Category Archives: Families

Ideas for parents and grandparents to entertain the children.

What’s on in London this Halloween and Day of the Dead 2019

Find out what museum events, fairs, club nights, film screenings and other Halloween activities are on this October and November.

Pumpkins Halloween © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019Get ready for the scariest season of the year! As well as Halloween, there has been a rise in popularity of Day of the Dead festivities from Mexico.

This year, Halloween comes after the half-term holidays, so plenty of London attractions are kick-starting their spooky events early. If you’re a parent, there’s plenty of Halloween events on during the daytime and early evening.

Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best daytime and nighttime – for both children or adults – Halloween and Day of the Dead activities on in the capital this October and early November.

For a guide to what else is on in London this October, click here

Daytime jitters

  • 27 September – 10 November : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros Studio Tour

Dark Arts returns to the Harry Potter experience for the Halloween season. The Great Hall is full of 100 floating pumpkins, while the table features a Halloween feast on red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Watch a live duel between the Death Eaters. Tickets: Adults £45, Children £37. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.

  • 1 – 31 October : The Home of Halloween @ London Dungeon

One of London’s most ghoulish destinations offers a Halloween experience. Meet some of London’s most notorious characters such as Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd, The Plague Doctor and The Torturer, watch an exclusive Halloween show and enjoy the rides. Tickets: Adults £30, Children £24. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website.

  • 19 – 27 October : Halloween @ London Zoo

A week of fiendish fun at London Zoo, featuring Grim Keeper tours, creepy crafts, spooky animals and more. Open 10am-5pm. Activities are free with entry to zoo. Entrance tickets: Adults £27.00, Child £17.55 (cheaper online). London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website.

  • 19 – 27 October : Spooky Cats @ the London Museum of Water & Steam

Listen to a cat story every weekday at 11am, make your own cat craft, explore our Splash Cat trail, find the Museum’s hidden cats. Children in cat costumes enter for free. Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £5.50. London Museum of Water & Steam, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, TW8 0EF. Nearest station: Kew Bridge. For more information, visit the London Museum of Water & Steam website.

  • 19 – 27 October : Halloween @ Battersea Power Station

A host of Halloween family activities are taking place over the half-term holidays, including Halloween scavenger hunt, eerie ear-making workship, pumpkin carving, Wicked Witches and Wizard Worshop. Dates and times vary for each activity. Free. Battersea Power Station, 188 Kirtling Street, Nine Elms, SW8 5BN. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website.

  • 19 October – 3 November : Ascarium @ London Aquarium

A Halloween experience at Sea Life London with the Sea Witch asking visitors to help unlock her treasure chest. Tickets start from £21 (online), £26 (on the day). Sea Life London Aquarium, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Sea Life website.

  • 19 – 23 October : Pumpkin Carving @ Morden Hall Park

Carve your own pumpkin at the National Trust grounds and property of Morden Hall Park. Children must be supervised by an adult. 11am-4pm. Small pumpkin £4, medium pumpkin £5. Stableyard, Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (Tramlink). For more information and opening times, visit the National Trust website.

  • 22 October : Family Day: Halloween @ Benjamin Franklin House

A spooky family day with spooky 18th century stories told by Polly Hewson and gruesome games and crafts for 5-11 year olds. 4pm-5.30pm. Free, but advanced booking recommend. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, Westminster, WC2N 5NG. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website.

  • 23 – 31 October : Spooky Storytime @ London Eye

Families will love the Halloween experience on the London Eye. Enjoy fast-track entry and step into a capsule for a 30-minute rotation while listening to spooky stories and leave with a Hotel Chocolat goodie bag. Tickets: £35 (adult and child combi). London Eye, Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For tickets, visit the London Eye website.

  • 24 October – 1 November : Spooktacular Kids Tour

Let your children see the sights of a capital with a 45 minute bus tour of the capital with live guided commentary for chidren. Departs at 4pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Children (5-15) £8. For more information and departure points, visit the Original Tour website.

  • 26 – 27 October : Horniman Halloween Fair

A Halloween fair for the whole family, featuring creepy crawlies, Halloween trail, spooky storytelling, arts and crafts stalls, and food stalls. 10.30am-4.30pm. Free. Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ. Nearest station: Forest Hill. For more information, visit the Horniman Museum website.

  • 26 October – 3 November : Halloween @ Ham House

Scare yourself silly on a family ghost tour of the 17th century house, which is said to have 15 different ghosts. Ages 7+. Tours from 6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Children £15. Ham House & Gardens, Ham Street, Ham, TW10 7RS. Nearest station: Richmond Station. For more information, visit the National Trust website.

