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March
Illustration: Bryan Mayes

London events in March

Our guide to the best events, festivals, workshops, exhibitions and things to do throughout March 2021 in London

By Time Out London Things To Do
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A bright, blossom-filled March 2021 in London is definitely our bag. As spring arrives and the days start to get sunnier and longer, there’s plenty going on in London to embrace the new season. Especially now that things are starting to open up from the long, long lockdown. 

On March 8 we'll legally be allowed to sit down and have a coffee with one other person outside and by the end of the month we'll all be hanging out having picnics with our five best friends. And perhaps a takeaway pint?! Until then, why not take a stroll around London’s best parks and gardens as they start to burst with colour or attend a virtual International Women’s Day event? March is also the month of St Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day (don't forget to send your mum a card). For more fun in the city, check out our guide to the best things to do right now. 

RECOMMENDED: When will London reopen and what are the latest social distancing rules?

Our March 2021 highlights

Photograph: WOM Collective
Photograph: WOM Collective

Celebrate International Women’s Day

News City Life

International Women’s Day is on March 8, but there are quite a few events that'll be bubbling over throughout the month. We've rounded up the best ones that'll hopefully have you feeling optimistic and inspired about the future.

 

Best picnic parks
Photo: Anders Photo/Shutterstock

Find the sickest picnic spots in London

Attractions Parks and gardens

After a winter that involved sitting indoors, watching TV and very little else, March marks the beginning of proper outdoor fun again. From March 8 it will be legal to meet one other person in public for non-exercise related activity. Then, from March 29 we can meet outdoors in groups of up to six people. You know what that means? It means picnics. London has loads of parks and grand green spaces, perfect for a bit of al fresco, blanket-based action.

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Photograph: Dom's Subs
Photograph: Dom's Subs

Locate a life-changing sandwich

News Eating

Thanks to the easing of lockdown, picnic season is fast approaching. Luckily, our fair city is awash with tasty sarnies right now. London is having what can only be described as a 'sandwich moment'. So here are our 11 favourites for your discerning tastebuds.

 

Photograph: Time Out
Photograph: Time Out

Stock up on tinnies to drink in the park on March 8

News Drinking

Drunk so many M&S tins through the years that you’re basically Percy Pig now? Never want to look a Tyskie in the eye again? Good news. We’ve sourced some extra special tins to stock up on for the coming month of picnics – and they're all made in London.

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Gilbert & George, ‘Woken’ (2020). Credit: White Cube
Gilbert & George, ‘Woken’ (2020). Credit: White Cube

Gilbert & George’s ‘New Normal Pictures’ show is online now

News Art

Lots of artists have been busy during lockdown, and lots of new artists have used the time to get creative and shame less creative people with their amazing skills/sense of colour/chutzpah. For the dons of London’s art world, though, Gilbert & George, it’s been business as usual. Maybe unsurprisingly, seeing as their life and work basically consists of a self-imposed lockdown bubble, the pair have been beavering away like a couple of lovely tweedy rodents to create their latest show. ‘New Normal Pictures’ goes on display from today (Tuesday March 2) online, then – fingers crossed – in actual real time and space from April 13.

Gilbert & George, ‘Priority Seat’ (2020). Credit: White Cube
Gilbert & George, ‘Priority Seat’ (2020). Credit: White Cube

‘New Normal Pictures’ develops Gilbert & George’s recent creative themes, with big colourful pieces based on photography picturing the pair desporting themselves in typical G&G style against a backdrop of recognisable London motifs. There are noz balloons and City towers, dumped mattresses and red phone boxes. Gilbert & George appear more Vic & Bob than ever, collapsing like unstringed marionettes amid the bus shelters and rough sleepers. Like most of their work, the pictures are sort of fun, horrible and oblique all at the same time, so you get proper value for money. They also make you think that G&G missed a trick in not doing a series of Zoom backgrounds last year. 

