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41 flippin’ great things to do this week in London

Posted at 12:15 pm, February 16, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife, Outdoor London

markdbaynham[Photo: markdbaynham]

Whizz your way around the streets of London at a pancake race on Tuesday, celebrate Chinese New Year at a late night event at the Horniman Museum or try out the best beers in the capital at a week-long festival celebrating the amber nectar. Here are the top things to do in London this week…

Things to do 

Yoga on the Glass Floor, Tower Bridge, Mon, Wed, £15. We’re not sure that looking through a glass floor to see black cabs and buses scoot past beneath you will necessarily make a yoga class more relaxing, but perhaps participants in these vinyasa-flow classes can focus on the impressive view of the river instead.

Pancake Day races, various locations, Tuesday. Get your frying pans at the ready folks, Tuesday February 17 2015 is Shrove Tuesday and this year’s pancake action need not be confined to the kitchen. Pancake races across the city will see everyone from hipsters to MPs tossing their way towards the finish line.

PopUp Painting, The Jam Tree, Tuesday, £25. Those who are sure they can create a work of art but tend to lack inspiration can put their paintbrush potential to excellent use at one of these sessions. Each event focuses on a different artist and participants will recreate one of their most famous works on a huge canvas.

Chinese Late, Horniman Museum, Thursday, £5. As the Year of the Sheep kicks off, over-18s are invited to spend an evening at the Horniman Museum to celebrate Chinese New Year with heaps of contemporary and traditional culture.

Fashion for Relief Fashion Show, Somerset House, Thursday, £50. Last seen bringing some serious attitude to Channel 4’s ‘Gogglebox’, the formidable Naomi Campbell returns to the catwalk in aid of her charity, Fashion For Relief. The Streatham-born supermodel and her beautiful pals will be walking the runway in pieces donated by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood.

School of Fish, Stephen Street Kitchen, Thursday, free. Fancy a delicious free lunch? Yes! Of nutritious fish? You betcha! Cooked by a six-year-old? Erm… The Saucy Fish Co. are taking over Stephen Street Kitchen and promise a choice of four dishes that will convince you how easy it is to make fish a regular part of your diet.

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s, V&A, all week, free. This new display at the V&A showcases a variety of photographic responses to black British experience. The pieces have recently been acquired as part of a collaborative project with the Black Cultural Archives which aims to increase the number of black British photographers and images of black Britain in the museum.

Bricks in the Sky Lego Exhibition, ArcelorMittal Orbit, all week, £15, £12 concs. This exhibition of London-inspired Lego models takes place inside one of London’s landmarks. Half-term visitors to the ArcelorMittal Orbit will be able to see a two metre-tall scale model of the sculptural red observation tower alongside miniature versions of Big Ben, The 02, St Paul’s Cathedral and other London icons including Routemaster buses, black cabs and red telephone boxes.

Knit for Britain From Above, Royal Air Force Museum, all week, free. For an undisclosed reason The Royal Air Force Museum is determined to keep its model plane warm by covering it in wool. Knitting (and crochet) enthusiasts of all abilities and ages are invited to join their half-term craft challenge to help to wrap an aircraft in yarn.

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

London Beer Week

Eating and drinking

London Beer Week, various venues, all week. From the makers of London Cocktail Week comes an equivalent for beer drinkers. Buy a wristband for £10 and you’ll be entitled to £3 beers and £5 boilermakers (a beer and a bourbon) in bars that have been specially chosen for their devotion to the good brews.

#taste25, London Beer Lab, Thursday, £25. Swig, swill and sample your way through 25 beers from 25 different London breweries at this craft beer tasting. The £25 ticket includes £10 bottle shop credit so you can take your newfound favourites home with you.

Verden, Clapton. A high-class Clapton local that punches way above its weight. Fabulous cured meats, cheese and wine can be purchased for consumption at home.

Portland, Fitzrovia. A new restaurant whose co-founders include Will Lander, of the Quality Chop House, and Daniel Morgenthau, formerly of 10 Greek Street.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Sara Pascoe vs History


Sara Pascoe vs History, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50. Sara Pascoe’s latest show focuses on big, complex ideas. But she’s a master at explaining them without any sense of superiority – she often undermines her own intelligence with a daft gag or silly pop culture reference.

Lolitics, The Black Heart, Tuesday, £3. Charming host Chris Coltrane MCs this very friendly political comedy/new material night. Lolitics focuses as much on the ‘lols’ as the ‘politics’, with acts performing sets that are rarely preachy and just plain funny. February 17’s line-up includes Ivor Dembina, Robin & Partridge, Tiernan Douieb, Eleanor Morton and Grainne Maguire.

Kitson and Key, Up a Tree. C.H.A.R.I.T.Y, Old Vic, Wednesday £10-£15. Now, this looks like a late-night laugh. Daniel Kitson and Tim Key – who are currently starring in Kitson’s excellent play ‘Tree’ at the Old Vic – headline this benefit gig in the same venue, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Knock2Bag Comedy Night, Bar FM, Wednesday, £10, £8 adv. This very friendly club in Shepherd’s Bush features packed, hugely inventive line-ups for a very low price. The Knock2Bag team tend to favour the more experimental end of the comedy spectrum, but they always throw in a few ‘straight’ stand-ups too.

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


Live music

Fryars, Red Gallery, Tuesday, £9. Despite his young age, Londoner Ben Garrett has been in the game for years and has co-written and performed with Lily Allen. He plays futuristic post-dubstep synthpop ballads as Fryars.

Nonclassical: Battle of the Bands, The Russet, Tuesday,£5-£7. The most talented young contemporary music ensembles will be power-slamming and hair-pulling at this, the seventh Nonclassical band contest.

