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37 tip top things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Spend your weekend sipping on spiced cider in Dalston, picking out gifts and treats at the Foyles Christmas Fair or feasting your eyes on top illustration down at the Bargehouse. Here are our tips for a stellar few days!

Things to do 

Crisis Midwinter Swim, King's Cross Pond Club, Sat, £22.29. National homelessness charity Crisis is offering not one but three opportunities to dive into the icy depths of London's outdoor swimming facilities for the Crisis Midwinter Swim fundraiser this year.

A Supa Dupa Brunch Party, The Hoxton Holborn, Sun, £25, £10 entry only. DJ Emily Rawson, the powerhouse behind the hip hop and R&B club night Supa Dupa Fly, has rounded up her coolest pals for this Sunday brunch at The Hoxton Holborn.

Royal College of Art Christmas Fete, Royal College of Art, Sat, free. The Royal College of Art's students' union present their indoor Christmas market selling work by current and former students across all disciplines. Shop for unique ceramics, textiles, print, jewellery and art at affordable prices (starting at just £2).

Winterville, Victoria Park, all weekend, free. East London's festive playground is back for a second year, filling a corner of Victoria Park with dancing, eating, laughing, drinking, skating and plenty more besides.

A Day Called Wonder, Conway Hall, all weekend, £30, £60 group of three, £90 group of five. Workshops and talks designed to bring people together, celebrate life and get us feeling happier are packed into this weekend of fun curated by The Sunday Assembly.

Foyles Christmas Craft Fair, Foyles Charing Cross Road, all weekend, free. Foyles host their very first Christmas Fair on the sixth floor of their flagship store, selling gifts, decorations, cards and more. 

Big Bang Data, Embankment Galleries, all weekend, £12.50, £9.50 concessions. What does data look like? Loads of 1s and 0s floating through the ether? A mass of serpentine cables? A nice-looking cat? The answer, as presented by Somerset House’s epically informative Big Bang Data exhibition, is all three.

Winter Experience with Bompas & Parr, The View from the Shard, all weekend, from £25.95. Inventive experience connoisseurs Bompas & Parr have been working with scientists to create a wintry wonderland where every last light, sound and experience will provoke a romantic response.

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


British Street Food Festival





Eating and drinking

British Street Food Festival, The O2, Sat-Sun, £5, children free. Heats for the British Street Food Awards have been taking place all over the country this summer, and it's time for the finalists to gather for this delicious festival in the quadrant at the O2 Arena.

Christmas Snow Globe at The Gherkin, Searcys at The Gherkin, Sun, from £35. A rare opportunity to gain access to Searcys, the private members club situated at the top of the Gherkin where the building's iconic domed roof will be decked out with beautiful white Christmassy decorations.

Lost Rivers Festival Bar, Wembley Park, all weekend. This 40ft pop-up bar is run by The Lost Rivers Brewery, who name their beers after London waterways from the past. Live music, performances and DJs will entertain and there's be street food stalls and a fairground just nearby.

Hot Booze, 93 Kingsland Road, all weekend. Warm your belly and your fingers simultaneously with the help of this pop-up bar selling hot cocktails, mulled wine and spiced cider. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.




Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Leicester Square Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15. Matt Tedford's cross-dressing version of the Iron lady was a huge hit at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Watch as Mags gets lost in London's notoriously saucy Soho on the eve of the vote for Section 28, and accidentally becomes a cabaret sensation.

Nish Kumar: Long Word… Long Word… Blah Blah Blah… I'm So Clever, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15, £12.50 concs. Time Out favourite Nish Kumar earned a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for his latest solo offering. The show – which has a title so long we won't bother typing it again here – is full of smart, thought-provoking, relevant comments on the post-election political landscape.

Pajama Men – 2 Man 3 Musketeers, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15- £22.50. This rubber-limbed physical comedy pair loosely follow the plot of Dumas’s novel in their latest epic adventure show. The PJs are enormously talented, seamlessly shifting between a vast number of characters.

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






Live music

Grandmaster Flash, Brooklyn Bowl London, TONIGHT, £20. 'Flash is fast, Flash is cool…' Ever since the seminal days of block parties in the Bronx, Grandmaster Flash has been an ambassador for hip hop - whether with the original Furious Five rap crew, pioneering mixing and scratching, or just rocking parties around the world.

