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75 fabulous things to do in London this September

By Stephanie Hartman
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Hi, September! The next 30 days have plenty of ace events packed into them including the London Design Festival, Totally Thames, Peckham Festival, the Floating Cinema and Proms in the Park. There’s also a Mister Saturday Night party to get involved with, a festival dedicated to podcasts and a day-long celebration of Mexican grub. Have a wonderful month!

THINGS TO DO

Sep 1-4: Chapter Eight Games The team behind fruity liqueur Chambord have organised this rooftop pop-up at which guests will play croquet with flamingos – a suitably crazy celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and specifically the Red Queen's croquet match in Chapter Eight.

Sep 1-30: Totally Thames This month-long celebration of the Thames is sure to make a splash with its mix of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities.

Sep 1-Oct 23: Björk Digital Icelandic superstar Björk presents this exhibition of digital and video-based works created in collaboration with visual artists and programmers.

Sep 4: London 1666 This mammoth spectacular commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in the most appropriate way possible – creating a huge bonfire.

Sep 4-Oct 30: Dinner at the Twits Tuck into a Dahl-inspired banquet of horrors at this immersive dinner party. The adults-only event will feature a menu of gleefully grotesque treats, served up by Mr and Mrs Twit inside their windowless house.

Sep 8-11: Peckham Festival A festival celebrating the creativity and culture bubbling away in Peckham. Tour open studios, take part in workshops and walks, and watch performances, live music and film screenings. 

Sep 7-27: London Design Biennale London's first biennial for design will showcase the talents of designers from 35 nations across the globe, who are responding to the theme of 'Utopia by Design'.

Sep 10: Chatsfest This community-run street party returns for a fourth year with live music, DJ stages, bars, a bouncy castle, street food, a dog show and much, much more.

Sep 10: Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair This fair returns to the ICA with over 70 UK and international independent artist self-publishers showcasing their work.

Sep 10-18: Colourscape Music Festival Colourscape returns to Clapham Common to celebrate its twenty-seventh birthday in 2016. Visitors to its colourful tunnels will experience something similar to being swallowed by a scene from 'Yellow Submarine'.  

Sep 11: Klezmer in the Park This annual festival of klezmer and Sephardi music is a lot of fun, with live acts performing on the Regent's Park Bandstand as well as exhibitions and displays of Jewish culture, kosher food and crafts and gifts for sale.

Sep 11: Myths Retold Champion storytellers Crick Crack Club pair up with the British Museum for a new season of 'epic Sundays' – bringing tales from the museum's collection to life. 

Sep 14: magCulture Meets...Angharad Lewis Join design writer Angharad Lewis at the magCulture shop to celebrate her new book 'So You Want to Publish a Magazine?'. Get expert advice on starting your own title and get insight into the interviews featured in the book.

Sep 15-Jan 15: Bedlam: The Asylum This new exhibition at the Wellcome looks at the tensions between biomedical and psychosocial therapy for mental illness, the imperative to protect patients, and how integration benefits patients and the public.

Sep 17-18: Open House London The festival allows access to hundreds of buildings not normally open to the public – private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments and many others.

Sep 17-25: London Design Festival The London Design Festival spans dozens of locations, includes hundreds of exhibits and has one clear mission: to prove that our city is the capital of design.

Sep 22-26: London Podcast Festival Join the cream of the crop – including Harry Shearer, Richard Herring, Isy Suttie, The Moth and My Dad Wrote A Porno – for comedy, journalism and spoken word at London's first festival of podcasts. Booking essential.

Sep 24-25: The Museum Depot Open Weekend This open weekend is a rare chance to explore London Transport Museum’s fascinating working store containing some 370,000 items.  

Sep 25: Hackney Record Fair Hackney Record Fair is the latest venture from the gang behind the monthly Hackney Flea Market, and promises a chance for indie types to get hold of rare vinyl and made-with-love fanzines. 

Croquetas Challenge

FOOD

Openings:

Chick 'n' Sours The east London fried chicken mecca are bringing their tasty chicken and cocktails to central London on September 20 when they open a second branch in Covent Garden.

Dirty Bones NYC-inspired comfort food and cocktails come to Shoreditch when Dirty Bones opens in the beautiful old Les Trois Garçons building on September 7.

Bar Douro Inspired by the traditional cerveijarias and tascas of Lisbon and Porto, the rustic restaurant will offer a contemporary take on Portuguese cuisine.

Vita Mojo A second store from Paul Davis (of Tom's Kitchen) where diners choose the exact weight of ingredients and calculate the nutritional value using in-store iPads.

