© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


43 lovely things to do in London this weekend

Posted at 1:05 pm, April 10, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Free, Fun London, Music & Nightlife

Jack Kennedy [Photo: Jack Kennedy]

Choose between the Boat Race, Goat Race, or alternative contest down at Barnes Bridge this evening, feast your eyes on brilliantly designed record sleeves at the Secret 7″ exhibition or head to Oval Space to sample some delicious whisky. Make the most of your weekend with our list of fun below.

Things to do 

The Alternative Boat Race, Barnes Bridge, today, free. With the Oxford v Cambridge boat race taking place late in the day on Saturday April 11, the RNLI is providing some pre-match entertainment in the form of an alternative boat race on the Friday. A flotilla of miniature lifeboats, each representing an individual or rowing club who have been raising sponsorship ahead of the event, will be released to race against each other to win a trophy and to name a (full-size) D class lifeboat.

The Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race, Spitalfields City Farm, Saturday, £12. Polish your horns and belt out those bleets, because London’s favourite farmyard fracas is back for a seventh year in 2015. The Goat Race is fast becoming as popular as its Thames-based rival (at least around the Time Out office), and sees two goats – one representing ‘Oxford’, the other ‘Cambridge’ – take part in a dash around the farm.

The Boat Race, Putney Bridge (south side), Saturday, free. The 2015 Boat Race will take place on Saturday April 11. And this year it’s Boat Races – the men’s race (which will start at 5.50pm) will be joined on the Tideway for the first time this year by the women’s race, starting an hour earlier at 4.50pm.

Renegade Craft Fair, Old Truman Brewery, Sat-Sun, free. This market usually sets up shop stateside, but lucky for us it’s made a trip across the pond and is back for a second instalment following a fantastic Christmas event last year. Designers and makers bundle into the Old Truman Brewery offering up their wares which range from stationery and jewellery, to toys, illustrated prints and super trendy cacti-filled pots and hanging baskets.

Bethnal Green’s Affordable Vintage Fair, York Hall, Sunday, £2-£3. It’s been ten years since the first Affordable Vintage Fair – now, it’s the UK’s largest travelling marketplace for retro clothes, home wares and accessories. You’ll find quality pieces from the Twenties onwards, many with one-off discounts.

ZSL Saturday Sketch, London Zoo, Saturday, standard entry + £2.50, £1.50 students. This monthly drawing class hops between London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo, giving participants the chance to brush up on drawing techniques, take part in a range of fun sketching activities and get up close to some truly beautiful creatures.

Record shops of Soho from 1946 to 1996, 2 Berwick Street, Sat-Sun, free. The British Record Shop Archive and the Museum Of Soho present this exhibition in the run up to Record Store Day on the 18th. Reflecting on the history of record retail in Soho and the West End, the show will include photographs, videos, record shop bags, posters and more.

Hackney Record Fair, EPIC Dalston, Sunday, free. Hackney Record Fair is the latest venture from the gang behind the monthly Hackney Flea Market, and promises a chance for indie types to get hold of rare vinyl and made-with-love fanzines.

Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, Old Finsbury Town Hall, Sunday, £4, £2 NUS. Clerkenwell’s regular vintage fair returns for spring, with more than 50 quality stallholders selling womenswear, menswear, jewellery and accessories from times gone by.

Secret 7″, Somerset House, all weekend, free. The annual charity sale of unique record sleeves designed by world famous creatives opens at Somerset House.

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

whisky weekender

Eating and drinking

Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Tasting Experience, London Eye, Saturday, £50. This event will send chocolate lovers spinning into the sky as an expert from Hotel Chocolat guides them through an array of delicious chocolates and truffles onboard the Coca-Cola London Eye.

A Month of Sundaes, Pond Dalston, Sunday, £40-£55. Dig in to an indulgent five-course dinner of desserts at this monthly event hosted by pastry chef and chocolatier Terri Mercieca.

