Category Archives: Festival

Wandsworth Common Beer Festival

The weather has taken a good turn this week, so why not head to the Wandsworth Common Beer Festival this weekend?

With over 100 beers from across the country, there’s enough to suit every taste.  Children are welcome in the afternoons and along with the beer there’s plenty of entertainment on hand – they’re even showing the Wales v England match this afternoon.

Non-beer fans needn’t worry – cider and wine is on tap too.

Entry is a mere £2 (£1 CAMRA) and it’s all on at the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building on John Archer Way.

Head down there 1-11pm on Saturday and 1-4pm on Sunday.

Nearest Station: Wandsworth Town

 

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Filed under Festival, Food & Drink, SW London

Hop into the year of the Rabbit

Kung hei fat choi!

That’s happy new year to you and me, yes – we’ve made it through to another Chinese New Year.  One of my favourite times of year, there are plenty of ways to get involved and see what makes it so special.

Thursday, Feb 3 and Friday, Feb 4

Burlesque dancer

Chinese New Year Cabaret

For an alternative way to see in the new year, head on down to Volupte to see Marianne Cheesecake host Suri Sumatra and Rachel Ong as they bellydance and burlesque their way through the evening.

There are two shows starting at 6:30pm and 9:30pm at Volupte, 9 Norwich Street.  It’s £15 entry.

Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane

Saturday, Feb 5

Drop-in Day

The National Portrait Gallery is holding its annual Chinese New Year drop-in day.  I went to this last year and it was great fun…it’s aimed at kids really, with lots of story telling, but the performances can be enjoyed by all ages.  You can see traditional dancing and acrobatics, and learn about the Chinese calendar.

It’s free entry and on 1pm-4pm.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross/Leicester Square

Chinese Lanterns in NYC's Chinatown

Lantern Making

Get the kids involved and get over to the Geffrye Museum this Saturday.  Here you’ll be able to make Chinese lanterns using paper from the museum’s collection.

Activities are for those aged 11-16 and are free.

The Geffrye Museum is on Kingsland Road, and the event runs 10:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-4pm.

Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street/Old Street, then 149, 242 or 243 bus

Saturday, Feb 5 and Sunday, Feb 6

Chinese Calligraphy

Another one for the kids, this time you can learn to write in the Chinese art of calligraphy.

For children aged 6+.

It’s taking place at the Museum of London Docklands from 12pm-3pm

Nearest Tube: West India Quay (DLR)

Old Chinatown

The original Chinatown in London was in Limehouse – now’s your chance to have a tour around the area and find out what things were like in those days on this walking tour.

Tours are on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm each day, and tickets can be booked here (scroll to the bottom of the page).  Tickets cost £6, £5 concession.

The tours leave from the Museum of London Docklands (see above for details)

Lion dancing through the streets

Sunday, Feb 6

Paint Your Own Rabbit

Another activity at the Museum of London Docklands, this time you can paint your own ceramic bunny to take home.  Suitable for ages 3+.

It’s free and painting takes place at 12:30pm-1:30pm and 2:30pm-3:30pm.

The Main Event

This is it! The big celebration in Chinatown.  Loads of stuff is happening around Trafalgar Square and Shaftesbury Avenue on Sunday.

The opening ceremony kicks off at 12pm in Trafalgar Square, followed by dragon and lion dances, acrobatics, music and dance.

Chinatown will be awash with food and trinket stalls – but the traditional fireworks display that normally goes on in Leicester Square are cancelled this week, due to the work that’s going on there.

Celebrations will be on 12pm-6pm.

Nearest Tubes: Charing Cross or Leicester Square

 

 

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London International Mime Festival

”                                                    “

Sorry, was just miming out that this weekend sees the start of the London International Mime Festival.  Did you get it?

Hmm, I’d better tell you about it then.

It starts on Saturday, January 15th – and there are all sorts of things to be getting involved with.

Not only are there lots of performances to go and see (click here for the listings and how to get tickets), but there are also workshops to have fun with.

Topics include ‘Creating Theatre and Performance’, ‘Introduction to Commedia for Performance’ – based on the old Italian mime shows, and ‘Clown Through Mask’.  Information on all of these – and others – can be found here.

The performances include mime, mask work, acrobatics, circus skills, animation and puppetry. Venues include Southbank Centre, Barbican, ICA, Roundhouse and Royal Opera House.

Ticket prices vary.  The festival runs until January 30th.

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Agatha Christie Weekender

Not quite the same as a music event, but an event nonetheless – and if you like playing Cluedo in your spare time this could be the thing for you.