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Electric Ballroom, Wednesday, £14 adv. The retro-rockin’ sibling trio are back to peddle their Louis Prima-style bop-alongs, with occasional forays into country, soul, Phil Spectorish pop and even ska.

FKA Twigs, Roundhouse, Thursday, £25. The futuristic R&B sensation plays two mesmerising live shows in Camden.

Alabama Shakes, Islington Assembly Hall, Thursday, £19.50. The Georgia neo-soul quartet return for more smokey old-time rock ’n’ soul.

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

Sounds Familiar Music Quiz


Sounds Familiar Music Quiz, Trapeze, Tuesday, £40 (ticket for eight people), £33 (ticket for six people), £24 (ticket for four people), £8 (single-person ticket). Eyes down and ears open for this delightfully raucous, super-fun music-fuelled quiz, featuring rounds such as ‘Round of Cheese’, ‘Office Party’ and ‘Feel the Power Ballad’, plus prizes including mugs, medals, champagne and more, and DJ AL compering and spinning the tunes.

The Deep Hum At The Heart Of It All, The Social, Wednesday, £5, £3 adv. A midweek showcase of underground indie bands and DJs playing eclectic, alternative tunes.

FWD>>, Dance Tunnel, Thursday, £7. Rinse FM’s seminal London club night FWD, perhaps the key event in helping spread various bass-led genres around the city, has ended its long-standing residency at Shoreditch’s Plastic People. But don’t despair, because Rinse have found a new home for the event in Dalston’s Dance Tunnel.

…or see all the parties planned this week.



Alibi Film Club: ‘Near Dark’, Dslston, TONIGHT, free. The Alibi’s 1987 month comes to a close with this full-blooded vampire movie, which gives the well-worn mythology a much-needed transfusion by stripping away the Gothic trappings and concentrating instead on a pack of nocturnal nomads who roam the sun-parched farmlands of the modern Midwest.

Tufnell Park Film Club: ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, The Lord Palmerston, Tuesday, £15 m’ship. This is one of Powell and Pressburger’s most imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable films. But it’s also one of Britain’s most substantial fantasy films, in that for all its visual invention, wit, romantic flair and sense of fun, it is most definitely about something.

Sci-fi Theatre: ‘Starship Troopers’, The Duke Of Wellington, Wednesday, £5. London’s one and only sci-fi film club returns with this bug-blasting classic. In a future world where everyone is beautiful and only ‘citizens’ get to vote, Paul Verhoeven imagines a war against an alien race whose hideous appearance makes them a perfect target for human aggression.

Or at the cinema…

Fifty Shades of Grey ★★★☆☆ A watered-down adaptation that hides coyly under the sheets, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is full of all sorts of sex, but it’s still a hopelessly softcore erotic drama that fails to be even a fraction as titillating as the EL James books that inspired it. And yet, strangely, that’s exactly why it works.

The Philadelphia Story ★★★★★ Cukor and Donald Ogden Stewart’s evergreen version of Philip Barry’s romantic farce, centreing on a socialite wedding threatened by scandal, is a delight from start to finish, with everyone involved working on peak form.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Man and Superman


Man and Superman, National Theatre, Tue-Thu, £15-£50. Ralph Fiennes stars as confirmed bachelor and radical thinker Jack Tanner in George Bernard Shaw’s witty play.

Farinelli and the King, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Wednesday, £10-£60. Mark Rylance returns to Shakespeare’s Globe after success in ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Richard III’ in 2012 to star in new play with music ‘Farinelli and the King’.

A View from the Bridge, Wyndham’s Theatre, all week, £19.50-£62.50. ‘Something perversely pure calls to me from his memory,’ says lawyer Alfieri of Eddie, the granite-like Italian-American protagonist of Arthur Miller’s epochal ‘A View from the Bridge’. This purity is is at the heart of revered Belgian director Ivo van Hove’s production, which distils Miller’s 1955 play to its white hot, diamond-hard essence.

Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre, all week, £15-£69.50. Word from Broadway is that ‘Beautiful’, a show based on the songs and life of baby boomer megastar Carole King, is a very decent affair, strikingly similar in form and arc to ‘Jersey Boys’ (indubitably the best of the jukebox crop), and festooned with great songs that King both performed and wrote for others.

…or see our theatre critics’ latest reviews.


This week’s best new art

Fig-2, ICA, Tue-Thu, £1 Day membership. Throughout 2015, 50 weekly spontaneous exhibitions will be presented in the ICA’s studio space. This week a collaborative work about the archaeological dig.

Real Estates: A Project By Fugitive Images, Peer, Wed-Thu, free. Art collective Fugitive Images will turn the gallery into a discursive space for this six-week exhibition. Employing a dynamic series of screenings, talks, workshops, and displays including the works of Tom Hunter (pictured), Cardboard Citizens and DIG Collective to name but a few, social issues of housing in east London will be explored.

Mackintosh Architecture, RIBA, Wed-Thu, free. Celebrated worldwide, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of the leading figures of late 19th and early 20th Century architecture. Mackintosh Architecture is the first exhibition devoted to his buildings and reveals the evolution of his style from his early apprenticeship to later projects as an individual architect and designer.

Gabriele de Santis, Limoncello, Thursday, free. In his exhibition at Dalston’s Limoncello gallery, young Rome-based artist Gabriele de Santis has created an enormous inflatable, almost filling the entire space, as a way of exploring ideas of motion and movement.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to Whitechapel Gallery’s Adventures of the Black Square Exhibition or a coffee lovers weekend in Florence and tickets to The London Coffee Festival

Grab… 2-for-1 tickets to Grand Designs Live at ExCel London

Book… these gigs while you still can

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