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Guide to what’s on in London in November 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

November kicks off with Guy Fawkes fireworks

Yes, autumn is here. The clocks have gone back, the temperatures are dropping and it feels like we’re on the countdown to the festive season. However, there’s plenty of non-Christmas events on around town to keep you living in the moment. With cosying up with a good book particularly inviting prospect at the moment, there are several literary festivals taking place around the capital. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best festivals and special events in the capital this November.

For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks, click here.

For a guide to the capital’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

  • Now until 1 November : London Literature Festival

The London Literature Festival returns to the Southbank, with renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists discussing the future in these uncertain times. Among the highlights include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tom Hanks, Philip Pullman, Annie Leibovitz and a live reading of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs. Many events are free, but tickets go up to £70. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 2 November : Cantina Laredo’s Dia De Los Muertos

London’s new tequila and guacamole bar Cantina Laredo host a Day Of The Dead celebration with a one-off ofrenda four-course menu, cocktails, face-painting, DJs and more. 5pm-late. Tickets: £55pp. Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, WC2H 9FB. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For booking, visit BookATable.

  • 2 – 4 November : Wahaca’s Day Of The Dead @ The Vaults

Three day festival to celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos featuring Mexican food, drink, live music, DJs and culture in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. Fancy dress encouraged. 7pm-2am (family day from 1pm on 4 Nov). Tickets: £15-£25. The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Wahaca website.

  • 3 – 20 November : World Press Photo Exhibition

The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Open 10am-11pm. Free. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Embankment or Waterloo. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.

  • 3 – 29 November : Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival

A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough. Featuring workshops, talks and Q&As from authors, including David Starkey, John Grindrod, Andy Friend, Henry Hemming, Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan, Hilary Spurling and more. Venues include The Bingham, Marble Hill House, Old Town Hall, Strawberry Hill House, Teddington Library and more. For booking, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.

  • Now until 4 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. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.

  • Now until 4 NovemberKilburn Literary Festival

The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their third literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. Events range from free to £10. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn Library and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.

  • 4 November : Regent Street Motor Show

Three hundred cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day. Featuring entertainment and interactive displays. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website.

  • 4 NovemberWinter Wine Festival

One day wine festival featuring a choice of 600 wines to taste. As well as tastings, there is also a free wine walk, masterclasses and discounts on wine shopping. 12pm-6pm. Tickets: £20-£25. The Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5DA. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Wine Gang website.

  • 4 November : Spice World Screening with Live Orchestra

Spice Girls fans will love this immersive screening of their 1997 movie, accompanied by a live orchestra, with Spice Girls masks and photobooth on site. 7pm-10pm (guests can stay for the club night afterwards until 3am). Tickets from £10. Clapham Grand, 21-25 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, SW11 1TT. Nearest station: Clapham Junction. For booking, visit the Clapham Grand website.

  • Now until 5 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £20 (advance), £24 (on the door). Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.

  • Now until 5 November : Winter Art & Antique Fair

Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art and talks. Opening times vary. Tickets: £15-£20 (cheaper in advance). Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.

  • 5 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Watch the beginning of 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.45am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route goes from Hyde Park Corner, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in January 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Amaluna, the new production by Cirque du Soleil, is on at the Royal Albert Hall

Happy New Year! January tends to be a bit of an anti-climax after all the fun of December. We’re all feeling lighter in our pockets, our bills are bulkier than usual and the weather’s not helping to lift our spirits either. Fortunately, there’s plenty going on around town – many of it free – to lift us out of the winter doldrums. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this January.

For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, click here.

  • 1 January : New Year’s Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the streets of London 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 : Winter Wonderland

The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.

  • Now until 2 January : Christmas at Kew

A one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be Santa at the North Pole Village, a Tunnel of Light, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £16-£18, Children £10-£12. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 6 – 15 January : London Boat Show

Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Open 10am-6pm (late nights Thurs until 8pm). Tickets: Adult £15-£20, Children 15 years and under free with a paying adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.

