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35 wonderful things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

There are plenty of parties to spend your payday bucks on including a Time Out bash at the Vaults tonight and a Burns Party with fire-throwing at St John at Hackney. The rest of the weekend can be packed with Chinese New Year celebrations and free guided walks courtesy of TfL. Enjoy!

Things to do

The D-Word present: Divorce Ceilidh, Battersea Arts Centre, TONIGHT, £25. A Burns Night ceilidh doubling up as a celebration of organiser, Jane Welsh's divorce coming through.

She-Zine Happening, The Society Club, TONIGHT, free. Join She-Zine’s Diana Chire, who edits the print magazine founded to celebrate overlooked female talent, for an evening of discussion from a panel of women in the arts.

Australia Late, National Gallery, TONIGHT, prices vary. The National Gallery will stay open until 9pm for a night inspired by Australia’s Impressionists. There’ll be live music and a host of special events including drop-in drawing and a pop-up photo booth.

Chinese New Year Parade, various locations, Sat, free. Welcome in the 'Year of the Rooster' at this massive Chinese New Year celebration which will fill most of the West End with music, acrobatics, activities and pyrotechnics.

Myddelton House Gardens’ Annual Ultimate Snowdrop Sale, Myddelton House Gardens, Sat, free. Pick up snowdrops starting at £5 and reaching up to a whopping £1,000 per plant. 

January Blues Dance, The Society Club, Sat, free. Spend the evening listening to discussions, poetry and lectures from Poet Miguel Cullen, journalist Ian Thomson, author of The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica, and writer Colin Grant, author of Bageye at the Wheel.

TfL Free Guided Walks, various, Sat-Sun, free. Another jam-packed weekend of free walks organised by TfL. Walk lengths range from an a hour or two to a full day out and many tours are themed.

Space To Breathe, Somerset House, Sat-Sun, free. Join Somerset House’s weekend of installations, performances, talks and workshops all drawing attention to London’s air pollution crisis.

The North London Vintage Furniture Flea, Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, Sun, £2, early bird £3. Celebrating mid-century living from the 1950s and beyond, this north London furniture flea offers up top vintage traders selling affordable furniture and homeware.

The Greatest Sneakers of All Time, The Archivist Gallery, all weekend, free. A homage to the greatest sneakers of all time curated by trainer expert Neal Heard and Lyst.

Taschen Sample Sale, Taschen, all weekend, free entry. Shoppers can expect price drops of between 50 and 75 percent on an enticing range of titles spanning, design, photography, architecture and history.

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

Eating and drinking

Kerb present Burns Hootenanny, The Biscuit Factory, Fri-Sat, £21.59 – £44.80. This party from street food wonders Kerb has all the essential ingredients for a kilted knees-up: haggis, Highland-themed games, a whisky den, ceilidh and a poetry slam corner.

Burns Night at Chai Ki, Chai Ki, all weekend. Scottish and Indian flavours fuse during this week-long Burns Night celebration. Diners can get their chops around Coorgi pulled pork, venison keema served with crumbled haggis and a Toddy Shop burger made with 35-day dry-aged Scottish Angus beef.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.

Live music

Steve Mason, Barbican Centre, TONIGHT, £15-£25. The former Beta Band frontman – who also records under the monikers King Biscuit Time and Black Affair – returns to the stage for a solo show. 

Dropkick Murphys, O2 Academy Brixton, TONIGHT, £26. The Boston-Irish Celtic hardcore band jet across the Atlantic.

Trentemøller, Electric Ballroom, Sat, £20. Anders Trentemøller has slowly been edging away from his role as the master of warm and emotive techno toward beautifully muted, shoegaze-laced indie material with more or less the same vibe.

Jimi Tenor, Cafe Oto, Sat, £8-£12. Finnish composer Jimi Tenor – who’s been performing for over 20 years – takes to the stage for a solo show in the Dalston club, bringing his latest project ‘Saxcentric’ with him.

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


Time Out presents: I'm Coming Out, The Vaults, TONIGHT, £10-£15. For the opening night of this year's Vault Festival, Time Out are making it their mission to make. you. come. out. We'll be throwing an all-night disco party on the last weekend of the month – aka the end of dry January and also a pay-day weekend.

Trouble Vision, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, adv £10-£15. Forward-thinking house, techno, disco and wonkier dancefloor flavours, featuring scene-leading DJs behind the decks.

Ultimate Power, Electric Ballroom, TONIGHT, £14, adv £11. This is where the ballads rule and the more key changes, big hair and rocking out you can do, the better you'll be for it. 

Burns, Baby, Burns!, St John-at-Hackney Church, Fri-Sat, £35-£49. A riotously fun Burns Night party, featuring a traditional three-course supper, ceilidh and whisky bar.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


Lexi’s Midnight Runners: ‘Reservoir Dogs’, Lexi Cinema, TONIGHT, £7. It’s worth celebrating for the pun alone. But this new season of late-night movies at cosy Kensal Rise picture palace the Lexi promises to be ace in other ways too – at least if the debut screening is anything to go by.

‘Shoah’, Deptford Cinema, Sat, £5, £3.50 concs. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, watch all nine hours of documentary maker Claude Lanzmann’s investigation into the minute details of mass murder.

Tufnell Park Film Club’s Shorter Film Festival, The Star, Sun, £15 membership. A whole day of amazing films, all of them under an hour long.

Or at the cinema...

T2 Trainspotting ★★★★☆ Lightning might never strike twice, but Danny Boyle and co have delivered a thoughtful, respectable and knowing sequel to 1996's 'Trainspotting'.

Sing ★★★★☆ The makers of 'Despicable Me' have delivered a fun, toe-tapping animated musical about various animals living in the city and pursuing their dream to be singers.

…or see all of the latest releases.

© Richard Davenport


Dirty Great Love Story, Arts Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20-£45. There's more than a touch of Richard Curtis to this rhyming romcom.

The Convert, Gate Theatre, Fri-Sat, £20, £15 concs. Brilliant new 1896 drama from Danai Gurira about cultural (and actual) imperialism.

Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Road, White Bear Theatre, all weekend, £12-£15. If you’re of the opinion that fringe theatre ought to be challenging, profound and stylish, do yourself a favour and stay away from this unapologetically entertaining comedy by Keith Stevenson.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Park Seo-Bo: Zigzag – Ecriture 1983-1992, White Cube Mason's Yard, Fri-Sat, free. Park Seo-Bo is regarded as the founder of dansaekhwa, or tansaekhwa, a hugely influential school of post-war Korean minimalism that looks like abstract expressionism.

One and Other, Zabludowicz Collection, all weekend, free. Another group show on the subject of identity, courtesy of the Zabludowicz Collection.

Amie Siegel: Strata, South London Gallery, all weekend, free. As the inauguration of President Donald Trump sinks in, New York-based artist Amie Siegel shows she has a knack for timing, and an eye for our fetish-like obsession with material.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... two nights at the four-star Brooklands Hotel, including fine dining and pampering

Grab... 50% off two hours of karaoke, a cocktail and a shooter per person at Lucky Voice

Book… these gigs while you still can

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