on in London in March 2022

Find out what’s on in the capital, including art fairs, Secret Cinema’s Bridgerton experience and the Ideal Home Show.

Kew Gardens Palm House daffodils © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

Spring is in the air… well at least it’s supposed to be! With March having notoriously erratic weather, fortunately London has plenty of indoor festivals, exhibitions and events on this month. 

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 3 – 6 March 2022 : The Stitch Festival

Haberdashery festival featuring hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features and 200 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. Open 9.30am-5.30pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £7.50. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Stitch Festival website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Beano – The Art of Breaking the Rules

Exhibition of Britain’s naughtiest kid and the comic’s history. Explore original artwork and artefacts. Open Sat, Sun & Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £16, concs £12.50, Under 6s free. Embankment Galleries (South Wing), Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • Now until 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 March 2022 : Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring

A chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There are over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging from £50 to £7,500. Tickets: £10-£27. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : WOW – Women of the World

A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Marian Keyes, Lisa Taddeo, Pandora Sykes, Patrisse Calours, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Warsan Shire, Deborah Frances-White and Elizabeth White among the featured names. Events range from free to £38. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : Move It

The world’s biggest dance event featuring performances, classes, workshops, shopping, and talks by experts from all genres, including Layton Williams, Dane Bates, Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, Dark Angels, Flawless, Jess Baddie, Josh Denyer, Josh Wharmby, Kloe Dean and more. Day tickets: Adults from £21, Children from £16.50 (show and class tickets also available). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Move It website. 🐻 © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

  • 11 – 27 March 2022 : 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 and experts include Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, David Domoney, Rosemary Shrager, Lisa Faulkner, Melissa Helmsley, and many more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also include free access to the Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website. Read the rest of this entry

Palace, Prison and Poorhouse | The story of Bridewell in the City of London

Originally built as a Tudor palace, the name ‘Bridewell’ has now become synonymous with prisons around the world.

Bridewell Palace 14 New Bridge Street © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2020

Office block 14 New Bridge Street incorporates the rebuilt gatehouse

Today, the City of Westminster is associated with royal residences, with Buckingham and St James’s Palaces and Clarence House located in the borough. Although it’s been some time since British monarchs resided in the City of London, there are still reminders of former royal abodes to be found within the Square Mile. While the Tower of London is an obvious historic relic of the royal City, there is also another less noticeable remainder just over a mile away.

A relief portrait of King Edward VI

Situated on the busy A201 road, leading north from Blackfriars Bridge, is Bridewell Court. It consists of a 19th century gatehouse, which forms an entrance to an office building, currently home to a law firm. If you look above the archway, you’ll spot a clue to the site’s fascinating history: a relief portrait of King Edward VI (1537-1553). 

Bridewell Palace was built in the 16th century on the site of St Bride’s Inn, on the banks of the River Fleet. It was a huge site, spanning south from the existing gatehouse towards where the Unilever building on the Embankment stands today. The structure was the main London residence for King Henry VIII (1491-1547) during the early part of his reign in 1515-1523 after acquiring the site from Cardinal Wolsey (1473-1530). The palace complex comprised of three-storey royal lodgings surrounding two courtyards. A bridge led from the palace over the Fleet to the Dominican priory of Blackfriars. Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) lodged at Bridewell while the validity of their marriage was being debated at Blackfriars when the King was hoping to re-marry Anne Boleyn. By the 1530s, it was leased to the French Ambassador. Following Henry VIII’s death, the property passed onto the ownership of his son, Edward VI.

British Library via Wikimedia Commons

Bridewell Palace, 1666.
(From Old and New London, Illustrated, by Walter Thornbury)

During his short reign, Edward VI gave Bridewell to the City authorities in 1553 to be used as a women’s prison, workhouse and orphanage for homeless children. Many of the female prisoners sent to Bridewell were prostitutes. By 1556, the complex also included a hospital. In 1557, Bridewell was paired with Bethlehem Hospital (aka ‘Bedlam’) in Bishopsgate for administrative purposes. However, as with most buildings in the area, the Bridewell complex was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was rebuilt soon after. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in London.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014Last February was a bit of a wash-out thanks to lockdown, so no doubt many Londoners will be looking forward to getting out and about. This month sees plenty of festivals and exhibitions, including the launch of the Beatrix Potter at the V&A and the return of the Orchid Festival to Kew Gardens.

