© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


51 fun things to do in London this weekend

Robert Pittman

[Photo: Robert Pittman]

Catch up on current affairs Sunday Papers Live, grab some gluten free grub at a food festival in Camden, or wrap your ears around some seriously good beats from the best grime and garage players on the London scene. Here are all the things worth knowing about this weekend…

Fun things to do

An Evening with the Stars at the Observatory, Royal Observatory Greenwich, Fri-Sat, £16, £14 concs, £12 children. These late events give you a chance to peer into the heavens through the Royal Observatory’s monster 28-inch telescope, then grab a hot drink at the Prime Meridian where astronomers will be on hand to answer questions

Independent Label Market and London Brewers’ Market, Old Spitalfields Market, Saturday, free. Vinyl buffs, rejoice: the Independent Label Market returns. This market champions hard-copy releases by over 80 of the UK’s best independent record labels, providing a platform for them to sell their records directly to music lovers.

Light Night Canning Town, Saturday, free. An arts festival which takes place entirely after dark, this Light Night aims to brighten the streets of Canning Town for a second time following a dazzling evening of illuminations, interactive projections and imaginatively lit installations last December.

Fair Christmas Fayre, Regent Hall, Saturday, free. Go wild with Christmas consumerism without the guilt at this annual fair selling ethical gifts. Traders will bring a tempting selection of Fairtrade, handmade, eco and vintage items that you can snap up to make your home more festive or to give to loved ones come the big day.

Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair, Sloane Square, Sat-Sun, £5, under-16s free (max two per adult). London’s oldest botanical garden will be hosting 90 carefully chosen stalls selling seasonal treats, beautiful gifts and festive paraphernalia at this annual Christmas market.

Frock Me! Vintage Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, Sunday, £4 general, £2 students. Frock Me! returns with some of the best vintage the capital has to offer. Catering to everyone from serious collectors to fashion enthusiasts, Chelsea Town Hall will be filled with over 50 stalls of vintage and designer clothing, accessories and jewellery.

Disco Loco, Oval Space, Sunday, £7, £6 adv. Raving doesn’t have to stop when you have kids, as this clubbing experience geared towards mums, dads and their little ‘uns proves.

Sunday Papers Live, Cecil Sharp House, Sunday, £35. Pitched as a real-life incarnation of your favourite Sunday rag (think broadsheet rather than red-top), this many-sided day out is centred around a series of talks from experts on world news, fashion, food and much more.

Tash Splash, Brockwell Lido, Sunday, £5. If you have cultivated a furry thing on your top lip in the name of Movember (or are unable to due to gender but hairy in spirit) this charity swim is a chance to raise a bit extra at the last minute.

Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios, Cockpit Arts Holborn, all weekend, £5. These open studios are a great chance to support independent designer-makers and pick up unique Christmas gifts that you won’t find on the high street.

The World’s Largest Cake Sculpture, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, all weekend, £1 charity donation. Make-A-Wish UK and Fairy are joining forces to try to break the world record for the largest cake sculpture. They’ve gathered all the cake and builders they need to construct a 12 metre x 10 metre edible winter wonderland in Westfield’s North Atrium, but in order for the record to count, every last crumb of it needs to be eaten.

Christmas at Kew Gardens, all weekend, £17, children (age 4-6) £12, under-fours free. Kew’s yearly winter makeover is taking place once again and will see a glittery, mile-long trail, guided by snowflakes, wind its way through the gardens. Also in for the festive season are 27 botanically-inspired light installations, which will be dotted along the route.

Brick 2014: Built for Lego Fans, ExCeL Centre, all weekend, £16.75-£42. This interactive event formerly known as The Lego Show will feature workshops with professional brick builders and Lego designers, a brick market place (where you can pick up new and second hand Lego) and impressive displays from around the world.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.

Bite Street Food

Eating and drinking

Bite Street Food, Chrisp Street Market, TONIGHT, free. This new monthly street food market takes place in Chrisp Street, the UK’s first pedestrianised shopping centre. On the last Friday of the month, Bite Collective will be setting up food stalls in front of the Idea Store, giving you a chance to scoff, wriggle around to live music, play giant games and then drown your embarrassment at the pop-up bar.

Supperclub Mexicana, 119 Lower Clapton, TONIGHT-Sat, £44-£70. Meriel Armitage and Lois Davidson – the pair behind Club Mexicana – have teamed up with chef Adam Rawson to create a seven course gourmet vegan tasting menu with paired wines.

