Things to do in London this weekend

Things to do in London this week 21st-23rd September

Best for: Design in London

London Design Festival

The vibe: Discover the best in contemporary design

Need to know: Promoting London as the design capital of the world, the London Design Festival returns for a 16th year - and its 10th at the V&A Museum in South Kensington.

Showcasing contemporary design in all its forms, from talks with household names like Orla Kierly, to unique cutting edge installations around the V&A, this is sure to be an inspiring event. And, all around London, for the duration of the festival, you'l be able to catch incredible "Landmark Projects" including renowned stage designer Es Devlin's interactive Trafalgar Square piece, Do Feed the Lions.

Website

When: Until Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: Fri: 10am-10pm, all other days: 10am-5.45pm
Getting there: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL (and other venues around London)
Nearest tube: South Kensington (V&A)
Price: Free


Best for: Dogs in London

Skylight Dog Day

The vibe: Rooftop bar goes to the dogs

Need to know: The summer rooftop bar season might be nearly over, but that doesn't mean that you've missed out on sharing it with your best (four-legged) friend.

This Sunday, Wapping's Skylight will be hosting a special Dog Day afternoon celebration. Raising money for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Skylight are inviting you to bring your canine companion down - where they'll be presented with a selection of treats from top quality brands like Lily's Kitchen and Twinky's Bakery, while you can enjoy 2-4-1 on pooch-themed hooch, with doggy-inspired cocktails including the Frenchie 75 and Pugtini on the menu. There'll also be an instagram competition for a photo of the best dog of the day. 

Website

When: Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: 12pm-6pm (venue then remains open until 11pm)
Getting there: Skylight, Tobacco Dock - Pennington Street Entrance, Wapping, E1W 2SF
Nearest tube: Shadwell (DLR/Overground)
Price: Free

Best for: History in London

City of Woman

The vibe: A musical celebration of some of London's greatest women

Need to know: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act - which marked the start of women being granted the vote in the UK. And to mark the occasion, the City of London has organised a year-long series of events, "Women: Work and Power".

The latest in the series, City of Woman takes place this weekend, tying in with the beautiful Leadenhall Market's Open House weekend festivities.

Created by acclaimed composer, Iain Chambers, and historical researcher, Veronica Horwell, the piece features the words of some of London's most exceptional women, from the 17th Century cross-dressing pickpocket Moll Cutpurse, to 18th century millionairess Hester Pinney, to leading suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, and beyond - all the way up to the present day.

Performed by a women's choir, drawn from across London, and several soloists, the five anthems will be performed several times on both Saturday and Sunday in Leadenhall Market - a fitting location as it was one of the first spots in the city where women were allowed to work.

Website

When: Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: 11am-2.30pm (performances at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm)
Getting there: Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
Nearest tube: Bank
Price: Free

Best for: Brunch in London

Avenue Restaurant & Bar

The vibe: Classic New York-style brunch in the heart of St James

Need to know: Nobody does brunch better than New Yorkers, but having to get a transatlantic flight to enjoy it isn't really in keeping with the spirit of a lazy, boozy weekend afternoon.

So, instead, check out Avenue's indulgent new brunch menu - found conveniently close to Green Park tube.

Packed with indulgent US-style treats, including ice cream sundaes, buttermilk pancakes and a French Toast Parlour. You can also enjoy an upbeat soundtrack, provided by the resident DJ and bottomless Prosecco, Bloody Marys and Spritzes.

Website

Serving times: 11am-6pm
Getting there: 7-9 St James' Street, SW1A 1EE
Nearest tube: Green Park
Price: £25.50 (2 courses), £28.50 (3 courses), £18 for bottomless drink upgrade

Best for: Beer in London

Porterhouse Brewing Company Crafternoon Tea

The vibe: Afternoon tea, with a twist

Need to know: You've got through another busy week, which we'd say is a pretty good excuse to start with the weekend with a pint (or a few).

But, if you're really serious about your beer, how about really doing it justice with a trip to the Porterhouse Brewing Company in Covent Garden. The Irish craft brewer is taking on the quintessentially English afternoon tea, turning it into a tasty-looking "Crafternoon Tea".

