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29 wonderful things to do in London this weekend

Alexandra Sims

It’s the final weekend of February. Wave goodbye to this cold and frosty month by life-drawing IRL guinea pigs, having a literal piss-up in a brewery with Camden Town Brewery, practising your skating skills on Canary Wharf Ice Rink for the final time this year and getting a look at everyday North Korean life at the House of Illustration’s new exhibition. Have a good ‘un. 


‘Quentin Blake: Arrows of Love’. House of Illustration. Sat-Sun. £8.25. Get an eyeful of Blake’s rarely-seen nudes drawn by the king of illustration in the 1970s. Eighteen original sketches are on show, selected from his personal archive.

‘The York Realist’. Donmar Warehouse. Sat. £10-£40. See this poignant love story set in ‘60s Yorkshire. It’s quietly devastating with heartbreaking power.

Made in North Korea: Everyday Graphics from the DPRK. House of Illustration. Sat-Sun. £7.50. Get a look at everyday items, from sweet wrappers to posters and stamps, which offer insight into North Korea’s state-controlled graphic output and a glimpse into the closed society.

Bread Ahead’s Real Bread Week Celebration. Borough Market. Sun. Free. Got love for loaves? Go full‑on ‘Bake Off’ and drop off your perfectly kneaded sourdough or yeasted loaf to Bread Ahead. You might nab yourself an £80 bakery school voucher for your pain.

Independent Label Market. West Handyside Canopy. Sat-Sun. Free. After a successful winter fair, the ILM returns to Canopy Market in King’s Cross this weekend. Flick through fresh vinyl produced by labels from across the UK.

Girls and Boys. Royal Court. Sat. £12-£45. See Carey Mulligan perform a whirlwind monologue in Dennis Kelly’s new play which offers a disquieting look at gender. It’s a rare chance to see a Hollywood star holding her own in an experimental solo show.

‘Dust’. Soho Theatre. Sat. £10. Alice, the protagonist of this edgy comedy, is dead. Watch Milly Thomas’s skill as a writer and performer as she balances the boisterous humour and slightly absurdist nature of Alice's afterlife.

Hantastic! Traditional Chinese Dress Experience. China Exchange. Sun. £20. Take your Chinese New Year celebrations to the next level at this workshop, where you’ll dress up in traditional Han Chinese clothing and practice some classical dance steps.

London Fashion Week Festival. The Store Studios. Sat-Sun. From £20. Got a passion for extremely beautiful (and pricey) fashion? Sit in the front row for a show and peruse 150 brands while swinging your comp tote bag. Fancy.


Life Drawing with Guinea Pigs. Camden’s Daughter. Sat. £22. Rekindle your love for your furry childhood pal as you sketch guinea pig portraits in this super-cute wildlife drawing workshop.

Social Bingo Academy. 180 Arlington Road, Camden Town. Sat. £5-£15. Knock on the Door. Man Alive. If this means nothing to you, brush up on your skills (they’re bingo calls fyi) at this boot camp, which gives punters the lowdown on dabbing numbers and bingo lingo.

Moving Hearts Workshop. Clay Time. Sun. Free. Get stuck into clay heart-making before taking your handiwork out on a Moving Hearts Procession, which muses on themes of migration.

Big Brewery Bottomless Brunch. Camden Town Brewery. Sat. £27. Camden Town Brewery is opening the doors to their Enfield brewhouse so you can neck back bottomless Hells for two hours, alongside top-notch grub from The Horseshoe pub.


Canary Wharf Ice RinkCanada Square Park. Sat. From £14.50. It’s your very last chance to skate on the rink at Canary Wharf before it closes this weekend. Don’t miss the winter-themed bar and the special skate path taking slip-and-sliders through a series of twinkling trees.

Craft Beer Rising. Old Truman Brewery. Sat. From £15. This’ll make you hoppy: a festival showcasing bevvies from 175 of the world’s best breweries. Expect an overflowing line-up of street food, DJ sets and dead delicious suds.

‘Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World’Whitechapel Gallery. Sat-Sun. Free. See this powerful retrospective of US artist Mark Dion, including the return of ‘Tate Thames Dig’ – the result of him digging through the Thames’s mud and cataloguing the finds.

Weino BIB39 Balls Pond Rd. Box wine may remind you of messy festival moments, but it’s friendly on both your wallet and the environment. Our bar of the week specialises in the stuff, offering unusual, natural and biodynamic wines at a snip of the cost.

South West Breweries Tap Takeover Weekend. Mason & Company. Sat-Sun. £11.37. Sip on amber suds created by five breweries from the south west of England at this weekend tap takeover. Then join in with the tutored tasting, which lets you sample a third of each variety.



‘DC Exhibition: Dawn of Super Heroes’The O2. Sat-Sun. £18. Calling all comic-book nerds! Get a behind-the-scenes look at the artwork, models and props used to create the mythical worlds of all your fave superheroes.

Southwark QueerstoryPeckham Levels. Sat-Sun. Free. Celebrate LGBT+ History Month at this exhibition exploring queer culture in Southwark. Learn forgotten stories of trans Londoners in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, ‘60s pub drag culture and the emergence of the gay disco scene in Camberwell in the ‘80s.

‘The Empathy Museum – A Mile in My Shoes: Migration’. Migration Museum. Sat-Sun. Free. It’s your final chance to get to know 20 migrants and refugees at this immersive audio exhibition, each telling their stories about how they came to the UK.

‘David Milne: Modern Painting’Dulwich Picture Gallery. Sat-Sun. £15.50. This show is the story of one man figuring out what the ‘modern’ world is about, and what place painting might have in it. It’s intense and properly affecting.

The Big London Flea. Epic Dalston. Sun. Free. There’ll be hordes of vintage stalls to hunt through at this mega flea. Market traders will set up shop alongside locals clearing out their attic to sell pre-loved clothes, kitchenware, oddities and accessories. Keep your eyes peeled for a bargain.

Mardi GrasPop Brixton. Sat. Free. Mark Mardi Gras by chomping down on Louisiana-themed food and drink, having your fortune told and listening to authentic N’awlins buskers. Let the good times roll!

Cotton’s Winter Beach Party. Cotton Vauxhall. Sat. £20-£35. Start looking forward to summer by tucking into jerk pork ribs, then cutting a rug to Steel Pan in Motion’s laid-back calypso and live reggae at this beach party from Cotton’s.

The South London Vintage Furniture Flea. Balham SDA Church. Sun. £2-£3. The UK’s biggest vintage fair returns to south London for a furniture-filled edition, offering up stalls packed with vintage chairs, barware, textiles, record players, lamps and more.

‘Juliet and Romeo’. Battersea Arts Centre. Sat. £15-£18. See the last showing of this offbeat theatre piece set at a therapy session. It’s intense and gorgeous.


Megan’s by the Green. 57-69 Parsons Green Lane. Our restaurant of the week is this pizza and posh kebabs spot. It serves filthily delicious food in a magical setting.

Hugglets Winter BearFest. Kensington Town Hall. Sun. £4. Calling all teddy collectors and connoisseurs. This toy fest is back with over 10,000 teddies for sale. There are bears for all budgets and a teddy bear hospital on hand for any well-loved and injured bears.

And finally

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Main image: Alistair Beavis/Flickr

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