GET YOUR CULTURE FIX:
London Short Film Festival
The annual London Short Film Festival kicks off on Friday 20th January with a week-long programme of film screenings, talks and events. Championing independent filmmakers and directors, previous names have gone on to win big at Venice Film Festival and the Baftas. This year’s highlights include The Joy and Sorrow of the Here and Now series at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, based on the highs and lows of an unrequited love (Saturday 21st); Black Country at Genesis Cinema in Bethnal Green featuring films that explore the Black experience of British creatives (Monday 23rd); and Gothic at Curzon Soho, a mixture of uncanny and macabre shorts (Tuesday 24th). Tickers start from £5.
PREPARE FOR THE SLOPES:
Beyond Retro House of Ski Pop-Up at Coal Drops Yard
Beyond Retro has opened a skiwear pop-up at its Coal Drops Yard store in King’s Cross. Open until the end of February, the ‘House of Ski’ edit includes over 350 items for women and men, including vintage ski jackets, salopettes, ski suits, goggles and fluorescent accessories from the 1940s up to the 1990s. Don’t miss the vintage knitwear edit, which includes colourful sweatshirts and jumpers to help you stand out on the slopes.
Unit 79-81, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, N1C 4DQ
BOOK A TABLE:
Big Mamma – the group behind Circolo Popolare, Gloria and Ave Mario – opens its fourth London restaurant on Friday 20th January. Set to be the group’s most decadent opening yet, its set across four floors with a Sicilian-inspired mezzanine with a retractable roof. Food-wise, the menu will showcase quality Italian produce like caviar and seasonal truffles, as well as new dishes like lobster risotto with clams, red gurnard and cuttlefish; truffle pasta for two served in a 4kg wheel of pecorino; pizzettes (mini pizzas) topped with caviar and bottarga; and its first shareable chocolate fondue made with half a kilo of Valrhona chocolate.
94 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 4SJ
Battersea Power Station Light Festival
Battersea Power Station’s annual light festival returns this weekend. In collaboration with the Light Art Collection, there are eight installations to check out around the riverside neighbourhood. Highlights include a huge replica of a Slinky toy by Studio Vertigo, an illuminated bath plug by artist Atelier Haute Cuisine – to encourage people to consider the importance of clean water – and the ‘Eternal Sundown’ by Mads Vegas, comprised of 140 energy-saving LED tubes. Once you’ve seen the lights, stop for dinner at Tonkotsu, Where The Pancakes Are or one of the many new restaurant and bar openings inside the Power Station.
Circus Roadd West, Nine Elms, SW11 8AL
ORDER GREAT STREET FOOD:
Liu Xiaomian at Arcade Food Hall
Chinese noodle bar Liu Xiaomian – known for its hot and spicy Chongqing noodle broths – has opened a pop-up at Arcade Food Hall in the West End. Unlike ramen, Chongqing noodles aren’t simmered or cooked, but added to boiling water with a thick paste to create a glossy sauce. The limited-edition menu includes the team’s signature noodles, to which you add your preferred spice level and choice of minced pork, spicy beef, chickpeas or vegan topping. Don’t forget to add on pork wontons for an extra hit of spice.
103-105 New Oxford Street, West End, WC1A 1DB; until Saturday 4th February
TRY A NEW WORKOUT:
The Body Coach Studios
The Body Coach App, founded by Joe Wicks, is opening its first workout space in Shoreditch this weekend. From Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd January, guests can take part in a series of classes led by Joe and other fitness experts. Suitable for all abilities, choose from HIIT, yoga and strength classes, as well as family sessions and classes in British Sign Language for members of the deaf community. After each workout, you’ll get the chance to meet Joe to ask him questions about your own fitness journey. Each class costs £12, with all proceeds donated to charities that support youth community sports clubs.
Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, EC2A 3EY
CATCH A FILM:
Set in the international world of classical music, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tár – a world-renowned composer and conductor – in this new release. At the height of her career, her personal and professional life is suddenly disrupted by a series of inflammatory incidents and Tár’s reputation for perfection means she cannot afford to make any mistakes. Dynamics of power, ego and artistry come into play, all while Tár is days away from recording a symphony that will define her career.
DISCOVER COOL ARTWORK:
London Art Fair
London Art Fair kicks off today at the Business Design Centre in Islington, where 100 galleries will exhibit artworks by artists from around the world. Expect to browse paintings, prints, sculptures and photography by up-and-coming artists and renowned names including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Theodore Ereira-Guyer, Derek Jarman and Charlotte Keates. You can also tune into talks and panel discussions, including several events hosted by Sotheby’s on highlights in the fair. Tickets start from £13.
52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH; until Sunday 22nd January
SEE A BALLET:
The Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House
The Royal Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty opens at the Royal Opera House this week. First presented in 1946 with Margot Fonteyn as Princess Aurora, today’s production features Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi who will dance to Tchaikovsky’s classic score. As the story goes, an evil, jealous witch curses Princess Aurora to die on her 16th birthday. Helped by her guardian fairies, she falls into a deep sleep, but can be woken up with a true love’s kiss. The good fairies are the last hope to free Aurora from the spell. Tickets start from £9.
Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD; until Tuesday 6th June
VISIT THIS NEW EXHIBITION:
Spain and the Hispanic World at The Royal Academy
The RA has opened a new exhibition on Spain and the Hispanic world, featuring masterpieces by Goya and Velázquez, as well as rare objects from Latin America. Visitors can see over 150 works from ancient times to the 20th century, including sculptures, paintings, silk textiles, ceramics and precious jewellery – many of which are on loan from New York’s Hispanic Society Museum & Library. Tickets start from £22.
Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
HEAD TO THE THEATRE:
Sound of the Underground at The Royal Court Theatre
Partly inspired by the Girls Aloud single of the same name, Sound of the Underground is part-play, part-cabaret and part-manifesto, written by performance artist Travis Alabanza and other members of London’s queer underground club scene. Eight drag queens will sing, dance, spill the tea and question what it means to get your money’s worth when it comes to art. Expect larger-than-life costumes, fun staging and plenty of glitz and glamour. Tickets start from £12.
Sound of the Underground 19 January-25 February
50-51 Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS; Thursday 19th January-Saturday 25th February
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