Of course, halfway through the month is Valentine’s Day so plenty of spaces will be offering romantic events, while others will be giving singles the opportunities to have some fun. During February, expect to see some family-friendly activites and events during half-term.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 2 February – 18 April 2022 : Bob Marley – One Love Experience

An immersive experience celebrating the late, great singer, along with previously unseen photographs and memorabilia. Open Mon-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Standard £18/£24, Children 9-14 yrs £10, Under 8s free when accompanying an adult. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website. 🐻

  • 3 February – 8 May 2022 : Van Gogh Self-Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraiture is explorer in a new exhibition. Entry times from 10am-5.15pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£20, Under 18s free. The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple. For tickets, visit the Courtauld Gallery website.

  • 5 February – 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 February 2022 : London International Mime Festival

Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £13-£45. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Sadler’s Wells, Puppet Theatre Barge, Shoreditch Town Hall, The Peacock and The Place. For more information, visit the Mime London website. 🐻

  • 9 – 22 February 2022 : Imagine Children’s Festival

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon, Steve May, Michelle Harrison, YolanDa and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Many activities and events are free, but some go up to £20. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 February 2022 : Classical Vauxhall

Series of classical music concerts returns to Vauxhall, featuring the music of Brahms, Schubert, Shostakovich, and more. From 8pm. Tickets: £20. St Peter’s Church, 310 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the BeInVauxhall website.

  • 10 – 12 February 2022 : Ealing Music and Film Festival 2022

Scaled down version of the annual festival in Ealing. Events take place at The Old Library or St Barnabas Church. Tickets range from free to £20. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For booking, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.

  • 11 – 13 February 2022 : Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show

Bike festival, featuring the latest bikes and launches, a Rossi tribute, bike kit deals, fire-ups and racing. Open Fri 11 10am-5pm, Sat 12 9am-6pm, Sun 13 9am-5pm. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the MCN Motorcycle Show website.

  • 11 – 20 February 2022 : City Lights

Light and sound installations come to the Square Mile. From 5.30pm-10pm. Free. At various locations across the City of London. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Mansion House or Cannon Street. For more information, visit the City of London website.

  • 11 February – 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thur-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website.

  • 11 February – 12 March 2022 : Spaces of Light and Colour

Never before seen paintings by Ulrich Erben, from his early work until more recent creations. Open: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in January 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital as the new year kicks off.

Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2022 is way better than 2021 and 2020 (although, let’s face it, that won’t be hard, will it?!). Although January is one of London’s quieter months for special events and festivals, there’s still plenty on to keep you occupied during your free time.

As well as the last few days and weeks of festive events like Winter Wonderland and Winterfest at Wembley, there is also plenty of arts events. The Vault fringe festival is making its long-awaited return, along with the London International Mime Festival and the London Short Film Festival. In the early part of January, there’s still opportunities to catch some of the festive entertainment, including pantomimes, ballets and other theatre productions.

Find out what special events, exhibitions and festivals are on around the capital this January 2022. However, it’s recommended to check the events’ social media or websites before heading out as some may be impact by Covid-19 rules or cancellations.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 January 2022 : New Year’s Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2022 : Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Explore the Vatican’s majestic chapel in an immersive experience, featuring the iconic ceiling paintings, which have been reproduced with HD photography. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £11, Children from £8. Cannon Factory. Ashley Road, Tottenham, N17 9LH. Nearest station: Tottenham Hale. For tickets, visit the exhibition website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2022 : Summer Exhibition 2021 @ Royal Academy of Arts

The delayed summer 2021 exhibition features over 1,300 works from new and established artists. Open Tues–Sun: 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20–£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the RA website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

Last Orders by Leigh Banks is one the many pieces on display at the Summer Exhibition 2021
  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Winter Wonderland

The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Cirque Berserk, Zippos Christmas Circus, Bar Ice, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Real Ice Slide, and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Tickets (must be pre-booked): Peak £5-£7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £20 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Winter Night Garden @ Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema’s permanent home has been transformed into a magical festive garden for one of its two winter cinematic experiences (the other being the Snow Kingdom). Walk through a magical wardrobe and travel through an enchanted forest to reach the big screen, which will be showing festive favourites and new releases. Tickets range from £10.50-£29.99. Backyard Cinema’s Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town or East Putney. For more information and booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace

A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

Read the rest of this entry

Merry Christmas to MoaMG readers | What’s on in London if you’re staying put

A round-up of what’s on in London during the 2021 festive period.

