Get us in your inbox


34 cool things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Have a shucking good time at Oysterfest at the Newman Street Tavern, discover more about the beautiful textiles of India at the V&A's latest exhibition, or reminisce about your youth at a quiz dedicated to childhood. Have yourself a great one with the list below!

Things to do 

The Cultural Salon, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, Tue, £20. A series of cultural talks with a view, these events (focusing on design, art, literature, fashion and music) take place high up The Shard. Guest speakers are chosen according to the 'East meets West' theme, and tickets include champagne and canapés.

RHS London Harvest Festival ShowRHS Lindley Hall, Tue-Wed, £5, £8 on the door, RHS members free. Some of the UK's finest nurseries, growers and independent producers will cart their harvest produce to the Royal Horticultural Society this October for their annual celebration of autumnal fruit and vegetables.

Christie’s Lates, Christie's South Kensington, Tue, free. This month's late event focuses on the art of collecting and restoration. Guests can win prizes if they're able to distinguish original antiques from exceptional copies, and you can explore objects destined for upcoming auctions.

Fungi Breakfast, The Holly Bush, Wed, £35. A two-hour walk offering an introduction to fungi found on Hampstead Heath and the places you'll find them flourishing. Your outing will be followed by a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and mushrooms (not the fruits of your morning's meander but supplied by 'official sources') at the Holly Bush in Hampstead.

Hello Love Festival, Paper Mill Studios, Thu, free. This four-day festival aims to provide a platform for people to talk, think and learn more about cancer through a series of events, activities and exhibitions promoting healthy and sustainable living.

Childhood Nostalgia Quiz Night, V&A Museum of Childhood, Thu, £6. Do the names Goldie, Bonnie and Mabel mean anything to you? If you think you know your Clangers from your Flumps then this quiz, at the Museum of Childhood, is for you. Expect questions about your former favourite toys, games, TV shows, adverts and films from the '70s to the '90s.

Shadow Over Shoreditch, Ziferblat, Thu, £25, £20 adv. Immersive game creators CityDash present this energetic challenge which sees teams of players avoiding sinister enemies as they frantically solve clues and crack codes in order to help the Lumos Society locate the hidden gates to the underworld.

Beyond Earth: In Search of Life, King's Cross St Pancras, Thu, free. Join UK Space Agency Research Fellow Dr Lewis Dartnell for a physics-themed talk taking place within the King's Cross Spur Tunnel.

Pop into Berlin, 135 Bethnal Green Road, all week, free. Get your hands on the most exciting new products Berlin has to offer at this pop-up shop run by the Berlin Tourist Board. Twenty items from the worlds of design, fashion, food and lifestyle will be on sale.

The Fabric of India, V&A, all week, £14, free for V&A members. Sumptuous Indian textiles come under the spotlight in the V&A's major autumn 2015 exhibition. 

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






Eating and drinking

OysterFest, Newman Street Tavern, Wed-Thu. A selection of native and rock oysters will be available by the box from 5pm each evening accompanied, naturally, by glasses or bottles of champagne for punters to take away or drink on the street-side terrace. 

The Elmore Jam, secret London location, Thu, £35. A father and daughter team present this supperclub which offers live musical accompaniment from a three-piece jazz band while guests tuck into their dinner.

Oktoberfest at Tobacco Dock, Tobacco Dock, Thu, £10. Fresh from celebrating in Munich, German beer company Paulaner will be shipping over 600 barrels of frothy-headed traditional beer and a tent load of decorations to transform London's Tobacco Dock into an all-German Oktoberfest experience.

London Cocktail Week, various locations, all week. There's no better excuse for a tipple than London Cocktail Week, and it has grown into something even more tempting for 2015. As usual, those who buy a London Cocktail Week wristband (£10) will be entitled to £5 cocktails in an impressive number of London's best bars, and in the festival's dedicated areas. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


© Rob Greig






Comedy Couplets, Royal Festival Hall, Mon, £15-£20. This comedy gig, as part of the London Literature Festival, features poet/comedian/award-winner/'Alan Partridge' sidekick/lager guzzler Tim Key reading some of the poems from his book, 'The Incomplete Tim Key'.

Another Free Comedy Night, Star of Kings, Tue, free. This is another free comedy night, and the bill on October 6 features spots from personalised t-shirt king Stuart Laws, sketch duo Twins, wartime entertainer Pat Cahill, scatterbrained worrier Harriet Kemsley and classy sketch act Lazy Susan.

Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You're Sitting On My Penis Again, Soho Theatre, Wed-Thu, £12.50, £10 concs. Disjointed, offbeat talent Lou Sanders just keeps getting better and better – her scatterbrained stories and stupid ideas are ludicrously funny.

Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby, The Invisible Dot Ltd, all week, £7-£10. 'Soothing Sounds for Baby' is both retro and cutting edge. The set-up is a faux episode of 'Desert Island Discs' (featuring dialogue from Kirsty Young painstakingly spliced together for actual episodes), while Morpurgo transforms into the characters on the sleeves of his chosen vinyls.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.






Live music

Kid Wave, The Lexington, TONIGHT, £9. One of the best new live bands we’ve seen in a while, Heavenly Records’ latest signings bust out joyous, jangling shoegaze-pop with no shortage of great melodies.

Snarky Puppy, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Tue, £20. Texas-based jazz collective Snarky Puppy are led by composer and bassist Michael League, and consist of just under 30 musicians (not all of whom play at the same time).

Lethal Bizzle, Scala, Wed, £17.50. Walthamstow grime MC Bizzle sure has the gift of the gab – he even convinced Dame Judi Dench to wear a cap emblazoned with 'Stay Dench' (Dench being the name of his fashion range).

Lonelady, Heaven, Wed, £12.50. Ultra-cool singer-songwriter Julie Ann Campbell hails from Manchester, and specialises in brilliant new wave-edged funk workouts that have earned her a deal with Warp Records.

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


© Sarah Ginn






Intec Presents Carl Cox and Jon Rundell, Fabric, Thu, £20. The head honchos of globetrotting techno label Intec host another takeover of Clerkenwell rave cave Fabric. Expect plenty of forward-thinking, floor-filling four-four sounds from two wisened deck masters.

Black Butter x East London Series, XOYO, Thu, £8-£15. A series of east London parties hosted by the ace Black Butter label, all with secret line-ups. BB has has housed a ton of excellent UK electronic music talent covering everything from nu-soul to D&B to electronic pop to woozy R&B.

…or see all the parties planned this week.







Fires Were StartedCurzon Bloomsbury, Tue, £5. The second in the Curzon Bloomsbury’s season of groundbreaking documentaries. Shot during World War II, short filmmaker Humphrey Jennings's one venture into feature-length drama-documentary used real firemen and real fires – kindled among the blitzed warehouses of London's docklands – with the aim of creating something more than documentary realism.

Summer with Monika, Deptford Cinema, Wed, £5, £3.50 concs. Ingmar Bergman’s 1953 masterpiece is a tender yet unsentimental account of a love affair that turns sour.

The Miskatonic Institute: Satanic Panic, The Horse Hospital, Thu, £11. The ‘Institute of Horror Studies’ – aka a monthly sit-down with talks, screenings and discussions of the history, future, meaning and impact of horror movies – returns with a look at how, in the 1980s, American mainstream culture suddenly became obsessed with a fictional idea of ‘devil cults’ around every corner.

Or at the cinema...

Macbeth ★★★★☆ Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard make for a thunderous Lord and Lady M in this bruising Shakespeare adaptation.

…or see all of the latest releases.







Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, Apollo Shaftesbury, Mon,Wed-Thu, £20. This crowd-pleasing improv juggernaut finally makes it to the West End. 

Medea, Almeida Theatre, all week, £9-£36. Controversial author Rachel Cusk reshapes Euripides's 'Medea' in her own image. 

Eventide, Arcola Theatre, all week, £15-£17, £13-£14 concs. Barney Norris strikes gold again with this elegy for British country life. 

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Goya: The Portraits, National Gallery, Wed-Thu. Don't miss the first ever show to focus on the portraits by the Spanish painting don, Francisco de Goya.

John Hoyland: Power Stations – Paintings 1964-1982, Newport Street Gallery, Thu, free. Damien Hirst launches his new long-awaited new gallery with abstract paintings by the late John Hoyland. 

Jon Rafman, Zabludowicz Collection, Thu, free. Jon Rafman uses the Internet quite a lot as a research tool for his multidisciplinary practice that incorporates films, installation, photographs and sculptures.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...£150 worth of Deliveroo vouchers and a dinner party kit or a trip to the Budweiser Budvar Brewery in the Czech Republic or Budvar Tankové Pivo vouchers

Grab...£15 tickets to The Halloween Playground in The Haunted Halls, Hornsey Town Hall - includes a whiskey warmer

Book...these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

Five great spots for avocado on toast in London

This tube map shows the average rent costs near every Underground station

Hogwarts express menu: eat dinner in Harry Potter's school

Top five ways to confuse a Londoner

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next