The Whisky Weekender, Oval Space, Sunday, £30. East London has become synonymous with beardy blokes bonding over craft brews, but this weekend will be given over to an altogether different tipple: whisky. As part of its Whisky Weekender, events specialist The Whisky Lounge is bringing its pour of choice to the masses, with drams from all over the world, at an event costing £30 per head.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Friday night freaks


Friday Night Freaks, Udderbelly, Tonight, £15.50, £14 concs. Weirdos of London, unite! This late-night showcase of the most twisted, rude, shocking and just downright bizarre comedy and cabaret acts in town is back, for a sixth year.

Felicity Ward – The Iceberg, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50, £10 concs. Eternally upbeat Aussie storyteller Felicity Ward is a hugely talented stand-up. Her latest solo show, ‘The Iceberg’, focuses on perspective, and what’s underneath the tip of the iceberg of life’s big dilemmas.

Gina Yashere – Laugh Riot, O2 Academy Brixton, Saturday, £25. She’s loud, proud and back where she belongs. Gina Yashere is here in the capital to crank out some home truths as part of her UK tour, playing her biggest London show to date, at Brixton Academy.

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

Courtney Barnett

Live music

Courtney Barnett, Electric Ballroom, Tonight, £12.50. Young Australian Barnett is one of the biggest songwriting talents around at the moment, pairing sharp, witty lyrics that tease out the hidden significances in everyday life with circling psych-rock melodies and downbeat indie-pop.

Lonelady, Oslo, TONIGHT, £9. Ultra-cool singer-songwriter Julie Ann Campbell hails from Manchester, and specialises in brilliant new wave-edged funk workouts that have earned her a record deal with Warp Records.

RBMA Radio High Frequencies Live in London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Saturday, £10. As part of the London leg of the Red Bull Music Academy UK tour, RBMA Radio broadcasts a show from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s ArcelorMittal Orbit (the thing that looks like a melted red rollercoaster) to pay tribute to pirate radio’s influence on UK music.

Chilly Gonzales/Kaiser Quartett, Milton Court Hall (Barbican), Saturday. Cravat-loving piano maverick Chilly Gonzales teams up with German string brigade the Kaiser Quartett to perform new material at a London residency. His insouciant wisecracks, musical wisdom and lightning-fast fingers make him as much of a live draw as any pop star.

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

Three Generations of Soundboy: Rebel Sound


Three Generations of Soundboy: Rebel Sound, The Steelyard, Tonight, £15. Bassy supergroup Rebel Sound (consisting of D&B duo Chase and Status, MC Rage, uk reggae don David Rodigan and dum ‘n’ bass ace Shy FX) were the victors in the 2014 Red Bull Culture Clash competition, so it seems only right that they should be a part of the RBMA UK Tour.

Friday I’m In Love, The Phoenix, Tonight, £8, £6 adv. It’s an ’80s special at the mass-karaoke night, so prepare for new romantics songs, hair metal, power ballads and synth pop.

0800 = R1NG 2 RAV3, secret location, Saturday, free. This intriguing event – organised as part of the London leg of the Red Bull Music Academy UK Tour – pays tribte to the era of illegal raves and free parties, where the only way of finding out where the action was taking place was to ring or text a special number (usually found on makeshift flyers advertising the party or through covert contacts).

Scared To Dance, Moustache Bar, Saturday, £4-£6. This fun, nostalgic club night features DJs (including a few famous guests) playing indie, pop, post-punk and new wave.

T Dance, Shoreditch Town Hall, Sunday, £15. Gay dance party Chapter 10 hosts a reimagining of a traditional Victorian tea dance, as part of the London leg of the Red Bull Music Academy UK Tour.

Brooklyn Love: Wolf + Lamb, Old Queen’s Head, Saturday, free. Wolf + Lamb play a mammoth six-hour DJ set at north London party pub the Old Queen’s Head. It’s free entry and takes place on a Sunday – the perfect way to end the weekend, so head along and lose yourself in their razor-sharp grooves and low-slung, funky beats.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.

Cobain: Montage Of HeckCobain: Montage Of Heck


LA Rebellion: ‘Killer of Sheep’, Tate Modern, Tonight, £5. The Tate gallery’s LA Rebellion strand – subtitled ‘Creating a New Black Cinema’ – focuses on a handful of films made in the 1970s that offered black filmmakers new ways to express their ideas and explore their shared histories.