  • 28 October – 3 November : Halloween @ Backyard Cinema

Travel through the Winter Night Garden to watch one of your favourite Halloween films at Backyard Cinema’s new permanent home in Wandsworth. Films include Beetlejuice, Scream, Shaun of the Dead, Hocus Pocus, Casper, The Witches and more. Matinees and evening screenings. Full bar and street food stalls available. Tickets: Adults £18.99, Children £9.50. Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website.


Things that go bump in the night

  • 26 September – 10 November : Journey to the Underworld

An immersive, theatrical dining experience on a luxury train carriage on a journey to the Underworld. Featuring a four-course meal and interactions with characters. Time slots vary. Tickets: £57-£60. Pedley Street Station, Arch 63, Pedley Street, Bethnal Green, E1 5BW. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information and tickets, visit the Funincular Productions website.

Switch up your Halloween routine and mark Day of the Dead

  • 8 October – 2 November : London Horror Festival

Festival of live horror performance including cabaret, film screenings, Zombie weekends, midnight performances and a short horror play competition. Ticket prices vary. Most events take place at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, Islington, EC1V 4NJ. Nearest station: Angel; or Pleasance, Carpenters Mews, North Road, Islington, N7 9EF. Nearest station: Caledonian Road. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.

  • 18 October : Halloween Late @ London Dungeon

After-hours fun for adults-only, featuring a darker experience and drinks. Over 18s only. Arrival from 7pm-9pm. Tickets: £29. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 19 October : Festival of the Dead

Mexican-style festival comes to Limehouse. Expect full pageantry, giant skull processions, acrobats, dancers, decorative art, amazing costumes, confetti, CO2, light shows, live music and DJs. 9pm-2am. Tickets: £29.59. Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E1 0HX. Nearest station: Limehouse. For more information, visit the Troxy website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in October 2019

Autumn is here! half-term, Halloween etc, plenty of drinking festivals and art fairs

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Autumn is in full swing

Autumn is in full swing. October is jam-packed with events, including plenty of art fairs, and drinking events, including London Cocktail Week. As well as half-term holidays for the children, there is also Halloween at the end of the month with plenty of activities and parties for both adults and children on around the capital.

For a guide to London’s Halloween and Day of the Dead events this month, click here

  • 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival

Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include gourmet odysseys, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping walking tours, film club and more. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.

  • 1 October – 15 January 2020 : Aladdin and the Feast of Wonders

Darling & Edge return to The Vaults with an immersive, adult pantomime, dining experience. Doors open 6.30pm, Show starts 7.30pm. Tickets from £30. The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For tickets, visit The Vaults website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of Darling & Edge’s 2017 production Beauty And The Feast.

  • 2 – 6 October : Moniker Art Fair

Contemporary art fair celebrating urban art and culture. Open Thu 3pm-10pm, Fri 1pm-9pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £13.52–£27.54. The Chelsea Sorting Office, 90-100 Sydney Street, SW3 6NJ. Nearest station: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information and tickets, visit the Moniker Art Fair website.

  • 2 – 13 October : BFI London Film Festival 2019

The biggest event in the capital’s film calendar brings a host of big names for premieres, screenings, Q&As and more. Venues include BFI Southbank, Vue West End, Cineworld Leicester Square, Curzon Soho, Picturehouse Central, Prince Charles Cinema and more. For more information, visit the BFI website.

  • 3 – 6 October : Frieze Art Fair

Contemporary art event in Regent’s Park, featuring over 160 galleries from around the world. Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £38.70. Regents Park (Art Fair near the Outer Circle in SE corner of the park). Nearest stations: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street or Camden Town. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze London website.

  • 3 – 6 October : Roy’s Art Fair

This 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 Thu 5pm-9.30pm, Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Register on the website for free tickets. Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the Roy’s Art Fair website.

  • 3 – 6 October : The Other Art Fair

The bi-annual fair is a great place to buy art from 130 emerging and undiscovered artists. There will also be guest artists, immersive theatre, live music, bar and restaurant. Opening times vary. Tickets: £9-£25. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Holborn, WC1A 2QP. Nearest station: Holborn. For tickets, visit The Other Art Fair website.

  • 3 – 6 and 10 – 13 October : Oktoberfest London @ Canary Wharf

Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. Opening hours vary. General admission starts from free to £60 (depending on day and package). Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, E14 3AY. Nearest station: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.

