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34 lovely things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

Literature festivals are popping up across the city this week, along with a week-long celebration of cocktails and the return of the Frieze art fairs. Get planning – there's a lot to cram in.

Things to do, Museum of Happiness, Tue, £11. Work on techniques that will help improve concentration, better your understanding of the emotions your feeling and reduce stress levels at this event from Write Mynd and Happy Human Bean.

RHS London Harvest Festival Show, RHS Lindley Hall, Tue-Wed, £9 (£6 adv). The UK's finest nurseries, growers and independent producers will cart their harvest produce to the Royal Horticultural Society this week for their annual celebration of autumnal fruit and vegetables.

Wayne Hemingway and Lucy Siegle on Fashion and Sustainability, Imperial War Museum, Wed, £12, £10 concs. The pair will be looking at the lessons we can learn from the Second World War clothes rationing and discuss the challenges faced by today's fashion industry.

London Literature Festival, Southbank Centre, Wed-Thu, prices vary. The London Literature Festival once again fills the Southbank Centre with acclaimed authors, poets, speakers and collaborators for a fortnight of wordy events.

magCulture Meets...The Gourmand, magCulture Shop, Thu, £6. Co-founder and creative director of The Gourmand, Dave Lane presents the latest issue of the award-winning food and culture journal. Beer will be flowing from 6.30pm and the talk begins at 7pm.

First Thursday: Haiku on Foot, Deptford Lounge, Thu, free. Workshop participants will be invited to write haiku, inspired by the sights and sounds of Deptford, with the option to have their poems printed and published in a zine. 

Novelty Automation Lates, Novelty Automation, Thu, free. This utterly bizarre collection of coin-operated machines can only be improved by the availability of booze, so these monthly lates are a great time to visit. 

Daunt Books Festival, Daunt Books – Marylebone, Thu, £45. Returning for 2016, Daunt’s two-day extravaganza promises to be a treat for bibliophiles of all ages.

Festival of Furniture, various locations, Thu, prices vary. The focus is on 'hygge' (pronounced hoo-ga) which basically means creating a nice, warm atmosphere in the home and will encourage visitors to take note from the Danes and create environments radiating with warmth.

ICA Live, ICA, all week, prices vary. A week of live performances and screenings by Andrew Kerton, PAN and Mårten Spångberg, complemented by talks from Turner Prize-nominated artist James Richards and others.

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


Addie Chinn





Eating and drinking

London Cocktail Week, various locations, all week, prices vary. Get ready to be shaken and stirred, because London’s annual celebration of the perfectly mixed spirit is back. 

Oktoberfest at The Frog, all week, prices vary. If you can't make it to Munich, head to The Frog instead to get your fix of German grub. The kitchen will be whipping up baked giant pretzels (£5) and tasty bratwurst (£8).

London Restaurant Festival, various venues, prices vary. The month of October brings even more excuses to eat out in the form of London Restaurant Festival, a line-up of mini menus, food events, tasting evenings and more involving more than 350 of the capital's best venues.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.






Live music and nightlife

Oscar, The Dome, Tue, £7.50. Lo-fi but accomplished bedroom pop with shades of Damon Albarn and Beat Happening coming through. It's all produced and performed by young Londoner Oscar Scheller and his band.

The Wytches, Rough Trade East, Tue, from £10.99. Crunchy surf-rockers The Wytches do their doomy garage band thing in the headline slot. It may be loud, screechy and primitive, but there are some top tunes in there and they know how to rock out on stage.

Dan Croll, Village Underground, Wed, £12. Breezy beat-popper Croll headlines in Shoreditch tonight.

Alien Jams Presents: Rkss Record Launch, Rye Wax, Wed, free. The DJ spins euphoric electronica from his Cutoff EP. With support from TTB and Disjecta.

Mykki Blanco, XOYO, Wed, £14.45. Get up close and personal with the MC, poet and drag performer's vogue-worthy, rave-infused, drug-addled hip hop jams.

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


I, Daniel Blake






Beetlejuice, Prince Charles Cinema, Wed, £7.50. If, like us, you were disappointed by Tim Burton’s latest, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’, here’s a reminder of his glory days.

Tufnell Park Film Club’s Gene Wilder tribute screening: ‘The Producers’, The Star, Wed, £15 membership.

Lights, Camera Action: ‘Generation Revolution’, Rio, Thu, £15. As part of the Cable Street Festival celebrating 80 years since protesters in the East End successfully halted a march by British fascist Oswald Mosley, this is a two-part event looking at the relationship between protest and cinema. 

Or at the cinema...

I, Daniel Blake ★★★★☆ Retirement. What retirement? Ken Loach is back with a moving Newcastle-set tragedy about the failings of modern Britain.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© The Other Richard






The Machine, Barbican Centre, all week, £18. Become a cog in a giant, absurdist machine in this improbably fun interactive show.

Floyd Collins, Wilton's Music Hall, all week, £23-£32.50. A man suffers in a cave in this audacious American musical.

Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Royal Court Theatre, all week, £12-£35, £12-£30 concs. This hip off-Broadway smash transfers to the Royal Court.

Good Canary, Rose Theatre Kingston, all week, £16-£41, £12-£32 concs. The actual John Malkovich directs this fine dark comedy about addiction, art and misogyny.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Protest, Victoria Miro, Tue-Thu, free. All the works here aim to question the status quo, challenge power structures and inspire debate.

Lygia Pape, Hauser & Wirth, Tue-Thu, free. Walk into the back room of this show and you’ll find a criss-crossing set of spotlit glittering wires in an otherwise pitch-black space. They intersect and clash, like columns of light frozen in a moment.

The Hyundai Commission: Philippe Parreno, Tate Modern, Tue-Thu, free. Expect something grand, ambitious and dazzling. Quite possibly with bio-reactors, helium canisters and ventriloquism.

Peter Saul: Some Terrible Problems, Michael Werner Gallery, Tue-Thu, free. There’s a painting in this show called ‘Abstract Expressionist Still Life’. It’s a kind of swirling torrent of shit, ketchup and cartoonish, ’50s cars, plus some other bits and pieces...

Frieze London and Frieze Masters, Regents Park, Thu. The mighty Frieze London and Frieze Masters art fairs have reigned over the London art calendar for years. This October, both fairs are set up again in Regent's Park.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a pair of VIP tickets to the BFI London Film Festival or a holiday to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

Grab... a whole host of famous people read extraordinary letters in this autumn's incredible Letters Live

Book… these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

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79 awesome things to do in London this October

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet


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