  • 6 – 15 January : London Short Film Festival

Ten day festival celebrating the best in short film-making at venues across the capital, including the ICA, Ace Hotel, Round Chapel, Oval Space, Hackney Attic, and Hackney Picturehouse. For more information, visit the London Short Film Festival website.

  • 7 – 8 January : Vegan Life Live

Two day festival celebrating and exploring the vegan lifestyle. Open Sat 7 10am-6pm, Open Sun 8 10am-5pm. Tickets start from £10. The West Hall, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information, visit the Vegan Life Live website.

  • Now until 8 January : Christmas in Leicester Square

The West End’s famous square features a Christmas market. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show, starring The English Gents, Acantha Lang, Hamish McCann, Denis Lock and Ursula Martinez. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.

  • 8 January : Twelfth Night Celebration

Theatre company the Lions Part host their annual celebration of the new year, ‘mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity’ in the Bankside area of London. From 2pm. Free. Outside Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT. Nearest stations: Blackfriars, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Lions Part website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in December 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Santa’s on his way!

A festive bomb has been dropped on London turning everything sequinned, red and green. As you would expect, a host of Christmas themed activities and events are on around the capital. However, if you’re feeling seasonally jaded, there’s some regular events like film and arts festivals on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in the capital this December.

For ideas on where to spend New Year’s Eve in London, click here.

Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.

  • 1 December : Christmas In The Queen’s House

Late night opening of the Queen’s House in Greenwich with the 17th century building turned into a giant advent calendar with surprises behind every door. 6.30-9pm. Tickets: £25 (£20 conc). Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR) or Greenwich. For booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 1 – 4 December : London Illustration Fair

Four day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Open Thur 6-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £6 advance, £8 on the door, Under 12s free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo . For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.

  • 1, 8, 15 and 22 December : Live Music Sessions @ St Martin’s Courtyard

Festive gospel choir Get Gospel will be entertaining shoppers on Thursday evenings throughout December. 5,30-8.30pm. Free. Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

  • 1 – 10 December : Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up

Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are hosting a pop-up dessert experience. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). Dolce, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For booking, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Dolce, click here.

  • 1 – 22 December : Art For Love Christmas Festival

Three weeks of festive entertainment at Devonshire Square in the City of London. Line-up includes Get Gospel choir, Michael Jackson tribute dance show, penguin visit, acrobatic arts show in the Winter Globe, live music from Zalon, Girls On Sax and Sammie Jay. Show times vary between lunchtime and evenings. Free. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

  • 1 – 23 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on 1 December (a gift from Norway), there is daily carol singing in the Square between 5 – 23 December and the Blessing of the Crib on 4 December. Carol singing between 4-8pm weekdays and 2-6pm weekends. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC1. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival

The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.

  • 2 – 4 December : Portobello Winter Festival

The iconic west London market gets a festive makeover featuring vintage and pop-up stalls, Christmas rum shack, steel pan band, live music and dancers and Grotto wonderland for the kids. 10am-8pm. Free entry. Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10 5QZ. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • 2 – 11 DecemberLondon International Animation Festival

Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £11.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. At the Barbican, The Horse Hospital, Close-Up Cinema and The Whitechapel Gallery. For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.

  • Now until 3 December : Pigs Ear Beer And Cider Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Opening hours TBC. Entry: £3 (members), £5 (non-members). Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 3 December : The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Entertainment starts at 11am, first race at 12.10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

  • 3 December : Beautycon

Social media influencers and celebrities will come together to talk beauty, fashion and style. Featuring Justine Skye, Estee Lalonde, Fleur DeForce, Dulce Candy and Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo. 12-6pm. Tickets start from £30. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Beautycon website.

  • 3 – 4 December :  Santa and his huskies come to the London Wetland Centre

Special Christmas weekend event at the London Wetland Centre, where families can visit Santa’s Grotto, enjoy a sleigh ride with the huskies or a donkey ride or make decorations in the elves’ workshop. Normal admission prices to LWC apply: Adults £13.10, Children £7.20. Santa visit £6 per child (includes gift). London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes. For more information, visit the WWT London Wetland Centre website.