  • 3 – 13 October : Wimbledon Bookfest

Festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses, screenings, walks and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Sir Trevor McDonald, Joanne Harris, Sir Alastair Cook, Harry Hill, James O’Brien, Tracy Chevalier, Mariella Frostup, Patricia Cornwall, Emily Maitlis, Alexander McCall Smith, Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Max Hastings, Johnny Ball, Konnie Huq, Charles Moore, Robert Elms and many more. Tickets prices vary. A majority of events take place in tents on Wimbledon Common, but also other venues nearby. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest website.

  • 4 – 6 October : The Cake And Bake Show

Event celebrating all things baking and decorating, featuring celebrity experts, stalls selling baking equipment, cake competitions and more. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £14. ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House. For tickets, visit the Cake And Bake Show website.

  • 4 – 13 October : London Cocktail Week

This year’s LCW is extended to 10 days to marks its 10th anniversary. Enjoy £6 cocktails in over 300 bars, visit pop-ups, cocktail parties and workshops, or visit the Cocktail Hub on Brick Lane. Visit the website to buy a LCW festival pass for £10 to enjoy the £6 cocktails. For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website. Check out Metro Girl’s guide to London Cocktail Week.

Brockwell Park Clock Tower © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Herne Hill Music Festival returns

  • 4 – 13 October : Herne Hill Music Festival

Music festival in Herne Hill, south London at various venues across SE24 and neighbouring areas including The Half Moon, Off The Cuff, St Faith’s Church, Brockwell Hall and St Saviour’s Hall. Tickets range from free to £20. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more information, visit the Herne Hill Music Festival website.

  • Now until 6 October : Serpentine Pavilion

Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami. Free to visit, but also contains a pop-up café inside. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s pavilion.

  • Now until 6 October : Frieze Sculpture 2019

Open-air sculpture exhibition in the English Gardens. Featuring pieces are 23 international artists, including Tracey Emin, Vik Muniz, Zak Ove, Leiko Ikemura and more. Open during park hours. Free. Regent’s Park (English Gardens in south-east corner of the park), Marylebone, NW1 4LL. Nearest stations: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street or Baker Street. For more information, visit the Frieze website. See Metro Girl’s photos of this year’s exhibition.

  • 8 – 27 October : Dance Umbrella

A festival bringing new dance to the capital and a wider audience who may not usually access the art form. Various events at locations across the capital, including Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Southbank Centre, The Yard Theatre, Fairfield Halls, The Place, Shoreditch Town Hall, and Barbican. Tickets prices vary. For more information and tickets, visit the Dance Umbrella website. Read the rest of this entry

Japan Matsuri 2019: The best of Japanese food, arts and culture at a one-day spectacular in London

Head to Trafalgar Square for the Japan Matsuri festival

Japanese cultural festival Japan Matsuri is returning to the capital this September. The annual one-day spectacular offers Londoners the chance to experience the best of Japanese food, music, dance and more. Designed for the whole family, the 10-hour festival is free to attend and takes place in the city’s iconic Trafalgar Square.

Kicking off at 10am, Japan Matsuri will host two stages featuring an exciting programme of traditional and modern theatre, dance, martial arts and music. Acts include Iwami Kagura; ICHI; Joji Hirota & the London Taiko Drummers; Hasiken; Okinawa Sanshinkai / Kenjinkai and Sonda Seinenkai Eisa Group; Hibiki Ichikawa & Akari Mochizuki; Yosakoi London – Temuzu; Hiroko Tanaka Nihon Buyo Group; O-HA-YA-SHI Couple“Reiwa” Group; and Naomi Suzuki. There will also be a family activity tent when visitors can enjoy free workshops in manga, calligraphy and origami, as well as the chance to dress up in Kimonos.

Watch traditional Japanese martial arts displays

Foodies will be in for a treat with a wide variety of food stalls offering classic Japanese street snacks, including takoyaki octopus balls, yakisoba noodles and okonomiyaki pancakes. Or if you fancy something larger, you can choose from wagyu burgers, ramen, bento boxes, donburi rice bowls and sushi. For those with a sweet tooth, there will be plenty of dessert such as red-bean jam dorayaki pancakes to mochi rice cakes.

If you’re feeling inspired to visit the country, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) will also be on-site offering travel inspiration and information. The JNTO are also one of the event sponsors.

  • Japan Matsuri takes place on Sunday 29 September 2019. From 10am-8pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Japan Matsuri website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this September, click here.

