Culture

The best things to do in London this week

What to do, see, eat and drink in the capital

London is packed to the rafters with fantastic exhibitions, talks, plays and events. Here’s everything you need to know about the best things to do in London this week, including two new spots to add to your weekend plans.

Drum out some stress at BeatOrbit

BeatOrbit is the newest addition to Camden’s famed music scene. However, the drums here aren’t for professionals. In fact, they’re best used by absolutely beginners – think GuitarHero, but with snares.  That’s because BeatOrbit is an totally unique, immersive social activity, where you drum competitively as a group for an hour at a time. Sound like a lot? The time flies by, as the songs you drum to get harder, and you try to retain your high score. And the best bit is that it’s totally absorbing, so stress and anxiety have to be left at the door when you enter the studio.

From £25, The Studio, 38B Georgiana Street, London NW1 0EB, beatorbit.live

Clos 19 x Refettorio Felix supper club

Head west this week to Kensington, and join the latest instalment of Clos 19’s supper club partnership with charity Refettorio Felix. It’ll be hosted by Éric Chavot, head chef of Bob Bob Cité, who’ll draw on his background of traditional French cuisine to create a three-course menu made from surplus food. The aim? To raise awareness around food waste and help the charity support vulnerable homeless people. All proceeds go to Refettorio Felix, and in return you’ll be in for an evening of world-class cooking, paired with drinks from the Clos19 portfolio such as Veuve Clicquot, and Moët & Chandon.

£90, 17 October, Refettorio Felix at St Cuthbert’s, 51 Philbeach Gardens, Kensington, SW5 9EB, UK, clos19.com

Hennessy Nights at Nolita

New York without the eight hour flight? We’re sold. This month Knightsbridge speakeasy Nolita is launching Hennessy Nights, a series of live jazz and blues evenings with bespoke Hennessy cognac cocktails. It’s the perfect chance to hide away from these dark October evenings.

18 and 25 October, 4 Knightsbridge Green, Knightsbridge SW1X 7QA, nolitasocial.co.uk

Pergola Paddington’s new winter forest

Just opened is Pergola Paddington’s new winter look – and it’s all a bit leafy. The roof space has been transformed for winter into an urban forest, complete with new trees and foliage, a star-strewn ceiling and hidden nooks where you can get cosy. Plus, there’s a menu of winter cocktails, and the street food traders have introduced new dishes for the colder months, too. Anyone fancy a trip after work?

Open now, 4 Kingdom Street, London W2 6PY, pergolalondon.com

Brunch at Lino

The focus of City restaurant and bar Lino is to waste as little food as possible, and re-use as many ingredients as possible, too. Its new brunch menu is a testament to this, with the salmon cured in-house, the sausages made in the kitchen from scratch, and the salt cod brandade made from the offcuts of fish dishes leftover from daily operations. The bottomless drinks are also created using this ethos, with a punch made from bin end wines, homemade vermouth and cordials from spent ingredients. It’s brunch – but with even more of a feel-good approach.

Every Saturday, 11AM-3PM, 90 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7EB, linolondon.co.uk

Cubitts arrives in Notting Hill

Ever searching to be a step apart, Cubitts has taken inspiration from controversial architect Ernő Goldfinger for its ninth store in Notting Hill. Goldfinger designed the nearby Trellick Tower, which Cubitts has used to create its new  minimalist Sixties interiors aesthetic. He also created the Brutalist Odeon cinema in Elephant & Castle, which can be seen in the signage and shelving in the shop. The furniture is inspired by pieces Goldfinger had at 2 Willow Road, his 1930s home in Hampstead that is now owned by the National Trust. Much like most of Goldfinger’s work, the result is eye-catching – and will provide ample inspiration for your next glasses purchase.

Open now, 312 Portobello Road, London W10 5RU, cubitts.com

Designed In Cuba: Cold War Graphics

For the first time the graphic design from Cuba’s golden age of creation is being displayed in London. The House of Illustration is bringing together 100 posters and 70 magazines that were created between 1966 and 1992, and distributed worldwide by OSPAAAL: Fidel Castro’s Organisation of Solidarity of the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, which was founded to promote cooperation between socialist countries and liberation movements. Among the collection are works condemning the apartheid movement in South Africa, expressing solidarity with the Black Panther movement, and criticising Guantanamo Bay. It’s a potted history of the modern world, as seen from the other side of the Iron Curtain. (Above art: Day of the Heroic Guerilla, 1968, Helena Serrano)

Until 19 January 2020, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BH, houseofillustration.org.uk

Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy’s expansive main rooms have been cleared of its Summer Exhibition, and in its place has been installed the most ambitious exhibition of Antony Gormley’s work in over a decade. Comprising works from across his 45-year career alongside major new installations created for the Royal Academy, highlights include ‘Host’, for which Gormley has flooded an entire room with water and mud, and ‘Lost Horizon I’, in which 24 of Gormley’s famous life-size figures are displayed across the floor, ceiling and walls, challenging our sense of perspective. Like Olafur Eliasson at the Tate Modern, this exhibition is set to be a popular one, so book ahead to ensure you get in.

