Culture

The best things to do in London this week

Count: 1

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

In terms of art, culture, food and drink, London is unbeatable. This week, we bring you the very best of what the capital has to offer, from a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s most villainous baddie at London’s oldest theatre, to an exhibition that challenges us to look at the limits of human perception.

Richard III at Alexandra Palace theatre

Shakespeare’s most iconic villain comes to London’s oldest theatre this week, launching Alexandra Palace’s newly restored and revitalised space. Starring Tom Mothersdale, in a production by director John Haidar, Richard III is the first big headliner to tread the theatre’s newly laid boards since it reopened in December 2018. The inside has been left in a state of decaying glory, making it a fittingly gothic location to host twisted, autocratic King Richard.

Tickets from £9.50, until 30 March, Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY, alexandrapalace.com

Kaleidoscope at Saatchi Gallery

A apt exhibition for our fake news world. Kaleidoscope opens at the Saatchi Gallery this week, showcasing nine contemporary artists’ views on human perception – and how it can be distorted. Works include Laura Buckley’s interactive kaleidoscope, Whitney Bedford’s marine landscapes and the politically informed sculptures of Mia Feuer.

Until 5 May,  Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY, saatchigallery.com

Well Suited with Thom Sweeney and Phillips London

An exhibition made for The Jackal. This week, Thom Sweeney is teaming up with auction house Phillips London for Well Suited, an exhibition that showcases some of the world’s finest watches alongside bespoke suits from the Mayfair tailor. Up to 25 rare and exciting watches will be up for sale, by brands including Richard Mille, Grand Seiko and Philippe Dufour. Also on display will be a selection of bespoke tailoring from Thom Sweeney, as well as a working cutting room, where tailors will be beavering away for the duration of the exhibition. If watches and tailoring are your thing – and they’re definitely ours – then this is the Holy Grail of exhibitions. 

15-21 March, 30 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 6EX, phillips.com

Eat at AOK Kitchen

A restaurant that specialises in dishes free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar would usually never be my first choice for a wet and windy weekday evening. ‘I hope it’s not too healthy,’ I texted my friend beforehand. ‘I’m starving!’ But AOK Kitchen is no temple to clean eating. Although its menu is dedicated to accommodating said dietary requirements, its approach is more joyous than pious. Founded by modern-day restaurateur Kelly Landesberg, it’s inspired by authentic Mediterranean cooking, as well as California’s sunny approach to getting your five a day. The restaurant is dominated by two living olive trees, recently shipped over direct from Greece, as my friendly server informed me. Hand-painted silk wallpaper, green leather banquettes and marble floors finish the elegant interior, cementing its position as the latest addition to Marylebone’s swish dining scene.

The food was also as far from what you’d expect of a ‘free from’ menu as possible. Vegetables were bright, flavour-filled and sunshine-fresh, while the burrata oozed delicious goo (so not totally dairy free, then), and my generous hunk of salmon was lightly roasted before being doused in honey. So far, so delicious. The cocktail menu was also more than up to scratch, with the in-house twists on classic drinks proving a satisfyingly naughty-but-nice way to round off the evening. Go, eat, and challenge your idea of healthy eating once and for all.

Open now, 52-55 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NQ, aokkitchen.co.uk

The Runaway

If you’re training for the London Marathon, heading to the pub probably isn’t first on your to-do list (or at least it shouldn’t be). But how about a pub where you can pay for your pints in miles run? New Balance has teamed up with fitness app Strava to launch The Runaway, a pub on Charing Cross Road aimed at helping people for the London Marathon. Together, they’ve launch four running challenges on the app, specifically focused around key marathon training milestones. Upon joining the challenges, users with receive a Runaway Card, which fills with the miles you run and can be exchanged for pints in the pub for you and a friend. Even better, even if you’re not in training for the marathon, you can still join in as long as you’ve ticked off the miles.

Open every Sunday until 21 April, newbalance.co.uk

Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern

You’ll have heard of Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst – but the name Dorothea Tanning might elude you. This new exhibition at Tate Modern sets out to change that. Tanning was an artist with a seven-decade long career to rival any of her male counterparts – and her innovative fragmented canvases and fabric sculptures pushed the boundaries of surrealism. This exhibition is the first of its kind in 25 years, and brings together 100 of her works, from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures.

Until 9 June 2019, tate.org.uk

Dianne Arbus: In The Beginning at the Hayward Gallery

Photographer Dianne Arbus, who ‘transformed the art of photography,’ according to critic Michael Kimmelman, is celebrated for her images of ordinary – and extraordinary – people in mid-20th century New York. This exhibition at the Hayward Gallery follows how she begun, at the age of 33, to explore the streets of NYC with her camera, asking questions like: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘How do I become the person I want to be?’ In particular, it’s her engagement with her subjects makes her images stand out.

Until 6 May, southbankcentre.co.uk

David Adjaye: Making Memory at the Design Museum

The perfect pastime for a rainy day, the Design Museum’s newly opened exhibition explores the work of architect David Adjaye, and examines how architecture, rather than words, can be used to tell stories. Making Memory is grounded on seven of Adjaye’s landmark structures, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC and the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, and investigates how he uses architecture and form to reflect on history, memory and record human lives.

Until 5 May, designmuseum.org