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35 fun things to do in London this week

By Stephanie Hartman

A top selection of festive markets and fairs are gracing London this week, showcasing products from designer-makers, illustrators and craftsmen. There’s also the Dumpling Shack pop-up to get excited about and a screening of ‘Heavenly Creatures’ to catch from the VITO Project. Pepper your working week with the events below and you’ll be laughing your way to the weekend.

Things to do

Borough Christmas Wishes, Borough Market, Mon, Wed, free. Help Borough Market make the UK's longest paper chain this festive season during an attempt to link over 400 metres of paper strips together – that's 100 metres longer than the Shard! Head back on Wed to see it switched on and to make the most of the entertainment on offer.

Pom Pom Wreath Workshop, The Northcote, Wed, £30. Make your own pom poms and learn to make a cheerful wreath at this craft workshop. Tickets include a drink.

Vans x Disney.Pixar Toy Story Interactive Exhibition, House of Vans, Thu, free. Vans goes 'To Infinity and Beyond' with a new immersive exhibition about characters from the original Toy Story movie. 

Redchurch Street Christmas Market, multiple venues, Thu, free. Events, discounts, drinks and festive cheer fill this east London street this Christmas. 

The London Illustration Fair, Bargehouse, Thu, £6. London’s only illustration-dedicated fair returns with artist-led stands and workshops.

The Garage Sale, ICA, Thu. The people behind The Poundshop return to the ICA with a celebration of independent designers and makers who'll be selling seconds, samples and prototypes.

Crafty Fox Market, Geffrye Museum, Thu, free. A handpicked line-up of traders selling ceramics, textiles, jewellery, prints and more pop up regularly across town and often include workshops for hands-on fun.

The Makers Shop, 45 Charlotte Road, Thu, free. Pick up beautifully crafted gifts for your loved ones at this pop-up offering clothing and homeware from the likes of Hannah Bould, Lucy Kirk, Chhipa, People of Print and Claudia Borfiga.

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, V&A Museum of Childhood, all week, free. A showcase of board games that'll be sure to have you reminiscing about rainy days spent competing with your siblings.

Selvedge Advent Festival, various London venues, London, £5. Browse fine fabrics and haberdashery items from across the globe at The Merchants' Fair before booking yourself onto a block-print wrapping paper making session or a workshop in the art of Hungarian hand-cut felt appliqué.

Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World, Design Museum, all week, £14, concs available. The opening exhibition at the Design Museum's new Kensington home sees 11 installations exploring prominent issues, defining our time.

or check out more events happening in London this week.

Bugs and Beers

Eating and drinking

The Pig’s Ear Beer & Cider Festival, The Round Chapel, Tue-Thu, £5, or £3 to members. Perhaps CAMRA's best London event all year, this beer and cider festival sees the Round Chapel decked with over 230 barrels of delicious ales and apple brews for several nights running.

Bugs and Beers, Doodle Bar, Wed, free. Pork scratchings will be swapped for seasonal crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms courtesy of Jimini's, plus there will be prizes, giveaways and doodle contests to get involved with.

Cordials and Cocktails, Skip Garden, Thu, £32.14. The Urban Cordial Company will guide guests through the process using seasonal ingredients, herbs foraged from the venue's patch and tasty fruits. 

Dumpling Shack Pop-Up, Leicester House, Thu, £35. Dumpling Shack can usually be found on Broadway Market, but for a limited time you can dine on their signature parcels of joy in central London.

Georgian Dining Academy Yuletide Masque, Simpsons Tavern, Thu, £68. An historic dining experience transporting guests to the Georgian period, an evening engaging in the frivolity, fun and fine dining within our historic chop house, Simpson’s Tavern, established in 1757.

Fat Macy's Supper Club, Printworks Kitchen, Thu. The social enterprise behind these festive supper clubs recruits young Londoners living in temporary accommodation, encouraging them to take part in cooking schemes where they can earn money which can later be used as a rental deposit on a house.

 …or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Live music and nightlife

Islam Chipsy & EEK, Cafe Oto, Wed-Thu, £12-£14. Flanked by two drummers bashing out beats, keyboard maestro Islam Chipsy creates great walls of cascading synths: an electronic form of Egyptian chaabi music that makes anyone who hears it dance like a loon.

The Cure, Wembley Arena, Thu, call for prices. Robert Smith's seminal gloom-pop combo play one of their sporadic London gigs, which generally last upwards of two hours.

Pete Tong presents Ibiza Classics, The O2, Thu, £35-£65. Pete Tong is teaming up with the 60-piece Heritage Orchestra to raise the O2’s roof with some big-room anthems, for all you ravers who only want to grow up a little bit.

Great Ytene, The Victoria, Thu, free. Dreamy, psychedelic and shimmering guitar-pop foursome from London.

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


The VITO Project: ‘Heavenly Creatures’, The Cinema Museum, Wed, donations welcome. This month’s choice is a masterpiece that really should screen more often: based on a real-life murder case that scandalised New Zealand in the ’50s, Peter Jackson’s movie explores the overheated encounter between two teenagers.

'La Dolce Vita', Curzon Soho, Tue, £15. The lovely Bar Termini has teamed up with the Curzon for a one-off special screening of the 1960's classic, with a pop-up bar serving Italian tipples.

Or at the cinema...

The Wailing ★★★★☆ A bizarre and brilliant Korean horror movie, as a lazy cop looks into a case of demonic possession.

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.

Mitzi de Margary


After October, Finborough Theatre, Tue, Thu, £16-£18, concs £14-£16. This long-long bohemian satire is worth a watch.

Nice Fish, Harold Pinter Theatre, all week, £15-£59.50, plus Reel Deel free seats. The brilliant Mark Rylance in an oddball comedy, co-written with poet Louis Jenkins.

Underneath, Soho Theatre, all week, £12.50-£17.50. A dark yarn about a deceased Cork woman.

The Children, Royal Court Theatre, all week, £13-£38, £10 Mondays. Two retired scientists have their idyll interrupted by an alarming proposal in this smart new play from Lucy Kirkwood.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla, White Cube Bermondsey, Tue-Thu, 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.

Alex Hartley: After You Left, Victoria Miro, Tue-Thu, free. There’s a house in ruins in a swamp. Palm trees sway as rain taps against their leaves, roots climb over the crumbling walls: the residents of this house long ago left it to rot into the water. But we’re not in the jungle, this is Old Street.

Matthew Darbyshire: Passive Sensor, Herald St, Wed-Thu, free. The sculptures here – female figures of tightly coiled ceramic with bulky men’s feet and hands – weren’t moulded or carved, they were extruded: their material expertly manipulated, emerging in a single sausage-esque stream of clay.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a trip to Cape Town or free travel around London for a whole year

Grab... tickets to an event at the top of London's largest sculpture before plummeting 178 metres on the world-famous slide

Book… these gigs while you still can

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