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30 fun things to do in London this week

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

Sing your heart out at carol concerts taking place this week, watch as people devour as many mince pies as possible in just three minutes at a competition in Wimbledon, or get cheesy with an evening of cheesy delights at Borough Market. Here’s to an excellent few days!

Things to do 

Candlelit Carols, Southwark Cathedral, TONIGHT, £11.63–£29.38. This annual carol concert in aid of Feed The Minds combines sing-along carols with choral performances, backdropped by a beautiful, candlelit Southwark Cathedral. 

Rollapaluza, Look Mum No Hands!, Tue, free. A women's only Rollapuluza where competitive types can battle it out on static bikes to win cycling prizes. Spin fast, sip on London craft beer and connect with other female cycling enthusiasts.

Some Voices presents Christmas Movies, The Coronet, Tue-Wed, £17. London’s coolest choir (all 400 of them) will be belting out their unique take on Christmas film classics and cult favourites.

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays, Columbia Rd, Wed, free. The road famous for its travel-worthy flower market is fast becoming known for its annual late night Christmas events too.

Man vs Santa, The Hand in Hand, Wed, £3. This annual charity challenge asks participants to chow down on as many mince pies as they can manage in just three minutes.

Christmas Gingerbread Teepee and Cactus Cupcake Workshop, Habitat, Wed, £48 early bird. Whip up a gingerbread teepee and decorate it with edible lace before moving on to cactus cupcakes with prickly, piped icing.

Print the Moon: Stargazing and Lunar Photography, Netil360, Wed, £21.83 plus booking fee. Spend an evening exploring the night sky with astronomer Paul Hill, who will help you sneak a look at the Moon and stars with a collection of lunar telescopes.

Rokit Vintage Xmas Jumper Sale, Boxpark, Thu, free. Looking for the perfect Xmas jumper? Look to the past for the biggest, baddest-taste iterations of this unsinkable trend.

Paul Beatty In Conversation With Gary Younge, Goldsmiths, Thu, £10-£20. The author of the 2016 Man Booker winner 'The Sellout' talks to Gary Younge about race, violence, US politics and satire in 2016.

KidZania Adults Lates, Kidzania, Thu, £30. The incredible children-only city that is KidZania – where kids play a sort of real-life version of the Sims – is opening to grown-ups.

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

Eating and drinking

KinoVino Christmas With Chef Oliver Rowe, Palm 2, TONIGHT, £50. An unforgettable Christmas dinner party inspired by one of the most iconic food films in history – 'Babette’s Feast'. 

Christmas Unwrapped, Allpress Dalston, Tue, £6. Now in its eleventh year, this Wednesday evening shopping event sees independent stores brimming with enticing gifts, carols singers along the way and mulled wine to sip while you shop.

Evening of Cheese, Borough Market, Wed, free. Borough Market's Evening of Cheese is back in 2016, presenting a wide range of products from all over the world to tempt turophiles, including wines, ciders, chutneys and – obviously – lots of cheese.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Live music and nightlife

Fatboy Slim, The O2, TONIGHT, £31 & £41. Having conquered the world and its radio airwaves with his big beat antics (and by making Christopher Walken dance maniacally in one of his videos), ol' Norman Cook has quite a track record.

Cate Le Bon, Islington Assembly Hall, Wed, £15.50. With her beguiling voice and bewitching psych-folk-pop numbers, Welsh singer Ms Le Bon is well versed in charming the pants off a crowd.

Bear's Den, St John Bethnal Green, Thu, £25. Anyone allergic to banjos or beards, be warned: this trio of hirsute Londoners have supported Mumford & Sons live and one of them co-runs Communion Records with the Mumfords' Ben Lovett.

Primal Scream, O2 Academy Brixton, Thu, £28.50. Bobby Gillespie’s ragtag bunch sounded fully revitalised on their last album ‘More Light’, which – like much of their best stuff – straddled scruffy rock anthems, baggy house, Stones-y blues revivalism and grubby electro.

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


Black Star: ‘Attack the Block’ + Joe Cornish intro, BFI Southbank, Wed, £8.35–£11.75. Another terrific event in the BFI’s ongoing tribute to great black actors – the movie that introduced Peckham’s own space warrior John Boyega to the world.

Tufnell Park Film Club: ‘The Dead’, The Star, Wed, £15 membership. The last picture to be directed by Hollywood legend John Huston, this beguiling chamber piece is adapted from a short story by James Joyce.

‘I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman’ + discussion, JW3, Wed, £12. This documentary explores Akerman’s life and work, from the groundbreaking feminist slow-cinema of 1975’s ‘Jeanne Dielmann’ to last year’s intimate swansong ‘No Home Movie’.

Or at the cinema...

Life, Animated ★★★★☆ An inspirational documentary about a young autistic man who views the world through the lens of his obsession with Disney cartoons.

…or see all of the latest releases

© Chris Gardner



Benighted, Old Red Lion, Tue-Thu, £19.50, £17.50 concs. A chilling new stage adaptation of JB Priestley's horror novel.

Peter Pan, National Theatre, Olivier, Wed-Thu, £15-£60. JM Barrie's poignant festive favourite gets an inventive new production.

She Loves Me, Menier Chocolate Factory, all week, £35-£49.50. Scarlett Strallen stars in this fluffy old-school musical.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.


This week's best new art

Making Nature: How we See Animals, Wellcome Collection, Tue-Thu, free. The Wellcome Collection has carved out a rep for delivering exhibitions that are outlandish without ever being sensationalist. And while the premise of their latest show – the relationship between humans and animals – might not have the same WTF factor, it’s still just as quirky and enthralling. 

Mai-Thu Perret: Zone, Simon Lee, all week, free. A papier-mâché sculpture keeps guard as you enter Mai-Thu Perret’s show, a blood red machine gun at her side. Masks hang from thick black sheets above a disembodied woman’s head.

Painters' Painters, Saatchi Gallery, all week, free. The Saatchi Gallery's recent show of all-female artists, Champagne Life, was sold on gender. Painters’ Painters offers a line-up of nine male artists, yet it is presented as a showcase of cutting-edge contemporary painting.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... free travel around London for a whole year

Grab... early bird tickets to ByDay ByNight New Year’s Eve Party at Omeara and Flat Iron Square

Book… these gigs while you still can

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