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Backyard Cinema – LA Nights review: Frozen cocktails and palm trees as you watch your favourite movie at the beach

See you at the beach! Backyard Cinema – LA Nights is running in Camden for a short time only

After returning from my holiday to Italy last month and being well and truly back in the daily grind of work and commuting, a little bit of beach action would be lovely right now. I was especially tempted by Backyard Cinema’s latest immersive film experience so went along to check it out this week. Having launched at the Camden Roundhouse last month, Backyard Cinema’s LA Nights is running for a limited time only.

Backyard Cinema LA Nights © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

Bright colours and palm trees galore as you follow the trail to the beach

If you’re unaware, Backyard Cinema is a themed, pop-up cinema company which hosts immersive screenings at special locations around London. They have given film fans the chance to roam the Lost World, get lost in a Labyrinth, be roused by a live choir in a church and fly with the Snowman, among their many other creative themes. For five weeks only, the BC posse have transformed the roof of iconic north London venue Roundhouse into a slice of sunny Venice Beach.

Guests enter through the Roundhouse itself and climb the stairs to the roof. It isn’t long before you are taken on a trail, with lots of neon, weatherboard beach signs, fairy lights and a pair of Instagrammable angel wings to pose against. The screening room is ‘the beach’, with golden sand, palm trees and plenty of comfortable beanbags. The space is fortunately covered over so you don’t need to worry about the temperamental British summer.

Backyard Cinema LA Nights © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

A Passion Fruit Martini was the perfect beachy drink

After selecting our seats, my sister and I headed straight to the bar to sort out our refreshments. A special drinks menu has been curated to complement the theme, with adults-only Slush Puppie cocktails, tropical cocktails and its own beer created by the Gipsy Hill Brewing Company. We were particularly drawn to the palm tree glasses so started with some Passion Fruit Martini, which were very fruity, but a little boozy. After collecting our drinks and snacks (there is a vegan ice cream stand, which proved popular), we were suitably put in the retro mood with lots of classic Californian and retro tracks keeping us entertained before the movie kicked off. Read the rest of this entry

Take a ‘wade’ on the wild side with Creekside Discovery Centre’s low tide walk

Explore the history and nature of Deptford Creek with the Creekside Center

With the current pace of building in the capital and developers looking to seize every last piece of land to build on, London’s wildlife is being squeezed into increasingly smaller environments. As banks of rivers and streams are absorbed into manmade land and structures, many animals and birds are running out of space to build nests, or even shelter during bad weather. While we need more homes in this overcrowded capital, it’s trying to balance fulfilling demand while protecting the wildlife’s habitats that is a real challenge.

Recently I paid a visit to the Creekside Discovery Center in Deptford, south-east London to join one of their Low Tide Walks. My boyfriend and I were up bright and early on a Sunday (well, by my standards early for a Sunday!) morning to get suited up for our visit to Deptford Creek. We were told to wear old clothes and a hat, with the CDC providing thigh-high waders and a walking stick. The Center itself is a one-storey educational space in a garden full of beautiful, coloured wildflowers. In fact there are over 130 different wildflower species across the site. It was rather amusing to see various memorabilia retrieved from the Creek dotted around like a modern art display, such as shopping trolleys, rollerskates and typewriters. I’m always baffled why someone would find enjoyment by throwing a trolley into a river or creek… perhaps they should get an actual hobby?!

The old lifting bridge, built in the 1830s

The name Deptford comes from ‘deep ford’, with the Creek forming the north end of the River Ravensbourne before it flows into the Thames. We started our two-hour expedition being led down to the Creek by a conservationist Nick. We entered the water – and mud – near the historic lifting bridge. It was originally built in the 1830s for the London and Greenwich Railway, which connected London Bridge with Greenwich, which was incredibly busy at the time due to its naval and royal connections. The railway was the first steam service in the capital and also the first entirely elevated railway. When it came to crossing the Creek, the railway owners realised it was problematic. They couldn’t build a regular fixed crossing as that would have blocked the many ships passing up and down the Creek. Civil engineer George Thomas Landmann (1779-1854) came up with the idea of a lifting bridge, which would allow trains to pass over while in situ, but could be lifted up for passing barges via pulleys, chains and sliding rods with eight men required to operate it. The current bridge you can see today, is a younger replacement, with several bridges replacing the original 1830s one. At time of writing, it’s been out of action for decades and is a listed structure. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in August 2019

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital this summer.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Summer is here! The schools are out, the tourists are in town and (hopefully) the weather is glorious. As you would expect, there’s more events and festivals than ever taking place in the great outdoors. If you’re a parent or grandparent looking to entertain the kids during the school holidays, there’s plenty going on – with many events even free! There’s also plenty on around the August Bank Holiday, including the famous Notting Hill Carnival.

