The shorter days, colder evenings and rainy days in London have got 'night in front of the TV' written all over them. But if you can tear yourself away from your central-heated surroundings and all the new movies on Netflix, there are some seriously good things going on to warm you up this autumn – here's our pick of the 19 best things to do in September, October and November 2017.
Björk is coming to town and she's bringing a whole multimedia museum exhibition along with her. Created in collaboration with visual artists and programmers, 'Björk Digital' allows visitors to lose themselves in virtual reality experiments, including a 'Mouthmantra VR', which captures footage from inside the Icelandic superstar's actual mouth.
Roald Dahl's fantastically grotesque couple who dine on beard pickings, bird pie and worm spaghetti are having a dinner party – and you're all invited. Expect stomach-churning cocktails, disgusting dishes courtesy of Bompas & Parr and 'entertainment' laid on by the Twits themselves. Book ahead and be prepared for 'the worst dinner party in the world'.
Are you sitting comfortably? Champion storytellers Crick Crack Club are pairing up with the British Museum for a new season of 'epic Sundays' this autumn. Tales from the museum's collection will brought to life including Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the myth of Hindu goddess Kali and a bonkers Finnish story about a world made of eggshells.
This multi-event, multi-venue, eight-day festival from September 17 to 25 takes place across the capital to bring amazing design both old and new to a vast London audience. The V&A and Somerset House will head things up, alongside eight 'Design Districts' offering their own exhibits of local artists. Get excited – Brixton joins the line-up for the first time this year.
Yep, it's an unlikely proposal, and no, it's not a bunch of people sitting around with earbuds in. Join the cream of the crop this September - including Isy Suttie (pictured above) and the 'My Dad Wrote A Porno' gang –for comedy, journalism and spoken word at London's first festival of podcasts.
Dive into a month-long party full of arts events, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities – all in celebration of our much-loved Thames. The line-up this year features a huge lantern installation by South Korean multimedia artist Ik-Joong Kang, an ex-freight boat that Londoners can explore and beautiful music concerts in the Bascule Chambers underneath Tower Bridge (pictured above).
Enjoy sea shanties, try your hand at coastal crafts and hear some old sea-worthy tales at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, then head over to the Cutty Sark for folk music from The Nest Collective at a land-locked festival devoted to sea arts and culture. Ahoy!
The most controversial, critic-stirring art prize returns for 2016 – and it's as fraught as ever. There’s a giant bum by Anthea Hamilton (above), a miniature train by Josephine Pryde, wobbly sculptures by Michael Dean and trashy yet beautiful constructions by Helen Marten, all making their merry way to Tate Britain.
A second coop of the clucking great fried chicken and cocktails restaurant is due to open in central London this autumn. The new 40-seater venue will serve signature Korean Fried Chicken Buns and the dangerously delicious dipping sauces, as well as newbies like Hot & Numbing Disco Wings and Xian Xian chicken tenders.
There's no doubt that Wunderkind director Robert Icke will bring his trademark sensory-overload intensity to this autumn blockbuster at the National. A psychological thriller with a chilly New England setting, it tells the story of two couples, trapped in the snow in 1969 Connecticut – perfect for those cold, winter nights then.
Directed by modern Brit theatre's go-to avant-gardist Carrie Cracknell and starring Anne-Marie Duff, this new drama about man's relationship with black gold - and beyond, to oil's exhaustion – is an epic play that flies from 1889 to 2016. The slippery tale is also Cracknell's debut at the Almeida, so it's bound to be a good'un.
A master of theatricality and illumination, Caravaggio revolutionised painting in Rome at the end of the 1500s by painting straight on to canvas and using ‘ordinary’ folk as models for religious characters. This new exhibition at the National Gallery looks at his immense influence on art, as well as his followers who tried to copy his spine-tingling artistic abilities.
Swedish musicians Goat – who dress in colourful masks and create voodoo psychedelia, whilst chanting over bongos and Middle Eastern riffs smothered in reverb – will be making their way to the Coronet this October for what promises to be one hell of an intense live experience.
Fifty years since Ken Loach raged against homelessness in his television play 'Cathy Come Home', the British film hero has made a film infused with the same quiet but righteous anger about the failings of the society around him. Single mum Katie is forced to move out of London with her two kids. Watch out for the incredibly moving scene in a food bank.
Released on October 21
David Bowie's 'Lazarus', an avant-garde musical sequel to cult film 'The Man Who Fell to Earth', premiered off-Broadway in the final month of his life. One year on, and it's transferring to King's Cross Theatre this autumn where Michael C Hall (the guy from 'Dexter') will reprise his role as a jaded alien, trapped on Earth, unable to die.
A second edition of this cool little festival will hit Hackney again for one day only this October. A cast of indie acts will play across different venues, including The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones, US punks Fucked Up and Diarrhea Planet – all headlined by Bat For Lashes (above) dancing around in a church.
Paul Nash exerts a strong influence over British painting. If he’s overlooked it’s because, in his powdery vistas, he can come across as mild mannered – too English. This autumn's retrospective will no doubt right that wrong: the eccentricity of his quasi-mystical landscapes and deep, romantic feeling for the land are never far away from the surface.
The Chicago MC Chancelor Bennett who shot to the front of the new rap pack a few years ago with his awesome second mixtape 'Acid Rap' is coming to London this November. Book ahead and expect slick, soulful hip hop with slightly off-centre beats that drop in and out whenever Chance feels like it.
It's an old tradition to welcome the new Lord Mayor in with a massive celebration. Never one to turn down a party, London will host more than 7,000 performers, over 200 horses, more than 150 floats, live musicians and acrobats for a giant procession followed by a huge riverside fireworks display on the Thames. How's that for the first day of a new job?
London at its autumnal best...
Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Please note: Theo Randall at The InterContinental reopened in February 2016 following an interior refurbishment. The review below pertains to our visit in 2013. Eating & Drinking editors, Feb 2016. Since 2006, when Theo Randall, long-time head chef at the River Café, opened this eponymous restaurant its reputation (and Randall’s media profile) has gone from strength to strength. The colourful, spacious dining room is high on comfort, if a little corporate, with cream leather, walnut wood and olive green shades. Service is caring and warm-hearted and the cooking, in our experience, is joyous. The carte is not cheap, featuring luxury produce such as Limousin veal and wild salmon. However, the set menu at lunch and early evening is not dumbed-down, and provides more than a glimpse of the kitchen’s quality output. We were blown away by the subtle combination of smoked eel, golden and red beetroots and horseradish – the dish was simple yet every component sang. Then, a perfect risotto with sea bass, prawns, vongole and monkfish nudged the flavour dial northwards. Wood-roasted guinea fowl, stuffed with parma ham and mascarpone, and served with porcini and portobello mushrooms, brought memories of long sunny Tuscan holidays. Indeed every part of our meal (bread, zucchini fritti, coffee) evoked sighs of pleasure. Portions are generous too; we were so full we had to forgo the Amalfi lemon tart.
Venue says: “Best Italian Restaurant of the Year from the London Restaurant Awards.”