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64 fantastic things to do in London this January

By Stephanie Hartman

Wave farewell to a rotten 2016 and welcome with open arms, a shiny, sparkly 2017! The year's kicking off with light and lanterns dotted across the city, an adventure travel show and Chinese New Year celebrations. There's also a lovely list of fresh restaurants to dine at and some cracking new films to kick back with. Start as you mean to go on with the fun below...


Jan 1: New Year's Day Parade London's New Year's Day Parade celebrates its thirty-first year in 2017 and more than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries will take part, including Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and representatives from West End shows.

Jan 7-8: Hackney Flea Market This Stoke Newington institution returns to Abney Hall. There’ll be over 30 traders, offering an eclectic selection of vintage clothes and furniture, handmade jewellery, comics, records and antiques.

Jan 8: Celebrating Bowie at 70 Celebrate David Bowie’s contribution to ‘sound and vison’ on what would have been his 70th birthday in a day filled with music, performance and discussions, all hailing Brixton’s very own superstar.

Jan 12: Art, Maps and the World: Jerry Brotton, Adam Lowe and Grayson Perry Join artist Greyson Perry, cultural historian Jerry Brotton and artsist Adam Lowe, who heads the workshop Factum Arte, as they discuss their explorations in art and mapping.

Jan 12-14: Virtually Real This display features work from three Royal Academy School alumni created using virtual reality platforms, which you can walk through, over, under and around as the artwork is created around you.

Jan 13: Stories in the Dark Woods Spend the first Friday 13 of the year scaring yourself senseless by telling ghost stories in a dark wood.

Jan 14, 28: Risograph Printing Workshop Using the shop’s risograph machine you'll get the chance to create an edition of fifteen A3 prints in two colours while experimenting with texture, shapes and patterns.

Jan 14: Nordic Matters Opening Weekend Icelandic author Sjón unpacks the stories and poems that Scandi folk wove to wile away the long dark nights before Netflix began, and bakers from London treasure Fika explain the secrets behind the hallowed cinnamon bun before handing out a big fresh batch of freebies.

Jan 16-Jan 27: Winter Lights at Canary Wharf The bright lights of Canary Wharf's towers already provide quite the spectacle after dark, but the area glows even more than usual throughout January thanks to the addition of a variety of installations from international artists.

Jan 15: Coffee Tasting with the Larder London and Union Hand Roasted Coffee Learn how to match flavours and explore the art of home brewing. Tickets include a bag of freshly ground beans to take home.

Jan 17: Wild Life Drawing: Birds of Prey Spend the evening drawing birds of prey – including hawks, falcons and kestrels.

Jan 19-Feb 26: Magical Lantern Festival The UK's Chinese Lantern festival floats back to Chiswick House and Garden for a second year - this time, with VR, theatre, performances and over 50 light installations.

Jan 21-22: The Adventure Travel Show This large-scale show is just the excuse you need to get bitten by the travel bug and book yourself a new long-haul adventure.

Jan 25: The Great Sausage Roll Off Now in its fifth year, this annual competition sees 20 entrants roll and cook their sausage rolls live before presenting them to a line-up of judges.

Jan 28-Feb 3: Snowdrop Days Ahead of its official Spring opening, London's oldest botanic garden unlocks its doors for a winter stint each year to showcase its collection of snowdrops (Latin name Galanthus, meaning 'milk flower') at their peak.

Jan 29: Chinese New Year 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.

Jan 29: Dean Strang and Jerry Buting: Making A Murderer Steven Avery's defence attorneys, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting are touching down in London for an evening of conversation surrounding the case and USA's criminal justice system as a whole.


New opening highlights

Kricket A second branch of this Indian restaurant, opening in Soho and featuring a dedicated cocktail bar.

Bleecker Our favourite burger on the street food scene gets permanent digs in Victoria.

Bun House A Chinese restaurant serving traditional Canton-style bao (steamed buns).