Offered in Light and Dark varieties, each Crafternoon Tea includes three glasses of the Porterhouse's craft beers, paired with dishes to perfectly match their flavour profiles. You could tuck into a mini Pilsner battered fish & chips, perfectly balanced by a glass of refreshing Porterhouse Pilsner, while the Dark menu includes Porterhouse's Oyster Stout (brewed with freshly shucked oysters), paired with Clonakilty Black Pudding on Irish Soda Bread, and Plain Porter, served alongside Dark Chocolate Tart with Maraschino Cherries.

Website

Serving times: 1pm-5pm
Getting there: 21-22 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA
Nearest tube: Leicester Square
Price: £14.50 pp

Best for: Cabaret in London

Black Cat: Bohemia

The vibe: London's cabaret trailblazers present a wild night at the circus.

Need to know: It's a summer of two big Southbank-based anniversaries this year. The comedy, cabaret and circus-based Underbelly Festival has just turned 10 years old, while, in almost the same spot 250 years ago, the world's very first circus took place.

As part of the Underbelly's birthday celebrations, inventive cabaret troupe Black Cat have been invited to present a brand-new show in the festival's Spiegeltent. And they've turned the enchanting venue into a brand new bohemia - echoing famous scenes of the past from Montmartre to Weimar Berlin, New York's Chelsea Hotel and Soho's Blitz club in the 80s. 

Join Emcee Miss Frisky (of La Soiree and Frisky & Mannish) for a tour through a darkly utopian circus underworld, featuring amazing acts like aerial daredevil Katherine Arnold, acrobatic duo Charlotte & Nicolas and burlesque goddess Missy Fatale.

Website

When: Until Sunday 30th September
Showtimes: 7.15pm-8.45pm, additional Saturday late shows 9.15pm-10.45pm (no performances on Mondays)
Getting there: Belverdere Road Coach Park, SE1 8XX
Nearest tube: Waterloo
Price: From £19

Best for: Art in London

Frieze Sculpture

The vibe: Amazing art in an iconic location

Need to know: After a successful first outing last year, contemporary art experts Frieze have brought their Sculpture Fair back to Regent's Park for another year.

Installed in the Park's famous English Gardens, Frieze Sculpture features 25 works by artists from all over the world, including some of the biggest names in the field. Among those taking part are Tracey Emin and Conrad Shawcross, alongside rising stars like Larry Achiampong.

It's free to enter, and you'll be able to check out stunning artworks, including an impressive glass pavilion, a 14-metre high tower and a stained-glass sculpture.

Frieze Sculpture 2018 runs until the famous Frieze Art Fair returns to the park, in early October. Throughout the run there'll be a number of family activity days, as well as a free app with Audio Tour, downloadable from the Frieze website.

Website

When: Until 7th October
Opening hours: 5am-9.30pm
Getting there: The English Gardens, Regent's Park, NW1 4JL
Nearest tube: Regent's Park
Price: Free


Best for: Clubs in London

Request Line

The vibe: A new night of throwback classics

Need to know: Hackney's OSLO are turning back the clock on Thursday nights, inviting some of the finest DJs in town to spin their favourite retro party music. And they'll be taking requests for your favourites as well.

Expect everything from 80s pop to disco, funk, synthpop and electro at this new club night. And, for the full retro vibe, 2 for £9 special deals on cocktails, from classics like Negronis to old school-inspired drinks like Disco Coladas.

Website

When: Every Thursday
Opening hours: 9pm-2am
Getting there: OSLO Hackney, 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL
Nearest tube: Hackney Central (Overground)
Price: Free entry, 2 for £9 on selected cocktails


Best for: Bars in London

Bottles

The vibe: Italian warmth meets London edge

Need to know: Since it opened at Elephant and Castle's Mercanto Metropolitano back in 2016, Bottles & Battles has been a huge hit in South London. And now the team have headed north of the river, with the recent opening of their brand new bar, Bottles. 

Bringing Italian flavour to Old Spitalfields Market, Bottles is set to showcase the best of regional and indigenous varieties, as well as forgotten grapes and a selection of international produce - with around 180 labels on offer. And, if that all sounds a bit daunting, no need to worry - every member of waiting staff is a sommelier in their own right, and will be able to advise you on the best wines for your taste, as well as the best matching dishes from Bottles' tempting food menu.

Website

Opening times: Mon-Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun: 11am-10pm
Getting there: 67 Brushfield Street, Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6AA
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street


Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We've also pulled together a list of the city's best riverside pubs and bars, or for something a little cosier, the best pubs with open fires. (And a list of 28 things to do in London when it rains, just in case).

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you're planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.


