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31 ace things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Pick up your pens and get sketching sharks with Wild Life Drawing, feel festive with workshops at Fortnum & Mason or catch Elton John's impressive photography collection at Tate Modern. Here are the best ways to spend your week in the capital. 

Things to do 

The Gathering, Cecil Sharp House, Tue, £34.50. A night of conversation, meditation and live music designed to leave guests feeling uplifted and inspired.

Wild Life Drawing: Sharks, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Tue, £25. See and draw sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, blacktip reef sharks and a bonnethead shark and discover why the Wild Life Drawing team wants to turn the spotlight on these ancient marvels.

Christmas Workshops at Fortnum and Mason, Fortnum & Mason, Tue-Thu, prices vary. London's luxury department store has every aspect of Christmas covered with its 2016 workshop programme.

Risograph Workshop, Libreria, Wed, £41.70. Learn about typographic printing with Libreria's expert, Jess, and take home 15 two-colour prints you've made yourself. Tickets include a welcome beer.

Finnish Church Christmas Fair, Finnish Church, Wed-Thu, free. Scandinavians are born festive, so this Finnish market is sure to provide the most Christmassy of outings, despite it being held in a church in Rotherhithe rather than a snowcapped village.

Camden Christmas Market, Camden Market, Thu, free. Every Thursday 'til Christmas, pop along for stalls, live music, food, and a bar open until 9pm, with a different theme each week.

Lego Leicester Square Opening, LEGO Store Leicester Square, Thu, free. Come and see a Lego Big Ben nearly seven flipping metres tall(!) at the opening of a new central London store for the brand.

I and Me Pop-Up, 103 Redchurch St, all week. Take a look at the denim and lifestyle brand’s new pieces alongside favourites from their debut collection. Pick up accessories from collaborations with milliner Carla Rose, One Thing Well x Listen Studio’s series of resin vessels, and a range of ceramics with Hackney Potter.

…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.

Lindt Excellence Masterclass, The Hospital Club, Thu, free by email registration. Wine expert Olly Smith hosts an exclusive wine and chocolate pairing class alongside Lindt Master Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer. Guests will also be treated to full size samples of the Lindt Excellence range. Email with your name and a sentence stating why you should be chosen to participate before midnight tonight.

Whisky-Whiskey Club, The Snooty Fox, Thu, £25. Learn to pair spirits and snacks at the Snooty Fox with five whiskies, five cheeses and five chocolates, as well as discovering where the whiskies come from and why they were picked for pairings in the first place. 

‘Brinner’ Supperclub, Long White Cloud, Thu, £35. MIMOD supperclub kicks off a series of 'brinners'. Tickets include all five courses - from baked eggs, maple gammon, sweet potato hash browns to yogurt macarons and double-chocolate croissants - and a welcome drink. 

Kitchin at Harrods, The Conservatory at The Georgian, all week, £55-£90. Tom Kitchin takes the reigns as 'chef of the season' at Harrods with a week-long pop-up in The Georgian restaurant.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

© Ikenna Mokwe Yolanda Brown

Live music

Regina Spektor, Southbank Centre, Mon-Tue, £17.50-£45. A very welcome return for the Moscow-born, Bronx-dwelling piano protegé, singer and anti-folk queen.

Robert Glasper Experiment, Koko, Mon-Wed, £25. Mixing his fluent technique, which can sound a little Brad Mehldau-ish at times, with a peerless understanding of fractured hip hop rhythms a la his mentor, the late great J Dilla, pianist Glasper is one of a kind.

Yolanda Brown, Barbican Centre, Tue, £20-£30. A brilliant young saxophonist with a taste for the funkier side of jazz. 

Gabrielle, Islington Assembly Hall, Wed, £35. Hackney's premier chart diva (sorry, Leona Lewis) performs her thoroughly likeable soul pop with deliciously smooth and creamy vocals.

DJ Jazzy Jeff, XOYO, Thu, various releases £10 & £15. Will Smith’s party-starting pal DJ Jazzy Jeff rolls up to (boom shake shake) shake the room with some supreme turntablist action.

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


Anachron Film Club: LA Stories, Muse Gallery, Tue, free. A double bill of films shot in the City of Angels, plus shorts, rare clips and archive footage.

John Carpenter season: ‘Starman’, BFI Southbank, Wed, £8.35 - £11.75. In this sweet, goofy love story, horror legend John Carpenter forsakes action and gore in favour of an ‘ET’-ish sci-fi romance.

Or at the cinema...

Arrival ★★★☆☆ Aliens come to earth in this smart – but not smart enough – slice of modern sci-fi.

American Pastoral ★★★☆☆ Ewan McGregor aims high with his directorial debut – but doesn't dig deep enough.

…or see all of the latest releases.


Royal Ballet: Chroma/Multiverse/Carbon Life, Royal Opera House, Mon, Wed-Thu, £30-£50. Celebrating a glorious decade of choreographer Wayne McGregor at the Royal Ballet with a triple bill of his greatest hits. 

Trainspotting, The Vaults, Tue-Thu, £20-£35. Irvine Welsh's grimy heroin story transfers to The Vaults.

Bits Of Me Are Falling Apart, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50-£30. Adrian Edmondson stars in a winningly grumpy adaptation of William Leith's novel.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Animality: A Fairy Story by Jens Hoffmann, Marian Goodman Gallery, Tue-Thu, free. Part historical investigation and part contemporary art exploration, this show mixes a ton of mediums, throwing together more than 70 artists, scientists and filmmakers, and mingles high art with low art. It’s a zoological art party and it’s the best show the Wellcome Collection has never done. 

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection, Tate Modern, all week, £13.10-£16.50. This show features just a little selection of Sir Elton's 8,000-strong hoard. Some images are grouped thematically, others hung in the same way they are in his office.

Intrigue: James Ensor By Luc Tuymans, Royal Academy of Arts, all week, £10. This show starts in the dark, damp living rooms of Ostend, but then explodes into twisted life. His subjects become masks, skulls, skeletons and vengeful gods.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...a VIP visit to Beyond Caravaggio at the National Gallery with an overnight stay at The Savoy

Grab...afternoon tea with a fizzy cocktail and unlimited cakes, sandwiches and tea, plus a special Christmas menu during December at Cutter and Squidge

Book…these gigs while you still can

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