Duck Duck Goose A Cantonese canteen opening in Pop Brixton, concentrating on food steamed, barbecued, roasted and from the wok.

Six Storeys A six-storey bar and restaurant in a Soho townhouse, serving drinks, cocktails and food throughout the day.

Street Feast Canary Wharf The first seven-days-a-week street food market from Street Feast, who also run Hawker House and Dinerama.

Mere 'Masterchef' judge Monica Galletti opens her own restaurant.

Bread Ahead Pavilion Road The bakery and school will open on Jan 6 and to celebrate, they will be serving freshly-baked Galette des Rois.

Find more restaurants opening in January and food events below

Shawarma Bar’s Pita Pandemonium Throughout January, Berber & Q Shawarma Bar will welcome four of London’s hottest chefs (Dan Doherty, Tom Browne, Miles Kirby and Sam Clark) to create a one-off pita that will run on the menu for a week at a time.

Fat Duck at Bubbledogs This month, Bubbledogs’ guest chef hot dog will be the Crown Chippy Dog from The Fat Duck - topped with aerated batter, minted mush pea ketchup, pickled quails eggs, triple cooked chip crumbs, tarter sauce and ‘Chip shop smell’. £1 from every special will go towards Action Against Hunger.

Jan 28: Stokey Beer Fest Eight breweries and a gin maker band together for this Stoke Newington festival to see January out.


Jan 9-Feb 9: London International Mime Festival The 40-year-old London International Mime Festival – the longest running of its kind – has a lot more up its sleeves than clowning and whiteface.

Jan 14-Feb 11: Escaped Alone A menacing, joyous, brilliant return from the enigmatic Caryl Churchill.

Jan 16-Feb 18: Us/Them This family show takes an emotional look at the Beslan siege.


Jan 5: Evan Parker Parker's snake-like sax explores the infinite possibilities of free improvisation with circular breathing, harmonics, chords, and unbroken rhythmic note patterns.

Jan 6: Pharoahe Monch He's still standing, Queens's 'Dragnet'-sampling hip hop lyricist Mr Monch (née Troy Donald Jamerson) and one half of the seminal New York early ’90s rap outfit Organized Konfusion (along with Prince Poetry) returns some some fresh material.

Jan 6: Three Cane Whale Bristol experi-folk trio 3CW build works of minimal instrumental beauty on trumpet, harmonium, mandolin, bowed psaltery, glockenspiel and guitar.

Jan 6: Heidi Vogel Elegant and compelling vocal jazz from singer Vogel. The Cinematic Orchestra vocalist has also played with Eska and the Brand New Heavies and the late Isaac Hayes.

Jan 9: Ahmad Jamal Pittsburgh pianist Jamal, aka Fritz Jones, is best known for providing the sparse melodic template for Miles Davis but you can also trace Hancock, Evans and Jarrett from his style.

Jan 9-10: Manu Katché The man behind the driving beats of Gabriel's iconic 'Sledgehammer', he is now known for his awesome jazz chops.

Jan 21: The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne's veteran psychedelic pop nutjobs make a welcome return to London, dropping tracks from their 30-year career.

Jan 22: King Creosote The acclaimed folk singer from Fife brings his guitar, accordion and delicate songs to London.

Jan 27: Steve Mason 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.

Jan 29: Black Sabbath The mighty masters of morbid rock return for what will, apparently, be their last ever tour.

Jan 30: Ghetts Newham grime mainstay Justin Samuel, formerly of Nasty Crew but now forging a solo path with his superior flow, headlines.


Jan 1: Secretsundaze New Year's Day There are few better party-heads than the Secretsundaze gang, so if you've got any energy left on New Year's Day you'd do well to head to their eight-hour beat-fest.

Jan 6: Andy C All Night – The Opening Party DJ Andy Clarke will be bringing his top drum'n'bass tunes to the dancefloor.

