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40 excellent things to do in London this week

Paloma Medina

[Photo: Paloma Medina]

Welcome to the start of another wonderful week! There’s so much stuff going on, you won’t even realise how bleak and drizzly it is out there. Try out some ice cool treats at Ruby Violet Ice Cream Parlour tomorrow, catch Sir David Attenborough for a special book signing event on Wednesday,  and get down to some northern soul as you glide across the ice rink at Somerset House on Thursday night. Here’s to some flippin’ good mid-week fun…

Fun things to do

The Jermyn Street Experience, Jermyn Street Theatre, Tuesday, £10. Discover the stories behind the traditional shops and specialists on Jermyn Street in St James on this two-hour tour. The tailors, cheesemongers, perfumiers, milliners and more have all had their moments in various spotlights over the years, and tour guide Dr Cindy Lawford will introduce you to the shopkeepers and their products in between stories.

Eureka Moments, The Proud Archivist, Tue-Thu, free. This exhibition brings together archive material from international creatives including the innovators behind the Shanghai Tower, The Lava Lamp, and the designers behind Hello Kitty and Superman.

Christmas at Kew Gardens, Wed-Thu, £17, children (age 4-6) £12, under-fours free. Kew’s annual seasonal makeover is returning. For 2014, a glittery, mile-long trail, guided by snowflakes, will wind its way through the landscape.

Sir David Attenborough Book Signing, Natural History Museum, Wednesday, free with purchase. Britain’s voice of nature Sir David Attenborough will be signing copies of his revised and updated autobiography ‘Life on Air’ in the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall at this morning event.

Architecture &… Food, The Mayfair Hotel, Wednesday, £25, £15 WMFB Members. An evening of discussion on how our need to eat influences building design, and how we use historical buildings now that our priorities have adjusted.

3D Print Day, Hackney Downs Studios, Wednesday, free. Hackney residents can try their hand at a spot of 3D printing, then grab a delicious brunch, lunch or coffee at The Russet at this community open day.

Greenwich Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights, Greenwich, Wednesday, free. Greenwich schoolchildren help to bring Christmas to town with a procession featuring handmade lanterns from the Old Royal Naval College to Greenwich Market.

Brick 2014: Built for Lego Fans, ExCeL Centre, Thursday, £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.

Lates at Churchill War Rooms, Westminster, Thursday,£17.50, £14 concs. Explore the Churchill War Rooms in the heart of Westminster at this after-hours event celebrating 140 years since Churchill’s birth.

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

 Dram & SmokeDram & Smoke

Eating and drinking

Christmas Tasting Evenings with Ruby Violet, Ruby Violet Ice Cream Parlour, Mon-Tue, £25. Ruby Violet will unveil their festive menu at these two tasting evenings. Expect mince pies, marzipan, mulled wine, gingerbread ice cream and many more brand new seasonal flavours.

Dram & Smoke, 2-3 Black Swan Yard, Wed-Thu, £40. Tuck into a menu of the finest foods that Scotland has to offer – yes, that includes haggis – at this evening of ‘scran, bevvy and general flumgummerie’.

Macau Patua, Chinatown Chinese Community Centre, Thursday, £35. This informal talk and tasting evening focusses on Macanese food and Macau’s history and culture. Annabell Jackson will host the talk, and the four course dinner will be cooked by Suet-Ming Lau.

London East End Food Tour, various venues, all week, £65, £50 13-17s, £40 under-13s. On this tasty tour, guides will lead the way through the East End’s markets, shops, bakeries, pubs and restaurants to give a real flavour of London. Yum.

Señor Ceviche, Soho. You know what they say: practice makes perfect. And Harry Edmeades, aka Señor Ceviche, has had plenty of practice. In 2012, after a stint at Lima’s renowned ceviche restaurant El Mercado, the 25-year-old British chef came back to London and started Don Ceviche, a pop-up with just five ceviches (raw fish cured in citrus juice). Then he spent another two years perfecting and expanding the menu before launching this ‘proper’ restaurant.

…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.

Fylm School hosted by Simon Munnery


Fylm School hosted by Simon Munnery, Soho Theatre, TONIGHT, £15. In this show, Munnery broadcasts live cardboard-based sketches onto a screen on stage and introduces Fylmic stylings from his comedy pals.

John Hegley and Friends, Betsey Trotwood, TONIGHT, £8, £5 concs. A set from the wonderful comedy poet laureate John Hegley and his friends. Tonight he’s joined by The Old Bailey and the Three Sister, and Diego Brown & the Good Fairy.

Andrew Maxwell’s London Loves, Comedy Café Theatre, Tuesday, £15, £12.50 adv. To celebrate his two decades in our capital, the Radio 4 star is performing this topical show, all about London.