Urban Food Fest, Euro Car Parks, Saturday, free. A revolving cast of dozens of food stalls and trucks serve a frankly intimidating variety of global cuisine at the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch. Jerk chicken, wood-fired oven pizza, pad thai, halloumi souvlaki, sushi, shwarma, fried chicken, burritos – we could go on.

Gluten Free Food Festival, Camden Lock Market, Sat-Sun, free. Coeliacs can stuff themselves and paleo followers can pig out at this food festival packed with tempting gluten-free treats.

Foodies Festival Christmas, Old Truman Brewery, all weekend, £12, £10 concs (Fri), £15/£12 (Sat & Sun), £22/£18 (w/e). Christmas comes early for all food fanatics this year in east London. The Foodies Festival is hosting its first ever Chrimbo special, which promises to be three days of festive culinary fun including live cooking demonstrations, drinks masterclasses and a life-sized gingerbread house where you’ll find ginger cider and toasted marshmallows.

…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.

  Lou Sanders in Another Great Show Again


Lou Sanders in Another Great Show Again, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10. Sanders’s latest show is a chaotic mish-mash of ex-boyfriend stories, talking vagina puppets and bags of flour. But, somehow, she’s mashed them into a pleasingly ludicrous shape.

Gits and Shiggles Angel, Proud Archivist, TONIGHT, £12, £10 adv. There’s another ace line-up here tonight, featuring big collared comedy icon Harry Hill, Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Liam Williams, Eric Lampaert, Aisling Bea, Elf Lyons and MC Naz Osmanoglu.

Rich Hall’s Hoedown, Artsdepot, Saturday, £17.50. A mix of music, comedy, liquor and spent dreams with Rich Hall and his talented band. Tremendous fun.

Aziz Ansari – Live!, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Sunday, £30. US talent Aziz Ansari returns to London after (nearly) selling out the Hammersmith Apollo last year. He’s the co-creator of MTV’s excellent ‘Human Giant’, and star of the best-sitcom-on-TV-right-now ‘Parks and Recreation’, but Ansari’s at his best live on stage.

John Bishop – Supersonic, Wembley Arena, all weekend, £30. As part of his huge UK tour, John Bishop’s landing at Wembley Arena in November 2014.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.


Live music 

Beardyman, Koko, TONIGHT, £15. The beatboxer extraordinaire and festival favourite brings his seemingly physically impossible vocal talents to the stage, where his oral creations work best.

Pulled Apart By Horses, Heaven, TONIGHT, £14. The young Leeds quartet headline with their shouty and aggressive (yet oddly funky) alt rock tuneage, which suggests a collision between DFA 1979 and a poppier Megadeth.

Bonobo, Alexandra Palace, TONIGHT, £25-£32.50. Simon Green, Ninja Tune’s psychedelic breaks guru, plays a huge gig at Ally Pally to round off a tour in support of his latest album ‘The North Borders’.

Morrissey, The O2, Saturday, £40.50-£70.50. The Pope of Mope returns, trailing a new album (‘World Peace Is None of Your Business’) and a dark cloud. Moz’s iconic miserablism won’t have been relieved by a tough patch that’s reportedly seen him dropped by his record label, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll be on form for this London date.

Marianne Faithfull, Royal Festival Hall, Saturday, £20-£30. Gruff-voiced diva and counter-cultural British national treasure Faithfull draws from her 50-year recording career.

…or take a look at all 51 live music events in London this weekend.

The Candlelight Club: Prohibition Paris


The Candlelight Club: Prohibition Paris, A secret location, Fri-Sat, £20. Masters of the retro party The Candlelight Club host a party themed around 1920s Paris, complete with oodles of swing and gypsy jazz, speakeasy-style cocktails galore and plenty of nostalgic glamour.

Turntables, 119 Wallis Rd, Fri-Sat, free. This ace-looking pop-up, set in a canal-side location in Hackney Wick, features a fine range of street food, cocktails and colourful house and disco beats spun by top DJs.

Just Jack with Delano Smith, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, £15. Bristol house night Just Jack creeps over to south London’s Corsica Studios to host for a stellar session. US house hero Delano Smith takes the top spot, so expect plenty of ocean-deep tracks from him and further infectious sounds spun by Point G, Jane Fitz, Tom Rio, Dan Wild and more.

Boxfresh Presents Where Were You?, ICan Studios, Saturday, £8-£12. This event brings together various crucial players from the grime and garage scenes from across the decades. Repping garage is Lisa Maffia of 2-step upstarts So Solid Crew, soulful UKG producer Groove Chronicles and scene veteran Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont. Flying the grime flag is genre-splicing innovator and glitchy bass ace Preditah, plus DJs Logan Sama and Sir Spyro going back-to-back, with MC Big Narstie adding lyrical wallop.