Just a short blog post to wish readers of Memoirs of a Metro Girl a safe and Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! As the pandemic continues to rumble on, some people may be isolating over the festive period or scaling down their plans – I am certainly doing the latter.

If you’re like me and are staying in the London over the Christmas and New Year period, there are still plenty of events and activities on around town to keep you entertained. Of course, many venues may have amended their Covid-19 precautions, such as limiting numbers, requiring masks and asking for proof of vaccination or negative tests. Other venues have decided to close as well so always check their websites or social media accounts before heading out.

Here’s some ideas of what’s on in London during Christmas and New Year:

– Follow the Illuminature lights trail around the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes

– Fans of the Fab Four can check out unseen photographs of The Beatles at the Shapero Modern gallery in Mayfair.

– Check out the Winterfest light festival in Wembley.

– Try out a spot of curling in King’s Cross.

– Head to the theatre to watch one of the capital’s pantomimes, ballets or other festive shows.

– Enjoy the contemporary art at the Sculpture in the City exhibition in the City of London.

 – Go skating on one of London’s outdoor ice rinks.

– Peruse the eclectic art at the last few days of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

– Bring your kids to pose with their favourite movie heroes at the Scenes in the Square trail in Leicester Square.

Stay safe and enjoy the festive period!

Metro Girl

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Illuminature @ WWT London | Walking in a Winter (Wetland) Wonderland

Discover the London Wetlands Centre after dark on a festive trail

Illuminature at the WWT London

There are many festive light experiences on in London at the moment. However, most of these illuminated trails don’t allow visitors the chance to witness nature after dark at the same time.

Recently, we went along to the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, to check out their winter lights trail passing by the habitats of its wildlife. While other nocturnal neon experiences tend to be Christmas themed, the Wetlands Centre have turn to their feathered inhabitants and other creatures for inspiration, with light sculpture of birds dotted along the trail. Among our group were my six-year-old niece and nine-year-old nephew, who loved dancing under the rainfall lights and hopping from lily pad to pad, which lit up in green in response to human feet. There are also opportunities to control some illuminations with interactive buttons, as well as a spotlight shed to hide in to create-your-own shadow animals. Read the rest of this entry

Lost photographs of The Beatles to go on display in London

The exhibition of previously-unseen images will go on show in Mayfair until January 2022.

Lost images of The Beatles by Lord Christopher Thynne are on show

The Beatles made the transition from rock stars to movie stars in 1964 with the release of their first film A Hard Day’s Night. Both a critical and box office success, the low-budget film was produced in just 16 weeks.

Nearly six decades later, previously unseen photographs of the Fab Four on set of their movie debut are going on display in London. Taken by photographer Lord Christopher Thynne (1934 – 2017) over two days in spring 1964, these pictures spent years as undeveloped negatives until recently. The collection of images not only show John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr and George Harrison filming, but also their quieter moments in between takes. Filming was a break from the group from the ‘Beatlemania’ they had just experienced on their first tour of the USA.

Thynne’s photographs will go on display at the Shapero Modern gallery from 9 December 2021 for just five weeks. These unearthed images will also be available for sale for £400-£650 for a limited period.

  • The Beatles runs from 9 December 2021 – 16 January 2022. At Shapero Modern, 41-43 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm. Free entry. For more information, visit the Shapero Modern website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in December 2021

Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London over the Christmas 2021 period.

Christmas tree in Hay's Galleria, LondonDecember is finally here! We’re sure many of us can’t wait for this difficult year to be over after another long struggle through pandemic and Brexit impacts. As usual, many festive events already started in November, but they really ramp up in the run-up to Christmas.

