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80 excellent things to do in London this November

By Stephanie Hartman

Welcome to November! A month packed with new restaurant openings, film screenings, massive parties and ace art exhibitions opening across town. Bonfire night will get the 11th month off to a sizzling start this Thursday with firework displays planned in every corner of the city, and Thanksgiving celebrations will close the month with loads of top eateries serving up delicious turkey dinners. Have a truly wonderful time with our list of joy below. 


Nov 4: V&A Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art The V&A's permanent Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art will reopen on November 4 2015, exhibiting 550 works from the sixth century to the present day.

Nov 5: Bonfire Night Wrap up snug and head to one of the capital's many firework displays to enjoy a show of spectacular colours over some of London's top attractions and beyond.

Nov 7-8: Renegade Craft Fair This market usually sets up shop stateside, but lucky for us it's made a trip across the pond and is back for a another instalment following a fantastic Christmas event last year.

Nov 5-29: World Press Photo Exhibition Celebrating powerful, moving and sometimes disturbing photojournalism, the annual World Press Photo competition draws entries from all over the world.

Nov 5-Dec 23: Little Feast Street food festival Feast's younger sibling gets a wintry makeover, serving up seasonal street food and warming drinks in a Scandinavian forest setting.

Nov 12-14: Mulled Wine Festival Just when you thought the capital couldn't get any more Christmassy, London's first mulled wine festival fills Covent Garden with the comforting smell of spiced booze.

Nov 18- Jan 10: Skate at Somerset House A glorious backdrop and special events help make a trip to this outdoor rink one of the capital's most festive outings.

Nov 18- Jan 30: Cycle Revolution The Design Museum is gearing up for an exhibition celebrating all things bike. As well as dozens of bicycles from some of the world's most respected contemporary manufacturers there'll be high-end kit and accessories and items belonging to famous cyclists such as Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Paul Smith.

Nov 19-Dec 19: Birdies Crazy Golf Club The people behind Rooftop Film Club are turning Waterloos underground railway tunnels into a nine-hole crazy golf course this winter featuring loops, half pipes and plenty more to challenge putters.
Nov 20- Jan 3: Winter Wonderland Christmas family fun aplenty with a huge ice rink, two circuses, an observation wheel and the Magical Ice Kingdom, plus themed bars for the grown-ups.

Nov 20- Jan 17: Bump Roller Disco Do you love nothing more than rolling with your homies? Bump is a wooden-floored roller disco that's popping up under Hungerford Bridge as part of the Southbank Centre's Winter Festival.

Nov 20- Mar 28: Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution The great diarist's character and reports are colourfully represented in this exhibition about seventeenth-century Britain.

Nov 23- Jan 31: Bompas and Parr at the Shard 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.
Nov 26- Dec 23: Winterville 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.

Nov 27-29: Hyper Japan Christmas Market Hyper Japan is back this November with a Christmas market celebrating Japanese culture and cuisine at its best. Browse stalls selling fashion goods, toys, wrapping paper, traditional tableware and crockery, then pick up edible presents in a food hall packed full of exotic teas, chocolate, Japanese snacks and sake.

Le Bun at Le Zetter

Le Bun at Le Zetter


The Ninth Jun Tanaka formerly of Pearl focusses on French and Mediterranean food at his new restaurant on Charlotte Street.
German Gymnasium Originally known as ‘Die Turnhalle’, the German Gymnasium was designed by Edward Gruning and built between 1864 and 1865 for use by the German Gymnastics Society – funded solely by donations from London’s German community. This Autumn will see the opening of a restaurant, grand café and bars within the space. 
Oklava Chef Selin Kiazim, formerly of Kopapa opens this Turkish inspired eatery. She's been doing a lot of successful popups recently but this will become her permanent site.
Corbin and King-Bellanger This new venture takes its name from Corbin and King's tradition of linking restaurant names to cars, with this one inspired Société des Automobiles Bellanger Frères, a French car manufacturer from 1912 to 1925. The 200-seater restaurant will be designed by Shayne Brady, who previously designed Fischer's and worked on the Delaunay, Brasserie Zedel and Colbert under David Collins.
Nov 6: Korobuta Scott Hallsworth opens another branch of his Japanese restaurant on the fifth floor restaurant space of Harvey Nichols.

Nov 6-7: Below & Hidden Bar A new bar and club is getting ready to open its doors, located underneath Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings.

Nov 8 - Diwali at Dishoom
 Celebrate Diwali in the atrium of the Granary Building on Granary Square next to the King's Cross branch with special dishes, delicious chai and family-friendly activities. 

Nov 12 -Dec 20: Le Bun at Le Zetter The Zetter Hotel's restaurant and bar is being turned into a neon- and meat-filled diner by street food favourites Le Bun for a five-week residency.

Nov 15: Cider and Meat Fest A mighty celebration of the apple based beverage and perfect cooked meat at The Queen of Hoxton. The menu includes hot spiced cider, hot ginger mead and cherry wine.

Nov 16: Coin Laundry Fans of ironically retro food and drink should heart this Seventies-style addition to restaurant-packed Exmouth Market - the words 'chicken kiev', 'Sodastream' and 'pinball' are all you need to know.

