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Things to do in London today

The day’s best events, all in one place – it’s your social emergency saviour for things to do today

Guilty Pleasures at KOKO
© Mark Box
By Time Out London editors |
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There are thousands of things to do in London every day, taking place in weird, wonderful and gorgeous venues across the capital. To make your choice of what to do today a little easier, we've picked our favourite things to get you started. If you're looking for things to do this weekend too, check out our guides to what's on in London this Friday, this Saturday and this Sunday. Planning even further ahead? Here's all the great things going on in London each month

RECOMMENDED: read the full Time Out London hot list here

1
Carolina Faruolo
Things to do, Quirky events

Look What You Made Me Do

icon-location-pin Moth Club, Hackney
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Swifties unite! Boogie the night away to Taylor Swift hit after Taylor Swift hit. Swiftogeddon will be manning the decks and taking revellers all the way through Swifty's back catalogue, including deep cuts, extended mixes, fan favourites and all the hits. Just don’t expect any Kanye.

2
Things to do, Performances

Gay Garage

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
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Time to re-e-wind at this queer-friendly party. Get ready to two-step until the early hours of the morning as party starters Gay Garage will bring you a rundown of favourite old school tunes for a whole seven-and-a-half hours.

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3
Things to do, Film events

Meals on Reels: Napoleon Dynamite

icon-location-pin The Signal, Forest Hill
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Clutch your ChapStick (for when your ‘lips hurt real bad!’) and get ready to dance to Jamiroquai's Canned Heat in joy, as the 2004 cult classic is getting the Meals on Reels treatment. Think: tater tots, corn dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, extra cheesy nachos and a slap-worthy steak.

4
Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Oriole

icon-location-pin Farringdon and Smithfield

This is the second time I’ve found myself twitching on the RSPB’s website. But it had to be done because the team behind celebrated City cocktail spot Nightjar (as in the squat, nocturnal songbird) have gone and opened another avian-named bar, this one in Smithfield. This particular species is an enigmatic creature with exotic green and yellow plumage, so we’re in no doubt: Oriole is Nightjar’s showy little sister.  Oriole bears some of the same ‘speakeasy’ hallmarks. It’s already impossible to get a table at short notice and we were held at the door until radioed in, when a golden curtain was pulled back to reveal a darkened staircase. It is a lovely curtain, though. And there is a certain theatricality to entering this beauty of a basement bar. Flashes of on-theme jade and gold in leather and fur furnishings punctuate the room, while a stunning print of a tropical, palm-tree-covered landscape adorns one of the walls.  Naturally, a drink here comes at quite a cost. There’s a cover charge for jazz – dearer than it is at Nightjar and harder to avoid, since the music here kicks off at 8.30pm (though it is free on Monday and Tuesday). We also found fault with the bar food: a tempting menu shows promise, but black truffle croquettes (£5) had a sad, gloopy texture and sea bass ceviche (£6.50) lacked depth of flavour. But, of course, you come here for the drinks – and they are so on the money, with cocktails as creative as any you’ll find in London. They’re set out across three

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5
Things to do, Festivals

Shake it Up! A Shakespeare Festival for Shoreditch

icon-location-pin Various, London
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Got it bad for The Bard? Well, ye olde favourite poet is getting a  shake up at this Shoreditch-based festival full of pop-up events. Expect works by internationally acclaimed choir The Sixteen, ruff making workshops, walking tours by Look Up London and comedy by The School of Night.

6
'Batuke!' at Rich Mix
© Fonteini
Things to do, Festivals

Batuke Festival

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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Celebrate Afro-Luso culture at this four-day arts festival. Take part in dance workshops in Kizomba, Semba, Ginga, Afro and Afrobeats, watch theatre performances and screenings, and browse the Afro Marketplace.

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7
Restaurants, Indian

Farzi Cafe

icon-location-pin Leicester Square

The first London outpost of a modern Indian fusion chain. Buns, goat, rice. The three dishes that, if you’re heading to this Indian fusion hangout, should be standing on the top of your hit list. Not necessarily in that order.

Venue says Spices lie at the very heart of Indian cooking, and our chefs create the perfect balance between authentic and cutting edge cuisine.

Time Out says
8
Bars and pubs

The Beer Shop

icon-location-pin Nunhead

The Beer Shop is bringing a pint-sized version of the Notting Hill Carnival to Nunhead by serving up mango and passion fruit-flavoured ales out of its lovely open-plan micro-pub. Wear your loudest tropical shirt.

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9
© Cindy Sherman. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery.
Art

Cindy Sherman

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Charing Cross Road
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This expansive retrospective gives you self-portraits through the ages by this serious contemporary art giant. Sherman is angry, cynical and really damn good.

Time Out says
10
the spread eagle
Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

The Spread Eagle

icon-location-pin Homerton

Party animals can go animal-free – this pub boasts a vegan menu, conscious (ie vegan) candles and non-leather upholstery. Enjoy late-night sinning without feeling guilty the morning after.

Time Out says

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