Visit festive open studios in town, make your own beauty products at a well-being workshop or sip on seriously good suds at the Tate Modern’s tap takeover. Banish boredom this week with our list of fun below!
Things to do
Paper Cutting with Poppy Chancellor, Marby & Elm, Tue, £25. Explore paper cutting and letterpress printing, then make your own Christmas cards with the skills you've learned.
Plant Life Drawing, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, Tue, £35, concs available. An evening of drawing focused on the foliage we find within our homes. Sketch out beautiful house plants at the Ace Hotel, and get top tips on mastering the art of capturing form and pattern.
Greenwich Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights, various, Wed, free. Greenwich schoolchildren help to bring Christmas into town, with a procession featuring handmade lanterns, travelling from Discover Greenwich to Greenwich Market.
An Evening of Botanical Beauty, Margot Bakery, Wed, £25. Spend a few hours unwinding after your day with a workshop in creating an aromatic body or bath product.
Longplayer Conversation 2016, Kings College London, Wed, £11.04. Ali Smith and Marina Warner talk about the inspiration of Longplayer, a composition for an instrument on the banks of the Thames which is designed to last a millennium.
Seasons of Love Talks, Hackney Picturehouse, £10, £5 adv. Kate Monroe reports backs on what happens when you ask people about their virginity, and Alix Fox presents an entertaining yet informative game-styled talk about, er... Bits.
The Winter Theatre Festival, Mirth, Marvel and Maud, Wed-Thu, £10, or £24 for a festival pass. Four nights of fringe theatre from comedians, dancers and actors at Walthamstow's newly-refurbed former cinema.
Cockpit Arts Christmas Open Studios, Cockpit Arts Holborn, Thu, £5. These open studios, celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2016, are a great chance to support independent designer-makers and pick up unique Christmas gifts that you won't find on the high street.
Patagonia Thrift Shop, Village Underground, Thu, free. Grab repaired, customised and 'previously used' Patagonia outdoor gear at this handy 'thrift' sale. Prices start at £5.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at House of MinaLima, House of Minalima, all week, free. Deep red drapes, gold walls and wooden floors will take your right back to 1920s New York - the setting for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
…or check out more events happening in London this week.
Eating and drinking
Sophat Hing at Carousel, Tue-Thu, £39.50. Enjoy Khmer food from a chef who's never been outside Cambodia before. Sophat Hing will be cooking four courses including Cambodia's biggest dish, amok curry, and dishes made with native ingredients like wok-fried crab made with Kampot peppercorns.
Christmess, The Vaults, Thu, £40. Join a party of 80 for long-table dining and Southern soul food dishes, as well as live music. Booking essential.
Tate Tap Takeover, Tate Modern, Thu, from £10. On the last Thursday of each month, the taps at the Tate Modern are taken over by a British craft brewery. This week it's Burning Sky Brewery.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
Live music and nightlife
Lanterns On The Lake, Islington Assembly Hall, Tue, £14. A five-piece Geordie band signed to the Bella Union label, Lanterns On The Lake make ambient pop with towering, chorus-heavy shoegaze guitars and entrancing female vocals.
Booka Shade, Southbank Centre, Tue, £20. German electro-house kingpins Booka Shade bust out a set of their sleek but delightfully danceable, melodic jams – the perfect middle-ground between raving and chilling the hell out.
Chance The Rapper, O2 Academy Brixton, Tue, £28.50. Chance The Rapper recently released his third mixtape 'Coloring Book' filled with high profile collabs - everyone seems to be clamouring to dive into his hooky, soulful hip hop with slightly off-centre beats.
M83, O2 Academy Brixton, Wed, £30. Anthony Gonzalez's early output as M83 earned comparisons to Mogwai, Cocteau Twins and MBV, but his more recent releases have shown a bolder, louder, stronger and shinier side.
…or take a look at all the live music events in London this week.
Elstree 1976 + director Q&A, Lexi Cinema, Wed, £10.50, £7.50 concs. 'I'm a serious actor, I've played Macbeth. And on my tombstone it will say “Here Lies Greedo”.' That's Paul Blake, one of the subjects interviewed in this warm, delightful documentary about the men and women who turned tiny bit parts in the original 'Star Wars' trilogy into a lifetime's work on the convention circuit.
French noir season: La Vérité, Ciné Lumière, Wed, £11, £9 concs. The French Institute offers up a month of Francophone crime flicks, including works by François Truffaut ('Mississippi Mermaid') and Jean-Pierre Melville ('Le Samouraï').
Or at the cinema...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ★★★★☆ This entertaining first spin-off from the Harry Potter movies is both inventive and familiar – and Eddie Redmayne makes an endearing new wizarding lead.
In the Heat of the Night ★★★★☆ This gripping civil rights-era classic is back on UK screens.
…or see all of the latest releases.
The Royale, The Tabernacle, all week, £12.50-£25, £10-12.50 concs. The knockout return of this drama based on the life of Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world.
It Is Easy To Be Dead, Trafalgar Studios, all week, £16-£18, £14-£16 concs. Engrossing drama about forgotten war poet Charles Sorley.
Removal Men, The Yard Theatre, all week, £15, £12.50 concs. This startlingly original debut from MJ Harding is a play-with-songs about the British immigration system.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices.
This week's best new art
Richard Oelze, Michael Werner Gallery, Tue-Thu, free. The earliest works in this exhibition are from the 1950s, and you get the definite sense of an artist processing the trauma of his earlier years. He’s labelled as a surrealist – having mingled with Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí in inter-war Paris – but just as important is that he trained as a cartographer.
Looking at One Thing and Thinking of Something Else: Part One, Carroll/Fletcher, Tue-Thu, free. Snappy title, guys – way to bring in the crowds. (Full title 'Looking at One Thing and Thinking of Something Else: An Exhibition in Four Parts. Part One: Dialogues with Art History'). It’s annoying, really, because this show is better than its title makes it sound.
Patrick Caulfield: Stillness And Drama, The Approach, Wed-Thu, free. The late British artist Patrick Caulfield had a knack for painting social spaces during moments of calm, from intimate bar nooks in the daytime to a tandoori restaurant poised before the evening rush (he was also known to like a drink).
…or see all London art reviews.
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