Tickets from £18, until 3 December, Burlington House, Piccadilly W1J 0BD, royalacademy.org.uk

Book a treatment at Linnaean 

Your new grooming go-to, Linnaean is a one-stop destination for wellness. There’s a cafe with a plant-based menu that spotlights speciality ingredients known to have healthful properties, as well as a hair and grooming salon, and a spa. The latter features some the best and most innovative non-invasive and non-surgical treatments from around the world, including oxygen therapy and microneedling. If you’re looking for something a little more low key, then its selection of nourishing facials and massages will fit the bill.

2 New Union Square, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AX, linnaean.co.uk

Enjoy a 56-year old Scotch at the world’s oldest barbershop

Truefitt & Hill and The Last Drop Distillers have teamed up to provide their customers with the ultimate pairing: a treatment your of choice worth £50, to be enjoyed with a dram of The Last Drop’s 56 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, which usually costs £3,750 per bottle. Head down to Truefitt & Hill barbershop in the heart of St James’ Street and use the password ‘Mr Espey sent me’ (referencing the whisky brand’s chairman and co-founder) to receive yours. The experience is available until the last dram of the bottle is reached, so get there quick.

71 St James’s Street, City of Westminster, London, SW1A 1PH, truefittandhill.co.uk

Check out the cheese toastie menu at the Red Hand

Cheese toasties are the ultimate comfort food, so what better way to mark this week’s Autumn Equinox than by checking out the dedicated new menu at the Red Hand? These are no ordinary toasties, though: choose from the Morbier Ash, with Morbier Ash cheese, spicy black beans and pickled jalapeños, and the Salami & Blue, with Bleu D’Auvergne, Finnochiona salami, pickled fennel and rocket, and black cherry sauce. Wash yours down with one of the Red Hand’s on-tap negronis, or a pint from its plentiful menu of craft beers.

36-38 Stoke Newington Road, Hackney Downs, London N16 7XJ, red-hand.co.uk

Joe & Co has popped-up in Notting Hill

Joe Mills is celebrating twenty years at the top of the barbering game by opening the first pop-up version of his cool Soho salon Joe & Co in Notting Hill. Located on the lower ground floor of Westbourne Grove menswear outpost Woodhouse, it might only consist of one chair, but you’ll still find the same great service and Baxter’s of California products as you would in as Soho. However this differs from Soho in once major way – it’s open on a Sunday (the first time Joe & Co has offered this). Open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 12-5pm, Woodhouse is also offering 25 per cent off your first cut here until the end of the month – just mention the offer to the staff when you’re booking.

Woodhouse, 189 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2SB, book an appointment by calling +44 (0)207 792 8253, joeandco.net

Martin Miller’s Gin takeover at Texture 

Martin Miller’s Gin is celebrating its Icelandic-English heritage by forming an impressive trio with Michelin-starred Icelandic restaurant Texture and floral design expert Fabienne Egger to create a completely immersive dining experience. Surrounded by moss-adorned walls in Texture’s private dining room, diners are transported from the hustle and bustle of the Marylebone to the Icelandic countryside with a four course menu featuring Icelandic salmon and lamb and, of course, gin cocktails to complement.

£130 per person for bookings of eight to 14 people, until 21 December at Texture, 34 Portman St, Marylebone W1H 7BY, book at texture-restaurant.co.uk

Kerb’s new Seven Dials Market 

The street food masters at Kerb have left the pavement for their first-ever permanent bricks and mortar space. Taking its home in a converted banana warehouse, the market has something for everyone – from Claw’s lobster rolls for the seafood enthusiast to an all-vegan eatery in the form of Club Mexicana, featuring all the plant-based delights you could wish for. If that wasn’t enough, the market itself includes the UK’s first cheese conveyor belt at Pick & Cheese. 

Kerb, Earlham Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9LX, sevendialsmarket.com

Panerai Submersible pop-up at Harrods

This autumn the Harrods Fine Watch Room has been taken over by Florentine watch brand Panerai, which has transformed the space into an immersive underwater world inhabited by octopi, sharks and sunken warships. The display is to showcase the new Panerai Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition – 47 mm, which was inspired by Guillaume Néry, a professional diver and four-times free-diving world champion. Are you ready to dive in?