April's Cafe A café restaurant on Sloane Street created for Boutique 1 by Pablo Flack and David Waddington of Bistrotheque.

Eneko at One Aldwych A Basque restaurant from Michelin-starred Eneko Atxa. 

Burlock One of the UK's largest rum houses, capturing the spirit of Havana from the '20s to the '40s.

Samarkand Uzbek cuisine evocative of the Silk Road.

Yosma A Turkish restaurant from the duo behind Frescobaldi restaurant, and the Good Food Society.

Mercato Metropolitano Setting up shop in an old paper factory in Elephant & Castle, Mercato Metropolitano will have a bakery, pasta maker, fishmonger, butcher, coffee roaster, cheesemonger, and the ‘best pizza maker in Naples’, apparently.

Kiln A side-of-the-road-type restaurant from Smoking Goat founder Ben Chapman.

Nutbourne The third restaurant from the Gladwin brothers (of The Shed and Rabbit) – an all-day brasserie and grill serving breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and dinner in the heart of Battersea.

Fancy Funkin Chicken A new concept chicken shop and bar from Nathan Pattie (Co-founder of PIX), Rollo Weeks (formerly Sketch) and Lars Larson (formerly Cuckoo). 

 

Events:

Sep 3: Urban Food Fest x Asahi  Urban Food Fest team up with Japanese lager company Asahi. Dine out on Japanese influenced street food before trying out a super slow motion video booth.

Sep 6: Croquetas Challenge An impressive list of restaurants and chefs are taking part in this competition which requires them to create the ultimate croqueta.

Sep 7: Disappearing Dining Club x Jameson Caskmates: A Night of Classic Pairs Cool cocktails and top notch nosh make for a pucker pairing. That's probably why whiskey giant Jameson has teamed up with Disappearing Dining Club, the foodie pop-up party crew, to tickle some tastebuds with this luscious duo.

Sep 7-8: Beer Meats BBQ: Bodean’s and BrewDog Hosted Dinners Brewdog and Bodean's team up for two nights and five finger-licking courses of meat paired with fine beer.

Sep 9-11: Gravy Train Fried Chicken Pop-Up Three days filled with fine fried chicken at this pop-up, plus bbq wings, creamy mash, signature slaw and lashings of tasty gravy.

Sep 10: MexiFest Gorge on tacos, gorditas, torta pocket sandwiches, cheese and tequila, then feast your eyes on giant piñatas and a replica luchador ring with traditional Mexican wrestlers.

Sep 10: The Slider Decider This annual battle of the buns sees 16 London chefs and restaurants cook up their best shot in the hope of winning the title of Slider Decider Champion 2016.

Sep 10: The Spirit of Chocolate A masterclass in chocolate and cocktail pairing, hosted by Cocoa Runners who roam the world looking for the finest chocolate producers out there.

Sep 10: Redchurch Brewery Street Party A street party organised by the brewery with loads of bars serving up beers, DJ booths, a Prairie Fire barbecue and lots and lots of fun.

Sep 12: Magic Dinner This all-star dinner is a fundraiser for Magic Breakfast, a charity which provides free, healthy breakfasts for UK children who would otherwise start their school day hungry. Each of the six courses will be cooked by chefs from a celebrated London restaurant.

Sep 22-Oct 2: Conflict Café Peacebuilding NGO, International Alert host these supper clubs which take on a different cuisine each week and harness the power of grub to get people together to start meaningful conversations.

Sep 25: Lads Who Lunch The brains behind these Sunday supper clubs belong to two males with a penchant for really good grub. Having trained at various London establishments, the duo have now teamed up to offer the capital a dose of brunch with punch. 

 MUSIC

Sep 4: The Jesus And Mary Chain The founding fathers of fuzz-pop return to the London stage.

Sep 8: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard The Aussie collective explore the outer regions of psychedelic rock, with tasty results.

Sep 8: Nadine Shah A childhood spent on the stormy coast of north-east England seems to have bred a glowering intensity in Nadine Shah, or rather in the dramatic gothic ballads she writes and performs.

Sep 9: Neneh Cherry Late-’80s superstar Neneh Cherry is back in the game, creatively revitalised by a recent collaboration with Scandinavian avant-jazz band The Thing.

Sep 10: Proms in the Park Michael Ball hosts the open-air concert, taking over from the late Terry Wogan, who presented Proms in the Park for 18 years running.

Sep 10-11: OnBlackheath Festival SE3 hosts its very own music festival, with family-friendly live music plus food and fun.