  • 3 – 4 December : Frost Fair

Festive family event at the Museum Of London Docklands, featuring performances, interactive games and crafts. 12-4pm. Free entry. Museum Of London, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Docklands, E14 4AL. Nearest station: West India Quay (DLR). For more information, visit the Museum Of London website.

  • 3 – 22 December : A Peninsula Christmas

Christmas extravaganza by The O2 in Greenwich Peninsula. Featuring designer-maker Christmas market, Tepee Snug Bar, Santa’s Grotto of Wonderment, Enchanted Forest, Arcola Theatre, Storybrook, Theatre Bugs Panto, Craft London Tasting Menu and many more. 12pm-late. Free entry. Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website.

  • Now until 4 December : Enchanted Woodland

Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £9, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website. Read the rest of this entry

Santa’s behind you! Shopping, panto and food at Sutton House Christmas

© Sutton House

Head to Sutton House for the pantomime-themed Christmas fair every weekend

Sutton House in Hackney is a rare gem. A Tudor manor house in the heart of East London. Now restored and run by the National Trust, the doors of the centuries old building are preparing to open for a special festive event. Every weekend from Saturday 26 November until Sunday 18 December 2016, Sutton House will be hosting a pantomime-themed Christmas fair.

The historic building will be transformed into an indoor winter wonderland featuring designer stalls and high quality food and drink. Each room will be themed around a pantomime and feature live action characters from Jack & The Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, Puss In Boots, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, Snow White, Alice In Wonderland, The Beauty and The Beast, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Robin Hood, and the Wizard Of Oz. As well as getting up close with their favourite characters, children will also be able to visit the man of the moment himself, Santa, in his grotto, a double-decker caravan.

Meanwhile, there will also be a range of evening entertainment over the Christmas period, including carol performances, film previews, foodie events, local theatre productions of Beauty And The Beast and more. For the event, Sutton House has teamed up with City Showcase Markets, who are famous for the Embankment Summer Market, Soho Flea Market and Dalston Christmas Market.

  • Sutton House Christmas will take place every weekend from 12-5pm between 26 November – 18 December 2016. Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6JQ. Nearest stations: Homerton or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the National Trust website.

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

For a guide to Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in November 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Remember, remember, the 5th of November…

Autumn is well and truly in full swing. The clocks have gone back, the temperatures are sadly dropping and it feels like we’re on the countdown to the festive season. However, there’s plenty of non-Christmas events on around town to keep you living in the moment. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best festivals and special events in the capital this November.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

Or for London’s festive ice rinks, click here.

  • 2 – 4 November : Nomad Cinema @ Imperial War Museum

Roaming cinema club are setting up camp in the historic surrounds of the Imperial War Museum for three special screenings. Guests will watch films including Atonement, Casablanca and Full Metal Jacket underneath spitfires suspended above them. Cinemagoers will also have the chance to check out the Real to Reel: A Century of war Movies exhibition. Tickets £25. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Nomad website.

  • 3 – 22 November : Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London

Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £18-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

  • 4 – 21 November : World Press Photo Exhibition

The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Open 10am-11pm. Free. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Embankment or Waterloo. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.

  • 4 – 27 November : Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival

A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough. Featuring workshops, talks and Q&As from authors, including Kate Summerscale, Diana Durke, Helena Kelly, Christopher Frayling, Sarah Moss, Simon Bradling, Andrew Lownie and more. Ticket range from free to £15. Venues include The Bingham, Marble Hill House, Old Town Hall, Strawberry Hill House, Teddington Library and more. For booking, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.

  • Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival

The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. Events range from free to £10. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.

  • 5 November : Regent Street Motor Show

Three hundred cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day. Featuring entertainment and interactive displays. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website.

  • 6 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.30am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route goes from Hyde Park Corner, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.

