Category Archives: families

Guide to London’s urban beaches in summer 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Enjoy one of the capital’s urban beaches, such as this one on the South Bank

London may be 40 miles from the nearest seaside resort, but in the summer a surprising amount of sandy spots seem to crop up around the capital. During the warmer months, a host of bars, hotels, parks and outdoor spaces are hosting their own mini beaches with plenty of opportunity for fun and frolics for both young and old.

  • 1 June – 24 September : Beach Bar @ The Montague Hotel

Pop-up beach bar returns to the gardens of The Montague Hotel. Featuring real sand, beach hut, tropical cocktails, palm trees and BBQ. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm. The Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BJ. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit The Montague Hotel website.

  • 23 June – 10 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 2 July – 3 September : Hampstead Beach

The Jewish Community Centre is hosting a two month long pop-up beach, featuring lots of sand, cocktails, food and special events. Open Sun-Thu 9am-10.30pm, Fri 9am-5pm. Sat closed. Free entry. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, Hampstead, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal or West Hampstead. To book, visit the JW3 website.

  • 15 July – 28 August : Big Screen On The Beach

Camden’s Roundhouse is hosting alfresco film screenings on its summer beach pop-up. Films include The Goonies, Mean Girls, Moana, Frozen, Titanic, Beauty And The Beast and many more. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children £5. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For booking, visit The Roundhouse website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in July 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing with the capital bursting to life with indoor and outdoor events as every turn. Of course, Wimbledon dominates a big chunk of July (3-16th) with tennis, Pimm’s and strawberries the order of the day. The end of the month, the school holidays kick off so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain their children. So find some inspiration whatever your age or budget in Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on this July.

To find out where London’s urban beaches are this summer, click here.

  • 1 July : Art Night

A free contemporary arts festival takes over spaces, venues and landmarks in the capital for one night only, featuring art, architecture, dance and music. Every year, a cultural institution is invited to focus on a different part of London. This year, the event will take place in the East End with the Whitechapel Gallery and independent curator Fatos Ustek. 6pm-4am. Free. For more information, visit the Art Night website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Eat Drink Ealing

Food and drink festival returns for a second year, featuring gourmet food stalls, artisan beverages, wine tasting, live music, cookery courses, children’s activities and more. Tickets: £3 (children under 12 go free). Ealing Common, W5. Nearest station: Ealing Broadway or Ealing Common. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festival website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Chorus Festival

Annual festival celebrating the power of the voice, featuring choirs from the Nordic regions. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 1 – 31 July : Rum Festival @ The Jam Tree

Both branches of The Jam Tree will be hosting a month-long celebration of the mighty rum. Featuring Bottomless Brunches with live steel bands, cocktail masterclasses, salsa lessons, Caribbean supperclubs, BBQ and more. The Jam Tree, 541 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW6 2EB. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway or Imperial Wharf or The Jam Tree, 13-19 Old Town, Clapham, SW4 0JT. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit The Jam Tree website.

  • 2 July : Eid Festival

Festival to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan. Including a food festival, live music, performances, shopping and children’s activities. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (2 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.

  • Now until 2 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 11am-9pm. Free admission. Priory Park, Hornsey, N8 8QR. Nearest station: Hornsey. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • Now until 2 July : East End Film Festival

For its 16th year, the East End Film Festival has been spread out to five weekends. Featuring screenings, Q&As, a Twin Peaks-themed ball and more. At venues across East London, including a Masonic temple. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 4 July : La Traviata – Royal Opera House BP Big Screen

Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of La Traviata live on the big screen. 7pm. Free. At Lyric Square (Hammersmith), Trafalgar Square or General Gordon Square (Woolwich). For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 4 – 9 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Chris Packham, Charlie Dimmock, Michaela Stracham, Pippa Greenwood, Christine Walkden, Helen Bostock, Martin Hughes-Games, David Domoney, Justin Fletcher, Hemsley & Hemsley, among others. Open Tues-Sat 10am-7.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm. Advance tickets range from £19 to £36.50 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.