Among the events on in the capital this December include festive cinematic experiences, illumination and light trails, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.

As you would expect, there’s plenty of family-friendly activities as many relatives are reunited after spending last Christmas apart. Theatreland is well and truly back in action with a host of pantomimes, ballets and other Christmas shows to keep the whole family entertained. There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 5 December 2021 : Sparkle in the Park

Follow a festive light trail around the park alongside fire art installations, before enjoying live music, children’s shows, a Christmas disco, market stalls and hot food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Maryon Park, Maryon Road, Charlton, SE7 8EN. Nearest stations: Charlton or Woolwich Dockyard. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich website. 🐻

  • 1 – 19 December 2021 : Cinema in the Snow

Pop Up Screens are bringing their festive, cinematic experience to south London. Step through a magical wardrobe into a winter wonderland, where you can watch classic Christmas films and newer festive releases on the big screen (indoors!). Licensed bar and snacks available. Tickets: Under 12s £12, Adults £22. Brockwell Park (Lido gate), Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For booking, visit the Pop Up Screens website. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 December 2021 : Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Movie Spectacular

Cinematic experience experts Backyard Cinema are launching a third festive spectacular away from their permanent home in Wandsworth. Watch one of the three classic Christmas films (Love Actually, Home Alone or Elf) along with a live choir and performances by George The Poet in a stunning Art Deco setting. Times vary. Tickets start from £15.  Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E1 0HX. Nearest station: Limehouse. For tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻

  • 2 December 2021 : Christmas Lights Walk @ Marylebone

Explore the light installations of the Baker Street Quarter, telling the story of famous people and places from the district. Starts at 6pm. Free. Starts at Punch Tavern, 55 Baker Street, Marylebone, W1U 7DA. Nearest station: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 December 2021 : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £25.30, Children 5-15yr £12.60, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website. 🐻

  • 4 December 2021 : Rumblin’ Cocktails Rum Education @ Museum of London Docklands

Rum cocktail experts Rumblin’ host a history and mixology workshop in the old Rum Store. Explore the heritage of the tipple, before mixing your own and take a bottle of rum punch home. Over 18s only. From 5.30pm. Tickets: £55. Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. Nearest stations: West India Quay or Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Museum of London website.

  • Now until 4 December 2021 : Pigs Ear Festival 2021

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £3 (CAMRA members), £5 (general). Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, Hackney, E5 0LY. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 4 December 2021 – 9 January 2022 : The Gingerbread City 2021

The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists and engineers create a mini city made entirely of gingerbread and icing. In addition to the exhibition of the final creation, there is also the opportunity to take part in gingerbread house-making workshops. Open daily 9am-9pm. Tickets (45 min sessions): Adults and over 12 yrs: £14, Children 3-12yrs £8.50. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 December 2021 : Christmas Floating Film Festival

Cosy up on a sofa or deckchair on a floating pontoon to watch your favourite festive films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm (weekday and weekends), 2pm (weekends). Tickets: £16.76-£32.93. 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. 🐻

  • 7 – 9 December 2021 : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen

Get inspired for your festive food with live demonstrations, tastings, masterclasses, tips and tricks at Borough Market. Events from 11am-4pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.

  • 8 December 2021 : Festive evening @ Leadenhall Market

Enjoy Christmas workshops, live music and late-night shopping at historic Leadenhall Market. Open 6pm-10pm. Free to attend, but register for a place on one of the workshops via Eventbrite. 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.

  • 8 December 2021 – 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace

A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 9 December 2021 : Miracle on Leake Street 2021

A one-off Christmas event comes to the colourful, graffiti-decorated tunnels of Leake Street. Featuring market stalls, free wreath-making workshops, face paint, activations, food and drink, comedy and cabaret teasers of the Vault Festival 2022 and a free screening of Home Alone. From 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Leake Street tunnels, Lambeth, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Waterloo. For more information, visit the We Are Waterloo website.

  • 9 December 2021 – 16 January 2022 : The Beatles exhibition @ Shapero Modern

Exhibition of newly-discovered photographs of The Beatles filming A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm. Free entry. Shapero Modern, 41-43 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Shapero Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.