  • Now until 6 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £19.75. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.  Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in November 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Autumn is in full swing

Autumn is whizzing by and with the onset of November, we know that Christmas is almost around the corner. For those organised enough, there’s lots of Christmas-related events on this month so you can start your gift shopping. However, if you’re like me and don’t like anything Christmas-related until December, there’s plenty of non-festive fun on around town. Here’s my round-up of the best festivals and special events on in London this November.

For a guide to open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

  • 1 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7 and 8.30am, spectators can line the 64-mile route all the way from the capital to Brighton to watch 500 classic cars show off their prowess and vintage style. Entrance rules stipulate cars must be built before 1905 and will be either of the three or four-wheel variety. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Free to spectate. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.

  • Now until 1 November : Mademoiselle Prive

A journey through Chanel’s creations, highlighting the Haute Couture, Bijoux de Diamants jewellery and Chanel No.5. 10am-6pm. Free. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.

  • 2 – 8 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £19.50. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.

  • 2 – 8 November : Winter Olympia Art & Antique Fair

Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Open Tues-Thur 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm & Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: £15 advance, £20 on the door. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.

  • Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival

The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.

  • 5 – 29 November : World Press Photo Exhibition

The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Free. Open 10am-11pm. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.

  • 6 – 27 November : Richmond Literature Festival

A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough, including Marble Hill House, Hampton Library, Richmond Old Town Hall and St Mary’s University. Featuring talks and Q&As from authors, including Simon Singh, Vince Cable, Alwyn W Turner, Sonia Purnell, Henry Marsh and more. For more information, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.

  • 6 – 28 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival

Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this two week long festival in South East London at various venues. Nearest station: Crystal Palace. For full listings and tickets, check the CPIFF website.

  • 7 November : Wahaca’s Day Of The Dead Festival

A festival celebrating modern Mexico, including live music, film, street art, culture, food, talks, Mezcal & tequila Mexican market. From 1pm onwards. Tickets: £31.90. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping (Overground). For more information, visit Wahaca’s website.

  • Now until 7 November :Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London

Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £16-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in December 2014

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Norwegian Wood: The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

December is the season to be jolly! With Christmas and New Year’s, this month is always a busy one – lots of socialising, shopping, eating and drinking. So it’s just as well there’s plenty of festive events on in town to get you in the mood. As well as the various events on around the city, there will be lots of festive entertainment, including ballets and pantomimes.

For Metro Girl’s guide to Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

To find out where all London’s hottest New Year’s Eve parties are, click here.

Or for listings of open-air ice rinks in London, click here.

  • 2 – 6 December : Pig’s Ear Beer Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Admission £3 for CAMRA members, £5 for non-members. Open from noon until 11pm. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest rail station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. Visit the Pig’s Ear website for more information.

  • 2 – 18 December : Ho-Ho-Hot Tub Christmas

Pop-up screenings while sitting in a hot tub, including Frozen, Love Actually, Aladdin, Home Alone and Elf. Tickets: £35 individual, £190 for the whole tub for up to six persons. Former Shoreditch Underground station, Pedley Street (off Brick Lane), Shoreditch, E1 5ER. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Hot Tub Cinema website.

  • 2 December – 1 January 2015 : Winterville

An alternative winter wonderland in East London, featuring fairground, market, pantomime, ice skating, roller disco, entertainment at the Spiegeltent, gravity-defying motordrome, horse-drawn carriage and live music and DJs. Open from 10am-10pm. Free entry. Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E9 7DD. Nearest tube/train: Hackney Wick, Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Winterville website 

  • 4 December : Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard Christmas Shopping Event

Over 120 shops in the Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard area will be taking place in a special shopping event, featuring makeovers, treatments, live music, in-store activities and performances, festive food and drinks and 20% off in store. Register on the website for your free discount ticket. Takes place between 5-9pm. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.

  • 4 – 7 December : East London Design Show

Showcasing the best in UK contemporary design, including homewares, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, lighting and fashion. Admission £5 adults, £3 concessions, Free for under 15s. The Old Truman Brewery (Hanbury Street entrance), Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest tube: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the East London Design Show website.