  • Now until 5 July : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Tickets from £28. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 5 July – 8 October : Frieze Sculpture

Free outdoor sculpture exhibition in Regents Park, featuring 23 new and significant creations by 20th-century masters and leading contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Gary Hume, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Jaume Plensa, Thomas J Price, Ugo Rondinone and Hank Willis Thomas. Regents Park, Marylebone, NW1. Nearest station: Regents Park, Great Portland Street or Camden Town. For more information, visit the Frieze website.

  • 6 July – 17 August : Tales Of Silk & Music Festival

Historic Devonshire Square in the City of London is celebrating UK-India Year Of Culture with an Indian dance festival. Featuring performances from world class dancers. During the festival, Cinnamon Kitchen will be hosting a Summer Pavilion and Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden. Performances every Thursday at 12.30pm. Free to watch. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival.

  • 7 – 9 July : Just V Show

Lifestyle festival for vegans, vegetarians or those who want to live a more plant-based diet. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £10 (includes entrance to Love Natural Love You and The Allergy & Free From Show, also on in the same venue). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Just V Show website.

Read the rest of this entry

Where to watch Wimbledon on the big screen in London this summer 2017

Watch the tennis on a floating pontoon in St Katharine’s Docks

It’s that time of year again. When London goes tennis mad for a fortnight and it feels like you hear the words ‘Murray’ and ‘Djokovic’ on a hourly basis. With the fight for tickets set to be as tough as usual, many tennis fans will have to settle for watching the action on TV rather than in the flesh. So if you can’t reach the heady heights of Centre Court, why not see the likes of Murray in action with some atmosphere. A host of parks, spaces and bars are hosting Wimbledon screenings on the big screen – many alfresco – so you can enjoy the match while sipping Pimm’s and nibbling strawberries and cream.

  • 3 – 15 July : Andy Murray Fan Zone @ Mac & Wild

Mac & Wild restaurant are transforming their terrace into an Andy Murray fan zone during Wimbledon with tennis on the big screen, grass courts and balls galore. A special Wimbledon Murray menu will be served, featuring Highland Summer Cup (whisky Pimm’s), Scottish Strawberries and Cream, Venison Scotch Egg and the ‘Murray Mound’ Burger. The bar will be offering 2-4-1 on glasses of Prosecco and Brewgooder beer during the tournament. Terrace open 1pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Mac & Wild, 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YM. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. To book, visit the Mac & Wild website.

  • 3 – 16 July : St Kats Big Screen presents Wimbledon

Sit back and relax on a deckchair or beanbag on a floating pontoon as you check out the latest action from SW19. Pimm’s and strawberries will be served during the semi-finals and finals (13-16 July), but otherwise you’re welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks. Times vary. Free. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website.

  • 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ Merchant Square

Watch the action while chilling on deckchairs in the city oasis of the Paddington Basin. Open daily until 10pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ London Bridge City Summer Festival

Check out the latest games on the big screen just metres from the River Thames and City Hall. The London Riviera will also be open serving food and cocktails. Times vary. Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in June 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Bubbly, wine and vermouth at London Wine Week

Summer is here at last so London is in full celebration mode as it embraces the long days and the hot-ish weather. The festival calendar is in full swing with a host of alfresco fun on around town. The first few days of June are half-term holidays, so expect to see lots of family-friendly events on around town.

Click here for a guide to London’s music festivals this summer.

For London’s pop-up and open-air cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 – 4 JuneSundance 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, 15 shorts and special events. Individual tickets from £16 (£12 Picturehouse members) or festival passes for £150. 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.

  • 1 – 30 June : London Festival Of Architecture

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

  • 1 – 30 June : London Food Month

The Evening Standard presents the UK’s biggest food festival, featuring hundreds of events across the capital. Among the highlight includes a pop-up Night Market (7 – 18 June) in Perks Field in Kensington Gardens featuring food and drink stalls and live entertainment. For more information, visit the London Food Month website.

  • 2 – 3 June : Mindful Living

Learn about the art of mindfulness and meditation and how it can help you in your life. Featuring keynote speakers Ruby Wax, Sharon Salzberg, Ed Halliwell, Katie Warriner and Etienne Scott MBE. Tickets: £32-£72. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the show website.