Jan 6: Twinkat Soul 2nd Birthday Expect disco, house, Afrobeat, funk, hip hop and garage from Auntie Flo, Andrew Ashong, MC Pinty, Maxwell Owin and more.

Jan 7: Dysfunctional: Beginning Of Year Party Underground house and tech as the annual party celebrates its fourth year, with an extensive line-up including German Brigante, My Cat Snoop, Sculpture, Don Major and James Damian.

Jan 7: Southbound: Mike Skinner Mike Skinner, plus Conducta featuring MC Creed, Luxe Boyz and The Menendez Brothers, bring garage to the dancefloor.

Jan 20: Joe Goddard Hot Chip and The 2 Bears man Joe Goddard always a ton of projects on the go, so it's easy to forget that he's also a stellar DJ. He'll be spinning anything from bass, house and indie.

Jan 21: How Does It Feel To Be Loved? The dancefloor at this London indie institution is still packed with dapper crowds who dig grooving to the wonderfully nostalgic soundtracks on offer.

Jan 26-28: Burns, Baby, Burns! A riotously fun Burns Night party, featuring a traditional three-course supper, ceilidh and whisky bar.

Fabric is back in January! Do as the dedicated clubbers do and get yourself to the Clerkenwell dance palace for a melting-pot of deep house, melodic techno, dubby disco, minimal grooves and a touch of bass.


Jan 1: Silence Martin Scorsese has hit a career high with this searing, thoughtful literary adaptation about two Jesuit priests venturing into seventeenth-century Japan.

Jan 1: A Monster Calls Young actor Lewis MacDougall impresses in JA Bayona's imaginative but overly sentimental fantasy tale about a child dealing with the horrors of real life.

Jan 13: La La Land Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sing and dance their way through a joyous modern-day musical about the ups and downs of love and life in Los Angeles.

Jan 13: Manchester by the Sea Actor Casey Affleck joins the ranks of giants in a tremendously moving portrait of grief from American writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.

Jan 20: Jackie Natalie Portman triumphs as JFK's widow in Pablo Larraín's real-life story set during an unprecedented time of national tragedy.

Jan 20: Lion Dev Patel impresses in this 'Slumdog'-like true tale of an Indian boy adopted by a Tasmanian couple – but the film itself is a misfire.

Jan 27: Hacksaw Ridge Mel Gibson directs a bloody tale of battlefield heroism starring Andrew Garfield as a conscientious objector. 

Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London


Jan 10-Feb 25: John Baldessari: Miró and Life in General The legendary Californian conceptualist, who has been creating witty, deceptively casual splices of image of text for decades, is working with a simple concept for this exhibition: a series of Hollywood film stills each paired with a painting by Spanish surrealist Joan Miró.

Jan 11-Feb 18: Luca Bertolo: Everybody is Always Right A show of new work by the Italian artist, whose small-scale paintings flip nimbly between precise figuration and messy, off-handed abstraction.

Jan 11-Mar 26: Pilvi Takala This show will offer a follow-up piece to Takala's 2013 project 'The Committee', a collaborative piece in which she gave £7,000 of prize money to a group of kids at a youth centre in east London, who elected to create a custom-made bouncy castle.

Jan 13-Mar 4: Sigmar Polke: Pour Paintings on Paper A show of splashy paper-based works by the German postwar master, whose paintings didn't so much resist categorisation as stick two fingers up at all of them.

Jan 14-Apr 2: Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London Lockwood Kipling – father of poet Rudyard – was one of those quintessentially Victorian jack-of-all-trades. An artist, designer, sculptor, teacher, curator and champion of the Arts and Crafts movement, he is largely responsible for the V&A's glittering collection of Indian cultural artefacts.

Jan 20-Mar 25: Michael Andrews: Earth Air Water The elemental title of this show refers to the different bodies of work that occupied the British painter in the last 25 years of his life: the landscapes of Scotland and Ayers Rock in Australia, and schools of fish in the ocean. 


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