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33 brilliant ways to spend your weekend in London

By Stephanie Hartman

Take a spin at Bump Roller Disco, get planning your Christmas list at the Contemporary Crafts and Design Fair, celebrate mega stud Ryan Gosling’s Birthday at an all-day film event, or party with the makers of Ladybeard magazine as they launch their latest issue at Hackney Showroom. There's not a dull moment to be had with the list below!

Things to do

Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks, various London venues, Sat, free. When it comes to London’s traditional events, this is one of the biggies, referenced in Pepys’s diaries and in works by Canaletto and Hogarth. 

E17 Designers' Market, Mirth, Marvel and Maud, Sat, free. Walthamstow makers host a Saturday afternoon market in this former cinema for some chilled-out early Christmas shopping (or, what you really came for: cocktails and cake).

Ladybeard Presents: The Mind Issue Launch Party, Hackney Showroom, Sat, £10. A party to celebrate the launch of Ladybeard's second issue, featuring mind-bending conversation, film, music, audio-visual installation, bubbles and brain jellies.

RHS London Urban Garden Show, RHS Lindley Hall, Sat-Sun, £9, £6 adv. Green-fingered Londoners, rejoice: there's now a gardening show just for you. Discover the best succulents, herb gardens, ivies, palms and ferns as well as tips from experts on how to look after your living wall.

Remembrance Sunday, The Cenotaph, Sun, free. Sometimes referred to as Poppy Day, the Sunday nearest to November 11 is designated Remembrance Sunday each year. It's been observed since the end of World War I and is marked by a parade and wreath-laying at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

Bump Roller Disco, Southbank Centre, all weekend, £15. Do you love nothing more than rolling with your homies? Then head down to Bump's wooden-floored roller disco that's popping up at the Southbank Centre for another year.

Southbank Centre Winter Festival, Southbank Centre, all weekend, free. The Southbank Centre Winter Festival returns for 2016 and along with its array of festive shows and performances they will also be celebrating the coldest season with a fistful of fun pop-ups and activities.

Contemporary Crafts and Design Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, all weekend, £10 on the door. Over 120 designer-makers from across the UK have been chosen to exhibit, giving visitors the chance to pick up Christmas gifts and commission bespoke pieces from a very talented bunch.

Dulwich Literary Festival, Dulwich College, all weekend. Celebrate stories of all genres at this three-day festival curated by Dulwich Books of West Dulwich.

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

Brewery Kitchen Lunch At Fourpure Brewery Taproom

Eating and drinking

Lobstar, Express Cafe, Fri-Sat. Topofthepopups return with a seriously tasty sounding shellfish party in Brixton, serving dishes that include whole boiled lobster and mac 'n' cheese with crabmeat and crispy onions.

Brewery Kitchen Lunch At Fourpure Brewery Taproom, Fourpure Brewery, Sun, £50. Try out the Fourpure kitchen for the first time with an afternoon of paired food and drink. 

The Laksa Kitchen, Tolli Bar, all weekend. The owner and chef from The Laksa Kitchen have travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Borneo in their quest to perfect this Malaysian menu of spring rolls, fritters, chicken satay and – of course – laksas. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews. 

Live music

The Wytches, Electric Ballroom, TONIGHT, £12. It may be loud, screechy and primitive, but there are some top tunes in there and they know how to rock out on stage.

The Cinematic Orchestra, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, TONIGHT, £35. Jason Swinscoe's Ninja Tune project mixes up jazz improvisation, sampled soundtrack music, film images and dance music tropes, and really cuts the mustard in a live setting.

Lonnie Holley, Cafe Oto, Fri-Sat, £14, adv £12.50. Sixty-something Holley is a folk artist from Alabama who creates sculptures out of trash, and his music has a similar aesthetic - rough, difficult, improvised and dipping into whatever he can find for inspiration. 

Tom Odell, O2 Academy Brixton, Sun, £25. This singer-songwriter may not be popular with the NME (they hilariously gave his debut album 'Long Way Down' 0/10) but his delicate, impassioned, piano-led ballads are a hit with the rest of the public, who will undoubtedly remember his dulcet tones from the tearjerking 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert.

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


Nightmares On Wax, The Nest, TONIGHT, £7-£10. George Evelyn to his mum, Nightmares on Wax pump out an infectious mix of hip hop-inspired electronica, flecked with jazz, breaks, techno and rave. Beefy beats galore, basically.

Groove Odyssey, Ministry of Sound, Sat, £10-£26. Soulful house and garage and disco-laced house.

Burn Down The Disco, O2 Academy Islington, Sat, £4.50. A fun, unpretentious new club night rising from the ashes of Old School Indie, with a wide-ranging soundtrack of pop, disco and rock 'n' roll.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


Ryan Gosling’s Birthday, Genesis Cinema, Sat, call for prices. Celebrate the thirty-sixth birthday of Canada’s sweetest export since maple syrup with a day of films, quizzes, pizza and cereal (just eat it, Ryan).

SuperHeroHype: ‘X-Men’ + ‘X-Men 2’, House of Vans, Sat, free. The first – and best – two films in the ‘X’-franchise, back to back.

London Jewish Film Festival: ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, Odeon Swiss Cottage, Sat, £14, £8 concs. This annual film festival returns, offering films by and about Jewish people around the globe.

Or at the cinema...

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

The Innocents ★★★★☆ An emotionally rewarding drama set in the aftermath of WW2. 

…or see all of the latest releases.

© Richard Lakos


Orca, Southwark Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £12-£20. A young girl prepares to participate in an ominous folk ritual in this unnerving new play from Matt Grinter.

Still Ill, New Diorama Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15, concs £12. Facts, fiction and neurological disease intertwine in this fascinating drama from rising stars Kandinsky.

Lazarus, King's Cross Theatre, all weekend, £15-£150. The late David Bowie's maddening and beautiful musical sequel to 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Animality: A Fairy Story by Jens Hoffmann, Marian Goodman Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Curator Jens Hoffmann has pulled together a seriously museum-quality exhibition on animals in art. Part historical investigation, part contemporary art exploration, it mixes tons of mediums, throwing together more than 70 artists, scientists and filmmakers.

Silke Otto-Knapp: Seascapes, Greengrassi, all weekend, free. German-born and London-based artist Silke Otto-Knapp’s work is unrushed, calm and meditative, it feels like a kind of resistance to the chaos of modern life through painting.

Intrigue: James Ensor By Luc Tuymans, Royal Academy of Arts, all weekend, £10. The 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.

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