  • 2 – 4 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival

A festival featuring readings, workshops and performances at venues across the suburb. Speakers include Tom Overton, Michael Rosen, Janet Ellis, Bee Wilson, Fernando Sdrigotti, Zoe Adjonyoh, Lopè Ariyo, Alex Bellos, AL Kennedy, Kate Pankhurst, Michael Goldfarb, and many more. Tickets range from free to £10. Venues include Clissold Park, Abney Public Hall, Stoke Newington Town Hall, St Paul’s Church Hall, Unitarian Chapel, Abney Park Cemetery and William Patten School. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.

  • 2 – 10 June : Brockley Street Art Festival

One week long celebration of street art, featuring local, national and international talent. Featuring activities for adults and children alike, including colouring competition, mural painting, live DJs and talks. Various venues around Brockley, SE4. Nearest station: Honor Oak Park, Crofton Park or Brockley. For more information, visit the Brockley Street Art Festival website.

  • 2 – 10 June : Brockley Max

Nine-day community arts festival featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website.

  • 2 – 14 July : Zoo Nights

London Zoo are hosting late summer evening openings for adults-only on Fridays through June. As well as getting to see the animals without the presence of screaming children, you’ll also get to enjoy the zoo lit up in neon, take part in Zooniversity Challenge or follow a forensics trail. There will also be entertainment and a world food market. 6-10pm. Tickets: £17.50. 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.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Be a big kid at London Zoo’s late night opening

  • 2 June – 28 July : Pavilion Lates @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

A series of late night Friday events at the 200-year-old gallery and its temporary summer pavilion. 6pm-10pm every Friday except 7 July. Free entry, but you must reserve a place in advance. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, SE21 7AD. Nearest station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. To find out more, visit the DPG website. For Metro Girl’s review of a Pavilion Late event, click here.

  • 2 June – 2 July : East End Film Festival

For its 16th year, the East End Film Festival has been spread out to five weekends. Featuring screenings, Q&As, a Twin Peaks-themed ball and more. At venues across East London, including a Masonic temple. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 3 June : Carnaby Street Eat Food Festival

Food and drink festival in Carnaby, with the area’s restaurants and bars serving signature and on-trend dishes and cocktails. Featuring offerings from Island Poké, Le Bab, Dishoom, Jinjuu, Cahoots, Ugly Dumpling and Darjeeling Express. 12pm-6pm. Free entry. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

  • 3 June : Blitz Party

Step back in time to the 1940s for a themed night of patriotic revelry, featuring swing dancing, big band music, cocktails, performers, dance classes and vintage makeovers. Dress code: 1940s glam, home front utility clothing and allied uniform. 8pm until late. Tickets from £30. In a secret East London bunker, with location revealed near the time. For more information, visit The Blitz Party website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to London’s open air and pop-up cinemas in summer 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Watch movies with a view at the Rooftop Cinema

Londoners don’t get anywhere near the amount of warm weather we would like. So when it is sunny, we all head outside. Of course, this leaves film fans in a predicament – who wants to be stuck indoors when the weather is so glorious? Over the past few years, pop-up and open air cinemas have been steadily rising in popularity and this summer will be no different. Of course, sometimes the weather isn’t so kind, so many roaming film clubs are hosting screenings in unique London indoor venues as well. Here’s a guide to the capital’s open-air and pop-up cinemas so you can enjoy some alfresco entertainment with an ice-cold beer or glass of wine… sounds good doesn’t it?

  • 4 May – September : Rooftop Film Club

The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Screening a mix of films including recent releases and classics. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof East in Stratford, Queen Of Hoxton in Shoreditch and Kensington Roof Gardens. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 23 May – September : The Nomad Cinema

Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Proud East, Paddington Street Gardens, The Hoxton Hotel, CityPoint, Grosvenor Square, Queen’s Park and Festival Gardens by St Paul’s Cathedral. Ticket prices £10-£25. For booking, visit the Nomad Cinema website.

  • 6 June – 25 July : London Bridge City Summer Festival Screenings

Free film screenings every Tuesday throughout June and July. Get to the steps early to grab a spot. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website.