Nov 26: Thanksgiving Let’s hear it for the ‘special relationship’! With a huge number of US expats living in London, it’s no wonder many London restaurants choose to celebrate the main culinary festival of the States.

Mike Wozniak© Idil Sukan Draw HQ


Nov 9-14: Mike Wozniak – One Man Dad Cat Band The moustachioed comedy maestro and 'Man Down' star's latest show is a wonderfully structured 'shaggy cat story' with lots of big laughs along the way.
Nov 11-Dec 9: Dawn French – 30 Million Minutes After decades of working in comedy partnerships, the 'French' half of 'French and Saunders' goes it alone in the West End.
Nov 11: Stand Up in Action Greg Davies hosts an almighty line-up to raise funds for the refugee crisis. Russell Howard, Dara O Briain, Jack Whitehall and lots more help out.
Nov 15-17: Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse – Legends! The Old Gits, Smashie and Nicey, Kevin the Teenager – they're all there in Harry and Paul's twenty-fifth anniversary tour show.
Nov 16-Dec 2: Bridget Christie – A Book for Her 2013's Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner is on fabulously furious form in her latest smart stand-up show. It's a triumph.
Nov 23-28: Max & Ivan – The End This slick sketch duo's shows are like live Hollywood movies, complete with explosions, love interests and unexpected twists. 'The End' is warm, touching and hugely funny.


Nov 3: Ibeyi A musical melting pot (yes, really) of pop, soul, folk and R&B by these French-Cuban twins.

Nov 6-8: Music Cube A high-concept silent disco-style gig at one of London's Westfield shopping centres.

Nov 7-8: Bluesfest This annual series of concerts offers a great line-up of blues, soul, jazz, rhythm and blues and gospel music. 

Nov 9: Joanna Newsom Captivatingly weird and wondrous singer-songwriter Newsom has proved over several albums that she’s much more than a harp-plucking folk pixie.

Nov 12: Kurt Vile & The Violators Formerly best known for collaborating with Philadelphia noise-rockers The War On Drugs, Vile's brilliant last album 'Wakin on a Pretty Daze' has made him a major live draw in his own right.

Nov 12: John Grant The master singer-songwriter and former Czar sings his incredible, introspective ballads.

Nov 12-23: The End Festival N8 is great: this multi-venue festival offers 12 nights of live music in Crouch End.

Nov 13-14: Fuzz Club Festival Two nights of psychedelic sonic mayhem courtesy of the Fuzz Club label, with acts including Berlin-based duo The KVB, contemporary krautrockers Camera and Creation veterans The Telescopes on Friday then The Myrrors and Lola Colt on Saturday.

Nov 13-22: EFG London Jazz Festival One of London’s biggest festivals, LJF fills the city with jazz for ten days and nights.

Nov 14: Fluffer Pit Parties In a praiseworthy attempt to put some of the underground thrill back into London’s rock ’n’ roll scene, east London indie label Fluffer Records are putting on a series of shows in a secret warehouse venue.

Nov 16-17: New Order The Manchester legends return to the live circuit, still minus Peter Hook – hardly surprising, given that the bassist branded Bernard Sumner ‘a twat’ and has been hauling his behind around with new band, The Light, playing Joy Division songs.

Nov 25-26: Courtney Barnett The Aussie singer-songwriter pairs punchy rock with brilliant witty lyrics.

Nov 28: Independent Label Market Vinyl buffs, rejoice: the Independent Label Market is back for another winter instalment.

Nov 30: Natalie Prass At her last London show, this Virginian singer-songwriter brought out Ryan Adams and Jessie Ware to sing a Janet Jackson cover. Now she returns to London for more brassy indie-soul.

Mister Sunday © Natalie Keyssar 2012


Nov 6-28: Clock Strikes 13 A three-month programme of ace leftfield house and techno parties across top London clubs. 

Nov 8: Mister Sunday An eclectic all-day Sunday party bursting with disco, house, pop, blues and everything in-between, hosted by New York DJ duo Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin.

Nov 13: FabricLive: Daniel Avery's Divided Love Daniel Avery's Divided Love, featuring Roman Flugel, Timothy J Fairplay, Scott Fraser, Kölsch and Avery himself.

Nov 28: Fabric: Detroit Love It's Detroit Love at Fabric tonight with Carl Craig and Kyle Hall in Room One, plus Kevin Saunderson, Octave One and Luke Hess in Room Two.

Nov 28: Winterville Spiegeltent with Ultimate Power + Bogan Bingo The '80s power ballad and glam rock-loving club night hits the Spiegeltent at east London festive village Winterville for a special Christmas edition.

Steve Jobs


Nov 2-8: Film Africa This annual festival celebrates the best in African cinema. Alongside screenings, director Q&A sessions, talks, workshops and masterclasses all take place with special events for young people and schools too.

Nov 4: Disaster Films: Decline of Western Civilisation A night dedicated to films with great soundtracks. Tonight presents Penelope Spheeris’ landmark 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization. 