Gilbert & George, ‘New Normal Pictures’, installation view. Credit: White Cube
Gilbert & George, ‘New Normal Pictures’, installation view. Credit: White Cube

They should work well online (not all art does, as we repeatedly discovered in 2020), and then it’ll be a real treat to go along and see them in the pink and blue flesh when London reopens. Of course, in Gilbert & George’s collective mind, it was never really open in the first place. Still, it’ll be nice for them to be able to go to Mangal 2 for dinner again. 

Gilbert & George, ‘New Normal Pictures’ (Mar 2-May 1) is online now, and at White Cube Mason’s Yard from Apr 13. You can priority book tickets to see the show in solid 3D reality here

More stuff to do in March.

Not into creepy art made by pensioners? How bout some spring flowers instead?

Tian Tian Market
Illustration: Bryan Mayes / Tian Tian / Little Moons

Check out London’s enormous new Asian supermarket

News City Life

As far as next-level thrills go, ‘walking into a well-stocked Asian supermarket’ is right up there with base jumping and wake-boarding. Oseyo in Camden: that’s a good one. Holloway’s Hing Yip is a gem. Loon Fung is obviously a China Town OG. Well, there’s a new one to add to the list. A real heavyweight. Ladies and gentlemen: give it up for Tian Tian Market in Aldgate.

A branch of Tian Tian (which sort of translates as ‘Sky Sky’ or ‘Heaven Heaven’) already exists in Millwall. From the looks of it, though, this new one is about one hundred times sexier, featuring fresh meat and fish counters, hot food, a bakery (featuring top-notch Japanese patisserie like Wa and Kova) and the all-important sake bar (reserve your spot for May 17).

On top of which, the Little Moons craze has effectively created a mochi drought throughout London, and Tian Tian is pretty much the only place stocking them now.

 

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Southwark Playhouse
Photo: Southwark Playhouse

Enjoy March’s best streaming culture

Things are slowly starting to reopen in the ‘real world’ but there will still be a ton of interesting, edifying, entertaining and weird happens on your laptop screen this March. Check out our bumper list of global happenings, including the Human Rights Watch film festival, Dabbers social bingo, a virtual nightclub and a few online St Patrick’s Day bits. 

Phoenix Arts Club
Image: Phoenix Arts Club

Scratch that cabaret itch

London’s venerable Phoenix Arts Club, tucked away under a theatre on Charing Cross Road, has been a second home to generations of West End performers. This March, it’s holding a series of special Friday night cabaret shows. Okay, they’re still only streaming for now, but maybe wet yourself a bit and serve crisps in a bowl, and it’ll be like you’re bloody THERE. 

March 5 sees Stand Up 4 Women with Sikisa, March 12 it’s the bizarre and brilliant Ada Campe, while March 19 hosts Sarah-Louise Young’s springlike ‘Cabaret Whore’ show. Sweet.

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Chilibomb
Photograph: Chilibomb

Get ahead of the Cincinnati chilli curve (it’s a THING)

If you’re not up to speed on your Rust Belt cuisine, you may not be aware that the city of Cincinnati is famous for its chilli parlours. Okay, so Americans find it hard even to spell ‘chilli’, but there you go. Knowing this, your next question must surely be: but why doesn’t London have a dedicated Cincinnati chilli parlour, father? Well, son, now it does. Chilibomb is the hot-breath brainchild of Tim Brice, who’s run some august joints, including The River Café. Now he lives on a barge and cooks chilli. Weird. Anyway, his new restaurant is a temple to Cincinnati-style chilli, both beefy and vegan-y. Plus, you get to shoot up your dinner. Yes, that is a syringe. You effectively get to vaccinate your plate with the desired level of searing hotness. Chilibomb is on Curtain Road in Shoreditch and is just doing delivery and takeaway right now, but this is one food trend we’re well into.

Photograph: Time Out
Photograph: Time Out

Get booking for a sensational summer

Things to do

Feel like all your friends have gone in to a booking frenzy right now? You ain't alone. Since the news that, on March 8, London will begin to open up out of its bleak, bleak lockdown and into a new world of picnics, pubs and possibility, it seems like everyone in the city is logging on to Doodle at the same time, ready to plan their first trip back to Rowan’s. Check out our ever-growing list of summer stuff you can get in the diary now.

 

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See what's on in April

Find great things to do all year round

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