  • 7 – 18 June : Westfield Open-Air Cinema

Westfield will be hosting an open-air cinema during at London Food Month’s Night Market. A host of international street food stalls and bars will be serving grub and refreshments so keep you fuelled while you watch a mix of classic and new films. Cinema tickets are Adults £4, Children £2 when added to food market entry (Adults £15, Children £8). Perks Field, 7 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, W8 4PU. Nearest station: Queensway or High Street Kensington. For booking, visit the London Food Month website. Read the rest of this entry

Help young Londoners fight food waste with the Bubble & Squeak project

Bubble and Squeak

Help children fight food waste with the Bubble & Squeak initiative

Every year, the UK throws away an estimated £13 billion worth of food that could be eaten. Pretty disgusting figures I’m sure you’ll agree when so many people are starving or struggling to afford nutritious meals. A lot of the blame can be put on people not knowing the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates or the volume of BOGOF deals at supermarkets, meaning we are buying more food than we need.

One group of young Londoners are doing something about it by selling surplus food in the school playground and to the local community. Over 400 children aged 5 – 12 years from West London have just launched Bubble & Squeak, a new initiative named after the classic English dish made from leftovers.

The Bubble & Squeak gang aim to take surplus edible food from local businesses, markets and supermarkets and redistribute it to the local community on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis. The children from Old Oak Primary School & Old Oak Community Centre are hoping to change attitudes to food waste and give less fortunate families the opportunity to buy healthier ingredients.

Having launched last week, Bubble & Squeak are currently crowdfunding to raise £4,500 for a customised shipping container to store the surplus food and sell from. The deadline is 23 May 2017 so if you can, please donate to this worthwhile cause.

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Guide to what’s on in London in May 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Head to the Country Show at Morden Hall Park

Spring is in full swing with sunnier days becoming more frequent. The longer days, warmer weather (hopefully) and two bank holidays mean May is a bumper month for festivals and events on around the capital. Fans of cycling and drinking are particularly in for a treat with many themed events on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s curated selection of what’s on in London this May.

Click here for a guide to London’s music festivals this summer.

For London’s pop-up and open-air cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 May : Beer And Bread Festival

Festival returns for the second year, featuring a wider selection of ales, beers, breads, pastries and cakes from local businesses. Includes live music from No Frills Band and CL!VE, and a performance by the Hammersmith Morris Men. 1-5pm. Free entry. Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website.

  • Now until 1 May : Canalway Cavalcade

A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. Open Sat-Sun 10am-6pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Procession of illuminated boats @ 9pm on Sun 30. Free. Little Venice, Maida Vale, W2. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association. For Metro Girl’s blog post on last year’s Cavalcade, click here.

  • Now until 1 May : Morden Hall Park Country Fair

Country show in the grounds of Morden Hall, featuring Savage Bike Skills Display Team, birds of prey flying displays, Grant Bazin the Horse Whisperer, terrier racing, children’s entertainer, Circus Skills Workshop, the goat show including bottle feeding lambs and kids, children’s petting pens, historical re-enactment and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets on the gate (or cheaper online): Adults £7.50, Children age 5-16 £3, Under 5s free. Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (tram). For more information, visit the Oakleigh Fairs website. For Metro Girl’s post on Morden Hall Park, click here.

  • Now until 1 May : Wellbeing Festival

Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, lifestyle studio and wellbeing spa. Open Sun 30 10am-7pm, Mon 1 10am-5pm. Tickets: £11-£13. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the MindBodySpirit website.

  • 2 May : Candlelight Opening @ Sir John Soane’s Museum

Late-night opening of the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the former home of the 19th century architect, which is full of his sculptures, painting and antiquities. First 200 visitors in the queue at 5.30pm guaranteed entry, After that it will be one-out, one-in until 8pm. 6-9pm. Free. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John’s Soane Museum website.

  • 3 – 7 May : London Craft Week

A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 230 events, such as workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. Various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.

  • 4 May : Carnaby Style Night

A shopping extravaganza where over 100 shops, restaurants and bars will be offering 20% off. There will also be Airstream GIF booth, on street haircuts from Johnny’s Chop Shop, a pop-up bar, live music and entertainment. 5-9pm. Carnaby, Soho, W1B. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. To register online for your free ticket, visit the Carnaby website. For more information on the event, read Metro Girl’s blog post.