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Things to do in London this weekend

Things to do in London this week 21st-23rd September

Best for: Design in London

London Design Festival

The vibe: Discover the best in contemporary design

Need to know: Promoting London as the design capital of the world, the London Design Festival returns for a 16th year - and its 10th at the V&A Museum in South Kensington.

Showcasing contemporary design in all its forms, from talks with household names like Orla Kierly, to unique cutting edge installations around the V&A, this is sure to be an inspiring event. And, all around London, for the duration of the festival, you'l be able to catch incredible "Landmark Projects" including renowned stage designer Es Devlin's interactive Trafalgar Square piece, Do Feed the Lions.

Website

When: Until Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: Fri: 10am-10pm, all other days: 10am-5.45pm
Getting there: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL (and other venues around London)
Nearest tube: South Kensington (V&A)
Price: Free


Best for: Dogs in London

Skylight Dog Day

The vibe: Rooftop bar goes to the dogs

Need to know: The summer rooftop bar season might be nearly over, but that doesn't mean that you've missed out on sharing it with your best (four-legged) friend.

This Sunday, Wapping's Skylight will be hosting a special Dog Day afternoon celebration. Raising money for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Skylight are inviting you to bring your canine companion down - where they'll be presented with a selection of treats from top quality brands like Lily's Kitchen and Twinky's Bakery, while you can enjoy 2-4-1 on pooch-themed hooch, with doggy-inspired cocktails including the Frenchie 75 and Pugtini on the menu. There'll also be an instagram competition for a photo of the best dog of the day. 

Website

When: Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: 12pm-6pm (venue then remains open until 11pm)
Getting there: Skylight, Tobacco Dock - Pennington Street Entrance, Wapping, E1W 2SF
Nearest tube: Shadwell (DLR/Overground)
Price: Free

Best for: History in London

City of Woman

The vibe: A musical celebration of some of London's greatest women

Need to know: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act - which marked the start of women being granted the vote in the UK. And to mark the occasion, the City of London has organised a year-long series of events, "Women: Work and Power".

The latest in the series, City of Woman takes place this weekend, tying in with the beautiful Leadenhall Market's Open House weekend festivities.

Created by acclaimed composer, Iain Chambers, and historical researcher, Veronica Horwell, the piece features the words of some of London's most exceptional women, from the 17th Century cross-dressing pickpocket Moll Cutpurse, to 18th century millionairess Hester Pinney, to leading suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst, and beyond - all the way up to the present day.

Performed by a women's choir, drawn from across London, and several soloists, the five anthems will be performed several times on both Saturday and Sunday in Leadenhall Market - a fitting location as it was one of the first spots in the city where women were allowed to work.

Website

When: Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd September
Opening times: 11am-2.30pm (performances at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm)
Getting there: Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
Nearest tube: Bank
Price: Free

Best for: Brunch in London

Avenue Restaurant & Bar

The vibe: Classic New York-style brunch in the heart of St James

Need to know: Nobody does brunch better than New Yorkers, but having to get a transatlantic flight to enjoy it isn't really in keeping with the spirit of a lazy, boozy weekend afternoon.

So, instead, check out Avenue's indulgent new brunch menu - found conveniently close to Green Park tube.

Packed with indulgent US-style treats, including ice cream sundaes, buttermilk pancakes and a French Toast Parlour. You can also enjoy an upbeat soundtrack, provided by the resident DJ and bottomless Prosecco, Bloody Marys and Spritzes.

Website

Serving times: 11am-6pm
Getting there: 7-9 St James' Street, SW1A 1EE
Nearest tube: Green Park
Price: £25.50 (2 courses), £28.50 (3 courses), £18 for bottomless drink upgrade

Best for: Beer in London

Porterhouse Brewing Company Crafternoon Tea

The vibe: Afternoon tea, with a twist

Need to know: You've got through another busy week, which we'd say is a pretty good excuse to start with the weekend with a pint (or a few).

But, if you're really serious about your beer, how about really doing it justice with a trip to the Porterhouse Brewing Company in Covent Garden. The Irish craft brewer is taking on the quintessentially English afternoon tea, turning it into a tasty-looking "Crafternoon Tea".