Here’s a round-up of the best events on in the London this August.

For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 3 August : International Scottish Gin Day @ Mr Fogg’s

Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour will be serving a special cocktail menu celebrating Scottish gin for one-day only. Expect concoctions such as a Scots Seaside Martini, Scottish Spice and a Hendricks in the Highlands. 1pm-12am. 1 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Mr Fogg’s website.

  • 3 – 4 August : London Halal Food Festival

The UK’s only food festival dedicated to Halal. Featuring over 150 food & drink stalls, cookery theatre, The Souq market, kids zone, Halal Eat Offs, chill out lounge, live music and more. N.B. All vendors will be cash only and there are no cash machines are venue. Tickets: Adults £10-£30, Under 10s free. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit the London Halal Food Festival website.

  • 3 – 4 August : Prudential RideLondon

The annual cycling festival returns to London. Eight miles of road in central London will be closed to cars so people can experience cycling on safe and clear roads. Anyone is welcome to take part in the FreeCycle on Saturday 3, while more serious cyclists will be passing through London on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4. Other events for spectators include the Brompton World Championship and RideLondon Classique. To register, visit the Ride London website.

  • 3 – 11 August : Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown Festival

This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by Nile Rodgers. Acts include Jungle, Johnny Marr, Kero Kero Bonito, Thundercat, Yael Naim, CHIC, anais, Durand Jones & The Indications, and more. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 4 August : Island Love Brunch @ Skylight

Celebrate the end of another red hot summer with an alfresco brunch with views of the city. Expect food and drink from Skylight, Yiro and Flipside along with summer club anthem hits, live performances and games inspired by the hit show Love Island. Over 18s only. 12pm-3pm. Tickets: £10-£45. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.

  • 6 August : Taste of Puglia Supper Club

The second of Bottles wine bar ‘Taste of…’ supper club, this month exploring the Italian region of Puglia. Guests can enjoy three courses alongside wine tastings from Puglia. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £35. Bottles, 67 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA. Neatest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit DesignMyNight.

  • 6 – 10 August : Great British Beer Festival

Over 1,000 of British and international real ales, ciders, perries and beers with be available to try, along with the new wine and gin bar. Also including live entertainment and street food. Tickets £9-£11 (advance), £14 (on the door). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 7 – 11 August : Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest

Fans of the Espresso Martini will love this three-day festival, from Drink Up London (London Cocktail Week, London Beer Week, London Wine Week). Over 50 bars across London will be offering £6 Espresso Martinis and other Mr Black cocktails. Wristbands: £10 (includes access to £6 cocktails, entry to Mr Black’s Church of Coffee pop-up (@ Truman Brewery) and access to 1,000 free Espresso Martinis on 16 Aug). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.

  • 7 – 30 August : Fentimans Secret Spritz Garden

Pop-up cocktail garden in leafy Clerkwenwell, featuring refreshing cocktails and workshops in a secret garden. Opening hours: Wed-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm and Bank Holiday Sunday 12pm-11pm. Nearest station: Farringdon (5 min walk). For the location, visit the Secret Spritz Garden website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.

  • 7 August – 2 September : Summer By The River – Outdoor Theatre

Watch a live outdoor performance of The Sea Queen or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by the Thames. Performances from Wed-Sat at 6pm, Sun at 4pm. Free entry. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, London Bridge, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.

  • Now until 7 August : Banquet of Hoshena

Dinner Time Story brings their new immersive dining experience to London. Diners will be treated to a projector-lead dining concept using 3D visual technology, image mapping and experiential props. Tickets: £85/£95/£110. Westfield, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: White City. Pre-booking requests: info@dinnertimestory.com or tel: 07510 204 003. Visit Banquet of Hoshena on Instagram. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.

  • 9 – 11 August : London Craft Beer Festival

Over 100 breweries from London, the UK, Europe and USA will be showing off 100s of beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs from Friendly Fires, Zombie Disco Squad, Kaiser Chiefs, Jack Stevens, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and more. Times vary. Tickets: £40-£79.96 (includes all your beer, tasting glass and programme. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in July 2019

Find out what’s on in the capital in July, including Pride Parade, Ealing Summer Festival, Lambeth Country Show and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing. Get ready for one of London’s busiest month as full-blown peak season kicks off when London’s families and tourists will be hitting the streets seeking entertainment. Tennis fans will be enjoying Wimbledon, with Pimm’s and strawberries on cream galore. Of course, the school holidays kick off so plenty of parents and grandparents will be seeking ways to entertain the kids.