The XOYO Residency Series: Simian Mobile Disco, XOYO, Saturday, £13.50 adv, £6 earlybird. It’s a very safe bet that SMD’s XOYO run will be an electronic extravaganza that’s as kaleidoscopic and genre-straddling as their own musical career

A Night in Paradise, Ministry of Sound, Sunday, From £20 adv. New York stalwarts Danny Krivit and Victor Rosado play the Box, spinning classic PG-style house and disco, and funky French sensation The Reflex will also be busting out his delightfully danceable remix skills.

…or see all 43 parties planned this weekend.



Underground Film Club, The Vaults, Saturday, £13. The Rooftop Film Club have perfected the art of outdoor cinema on the roof of the Queen of Hoxton pub. Now they’re bringing comfy theatre chairs and wireless headphones to the eerily atmospheric Vaults, located underneath Waterloo station for a cockle-warming winter pop-up. This Saturday they’re screening ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and ‘Tosca’.

The Grand Cinema Club – Winter Wonderland, Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge, Sunday, £12, £7.50 children. Make a plain old trip to the movies somewhat more magnificent at The Grand Cinema Club. In a room that’s transformed to resemble the set of the film, guests will be treated to table service, canapes, champagne and afternoon tea (£15-£20) all on offer.

Or at the cinema…

Paddington ★★★★☆ Anyone with fond memories of the books or a dusty Paddington Bear sitting on a shelf in their childhood bedroom can rest easy: this first-ever movie take on Peru’s furriest export is a cuddly, thoughtful triumph.

Kajaki: The True Story ★★★★☆ This low-key but high-tension British war film reconstructs events in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2006, when a small group of British soldiers found themselves stranded in a minefield.

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★ Both ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Gravity’ took us out of this world, but the reputation of Stanley Kubrick’s classic – now re-released – is safe. It’s not that ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ doesn’t look dated – it does, a bit – but it remains as intelligent and provocative as ever, bearing years of conceptual dreaming.

Stations of the Cross ★★★☆ In this suitably austere German drama, a teenage girl pursues the ideals of Christian self-sacrifice to terrifying extremes under the spell of conservative Catholic parents and a hardline branch of the church.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Howie the Rookie


Howie the Rookie, Barbican Centre, Fri-Sat, £18. Howie Lee and Rookie Lee – no relation – share a surname and a city, Dublin. In Mark O’Rowe’s revival of his own cult classic, both men are played by a single actor, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, and they seem to share much more besides: a Neanderthal gait, empty eyes and a slack-jawed drawl. It’s like they were destined to meet in fateful circumstances.

‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, all weekend, £10-£45. Is it perverse to describe a production lit entirely by candlelight as electric? Possibly, but the sexual energy emanating from this dynamic, lucid production certainly deserves to be measured in volts rather than flickering flames.

Theatre Uncut, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £12.50, £10 concs. The most recent version of this festival of short plays arrives in 2014 with a typically vibrant line up. Theatre Uncut’s unique angle is that for the month it runs, anyone can stage one of the plays written for the festival, anywhere in the world, without worrying about rights.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

The London College of Furniture

This week’s best new art

Then and Now: Celebrating 50 years since the opening of The London College of Furniture, The Cass, Fri-Sat, free. Calling all interior design aficionados, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of The London College of Furniture (LCF), The Cass is hosting an exhibition of furniture, design objects, photographs and archival material.

Jonathan Meese, Modern Art, Fri-Sat, free. The German artist, who believes that art is more powerful than politics and religion, presents his fifth show at Modern Art.

Joseph Kosuth, Sprüth Magers, Fri-Sat, free. Neons by the conceptual artist from 1965 to 2011. ‘Amnesia: Various, Luminous, Fixed’ chronicles Kosuth’s use of non-art media to explore language as a mode of artistic expression.

Julio Le Parc, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, all weekend, free. The first major UK exhibition of the Argentinean-born artist’s mesmerising kinetic sculptures that incorporate light.

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker, Somerset House, all weekend, £9, £7 concessions. Guy Bourdin: Image Maker is the UK’s largest ever exhibition of his work, charting his 40-year career from protégé of Man Ray to photography revolutionary.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… a £1,000 shopping spree in the heart of Soho or tickets to A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party

Grab… £30 top-price tickets to ‘Edward Scissorhands’ at Sadler’s Wells

Book… these gigs while you still can 

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