Nov 5-13: French Film Festival UK Expect a vibrant programme of French cinema at the 23rd edition of this festival. Audiences will be treated to documentaries, silent cinema, short cuts and exciting premieres in independent cinemas across the UK,

Nov 7-22: UK Jewish Film Festival 2015 The nineteenth edition of the Jewish Film Festival arrives in the UK with 80 film screenings across 16 days.

Nov 11-29: Underground Film Club The Rooftop Film Club have perfected the art of outdoor cinema on the roof of the Queen of Hoxton pub. Now they're bringing comfy theatre chairs and wireless headphones (say goodbye to cinema rustle) to the eerily atmospheric Vaults, located underneath Waterloo station for a cockle-warming winter pop-up. 

Nov 13: Steve Jobs Michael Fassbender is on blistering form as the Apple pioneer in this brutally honest biopic.

Nov 20: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 Katniss prepares for her final showdown with evil Santa President Snow.

Nov 27: Carol Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara give exquisite performances in their moving adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel about two women who fall in love in 1950s New York. 
Nov 27: Black Mass Johnny Depp makes a comeback to Serious Acting as real-life notorious mafia hitman Whitey Bulger 
Nov 27: Bridge of Spies Steven Spielberg is on quiet but masterly form for this spy tale starring a greatly endearing Tom Hanks.


Nov 1: Yang Li Sample Sale Grab a slice of designer Yang Li's trademark dark, minimal aesthetic at this two day sample sale.

Nov 4: MiH Sample Sale Fashion editor favourite MiH are cutting prices on their dreamy denim for one day only. Head along to their Shepherds Bush studio to bag discounts of up to 75 percent on past season pieces.

Nov 4: Holly Fulton Sample Sale Head along to the Shoreditch branch of Beach Blanket Babylon to pick up pieces from past season collections by the Scottish-born, East London-based designer, with discounts of up to 80 percent.

Nov 7: LC:M Designer Sample Sale Expect discounts of up to 70 percent on pieces by a host of LC:M designers: Matthew Miller, Kit Neale, CMMN SWDN, Berthold, DMSR London, Casely-Hayford and Tourne de Transmission.

Nov 7- 8: Hostem Stock Sale Expect impressive discounts of up to 80 percent off on an equally impressive array of international designers, including the likes of Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe and Simone Rocha.

Nov 7-8: Mary Benson Sample Sale Rising star and Fashion East alumnus Mary Benson is having a showroom clear out. Head along to pick up samples and stock from her FW15 and SS15 collections at discounts of up to 70 percent off.

Nov 10: Lascivious Lingerie and Swimwear Sample Sale Hosted by lingerie e-shop Lascivious, this one-day sample sale promises discounts of up to 85 percent off on samples, past collection pieces, limited edition styles and accessories, with prices starting at £5. 

© Johann Persson


Nov 2- Jan 13: Harlequinade Kenneth Branagh and Zoë Wanamaker star Terence Rattigan's comedy (plus Wanamaker performs his monologue 'All On Her Own'. 

Nov 2- Jan 2: Elf The Musical The stage adaptation of Hollywood film 'Elf', which starred Will Ferrell, arrives in the West End in time for Christmas.

Nov 2- 14: Staging a Revolution Belarus Free Theatre stages 10 productions that span a decade of work from the company. Each is followed by a 'Let's Act' platform that delves into the documentary material that inspired each play.

Nov 2- Mar 5: As You Like It A new production of Shakespeare's cross-dressing comedy, starring Rosalie Craig. 

Nov 3- Jan 16: The Winter's Tale Kenneth Branagh's new West End season opens with this new production of Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' starring Judi Dench.
Nov 5-13: Dickie Beau – Blackouts: Twilight of the Idols This is the drag show at the end of the world. Radically yet faithfully engaging the form's classical tropes – tragic female icons of vanity, self-sufficiency, beauty and despair – Dickie Beau distills and compresses them into something sharp and glittering, yearning and forlorn, as compelling and fantastical as gender or a dream.


Until Dec 6: Chantal Akerman Coinciding with the UK premiere of Akerman's new film, 'No Home Movie', the internationally celebrated filmmaker and artist who recently passed away unexpectedly, is celebrated in this extraordinary large-scale exhibition.

Nov 11- Dec 6: Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors Ahead of the Icelandic artist's major survey at the Barbican next year, The Vinyl Factory present his nine-screen installation, 'The Visitors' shot on location in a grand dilapidated house in New York state.

Nov 11- Apr 3: Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture Exhibition of work by the American artist and pioneer of kinetic sculpture.

Nov 12- Feb 21: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize The prestigious photographic portrait award returns with a showcase of the most talented photographers presenting an ambitious approach to portraiture today. 
Nov 16- Sep 30: Art and Alcohol This BP spotlight display curated by David Blayney Brown, who curated last year’s phenomenal Late Turner show, charts Britain’s relationship with alcohol from George Cruikshank’s temperance-themed 'Worship of Bacchus' to Gilbert & George’s ‘Drinking Sculpture’.
Nov 28- Feb 14: Julia Margaret Cameron Discover the origins of experimental photography and how they're linked to the origins of the V&A. 


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