Get us in your inbox


35 exceptionally good things to do in London this week

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

Have a flippin' good time in London with Pancake Day races and events planned on Tuesday, then treat your tummy to some great plates from a hot new restaurant, or take part in 'Speed Hating' if Valentine's Day leaves you feeling queasy. Here are 35 ways to guarantee your week flies by! 

Things to do

Parliamentary Pancake Race, Victoria Tower Gardens, Tue, free. Pancake Day's most high-profile tossers are back for 2016 for this fundraiser which pits teams comprised of MPs, Lords and members of the press against each other.

The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, Old Truman Brewery, Tue, free. Participants in this annual charity race through the cobbled streets of Spitalfields are in for a flipping good time on Shrove Tuesday.

Yoga at St Stephen's, St Stephen with St John, Tue, free. Holy, moly it's a miracle! We've found a free yoga class open to all abilities with mats provided and no advanced booking needed.

Science on Screen, Barbican Centre, Tue, £9.50 + booking fee. This series of bi-monthly screenings celebrates the connections that can be made between science and film, inviting notable figures to explore with audiences how scientific perspectives can shed light on artistic cultural and social issues. Tonight's screening is of 'The Social Network' with a presentation from network pioneer Michelle Girvan.

Virtual Reality Festival, Ravensbourne, Wed-Thu, £99 early bird, £149 standard, £33 student. This new two day festival focusses on the creative and technological potential of interactive storytelling. The event is a collaboration between Ravensbourne University and Virtual Umbrella and sees a range of speakers examining the possibilities virtual reality can opens up to us.

Kew Lates, Kew Gardens, Thu, £12. Explore Kew's beautiful grounds with the return of their late night event series in 2016. Visitors can discover the Orchid Festival which celebrates the vibrant flora of Brazil during carnival season before attending inspiring talks and samba sessions. 

Anti-Valentine Fright Night, Jewish Museum, Thu, £10. This is the ultimate antidote to sickly sweet Valentine's events that leave many of us feeling queasy. Guests can discover the Museum's Blood exhibition after dark, build their own Bloody Marys and get busy during creative workshops.

Lost in MusicThe Printspace, all week, free. The Printspace gallery on Kingsland Road holds, ‘Lost in Music’ - a massive new photography exhibition that tells the story of dance music across the decades and around the world, and pays tribute to the DJs and dancers who made it all happen.

…or check out more events happening in London this week or see all the Pancake Day events taking place.






Eating and drinking

Jidori, Stoke Newington. A Japanese yakitori restaurant from Brett Redman, the man behind Elliot's Café in Borough Market and The Richmond, in Haggerston.

Shuang Shuang, Chinatown. A Chinese hot pot specialist on Shaftesbury Avenue. 

Ma Petite Jamaica, Camden Town. Jamaican restaurant with jerk wings, rum cocktails and reggae music. 

Chicken Town, South Tottenham. A crowd-funded Tottenham takeaway and restaurant offering a healthier version of fried chicken.

…or check out all the latest restaurant reviews.


© Avalon 2014






Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin: Work-in-Progress, Pleasance Theatre, TONIGHT, £5, or three work-in-progress shows for £12. Chatty stand-ups Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin – who also co-host a podcast together, and are pretty much BFFs – workshop new material.

John Kearns: Work-in-Progress, Pleasance Theatre, Wed, £5, or three work-in-progress shows for £12. The Foster's Award-winning stand-up and star of BBC Three's 'Top Coppers' workshops new material.

Mark Thomas: Trespass, Landmark Arts Centre, Thu, £15, concs £13. Comedian and political activist Mark Thomas's latest show sees him back to his mischievous activist ways, as in his previous show, '100 Acts of Minor Dissent'.

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






Live music

Royce Wood Junior, Oslo , Wed, £9.50. A London-based producer responsible for one of the slinkiest, funkiest electronic albums of 2015 thus far, RWJ headlines with support from fellow rising star Dornik.

Floating Points, Electric Brixton, Wed-Thu, £13.50. Floating Points is the name that Manchester-born Sam Shepherd uses when he’s not pursuing his other professional interest – neuroscience.

NME Awards Tour: Bloc Party + more, O2 Academy Brixton, Thu, £27.60. Back in action after a long break, Kele Okereke’s indie godfathers Bloc Party headline the latest annual NME tour. 

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Koko, Thu, £15. The retro-rockin' sibling trio are back to peddle their Louis Prima-style bop-alongs, with occasional forays into country, soul, Phil Spectorish pop and even ska.

Cage The Elephant, The Forum, Thu, £18. The exuberant Kentucky quintet crack out their bluesy boogie in celebration of their latest album, 'Melophobia'.

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







Down With Dating, The Phoenix, Wed, from £12. Hate dating? Want to avoid any hint of it this Valentine's Day? This one's for you. Disgruntled singletons will be provided with a fake name on arrival and can then get to know other miserable singles during 'Speed Hating', by slagging off all the things they dislike. 

Hip Hop Karaoke, The Social, Thu, £5. If you've ever fancied yourself as a Missy, Eminem, Beastie Boy/Girl or you think you could give Snoop a run for his dough, here's your chance to act out some rap fantasies.

…or see all the parties planned this week.







Paprika, Deptford Cinema, Wed, £5, £3.50 concs. The last completed feature of ill-fated Japenese animator Satoshi Kon (lost to cancer at 46) exemplifies his uniqueness and his foibles, since the supernova of weirdness bursting from the characters’ imaginations is something to behold: fridges on the march, giant robots at large, a psycho-cutie Japanese doll.

Or at the cinema...

Zoolander 2 Fifteen years after 'Zoolander', Ben Stiller is back as the ridiculously good-looking supermodel Derek Zoolander. 

Deadpool The latest installment of the Marvel franchise comes with an interesting backstory: 'Deadpool' was in the studio purgatory and only went into production after test footage featuring Ryan Reynolds was leaked online, sparking total nerd frenzy.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Alex Brenner






Weald, Finborough Theatre, Tue-Thu, £16-£18, £14-£16 concs. An even-handed look at rural masculinity and depression.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, National Theatre, Wed-Thu, £15-£55. An all-too timely revival of August Wilson's American classic, set at the dawn of the jazz age.

Red Velvet, Garrick Theatre, all week, £15-£95. A triumphant return for Adrian Lester as pioneering black actor Ira Aldridge.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.







This week's best new art

Avedon Warhol, Gagosian Britannia St, Tue-Thu, free. Two giants of American postwar visual culture are brought together in this exhibition at the Gagosian.

Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence, Ordovas, Tue-Thu, free. Expect monumental work and grand ambitions from this twentieth-century master.

Michael Joo: Radiohalo, Blain Southern, Wed-Thu, free. A science graduate-turned-visual artist, Michael Joo definitely brings something of the laboratory into his process-based sculptures, films and installations.

Jo Spence: The Final Project, Richard Saltoun, Thu, free. When the late photographer Jo Spence was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1991, she responded by creating ‘The Final Project’: a body of artwork by which she ‘got to know death’.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a VIP festival package at Hideout in Croatia or an epic theatre trip to see Hand to God in the West End

Grab... 50% off last-chance tickets to 'As You Like It' at the National Theatre

Book… these gigs while you still can

Best of the blog

How many days until the evenings are properly light? Here's how many

19 cute east London coffee shops to visit before you die (obviously)

Uh-oh, there are SEVEN weekend tube strikes planned, starting next week

TfL wants to sort out London's traffic with underground road tunnels

Popular on Time Out

    You may also like
    You may also like