Finish your weekend in style with our guide to the best entertainment, events and places to go in London this Sunday, featuring an array of fantastic ideas that show the city at its best on this day of rest.
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in London this weekend
If you’re not too busy celebrating soppy stuff on February 14 you might like to welcome in the Year of the Monkey at this massive Chinese New Year celebration which will fill most of the West End with music, acrobatics, activities and pyrotechnics. A grand parade featuring ten lion dance teams will set of from Trafagar Square at 10am, weaving its way up to the buzzing heart of Chinatown.Read more
This bi-monthly one-day market showcasing a host of London's emerging artists and independent publishers certainly brightens the wintery weekends. With an eclectic array of artworks and original items including zines, ceramics and illustrations being offered by 60 exhibitors, the DIY art market is a must for lovers of the handmade.Read more
Improve on a boring day at work with an exciting evening filled with turtles, sharks, crocodiles and rays roaming around you. Guests visiting the Sea Life aquarium after dark will be treated to a glass of prosecco on arrival before they make their way into the brilliant displays to discover Atlantic Coves and Pacific Wrecks. Sessions start at 6.45pm and 7.15pm and are suitable for those 18 and over.Read more
Bright young saxophone talent Brown has a sound somewhere between Stan Getz and Coutney Pine (minus the showboating). Her music is an accessible mix of classic jazz tones with a twist of R&B and funk, and here she’s playing her acclaimed set of reggae love songs – just the thing for Valentine’s Day.Read more
Lord Byron's daughter Ada was way ahead of her time – she's often thought of as some kind of computer prophet thanks to her insightful work on the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage's calculating machine. This exhibition will tell Lovelace's story in her own words using many of her letters.Read more
150 years have passed since 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was first published. To celebrate the anniversary, the British Library have curated this special exhibition within their entrance hall where visitors can sneak a peak at Lewis Carroll's original manuscript complete with hand-drawn illustrations, as well as beautiful editions by Ralph Steadman, Mervyn Peake, Leonard Weisgard, Salvador Dali and Arthur Rackham. A pop up shop (Nov 20- Jan 31) selling Alice-inspired stationery, accessories, clothing and homeware will also give fans the chance to take a slice of the fun home.Read more
The ancient Egyptian penchant for adorning the body is well documented, with plenty of historical information available about swaddled-up corpses (and plenty of films set in Egypt BC featuring Cleopatra’s lot balancing immoderate headdresses above kohl-lined eyes). It’s a big topic, to be sure, and you might reasonably expect this to be an expansive exhibition. But Two Temple Place isn’t the British Museum, and it’s not trying to be: instead, this select collection of archaeological booty has a charm all of its own. Spread over two rooms, ‘Beyond Beauty’ is a whistlestop tour of the Egyptian collections held at seven of the UK’s smaller institutions who have banded together to bring their impressive wares to a London audience. Among these are some splendidly preserved sarcophagi and mummy coverings, pretty necklaces and tasteful pots for ointments and cosmetics, limestone jars used to hold internal organs (topped by carved animal and human heads – think morbid Pez dispensers), and the pièce de résistance: a gilded mummy head (on loan from Ipswich Museum), from a Roman citizen called Titus Flavius Demetrios, who chose to be buried Egyptian-style. It is an excellent example of cross-cultural pollination between ancient societies, and a handsome one at that. For any non-Egyptologist with a short attention span for endless display cases of earthenware spoons and bits of glass, this small showing provides an excellent snapshot of what the Egyptians were up to when they looked inRead more
Forget about those Fuzzy Felt masterpieces you made as a kid. This exhibition is about the freakier creations people have constructed using the material, with a primary focus on three-dimensional pieces that dispel the idea of textiles as solely a sheet material. The show curated by The National Centre for Craft & Design features a technical demonstration area with handling samples alongside the displays of bizarre objects and intriguing garments.Read more
We'd never have won the war without science on our side, and a great number of breakthroughs took place under the direction of Winston Churchill. Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the portly Prime Minister's death, this exhibition celebrates the inventions and scientific endeavour which came to Britain's aid during World War Two. Artefacts, film footage, letters and photographs tell the stories of pioneering nutritionist Elsie Widdowson, Dorothy Hodgkin's advancement of X-ray crystallography, Robert Watson-Watt's invention of the radar and many more remarkable projects from the era. A few of Churchill's personal items will pepper the collection, too; keep an eye out for the cigar he was smoking when he heard he had been re-elected as Prime Minister in 1951. An additional section will allow visitors to learn about scientific advances in post-war Britain, including everything from molecular genetics to robotics, and looks at present scientific ambitions.Read more