For a guide to Wimbledon screenings in London, click here.

  • 2 July : Carmen @ Royal Opera House BP Big Screen

Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of Carmen live on the big screen. From 6.30pm. Free. At Lyric Square (Hammersmith), Trafalgar Square or General Gordon Square (Woolwich). For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 2 – 7 July : RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Raymond Blanc, Martin Ogden, James Golding, Madeleine Shaw, Jose Pizarro, Mark Diacono, Chris Smith, Emily Rae, James Wong, Jasmine Helmsley and many more. Open to RHS members only Tues-Wed, Public entry Mon and Thu-Sun. Advance tickets range from £20 to £37.50 depending on full/half-day and RHS membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • 2 – 14 July : Festibowl @ London Bridge

Festival of lawn bowling sets up camp by the Thames for two weeks. There will also be DJs, street food and cocktails. Times 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets from £15. Festibowl Bowling Green, Potters Field Park, SE1 2AA. Nearest stations: London Bridge. For tickets, visit the Festibowl website.

  • Now until 3 July : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Open Thu, Mon-Wed 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-7pm. Tickets from £38.50. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 3 – 7 July : The Other Art Fair

Art fair with the chance to meet and buy from emerging new talent. As well as the art displays, there will also be workshops, installations, a Sassy Cidre pop-up, tours, kids’ activities, supper clubs and more. Open Thu (private view) 5pm-10pm, Fri 12pm-9pm, Sat 11am-7pm and Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £9-£25. West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross, N1C 4BZ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 4 July : Young Marketeers’ Summer Sale @ Borough Market

Borough Market will host 50 stalls from 11 London primary schools in partnership with the School Food Matters charity. The stalls will sell fruit and vegetables grown by the children. 11am-1.30pm. Free entry. Market Hall, Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.

  • 4 July : A Taste of California

Mark the USA’s Independence Day with an evening of California wine tasting. California Wine Tasting Masterclass will be leading the tastings, accompanied by American-style nibbles. Tickets: £35. New Street Wine, 16 New Street, EC2M 4TR. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For booking, visit the New Street Wine website.

  • 4 July : 4th July party @ The Gallery

Celebrate US Independence Day with a whisky-fuelled bash. Expect classic American whiskies, Mint Juleps, American food, special brewery colloborations and boilermakers. Free entry or £10 ticket for a whisky tasting session, 1 Mint Julep and 1/3 pint of a special collaboration brew. The Gallery, 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 3AY. Nearest station: West Hampstead. Tickets can be bought from the bar. For more information, visit The Gallery website.

  • 5 – 7 July : Carters Steam Fair @ Hornsey

The vintage travelling funfair sets up camp in Hornsey, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open Fri 3pm-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm and Sun 11am-8pm. Free admission. Priory Park, Hornsey, N8 8QR. Nearest station: Hornsey. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • 5 – 7 July : Just V Show

Lifestyle festival for vegans, vegetarians or those who want to live a more plant-based diet. Featuring vegan and vegetarian brands, cooking demos, talks, Veggie speed dating, and advice. Open 10am-5pm. Free tickets if you register online (also includes entry to Love Natural Love You and The Allergy & Free From Show). London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Just V Show website.

  • 5 – 26 July : The International Women in Arts Festival

Devonshire Square’s WeWorks hosts a festival of female talent. Featuring live music, dance, acrobatics and more. Most performances start at 1pm. Free. At Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For the schedule, visit the Devonshire Square website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.

  • 6 July : Stockwell Festival

A celebration of the unique creativity and diversity of Stockwell. Featuring live music, street food, children’s entertainment, rides, sport, dance and a Community Action Zone. 1pm-7pm. Free entry. Larkhall Park, Stockwell, SW8 2PX. Nearest station: Stockwell or Wandsworth Road. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • Now until 6 July : Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Two and a half week celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website.

  • Now until 6 July : Pride London

Festival celebrating gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. This year marks the 50th anniversary since Stonewall. Featuring music, talks, screenings, walks and performances. The highlight is the Free parade on 6 July from Portland Place (Regent Street) 1pm to Whitehall (ending approx. 4.30pm). For more information, visit the Pride London website.

  • 7 July : Greenford Carnival

Kick starting the Ealing Summer Festival is the Greenford Carnival. Expect dance, music, food, funfair, sports, arts and crafts and more. 12pm-6.30pm. Free entry. Ravenor Park, Greenford, UB6 9LB. Nearest station: Greenford. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festival website.