Sep 17: Fat White Family London’s most notorious young band stage another raucous and raunchy live show.

Sep 16: Wiley Grime godfather Wiley – the original boy from Bow – takes to the stage to cook up a tasty confection of slick MCing, rave beats and pop hooks for the faithful.

Sep 18: Moondance Festival A major new dance event in the former Olympic Park from the Found festival crew. 

Sep 24: Afropunk Festival Brooklyn’s anarchic and woke music and culture festival makes its London debut.

Sep 26: Ana Moura The lauded Portuguese fado singer – who has performed live with Prince and The Rolling Stones – brings her soulful voice to town for another much-anticipated gig.

Sep 28: The Invisible Dave Okumu’s great London band The Invisible headline with their art-rock-meets-uber-funk and woogly electronica, playing from their album ‘Patience’.

Sep 29: Moderat Sascha 'Apparat' Ring and Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary of Modeselektor collaborate as Moderat.

DMC World DJ Championships

NIGHTLIFE

Sep 2: Fever 105 A series of occasional but thoroughly funky parties that focus on all things boogie, disco, soul and funk-related.

Sep 3: Emmanuelle's Party Bucket This party bucket is filled with golden grooves and a little raucous behaviour. Musical bases covered are disco, techno and deep house, thanks to the resident DJs and special guests, who've previously included the likes of Soul Clap and Richy Ahmed.

Sep 3: Kitsuné Summer Rooftop Party Ever-hip Parisian electro label Kitsuné hosts a day-to-night party across two venues in Shoreditch.

Sep 10: Mister Saturday Night Mister Saturday Night DJs Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin cross the pond for a massive party in a Hackney church.

Sep 23: Hot Dub Time Machine Travel through time whilst clubbing? Don't mind if we do, thanks. After proving a big hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and around the globe, the innovative audiovisual party lands in London again.

Sep 23: Machinedrum One of the most innovative producers around, Machinedrum excels in crafting everything from ambient garage (in his Sepalcure project), rave-dashed house and footwork under his solo moniker and choppy, soulful funk via his JETS collab with Jimmy Edgar.

Sep 24: DMC World DJ Championships It's that time of the year again when the cream of the globe's turntablists cut, scratch and freestyle their way through six-minute slots to be crowned world champion.

FILM

Sep 1-25: Floating Cinema Catch a movie canal-side on a specially converted narrow boat.

Sep 9: Captain Fantastic No not another superhero in tights. Viggo Mortensen is a hippy superdad raising his kids off grid. Funny and heartwarming.

Sep 15: Blair Witch It's been worth the wait. Seventeen years original, this 'Blair Witch' sequel follows the brother of one of the original crew as he goes into the forest looking for answers. 

Sep 16: Bridget Jones's Baby Bridget's back. And after being spotted filming in Borough Market with a baby bump, the trailer confirms she's pregnant. The question is: who's the dad? 

Peter Wachtler

ART

Sep 14-Jan 8: The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam Cuban artist Lam (1902-1982) moved in some pretty illustrious circles during the course of his life, counting Pablo Picasso and André Breton amongst his peers. He also witness some of the most turbulent events of the twentieth century.

Sep 16-Dec 11: Peter Wächtler The first solo exhibition in a UK institution by the Berlin and Brussels-based artist Peter Wachtler.

Sep 17-Dec 23: Astronomy Photographer of the Year Once again you can expect to see remarkable feats of astrophotography at the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition. It’s a chance to see magical views of both our own night sky and of galaxies far, far away.

Sep 24-Jan 2: Abstract Expressionism Autumn 2016 at the RA is all about New York in the 1940s and ’50s, as this blockbuster survey of abstract expressionism brings together the big deals, bad boys and prodigious boozers of the era. It’s sure to be a swaggeringly audacious show.

Sep 27-Jan 8: Turner Prize 2016 Celebrating its thirty-second year, the Turner Prize returns to Tate Britain with four shortlisted artists: Michael Dean, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten and Josephine Pryde.

© The Other Richard

THEATRE

Sep 6-Oct 1: Two Man Show Brave, absurdist, silly skewering of the language of patriarchy from RashDash.

Sep 8-Dec 17: No Man’s Land Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart finally bring this Pinter classic to London.

Sep 15-Oct 22: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3) UK premiere of this apparently amazing play about a slave promised his freedom if he fights for the South in the US Civil War.

Sep 17- Oct 16: Imogen A renamed version of Shakespeare's late romance 'Cymbeline'.

HOORAY!

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