  • 4 May – September : Rooftop Film Club

Roaming cinema club launch their spring/summer programme with outdoor screenings on rooftops. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof East in Stratford and Tobacco Dock in Shadwell. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 5 May : Cinco de Mayo fiesta @ Barts

Chelsea speakeasy Barts is hosting a Mexican fiesta to mark Cinco de Mayo, including live entertainment, pinatas, Frozen Margaritas, maracas and sombreros. Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3DW. Nearest stations: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Barts website. For Metro Girl’s review of Barts, click here.

  • 5 – 21 May : Wandsworth Arts Fringe

Two week fringe festival in the borough of Wandsworth featuring theatre, dance, art, music, comedy, poetry, workshops, talks, markets and more. Highlights include London’s Vegetable Orchestra, the Antiques Breadboard Museum Pop-Up Gallery, Everything Stops For Tea, My Fanny Valentine, Clowning With Shakespeare and more. For more information, visit the Wandsworth Art Festival websiteRead the rest of this entry

Dulwich Festival 2017: Feel like ‘Home’ as the celebration of arts and culture returns

© Helen Jermyn

A celebration of arts and culture returns at the Dulwich Festival this May
© Helen Jermyn

Returning for its 24th year is the Dulwich Festival, a 10 day celebration of arts and culture in the leafy south London suburb. A host of concerts, talks, fairs, walks and more will be taking place across SE21, SE22 and the surrounding areas over 12 – 21 May 2017. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Home’ and what that means to people.

Kicking off the festival on 12 May will be the Festival Of Choirs featuring performances from three very different choirs – Note-Orious, The Barberfellas and Gospel Essence. Meanwhile, Jazz fans will enjoy the Harlem Meer Cats, bringing the sounds of icon Duke Ellington to Dulwich, while indie-folk quintet Patch And The Giant will be rousing the crowd at Belair House. Classical aficionados are catered for too at a performance of ‘Façade’, William Walton’s setting of Edith Sitwell’s poem sequence.

© Barberfellas

The Barberfellas will be performing during the Festival Of Choirs

Among the talks on offer will be broadcaster and journalist Robin Lustig in conversation with BBC Deputy Political Editor, John Pienaar and new Dulwich Picture Gallery director Jennifer Scott. For those looking to get some exercise and education at the same time, there will be several walks on offer, including history walks and the Street Art Walk; and for nature fans the Bat Walk or Dawn Chorus Walk.

There will be plenty to keep the children entertained, including the charity Clown Without Borders, which encourages homeless child victims of displacement to laugh and play. Meanwhile, acclaimed Tangram Theatre Company will be performing ‘The Element in the Room: A Radioactive Musical Comedy about the Death and Life of Marie Curie’ for children aged 8-10 years.

During the festival there will be three fairs, representing each area of Dulwich – East, West and the Village. The Festival Fair on Goose Green on 14 May, Love West Dulwich Fair on 20 May and Dulwich Park Fair on 21 May.

In addition, over 250 artists will be opening their doors to their homes and studios during the two weekends of the festival. Visitors will have the chance to view their artwork and talk to the artists.

  • The Dulwich Festival is on from 12 – 21 May 2017 at various locations across Dulwich Village, West Dulwich and East Dulwich, SE21 and SE22. Nearest stations: West Dulwich (12 mins from Victoria), East Dulwich and North Dulwich (15-17 mins from London Bridge). For more information and booking, visit the Dulwich Festival website.

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

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Guide to what’s on in London in April 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Canalway Cavalcade returns to Little Venice

Spring is here at last! The days are getting longer and the temperatures are warmer up. London’s festival season really kicks off with tons of alfresco events taking place all over the capital. This year, Easter is a bit later than usual so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain the kids during the school holidays.

  • Now until 1 April : Cocktails In The City

A three-day extravaganza will see some of London’s and Europe’s best cocktails bars coming together under one roof. A host of pop-up bars and food venues will be spread across four levels. 6-11pm. Ticket: £15 includes 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet. One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 4AQ. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Regents Park. For booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s post on the event.

  • Now until 1 April : Whisky Live

Whisky festival comes to 18th century surroundings, featuring masterclasses, food pairings, the VIP Lounge and exclusive private VIP pourings. Open Fri 31st 4-10pm, Sat 1 Apr 11am-5pm. Tickets: £45-£65. Honourable Artillery Company, City Road, EC1Y 2BQ. Nearest station: Old Street or Moorgate. For booking, visit Eventbrite.