This is a show that serves up four Rembrandts. As a starter. Just to give a sense of the royal and artistic dialogues between Britain and the Netherlands at the time. So, we’re talking the sort of quality that only the oldest of old money can buy. The main meat of this show, however, isn’t all that refined, not in it subject matter at least. Three centuries after it was painted, Willem van Mieris’s ‘The Neglected Lute’ (c1710) is still pretty easy to decipher. A young woman has called on a gentleman to play him a turn. However, her audience of one clearly has other ideas. Plied with wine and oysters, she gazes a little woozily into her glass, while said instrument rests against her skirt, unplucked. In the background, a servant carries in another tray full of temptation. ‘However high you’re thinking, go lower – Benny Hill, it’s as obvious as that,’ said the surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, at the press launch for this deliciously unstuffy selection from Her Maj’s collection. And he’s spot on. Trysts, tussles and piss-ups are staples of these seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century paintings. And, like characters in a play, or perhaps a panto, the people in them signpost the action with a startling lack of subtlety. Nicolaes Maes’s ‘The Listening Housewife’ (1655) hushes you conspiratorially as she descends the staircase to discover a maidservant canoodling with her beau. Down to his undershirt and unbuttoned britches, the guy at the centre of GodfriRead more
This bi-monthly one-day market showcasing a host of London's emerging artists and independent publishers certainly brightens the wintery weekends. With an eclectic array of artworks and original items including zines, ceramics and illustrations being offered by 60 exhibitors, the DIY art market is a must for lovers of the handmade. There’s also an on-site café, DJ sets and a craft beer bar (this is Hackney, after all).Read more
We take it for granted today but when photography was first invented, it must have been extraordinary to witness a moment in time captured forever as a static image. When you look at Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs from more than 150 years ago, you are reminded why photography was, and still is, so enchanting. Cameron received her first camera as a forty-eighth birthday present from her daughter in 1863 and quickly created an unprecedented number of images. To celebrate the bicentenary of Cameron’s birth two museum displays pay tribute to an experimental photographer whose innovative approach was artistically revered but also critically condemned due to her unorthodox methods. At the V&A, in a majestically crimson-painted gallery, the display focuses on Cameron’s relationship with the museum and its founding director Sir Henry Cole. It was he who gave Cameron her first show in 1865 at the V&A’s former incarnation, the South Kensington Museum. Sepia-tinged and often blurry, her photos retain the traces of the photographic process – smudges, scuffs and scratches due to the hazardous and sensitive chemicals used. They’re alluring and haunting. Apparitional portraits of friends and family are hung next to religious and allegorically-themed compositions, which feature one of Cameron’s recurring muses and models, her personal maid Mary Ann Hillier. Cameron cast the melancholic-looking Hillier as Shakespeare’s Juliet, as the Madonna, as St Agnes and as the Greek poet Sappho,Read more
You may well have sat in one of Charles and Ray Eames's iconic stack chairs, or at least a copy of one. The couple's pioneering designs are known the world over and have been a guiding light for new generations of designers, certainly a go to for any interior decorator. This major retrospective focuses on their extraordinary laboratory, the Eames Office that produced more than just furniture but sought to address the demands of modern living through new approaches to architecture and arts education. Bringing together their innovative projects, the show invites us to revisit their legacy while also getting some pretty good tips on how best to redecorate the living room. FOUR THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT CHARLES AND RAY EAMESRead more
This free exhibition brings together three years of research into the monumental alterpiece by Francesco Botticini. Commissioned in fifteenth century by Florentine philosopher, historian and friend to the Medici’s, Matteo Palmieri for his funerary chapel in San Pier Maggiore, the astounding work reflects the Dante inspired ode Palmieri wrote in 1465, ‘Città di Vita (City of Life) – considered heretical after his death. Exploring Palmieri’s fascinating life and his collaboration with Botticini, this display also showcases sculpture, drawings, and manuscripts connected to the alterpiece as well as the reconstruction of Jacopo di Cione polyptych that currently hang separately in the gallery’s Sainsbury’s Wing.Read more
This central London club at the Comedy Pub always features impressive line-ups mixing circuit stalwarts with talented rising stars. With three to five shows a week, and tickets at £10 max in advance, it's very good value indeed. Check 'dates and times' for the latest line-ups.Read more
Michael Nadra Primrose Hill
Venue says: We are celebrating Valentine's Day all weekend with two delicious tasting menus and a glass of rosé Champagne for £69pp.
A second London restaurant from chef Michael Nadra, following up on his lauded Chiswick original. This Primrose Hill version benefits from a canalside location and atmospheric dining areas - including a Grade II-listed horse tunnel, complete with cobbled floor and arched brick ceiling. There are Asian influences on a menu focused mostly on European classics. Expect, then, dishes such as steamed sea bass with prawn and chive dumplings, oriental greens, carrot and ginger purée and a lobster bisque alongside herb-crusted Cornish hake with lobster risotto, rock samphire and sea aster. A six course tasting menu can be matched with wines. Drinks don't play second fiddle here. A martini bar offers more than 20 classic and contemporary martinis, including dry, dirty and dickens. The Primrose martini combines vodka, St Germain and cranberry juice. More than 200 wines are available, with 16 available by the glass.