  • Now until 7 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (7 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are Free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.

  • 8 – 12 July : Summer In The Square

Five-day festival in Portman Square, featuring street food, badminton, garden games, Wimbledon screenings, licensed bar, tipi retreat featuring fitness and wellness activities. 11.30am-8pm. Free entry. Portman Square, Marylebone, W1H 6LW. Nearest station: Bond Street or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in June 2019

Find out what’s happening in London, including festivals, gin and Pride.

Summer is here at last! Expect to see plenty of outdoor festivals, with Pride, World Gin Day and the month-long London Festival of Architecture among the highlights of June. If you’re short on cash, there’s plenty of free events, including Soho Music Month’s free gigs and London Seafood Festival.

For a guide to Wimbledon screenings in London, click here.

For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

Here’s Metro Girl’s round-up of the best London events on in June.

  • Now until 1 June : Herne Hill Free Film Festival

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the seventh year. Films include Black Panther, Mary Poppins Returns, The Babadook, American Animals, Wreck It Ralph 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, Isle Of Dogs and more. Venues include The Lido Café, Station Hall, Prince Regent pub, Brockwell Lido, The Half Moon, Herne Hill Velodrome and more. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 30 June : London Festival Of Architecture

A month-long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘boundaries’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debate, conferences and the ‘Lunch Break’ installation. At various venues around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.

  • 1 – 30 June : Soho Music Month

A month-long series of events celebrating the cultural heritage of Soho. Featuring DJ sessions, panel discussions, free gigs, special food and drink menus and more. At venues around Soho, including Carnaby and Newburgh Quarter. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit Carnaby website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event.

  • 2 June : London Pizza Festival

Help find the world’s best pizza as six pizzerias battle to be crowned the winner. Sample different slices, while enjoying a beer and listening to a DJ. 12pm-6pm (entrance at timed slots). Tickets: £28 (inc 6 quarter slices of pizza, 1 beer or soft drink and entrance to the festival). Borough Market (Green Market), Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Young & Foodish website.

  • Now until 2 June : Swinging Sixties exhibition

New exhibition celebrates the fashion, textiles, homewares and furniture of the Swinging Sixties. Including vintage designs by Mary Quant, Laura Ashley and Terence Conran. Open Tues-Sat 11am–6pm, Thurs 11am-8pm, Sun 11am–5pm. Tickets: £9.90. Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the museum website.

  • Now until 2 June : Sundance Film Festival – London

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, comes to London to showcase the best of independent movies, featuring UK and International feature film premieres, shorts and special events. Tickets prices vary. Picturehouse Central, corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, W1D 7DH. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Picturehouse website.

  • Now until early June : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019

Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. Free. 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 the 2017/2018 exhibition.

  • 3 – 9 June : Pittsburgh Art on the Bank

Pop-up art exhibition comes to the South Bank for one week only, featuring pieces from Pittsburgh’s established and emerging artists. Visitors can also enter a competition to win a trip to Pittsburgh with British Airways by snapping a selfie with their favourite piece. South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Visit Pittsburgh website.

  • 5 – 6 June : Beating Retreat

An evening pageant of music, horses, cannons and fireworks against the backdrop of St James’s Park and Horse Guards Parade. A military precision drill from the Household Division in the week preceding Trooping The Colour. 8pm. Tickets from £20. Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, SW1A 2AX. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Household Division’s website.

  • 5 – 9 June : World Gin Day Festival

Four day festival celebrating ‘mother’s ruin’ from Drink Up London – the people behind London Cocktail Week. Some of London’s best bars will be offering special £6 gin cocktails to those with a festival pass. There will also be a World Gin Day Festival hub in Devonshire Square. Bars include Basement Sate, Two One Four, Bluebird Chelsea, Flight Club, Graphic, Le Pont de la Tour, Nine Lives, Oriole, The Little Yellow Door, The Ned and many more. Festival pass: £10 on the Drink Up London app (valid for four days). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.

  • 6 – 7 June : Poetry & Lyrics Festival

Versatile music and poetry festiva, covering jazz, neo-soul, punk, and disco. Headliners include Lavinia Greenlaw, Village Hall Disco, Belinda Zhawi and members of Steam Down Collective. King’s Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For tickets, visit the King’s Place website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Imagine you’re in the country at Polo In The Park

  • 7 – 9 June : Polo In The Park

Bringing polo from the country estates into London. As well as watching the polo, there is plenty of entertainment and food and drink venues, including The Grazing Paddock (restaurants and street food), Champagne Lanson Garden, Mahiki and Polo Bars, Slingsby Cocktail Bar, PIMM’s Bus, Fever-Tree Bar and Garden, Luxury Shopping Village and Little Hooves Kids’ Club. Tickets start from £15.20 (adults), £10 (children). Hurlingham Park, Fulham, SW6 3RH. Nearest station: Putney Bridge or Parson’s Green. For more information and tickets, visit Chestertons Polo In The Park’s website.