  • Now until 1 April : West Norwood Free Film Festival

Free film festival comes to West Norwood for the first time featuring screenings of Back To The Future, The Goonies, Memento, Babette’s Feast, Paterson and Northern Soul. At various venues in SE27 including St Luke’s Church, Knowles Of Norwood, The Clockworks and more. Nearest station: West Norwood. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Urban Festival

The Southbank Centre hosts a two week celebration of urban culture, featuring breakdancing battles, dance residencies, workshops, free family events, parties and more. Events range from free to ticketed. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 2 April : Oxbridge Boat Race

Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Women’s boat race @ 4.35pm and Men’s boat race @ 5.35pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.

  • 2 – 10 April : Camberwell Free Film Festival

Ten day free film festival comes to SE5 featuring screenings, talks, and Q&As. Film screenings include Moana, Rear Window, Son of Saul, I Daniel Blake and more. At various venues including William Booth College, Whirled Cinema, The Phoenix, Coldharbour Studios, The Crooked Well, Grand Union Camberwell, The Flying Dutchman and The Sun. For more information, visit the Camberwell Free Film Festival website.

  • Now until 2 April :  The Other Art Fair

Chance to see and buy art from 130 unrepresented artists, regardless of how experienced you are in purchasing artwork. Also features book signings, panel discussions, kids’ workshops, Carolina Mizrahi’s immersive ‘Ruby’ room with hidden underground bar, The Modern Pantry pop-up restaurant and much more. Tickets: £8 in advance. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit the Other Art Fair website.

  • 3 – 28 April : I Am London exhibition

Photography showcase of iconic, pioneering, creative and fascinating Londoners and its places. Free. City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 7 May : The Iris @ Now Gallery

A new art installation from artist Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 10,000 fresh irises suspended from the ceiling. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Free entry. NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the NOW Gallery website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Celebrate caffeine at the Coffee Festival

  • 7 – 9 April : London Coffee Festival

A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. Tickets start from £16.50 (advance), £22.50 (on the door). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.

  • 8 April : Rebel Bingo

Rebel Bingo turn the traditional numbers game on its head with competitions, loud music and lots of attitude. Not for the faint-hearted and strictly over 18s only. 8-11.30pm. Tickets from £13.50. Mecca Bingo, 180 Arlington Road, Camden, NW1 7HL. Nearest station: Camden Town. For more information, visit RebelBingo.com.

  • 8 – 9 April : VeggieWorld London

Europe’s biggest and oldest vegan festivals is coming to London, featuring food and fashion stalls, international food court, cookery demos, animal yoga, children’s activities and more. Open Sat 8 10am-7pm, Sun 9 10am-5pm. Tickets: £8 (advance), £10 (on the door). Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, W8. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the VeggieWorld website.

  • Now until 9 April : Telegraph Hill Festival

Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, wellbeing, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website. Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate National Tea Day with a tea dance at St Katharine Docks

© St Katharine Docks

Celebrate National Tea Day with a tea dance at St Katharine Docks

Brits’ love affair with tea looks unlikely to be slowing down any time soon. So it’s probably no surprise to hear there’s an annual National Tea Day this April (apologies if it’s an important part of your calendar already…).

This year, St Katharine Docks will be hosting a celebration of the mighty cuppa with a tea dance. Following the success of their first tea dance last year, the Docks will be marking National Tea Day, which coincides with the Queen’s 91st birthday. The Ragroof Players will be hosting two tea dances, featuring vintage music from the 1920s to the 1950s, glamorous costumes and stunning dance displays. People of all ages and abilities are invited to join in one of the two-hour participatory tea dances.

Meanwhile, Tom’s Kitchen will be serving Canton tea and homemade lemonade accompanied by a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes for those feeling peckish between 12-7pm. The Friday World Food Market will also be on site with stalls serving foods with a British twist from 11am-3pm.

  • The National Tea Day Tea Dance is on 21 April 2017, with tea dances taking place at 12-2pm and 5-7pm. At 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.

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

To find out about the history of St Katharine Docks, click here.

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