Bloc Party, St John-at-Hackney Church, TONIGHT, £25. They’re back! After another long, long hiatus and a line-up change, Kele Okereke’s emotional post-punks have finally reconvened for their fifth album: ‘Hymns’.

The Prodigy, Wembley Arena, Fri-Sat, £30.50-£43.50. The pointy-haired rave-punks give Londoners an early Christmas present by filling Wembley Arena with their unique blend of tractor-crash beats, pounding synths and deliberately abrasive guitar abuse.

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







King Original, Electric Brixton, TONIGHT, From £10. Wiley, Newham Generals and Novelist feature on the bill of this huge grime party.

Love Glove Second Birthday, The Colombian, TONIGHT, £7. Love Glove celebrates two years with a very special guest – excellent deep disco selector Rahaan from Chicago, who'll be spinning the funk alongside resident OK Jonesm Mr Solid Gold, Rolfie and Larj Hans.

Sink The Pink Winter Ball, Troxy, Sat. Christmas may be pretty camp, but it doesn't have anything on Sink The Pink, whose annual winter ball will be teeming with fabulous festive carnage.

Until the Music Stops, Oval Space, Sat, £12. Optimo’s JD Twitch and JG Wilkes invite recent label signees The Golden Filter to join in the fun at their last Until the Music Stops party of 2015 at Oval Space.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.







Dead Funny Double Feature: 'Quatermass and the Pit' + 'Lifeforce', The Cinema Museum, Sat, £10. A pair of fantastically enjoyable sci-fi-horror hybrids set in darkest London. In Hammer’s ‘Quatermass’, excavations at an underground station turn up what appears to be an unexploded Nazi bomb, but proves to be a mysterious spacecraft. ‘Lifeforce’, meanwhile, is pretty idiotic – something to do with a 150-mile-long spaceship tucked away behind Halley’s Comet.

Luis Buñuel season: 'Phantom of Liberty', ICA, Sat, £11, £7 concs. Another in the ICA’s season of films by surrealist satirical master Luis Buñuel. 

'The Kid' + 'The Gold Rush', Regent Street Cinema, Sun, £11, £10 concs. A double bill of peerless, timeless Charlie Chaplin classics.

Or at the cinema...

Carol ★★★★★ Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara shine in Todd Haynes's beautiful, 1950s-set Patricia Highsmith adaptation.

 …or see all of the latest releases.

© Ellie Kurttz


Barbarians, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10-£15. Barry Keeffe's 1977 play cements its modern classic status with its second major revival of 2015.

Linda, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£35. Noma Dumezweni saves the bacon of Penelope Skinner's ambitious feminist odyssey.

Funny Girl, Menier Chocolate Factory, all weekend, £25-£69.50. Sheridan Smith is exactly as great as you'd expect as she steps into Barbra Streisand's iconic shoes.

Cinderella, Lyric Hammersmith, all weekend, £15-£30. Forget death and taxes, at the moment the only certainty in life is that ’Uptown Funk’ will be in every single panto in town. But the Lyric Hammersmith probably wins the award for getting it in earliest, offering a big song and dance number within about three minutes of the curtain going up.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices

This week's best new art

The Photographers 2015, multiple venues, Fri-Sat, free. Survey of photography's diverse history including the work of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bill Brandt. 

Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs, Serena Morton Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. In conjunction with the launch of a new Bill Bernstein monograph, this photographic show pays tribute to New York's disco scene.

Dan Mitchell: Uppers and Downers, Xero, Kline & Coma, Sat-Sun, free. The publisher of Hard Mag presents new immersive work inspired by Picasso’s famous painting ‘Les Demoiselles d'Avignon’.

The London Illustration Fair, Bargehouse, all weekend, £5. London's only illustration-dedicated fair returns with the most innovative and exciting illustrators working today.


…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... exclusive tickets to the NYE fireworks display and champagne on the Coca-Cola London Eye or a two night city-break in Bristol, Cardiff or Exeter

Grab... £50 tickets for a Moroccan afternoon tea for two, with a cocktail each, at Momo

Book… these gigs while you still can

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