  • 7 – 9 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Annual literary festival returns to various venues around Stoke Newington. Tickets range from free to £8. Venues include Abney Hall, Stoke Newington Town Hall, St Paul’s Church Hall, Unitarian Chapel, Ryan’s Bar, Mascara Bar and William Patten School. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.

  • 7 – 9 June : Carters Steam Fair @ Walthamstow

The vintage travelling fun fair sets up camp in East London, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open Fri 4-10pm; Sat 12-10pm and Sun 12-8pm. Free admission. Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4PP. Nearest station: Walthamstow Central. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • 7 – 28 June : Zoo Nights @ London Zoo

London Zoo are hosting late summer evening openings for adults-only on Fridays through June. As well as checking out the animals, you can follow a trail, listen to music, enjoy a drink and feast at the world food market. 6pm-10pm. Tickets: £19.95. London Zoo, Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest stations: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and booking, visit the Zoological Society London website. Read the rest of this entry

London Hong Kong Dragon Boat returns to the Thames for 2019

The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Docklands in June
© London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

One of the country’s most exciting sporting competitions is returning to the capital this summer. The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is back at the London Regatta Centre on Sunday 30 June 2019. Around 10,000 visitors from the UK and internationally will be heading to the banks of the Thames for a free family-friendly celebration of sport and culture.

The annual LHKDB Festival offers the chance to experience Chinese culture in London. Over 40 competing club, corporate and amateur teams will be battling it out on the river. Novices will be bravely taking on some of the UK’s most experienced paddlers in the bid to win one of the six cups.

Meanwhile, on dry land, visitors can sample some of the culinary delights at a South East Asian food festival while being entertained by live music, martial art displays and traditional Chinese lion dancing on the East West Festival stage.

Dragon boat festivals date back to the banks of the Yangtze River in ancient southern China around 2,5000 years ago. The 2019 festival is the 24th in London and is organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club and is supported by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, The Hong Kong Executives Club and The London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre.

  • London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Sunday 30 June 2019 from 10am-6pm. Free entry. At Royal Docks Adventure/London Regatta Centre, Dockside Road, Docklands, E16 2QT. Nearest station: Royal Albert or Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the Dragon Boat Festival website.

For the latest what’s on guide in London in June, click here.

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Scripts for Supper presents Wind in the Willows: An immersive culinary theatrical experience

Feast on four courses as you join Toad, Badger and co.

Wind In The Willows © Scripts for Supper

Scripts for Supper presents The Wind In The Willows

Coming to London’s city farms this summer is a unique theatrical dining experience. Scripts for Supper launches its new production, The Wind In Willows, on 17 May 2019. Expect a fun and fabulous mix of great food, music, theatre, song and even dance.

Scripts for Supper comes from MasterChef 2016 semi-finalist Annie McKenzie with food by fellow MasterChef alum and finalist, chef and food writer Juanita Hennessey. The concept is classic stories brought to life with theatre and a bespoke menu. The actors double up as waiters so you are immersed into the Edwardian England inhabited by Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty.

Wind In The Willows © Scripts for Supper

Feast on four courses inspired by the classic tale

Diners are invited on a culinary, immersive theatrical journey in the new production of The Wind In The Willows, inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale. Launching at Stepney City Farm on 17 May 2019, it will also tour Spitalfields City Farm and Mudchute City Farm.

Scripts for Supper launched in 2017 following MA Acting graduate Annie’s appearance in MasterChef. Previous productions include Twelfth Night and The Lion; The Witch and The Wardrobe. Past experiences have won over critics, being hailed as “truly magical” and “phenomenal”. Scripts for Supper cater for children and vegetarians, as well as carnivores.

  • Scripts for Supper presents The Wind In The Willows. 2019 dates: 17 – 19 May : Stepney City Farm; 24-26, 31 May and 1-2 June : Spitalfields City Farm; 29-30 June : Mudchute City Farm. Tickets: Adults £45 (inc welcome cocktails, canapes and a 4 course meal), Children £30. Times vary (matinee and evening sittings). For more information and booking, visit the Scripts for Supper website.

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