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32 wonderful things to do in London this weekend

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

Being A Man festival returns to the Southbank Centre this weekend, plus there's a jam-packed programme of events at the new Design Museum, and a giant beer bash happening in Walthamstow. Have yourself a perfect Friday to Sunday with these 32 tips!

Things to do

William Morris Gallery Christmas Night Market, William Morris Gallery, TONIGHT, £1 donation. E17 Designers proffer 20 stalls' worth of gifts, accessories and homeware the same night as the William Morris Gallery Christmas tree.

Patagonia Thrift Shop, Village Underground, TONIGHT, free. Grab repaired, customised and 'previously used' Patagonia outdoor gear at this handy 'thrift' sale. Prices start at £5.

Spa Fields Riot Walks, Islington Museum, Sat, free. After Waterloo, war-impoverished London ignited into riots and attacks - the most noteworthy in a little park in Islington. Learn the whole story behind the unrest of 1816 in one of these free one-hour walks.

East Village Christmas Makers Market, East Village, Sat-Sun, free. This 'hygge'-themed affair will have everything from homeware and food, to fashion and accessories, showcasing the likes of Geo-Fleur, Mr Studio London, Slow Spit and Juniper Weaves.

BUST Christmas Craftacular, York Hall, Sun, £3. Bust is back with another Christmas edition complete with shopping, DJs and DIY craft workshops to get stuck into.

The Old Dalston Market, EPIC Dalston, Sun, free. A Christmas edition of the market with mulled wine, carols and plenty of unique products that will make perfect presents. 

Being A Man, Southbank Centre, all weekend, £15 day pass, £35 three-day pass. The Southbank Centre's Being A Man Festival returns for a third year of debates about the pressures of modern masculine identity.

Ideal Home Show at Christmas, Olympia London, all weekend, £13 adv. This huge annual show of all things festive provides everything you need to plaster your life in Christmas.

Canopy Market, Granary Square, all weekend, free. Fresh and hot food sellers, beer stalls and live bands and singers smush up with jewellers, ceramic artists and potters, designers, crafters, record sellers and Christmas present-makers. 

Weekend Open, Design Museum, all weekend, free. Celebrate the opening of the brand new Design Museum with three days of fun packed with talks, activities, tours and more.

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

CookForSyria Sunday Feast

Eating and drinking

Ruby and Pickles, The Pigeon Hole, Sat, £25. Another supperclub with an Indian twist from the Ruby and Pickles duo. This time, the home-made menu will be a plant-based autumnal offering.

Gilmore Girls Supper Club with Kerstin Rodgers, a secret location, Sat, £40. Expect chipotle and jalapeno mac and cheese and Carole King's 'Where You Lead' at this themed dinner by Kerstin Rodgers. Costumes optional. 

CookForSyria Sunday Feast, Arabica Bar & Kitchen, Sun, £43.07. Enjoy hot and cold mezze and chicken Mansaf at this Sunday lunch fundraiser in aid of Unicef's Children of Syria fund. Tickets include a welcome cocktail or glass of wine.

The Walthamstow Winter Feast and Beer Festival, The Chequers, all weekend, free. Hackney Brewery, Howling Hops, Five Points and Clouded Minds will keep guests suitably refreshed and food will range from speciality sausages and chicken wings to cheese fondue and homemade pretzels.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Live music and nightlife

AlunaGeorge, Koko, TONIGHT, £15. Fast-rising London duo Aluna Francis and George Reid return with more woozy, warm, futuristic soul-pop.

Mike Skinner, Camden Assembly, TONIGHT, £5. The mockney urban musings of The Streets may be but a distant memory, but Mike Skinner's separate DJ career has turned out pretty well. Hear him spin house, bass, hip hop, garage and a good few bangers to boot.

Autechre, Southbank Centre, TONIGHT, £29.50, concs £14.75. One of the defining acts on Warp Records, elusive duo Autechre have made a name for themselves over the years as true musical mavericks.

Alice Russell, Ronnie Scott's, Fri-Sat, £25-£45. Big soul tunes by Quantic Soul Orchestra’s powerful vocalist.

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


Films that inspired ‘Stranger Things’ all-nighter, Prince Charles Cinema, Sat, £25. This all-nighter rounds up six movies that inspired the show, plus live synth music and a costume competition. 

A Warning to the Curious: ‘The Blood on Satan’s Claw’, Picturehouse Central, Sun £8. If spooky tales during the festive season are your thing, the Picturehouse chain has you covered with 'A Warning to the Curious', a month of supernatural treats.

Irish Film Festival: ‘In the Name of the Father’ + director Q&A, Tricycle Cinema, Sun, £8.50, £7.50 concs. A special screening of Jim Sheridan's remarkable film about the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of an IRA bombing back in the ’80s.

Or at the cinema...

Paterson ★★★★☆ Adam Driver plays a bus driver and part-time poet in Jim Jarmusch's intimate drama.

A United Kingdom ★★★☆☆ David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike are strong in this compelling and moving, if basic, true-life tale of forbidden love in 1940s Britain and southern Africa.

…or see all of the latest releases.

© Holly Revell


Putting Words In Your Mouth, Roundhouse, Fri-Sat, £10 & £15. Alt cabaret star and live artist Scottee's provocative piece looks at the gay men turning to UKIP.

Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales: Unwrapped, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20-£25, £17.50-£22.50 concs. A hilarious assault on Christmassy values from a drag superstar.

La Soirée, Spiegeltent Leicester Square, all weekend, £15-£67.50. London's favourite cabaret circus returns, this time pitching up in Leicester Square.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Teller on Mapplethorpe, Alison Jacques, Fri-Sat, free. Best known for his beautifully lit black and white nude rude dudes (and for dating Patti Smith), Mapplethorpe’s vast range of images are confrontational and stylish, and the 48 on show are true to form.

Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla, White Cube Bermondsey, all weekend, free. If you’ve had the lead nicked off your porch recently, there’s a good chance it’s down at White Cube. Kiefer’s trademark material is everywhere: lining the walls, forming scrolls on which photographs are printed, splashed in huge eruptive gobs across giant canvases of ruined landscapes.

Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why, Newport Street Gallery, all weekend, free. Fellow YBA and shtick master Damien Hirst has been collecting Turk’s work for years, and this mini-retrospective is pulled entirely from his own collection and shown in his natty Vauxhall gallery space.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a £250 Cointreau gift box and an exclusive night out in London

Grab... exclusive £25 tickets to David Bowie's incredible musical starring Michael C Hall

Book… these gigs while you still can

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