Until 31 October, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge SW1X 7XL, harrods.com

Luke Selby at Mortimer House

Friday and Saturday nights at Mortimer House are the place to eat this September. From the 6th Luke Selby, ex-head chef of Michelin-starred Hide, will be cooking an all-new menu exclusively for Mortimer House, alongside his two brothers Theo and Nathaniel. The residency will spotlight fresh British produce, blend classic techniques with elements of theatre, and will include Selby’s roasted native English lobster, a dish that scored 10/10 from Angela Hartnett during the Great British Menu 2019 competition. For the first time in Mortimer House’s guest chef series, Selby will also be serving his menu for Sunday lunch, too.

Friday-Saturday, 6.30pm – 10pm, Sunday lunch starts from 12pm-3pm, call Mortimer House on 020 7139 4499, or for more information email guestchef@mortimerhouse.com, mortimerhouse.com

Sunday Beef Club at Rotunda

Turn your Sunday brunch up a notch by taking a trip to Kings Cross’s Rotunda, a zen spot overlooking the peaceful canal. Its Sunday Beef Club is a four-course sharing feast, starting with canapés and a Bloody Mary, before moving on to a sea food platter that includes H. Forman & Son smoked salmon, dressed Cornish crab, and Atlantic prawns. The main event is, of course, the roast sirloin of beef from Rotunda’s very own Corneyside Farm in Matfen, Northumberland, served with all the trimmings and a half bottle of wine. Finishing it up is a choice of dessert, paired with an Espresso martini, Irish coffee, or port. Indulgent, yes. But is there a better way to spend a Sunday?

£65 per person including drinks, or £45 per person without, 90 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 9AG, rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk

Chihuly Nights at Kew Gardens

American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly – the artist behind the stunningly intricate and impressively sizeable installation in the lobby of the V&A – is bringing his colourful work to Kew Gardens. Peppered among the foliage both outside in the grounds and inside the hot houses, the best way to experience the exhibition is after dark during one of the Chihuly Nights events. From 7.30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for the next two months, the botanical garden will be staying open late to let guests experience the sculptures, not only masterfully illuminated but also imbued with ever-changing ambient music commissioned to reflect the artist’s use of glass and breath. Talk about seeing something in a whole new light.

Tickets £18, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7.30pm to 10.30pm until 26 October, Richmond TW9 3AB, kew.org

Afternoon tea at Thomas’s

Just in time for London Fashion Week, Burberry’s in-house café Thomas’s is launching its own take on the tradition. Comprising a selection of traditional British sandwiches, like beef, smoked salmon and cucumber, alongside scones and cakes created specially for the occasion, the afternoon tea makes the perfect pitstop for an afternoon’s shopping in St James.

5 Vigo Street, Mayfair, London W1S 3HA, burberry.com

Louisiana crawfish boil at Plaquemine Lock

Every Monday night until December, Cajun and Creole restaurant Plaquemine Lock is celebrating crayfish season with a traditional New Orleans-style ‘crawfish’ boil. Served as part of a three-course feast, the crayfish are cooked and served in their shells, alongside potato salad, Cajun slaw, Andouille sausage and corn on the cob. These crawfish are definitely not intended to be eaten with a knife and fork.

Until December, from £30, 7.30pm at Plaquemine Lock, 139 Graham Street, The Angel, London N1 8LB, plaqlock.com

Secret Rivers at Museum of London Docklands

London and the Thames are inextricably linked. But it’s London’s other waterways that form the basis of this new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, which uses archaeological artefacts, art, photography and film to reveal stories of life by London’s rivers, streams, and brooks. As well as exploring why many of them were lost over time, it also examines how they shaped and changed the city over the centuries.

Until 27 October, West India Quay, No.1 Warehouse, Hertsmere Road, London E14 4AL, museumoflondon.org.uk

Food: Bigger Than The Plate at the V&A

The V&A’s latest in-depth exhibition explores what we’ll be eating in 50 years’ time. From edible plastic and insect sausages, to farming by AI, it examines the technology that’ll shape our dinners in the decades to come, as well as investigating the cultural and community shifts of mindset that will have to happen to make sure we all have a more sustainable and fair food future. You can even sample part of the exhibition itself in the V&A’s cafe, where oyster mushrooms are being grown from used coffee beans, and served up on the menu.

Until 20 October 2019, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, vam.ac.uk