  • 4 – 23 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on 4 December (a gift from Norway), there is the ‘Blessing of the Crib’ procession on 7 December, before carol singing nightly from 8 – 23 December in the Square. Free. Carol singing weekdays 4-8pm, weekends 2-6pm. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube/train: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in January 2014

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

An ice panther at the Ice Sculpting Festival

2014 is here! January is normally a bit of a boring month, as we recover from the over-expenditure and over-indulgence over the Christmas period. With many cutting back on spending, it’s no surprise there isn’t as many events on in the capital as usual.

For a guide to open air ice rinks open in London, click here.

  • 1 January : New Year’s Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the streets of London to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.15pm. Free. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website.

  • 4 – 12 January : London Boat Show

Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Tickets: Weekday adult £10, Any day adult £16 in advance. £20 at the gate. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.

  • 4 January – 9 February : Cirque Du Soleil’s Quidam

The newest touring production from the Cirque, about a young girl called Zoe who slides into an imaginary world. Tickets range from £20.00 to £95.00. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest tube: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.

  • 5 January : Twelfth Night Celebration

Theatre company the Lions Part host their annual celebration of the new year, ‘mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity’ in the Bankside area of London. Free. 2.30pm onwards. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.

  • Now until 5 January : Winter Wonderland
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Winter Wonderland is open the first week of January

Winter Wonderland does exactly what is say on the tin – the south east corner of the park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and lots of mulled wine, as well as Christmas gifts. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. There is also an open air ice rink for those who fancy a twirl and Zippos Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland last year, click here.

  • 6 – 9 January : Rooftop Film Club at Kensington Gardens

The pop-up Rooftop Film Club sets up camp at Kensington Gardens, featuring screenings of The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, Blue Jasmine, Top Gun and more. Tickets: £21.50 (including glass of wine or bottle of beer and hot snack). 99 Kensington High Street (entrance on Derry Street), Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest tube: High Street Kensington. For more information and tickets, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

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Guide to what’s on in London this Christmas 2013

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Tourists drinking mulled cider underneath giant candy canes in Covent Garden

December is one of the best months to be in London. Yes, the weather is rather cold, but there’s so much going on. Obviously, most of it involves Christmassy stuff. Just because  the temperatures have plummeted, it doesn’t mean outside is totally off-limits – there’s plenty of fairs, winter wonderlands and other places to have fun in the fresh air. Or if you can’t stomach being outside, there’s also tons of activities and places to visit in the warm too.

For the 2014 guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.

  • 3 – 7 December : Pig’s Ear Beer Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Admission £2 for CAMRA members, £4 for non-members. Open from noon until 11pm. Nearest rail station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. Visit the Pig’s Ear website for more information.

  • 3 December : Candlelight evening opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum

The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane is a treasure trove of sculptures, painting and antiquities which he collected over his lifetime. Once a month, the museum is open on the first Tuesday of the month for an evening candlelight opening Bookings are not taken in advance, with tickets only issued to the first 200 people. Open from 6-9pm, however tickets are issued at 5.30pm. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.

  • Now until 4 December : Nordic Film Festival

A celebration of the best films to come out of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at various locations across London, including Riverside Studios, ICA and Ciné Lumière. For more information, visit the Nordic Film Festival website.

  • 5 – 8 December : East London Design Show

Showcasing the best in UK contemporary design, including homewares, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, lighting and fashion. Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LT. Nearest tube: Old Street, Shoreditch High Street or Hoxton. For more information, visit the East London Design Show website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Norwegian Wood: The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

  • 5 – 22 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on December 5 (a gift from Norway), there is annual carol singing in the Square. Carol singing weekdays 4-8pm, weekends 2-6pm. Trafalgar Square. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • 6 – 17 December : Spitalfields Winter Festival

Music festival in the Spitalfields area of the East End featuring music old and new. For listings and more information, visit the Spitalfields Music website.

  • 7 December : Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

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