  • Now until 9 January 2022 : Wave @ Greenwich Peninsula

Squidsoup presents an interactive sculptural light installation, offering an audio-visual experience. Open 7pm-10pm. Free entry, but queues expected at busy times. Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

Enchanted Eltham lights up the grounds of Eltham Palace

  • 9 – 30 December 2021 : Enchanted Eltham

Late-night opening of Eltham Palace sees the Tudor and Art Deco buildings and gardens dazzle in a show of light, colour and sound. Follow the trail around the gardens. Also including fairground rides and hot food and drink on offer, including a roasting marshmallow pit. Open Thu-Sun 4.30pm-9pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: Adults £14/£16, Children 5-15 yrs £9.50/£11.50. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest stations: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻

  • 10 December 2021 : Paper Craft Masterclass – Christmas Card Making

Using images from the British Library’s collections, design and make your own Christmas cards under the guidance of expert Shelagh McCarthy. From 10:30am-4.30pm. Tickets: £65, seniors, students or young people (18-25yrs) £55. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest stations: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For booking, visit the British Library website. Read the rest of this entry

The Art of Banksy exhibition extended until Spring 2022

Exhibition of works by the elusive street artist runs in Covent Garden until May 2022.

The Art of Banksy exhibition has now been extended until May 2022
© Art of Banksy exhibition

The hugely-popular Art of Banksy exhibition has been extended until Spring 2022. The world’s largest collection of privately-owned Banksy pieces will continue to be displayed in London after previous stints in world cities, such as Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Chicago.

The exhibition has been on show in Covent Garden since May 2021, giving Londoners and visitors to the capital the opportunity to check out over 90 authentic, original pieces by the elusive street artist. Among the artwork from private collections include prints, screen prints, canvasses and limited-edition pieces created between 1997-2008.

Street art aficionados will recognise iconic creations such as ‘Girl with a Balloon’, ‘Rude Copper’ and ‘Brace Yourself’. There is also an installation of six video screens broadcasting a series of interviews with Banksy’s former printer, giving an exclusive insight to working with the famous street artist.

Alongside the exhibition will be private tours by Blue Badge tour guides and school workshops.

  • The Art of Banksy is on from May 2021 until 22 May 2022. Open Mon-Wed & Sun 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9.30am-7pm. Tickets: £14.50-£29.50, under 6s free. 50 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9LJ. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For tickets, visit the Art of Banksy website.
  • NB: The Art of Banksy has not been authorised or curated in collaboration with the artist Banksy.

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National Archives launches 20sPeople events and exhibitions to celebrate release of the 1921 census

The National Archives are hosting special events and activities to mark the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales

A century later, the decade of the 1920s continues to fascinate many of us. In between two World Wars, it was a time of great change, with many discovering new freedoms and exploring their creativity following the restrictive constraints of Victorian and Edwardian society. The fashion and architecture of the period remains popular today, with events and parties often opting for 1920s themes.

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in the 1920s, particularly for your ancestors, the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales will answer some of those questions. To celebrate the release of the Census in January 2022, The National Archives are hosting a programme of events and activities, entitled 20sPeople.

The main part of the programme will be The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition. Visitors can explore the decade’s politics, social changes, design and more as they happen upon a series of encounters walking down a typical 1920s street. Using the Archives’ vast collection of records and artefacts, you can find out the truth behind the era’s stereotypes and the turbulence, as women fought for the right to vote and people recovered from the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic. The exhibition will take visitors to a newspaper stand, polling station, draper’s shop, and typical 1920s home, before ending in a nightclub. A reimagining of popular Soho nightspot, The 43 club, tells the story of the venue, which was owned by Kate Meyrick and entertained film stars and gangsters of the day.

Along with the exhibition, there will be a series of events (both online and in-person), along with digital activities and access of learning resources. 20sPeople events, such as online talks, audio dramas and webinars on how to research your family history are already taking place from November 2021.

  • The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition runs from 21 January 2022 until TBA. 20sPeople events are on from November 2021 onwards. The National Archives, Kew, TW9 4DU. Nearest station: Kew. For more information, visit the National Archives website.

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