This weekend sees the British Film Institute host a weekend dedicated to the work of Agatha Christie.

You’ll have a chance to see screenings and onstage activity, and a carriage from the Orient Express will be stationed outside the Royal Festival Hall for you to have a gander.

Tickets for the screenings are available here, but be quick – there are only a few seats left for tomorrow’s activities.

Nearest Tube: Waterloo/Embankment/Charing Cross

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Thames Festival

Another week, another festival.  This week, it’s the turn of The Mayor’s Thames Festival – a weekend long jolly along the river between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge.

There are tons of activities and events to keep you occupied, and areas along the river are split up into four zones so you know where you need to be for each one.

Highlights look like:

Feast On The Bridge

Does what it says on the tin….it kicks off on Southwark Bridge (which is in Zone 3, fyi) at noon on Saturday and continues long into the night, ending around 10pm.  As well as all the food, you can feast yourself on the live music, dancing and baking – and that’s just for starters.

Photography Masterclasses

On both Saturday and Sunday, there’s a free drop-in photography masterclass in Zone 1, based on a first come, first served basis.  Once you’ve got all your tips, get snapping and you could win a new camera by entering the festival’s photo competition.

Walk and Explore

On Saturday, you can join a charity walk which explores the streets of London.  There are three walking challenges to choose from, and there’s an optional donation to take part in the event – click here for more information.  The walk officially starts at 10:30am (although it sounds like you can turn up at any time) from outside the front of the Tate Modern.

Festival Market

Covering all zones and running on both days, the Festival Market will be showcasing independent shops and designers, selling things from arts & crafts to food. With over 300 traders, you’re sure to find something you like!

Thames River Parade

Saturday sees a parade along the Thames of all who use it.  From barges to tugs to cruiseliners – you got it.  It sets off at 2:30pm from the Queen Elizabeth II Pier outside the O2 – click here for the full itinerary.

Beach Activities

Hang on to summer by hitting the beach on the foreshore at Gabriel’s Wharf (in Zone 2) on Sunday.  Activities include sandcastle making and wellie throwing. Suitable for all ages, all equipment for the activities will be provided.

Carnival and Fireworks

Concluding the Festival, a 2000-strong parade of dancers and musicians start partying at 7:15pm from Victoria Embankment.  The procession finishes around 9:15pm behind the National Theatre in time for fireworks, which will be going off from two barges stationed on the river between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges.  The display starts at 9:45pm.

The Festival is happening this Saturday and Sunday, September 11-12.

Nearest Tube: London Bridge/Waterloo/Embankment/Southwark/Tower Hill/Borough

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Filed under Central London, Festival, Food & Drink, Historical, Local interest, Markets, Music, S London

More London Free Film Festival

The days are getting shorter, the evenings getting darker…but there’s light at the end of the Southbank, because during September you can get yourself down to some free film screenings at The Scoop, courtesy of More London.

Starting next week – Wednesday, September 15, to be exact – the More London Free Film Festival will run until October 1 showing an array of films in The Scoop, a riverside open air amphitheatre.

Week 1 films are Up In The Air, The Kite Runner and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Week 2 films are The Hurt Locker, North by Northwest and Pretty Woman.

Week 3 films are Invictus, Up and Dirty Dancing.

The films run Wednesday – Friday each week and start at 7:30pm. Click here for a synopsis of the films.

You don’t need to book seats, but make sure to turn up early as it’s a strict first-come first-served policy.  In the event of rain the films are likely to be cancelled.  There’ll also be food and drink on offer from the bar.

The Scoop is located between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the south bank of the Thames.

Nearest Tubes: London Bridge, Tower Hill

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Open House, Open City

Normally closed to the public, the Arsenal in NYC’s Central Park was one of the buildings I visited as part of Open City in New York

Ever been having a stroll around London (do people ‘stroll’ in London?) and seen a house you’ve thought ‘that looks lovely.  Wonder what it’s like inside…’?

Well, now’s your chance to have a nosy around some of London’s best loved buildings, as well as somearchitecturally interesting homes.

Open House London is happening on September 18 & 19, enabling you to have a look around all these places for FREE.  There are over 700 buildings, architectural walks, cycle tours and more to keep you busy over the weekend.

I went to Open House in New York City once, and it was a really great way to get to know the city and find out some interesting nuggets of info on the buildings.

You have to book for some of the viewings/talks – so order your guide here to get the full listing of events and buildings.  (The guide costs £6.50)

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