The Political Party with Matt Forde, The Political Party with Matt Forde, Wednesday, £10-£12.50. Radio host and Labour-lover Matt Forde hosts this night of topical comedy – which is recorded for a hugely popular podcast – where he sits down to interview a political heavyweight.

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

 The Vaselines

Live music

The Vaselines, The Garage, Tuesday, £13. Reunited since 2008, here they perform songs from a new album ‘V for Vaselines’.

The National, The O2, Wednesday, £29-£34. Since emigrating from Ohio to Brooklyn in the late 1990s, this five-piece – including two sets of brothers – have been making dark, seductively brooding alt rock.

Little Dragon, O2 Academy Brixton, Thursday, £23.50. They’re here to play from their incredible new album ‘Nabuma Rubberband’, which should get the crowd bumping and grinding in no time at all.

Parquet Courts, The Laundry, Thursday, £16. Don’t miss Parquet Courts as they play from their incredible debut album ‘Light Up Gold’ and the follow-up ‘Sunbathing Animal’ in London.

…or take a look at all 70 live music events in London this week.

Morning Gloryville


Morning Gloryville, Oval Space, Wednesday, £16. MG have landed a ‘top-not, world-famous DJ … someone who everyone loves’ for their latest AM rave, but they can’t let on who it is. Probably (hopefully) not Tiësto, then. As well as the secret star guest, there’ll also be the usual morning treats and beats.

Skate at Somerset House: Club Nights, Wed-Thu, £17 adv. DJs from the Vintage Festival spin funk, northern soul, rare groove, boogie, disco and classic R&B on Wednesday and Thursday sees house and funk-loving crew Future Disco break out the golden grooves.

Gospeloke, Queen of Hoxton, Thursday, £5-£8. Absolutely no prizes for guessing what this event is all about. That’s right, it’s a gospel music-focused karaoke night – ‘Think ‘Sister Act’ meets a school assembly via ‘Top of the Pops’, say the organisers.

…or see all 24 parties planned this week.

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do In The Shadows


Screening: Manhunt + Q&A, Frontline Club, TONIGHT, £10, £8 concs. Directed by Greg Barker, this documentary explores the work of a small team of female agents known as ‘The Sisterhood’ who tracked the activities of al-Qaeda for 20 years and were trying to take down Osama bin Laden before many of us even knew his name.

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.

What We Do in the Shadows ★★★★☆ Fans of ‘Toast of London’ will instantly get this comic horror mockumentary from New Zealand about four vampires living in a suburban semi. We meet the gang at a bad-tempered house meeting.

Winter Sleep ★★★★☆ ‘Winter Sleep’ gives us a few days in the life of Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), a hotel owner and landlord in a remote Anatolian community where houses are carved into rock.

Get on Up ★★★★☆ A piece of magic happens in this music biopic, in which Chadwick Boseman 100 percent inhabits the role of soul star James Brown: the mysterious man behind the legend comes through with heartstopping electricity.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Our Town


Our Town, Almeida Theatre, all week, £9-£36. Across the pond, Wilder’s 1938 meta-theatrical classic is a high-school staple, but its popularity has faded over here. The Almeida’s revival of ‘Our Town’ sees David Cromer’s create a hyper-naturalistic production which is a drastic departure from usual stagings.

Howie the Rookie, Barbican Centre, all week, £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.

God Bless the Child, Royal Court Theatre, all week, £10-£20, £15 concs. Royal Court boss Vicky Featherstone’s evident fascination with the creative potential of the under-tens – last year she actually put a group in charge of her theatre for a week – reaches something of an apex with this sweetly cutting satire about Coalition educational reform, in which the bulk of the cast are aged eight.

Cans, Theatre 503, Tue-Thu, £15, £12 concs. Exploring the aftermath of a chat-show host’s fall from grace following sex-abuse allegations, ‘Cans’ is nothing if not topical.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Here Today

This week’s best new art

Here Today, Old Sorting Office, Tue-Thu, free. Artwise curate this group show of big name artists including Gavin Turk, Peter Blake, Douglas Gordon and Carsten Höller to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endangered Species.

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

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014, ICA, Wed-Thu, Day membership £1. Celebrating its sixty-fifth anniversary, this annual art trend barometer returns to the ICA. Out of 1,400 submissions, selectors Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Enrico David and Goshka Macuga have chosen 55 artists from the recent crop of art graduates from UK Institutions.

Conflict, Time, Photography, Tate Modern, Wed-Thu, £13.10, £11.30 concs. As we look back over 100 years since the end of the First World War, the Tate examines the – often uneasy – relationship between photography and conflict.

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker, Somerset House, Opens Thursday, £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. Over 100 colour exhibition prints, as well as early and late works in black and white, will be on display, along with Polaroid test shots, contact sheets and transparencies.

Caragh Thuring, Chisenhale Gallery, Thursday, free. Image consumption and a viewer’s satisfaction are explored in the London-based artists first exhibition in a public gallery.

…or see all London art reviews.

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