Offered in Light and Dark varieties, each Crafternoon Tea includes three glasses of the Porterhouse's craft beers, paired with dishes to perfectly match their flavour profiles. You could tuck into a mini Pilsner battered fish & chips, perfectly balanced by a glass of refreshing Porterhouse Pilsner, while the Dark menu includes Porterhouse's Oyster Stout (brewed with freshly shucked oysters), paired with Clonakilty Black Pudding on Irish Soda Bread, and Plain Porter, served alongside Dark Chocolate Tart with Maraschino Cherries.

Website

Serving times: 1pm-5pm
Getting there: 21-22 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NA
Nearest tube: Leicester Square
Price: £14.50 pp

Best for: Cabaret in London

Black Cat: Bohemia

The vibe: London's cabaret trailblazers present a wild night at the circus.

Need to know: It's a summer of two big Southbank-based anniversaries this year. The comedy, cabaret and circus-based Underbelly Festival has just turned 10 years old, while, in almost the same spot 250 years ago, the world's very first circus took place.

As part of the Underbelly's birthday celebrations, inventive cabaret troupe Black Cat have been invited to present a brand-new show in the festival's Spiegeltent. And they've turned the enchanting venue into a brand new bohemia - echoing famous scenes of the past from Montmartre to Weimar Berlin, New York's Chelsea Hotel and Soho's Blitz club in the 80s. 

Join Emcee Miss Frisky (of La Soiree and Frisky & Mannish) for a tour through a darkly utopian circus underworld, featuring amazing acts like aerial daredevil Katherine Arnold, acrobatic duo Charlotte & Nicolas and burlesque goddess Missy Fatale.

Website

When: Until Sunday 30th September
Showtimes: 7.15pm-8.45pm, additional Saturday late shows 9.15pm-10.45pm (no performances on Mondays)
Getting there: Belverdere Road Coach Park, SE1 8XX
Nearest tube: Waterloo
Price: From £19

Best for: Art in London

Frieze Sculpture

The vibe: Amazing art in an iconic location

Need to know: After a successful first outing last year, contemporary art experts Frieze have brought their Sculpture Fair back to Regent's Park for another year.

Installed in the Park's famous English Gardens, Frieze Sculpture features 25 works by artists from all over the world, including some of the biggest names in the field. Among those taking part are Tracey Emin and Conrad Shawcross, alongside rising stars like Larry Achiampong.

It's free to enter, and you'll be able to check out stunning artworks, including an impressive glass pavilion, a 14-metre high tower and a stained-glass sculpture.

Frieze Sculpture 2018 runs until the famous Frieze Art Fair returns to the park, in early October. Throughout the run there'll be a number of family activity days, as well as a free app with Audio Tour, downloadable from the Frieze website.

Website

When: Until 7th October
Opening hours: 5am-9.30pm
Getting there: The English Gardens, Regent's Park, NW1 4JL
Nearest tube: Regent's Park
Price: Free


Best for: Clubs in London

Request Line

The vibe: A new night of throwback classics

Need to know: Hackney's OSLO are turning back the clock on Thursday nights, inviting some of the finest DJs in town to spin their favourite retro party music. And they'll be taking requests for your favourites as well.

Expect everything from 80s pop to disco, funk, synthpop and electro at this new club night. And, for the full retro vibe, 2 for £9 special deals on cocktails, from classics like Negronis to old school-inspired drinks like Disco Coladas.

Website

When: Every Thursday
Opening hours: 9pm-2am
Getting there: OSLO Hackney, 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL
Nearest tube: Hackney Central (Overground)
Price: Free entry, 2 for £9 on selected cocktails


Best for: Bars in London

Bottles

The vibe: Italian warmth meets London edge

Need to know: Since it opened at Elephant and Castle's Mercanto Metropolitano back in 2016, Bottles & Battles has been a huge hit in South London. And now the team have headed north of the river, with the recent opening of their brand new bar, Bottles. 

Bringing Italian flavour to Old Spitalfields Market, Bottles is set to showcase the best of regional and indigenous varieties, as well as forgotten grapes and a selection of international produce - with around 180 labels on offer. And, if that all sounds a bit daunting, no need to worry - every member of waiting staff is a sommelier in their own right, and will be able to advise you on the best wines for your taste, as well as the best matching dishes from Bottles' tempting food menu.

Website

Opening times: Mon-Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun: 11am-10pm
Getting there: 67 Brushfield Street, Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6AA
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street


Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We've also pulled together a list of the city's best riverside pubs and bars, or for something a little cosier, the best pubs with open fires. (And a list of 28 things to do in London when it rains, just in case).

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you're planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.