This Made Me Laugh: ‘The Naked Gun’ + John Lloyd intro, Barbican Centre, Saturday, £9.50. This week, the Barbican hosts a new season of comedy films introduced by comedians and writers who know a thing about funny. This evening, it’s the turn of BBC producer and writer John Lloyd (‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘QI’) to introduce the Zucker Brothers’ gag-crammed comic masterpiece.

Kinoteka Polish Film Festival: ‘The Constant Factor’, BFI Southbank, Sunday, £8.35–£11.75. The annual Kinoteka festival is back with a sprawling selection of new Polish cinema, plus talks, exhibitions and a fine selection of classics from the country.

Or at the cinema…

Cobain: Montage Of Heck ★★★★☆ Geek, loner, slacker, roommate, obsessive note-taker (‘rent Eraserhead’) – that’s the Kurt Cobain who emerges from this impressionistic profile, blessed by the late Nirvana frontman’s family and the product of enviable archival access.

John Wick ★★★☆☆ An especially cute floppy-eared beagle is killed during the first 20 minutes of this action throwback, and, for all the body blows still to come, nothing hurts so much. Maybe that’s as it should be: no one in this movie is as innocent as that pooch, certainly not its owner.

…or see all of the latest releases.



Oppenheimer, Vaudeville Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12-£52. A freewheeling bio-drama about J Robert Oppenheimer, the mastermind of the atomic bomb, Tom Morton-Smith’s epic new play isn’t formally groundbreaking, but it’s ambitious in the very best way.

Alice’s Adventures Underground, The Vaults, all weekend, £35-£47.50. Les Enfants Terrible jump on the current trend, and thirst, for immersive theatre experiences with this brand new version of Lewis Carroll’s classic ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. This is an epic retelling which takes place in the spooky vaults underneath Waterloo Station.

Spend, Spend, Spend, Union Theatre, all weekend, £20, £17 concs. Steve Brown and Justin Greene’s British musical about football pools winner Viv Nicholson and her rags to riches story is revived for the tiny Union Theatre.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, London Coliseum, all weekend, £10-£125. Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel star in a semi staged musical production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s murderous musical from English National Opera.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

Ed Thompson: The Unseen

This week’s best new art

Ed Thompson: The Unseen, Four Corners, Fri-Sat, free. The British photographer makes the invisible visible in this electrifying display. Using Kodak Aerochrome, an infrared film, Thompson captured a haunted village in Kent and one of the most radioactive forests in the world, turning these verdant landscapes into blush red vistas that reveal aspects usually hidden to the human eye.

Apollo 8×10, Daniel Blau, Fri-Sat, free. This collection of vintage prints from missions including Apollo, Gemini, Skylab and Viking take us beyond the boundaries of earth. ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Gravity’ don’t have a patch on these astonishing images that bring us up close and personal to the great expanse of space.

Gayle Chong Kwan: Anthropo-scene, Bloomberg SPACE, Fri-Sat,free. The second exhibition of the ‘Homecoming’ series that responds to the history and architecture of the City of London.

Jo Baer: Towards The Land Of The Giants, Camden Arts Centre, all weekend, free. The Amsterdam-based American painter who came to prominence at the height of minimalism in the 1960s, brings together two lifelong interests, history and science in her latest series of canvases that encompass figurative experiments with abstract forms.

Simon Martin: UR Feeling, Camden Arts Centre, all weekend, free. Using two performers, Martin’s new film takes a quote from architect Peter Eisenman to explore our experience of interacting with our surroundings.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win… tickets to Truck Festival 2015 for you and three friends or a six-night break for two to Barcelona and Seville

Grab… £12 tickets to Circus Maximus at Udderbelly Festival

Book… these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

Mind the gape: outrage over porn film shot on heritage railway

Pret A Manger has opened its first proper evening restaurant

Hold the line: you can now make phone calls on the tube

This woman gave away £1 a day for a year

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,