Things To Do This Weekend In London: 17-18 February 2018

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All weekend

The Orchids Festival is back at Kew Gardens.

CLASSIC CAR SHOW: Feast your eyes on more than 700 mechanical beauties at the London Classic Car Show, while you steadfastly try to ignore the cost to the environment and your wallet. Excel London, from £25, book ahead, 15-18 February

STOKEY BEER FEST: Clink glasses with 14 top-notch brewers across four booze-soaked sessions, which includes veterans Seven Sisters Brewery, Solvay Society and Elusive Brewing as well as newcomers  Affinity Brew Co., Unity Brewing Co and Moncada Brewery. Abney Public Hall, £32, book ahead, 17-18 February

GOING UNDERGROUND: For a subculture that started in the late '50s, Mod continues to hold its place as an image of swinging London and the epitome of teenage cool. Dig out your Hush Puppies and spend your weekend bowling to the tune of Garage Rock, Northern Soul and Mod Revival with music from the likes of The Kinks, Small Faces, Skatalites and The Jam. Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, £6/£7 after 11pm, book ahead, 9.30pm Saturday-3am Sunday

ORCHIDS FESTIVAL: Skip into spring at Kew Gardens, where almost 7,000 colourful blooms have sprung up for the annual Orchids Festival. This year's theme is Thailand and at weekends you can tuck into authentic Thai street food in front of live music from Thai musicians at 1pm and 3pm. Kew Gardens, £16/£4, book ahead, until 11 March

Saturday 17 February

Celebrate the year of the dog with a themed interactive 'Tales from the Shed' performance.

ITALIAN VEGAN COOKERY CLASS: Vegan diets can be restrictive if you aren't armed with a book full of animal-free recipes. Join this Italian cookery class to learn how to cook a chickpea pie and a gnocchi dish that'll knock the socks off the meat-eaters among you. Bellavita Academy (Wapping), £49, book ahead, 10.30am-noon

CHINESE NEW YEAR: Try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, make your own puppet pooch and listen to tales of canines at this day of family-friendly events celebrating the Year of the Dog. National Gallery, free, book ahead, 11am-4pm

ARMSHOUSE TOUR: Eager to get back in the Geffrye? Although the museum is closed for a two-year refurb, you can now tour the 18th-century almshouses for a glimpse into how London's poor lived back in the day. Geffrye Museum (Haggerston), £5, book ahead, various times from 11am-4pm

CHURCHILL GUIDED TOUR: If the film The Darkest Hour piqued your interest in Churchill, you might enjoy this tour delving into his 64 years as a Member of Parliament. Houses of Parliament, £25.50, book ahead, 11.20am and 2pm

DOGGY BRUNCH: Make Valentine's last longer with your best friend of the four-legged variety. Enjoy a cookery masterclass, doggy speed dating and treat your furry pal to a two course meal, £15 of which is donated to the Dogs Trust. Talk about pampered pooches! M Victoria Street (Victoria), £35, book ahead, noon-2pm

FRANKENSTEIN AT 200: The lumbering square-headed monster has long captured our imaginations, from the chilling classics of Walpole to more modern reincarnations. This talk from novelist Kate Mosse illustrates why the novel is as powerful today as it was back in 1818. One for literature students and gothic fans everywhere. Hampstead Theatre, £10/£8, book ahead, 12.45pm

KILLER CARNIVORES: While more of us turn to a plant-based diet, much of the animal kingdom remains firmly carnivorous. At this family-friendly afternoon session, you'll learn how meat-eaters find, catch and eat their prey and get up close and personal with the museum's specimens. Grant Museum of Zoology (UCL), free, just turn up, 1pm-4.30pm

CAFE SOCIETY SWING: Let leading vintage vocalist Vimala Rowe, guitarist and vocalist Ciyo Brown and their swinging eight-piece band recreate the radical atmosphere of New York nightclub, the Cafe Society Swing, which stuck two fingers up to prevailing racist attitudes of the 1930s and 1940s and booked legendary musicians such as Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Hideaway Jazz Club (Streatham), £15, book ahead, doors 7pm, show 9pm-11pm

CASA LOCA CLOSING PARTY: Rave it at up at Camden's finest cobbled club, which every Saturday turns into an Ibiza-style piss-up, complete with costumed performers, fully choreographed routines and enthralling stage shows, before Proud closes its doors at the end of the month. Proud Camden, £5, book ahead, 7pm

THE DROVES: Unsettling dilemmas, mushroom forests and at least one gorilla await you at the door of this immersive show, where you'll meet a secret community of children living deep beneath a derelict carpet factory. Creepy much? COLAB Factory (London Bridge), £15-£30, book ahead, until 25 February

Sunday 18 February

Celebrate Chinese New Year

CHINESE NEW YEAR: If you're in the West End today, expect to see dragons, lions and one heck of a party as London celebrates Chinese New Year. The Year of the Dog will be welcomed with the traditional parade, lion dancing in the streets, food stalls, performances and events in Trafalgar Square, and much more. Free, just turn up, from 10am

GHOSTSIGNS WALK: Who knew peeling paint could have so much meaning? Local ghostsign expert Sam Roberts invites you to look up for your phone and admire the stories of advertising past left on London's walls on this TripAdvisor award-winning walking tour. Stoke Newington station, £20, book ahead, 10.50am-1.30pm

BLACKHEATH FARMER'S MARKET: It's that time of year that crepes up so quickly, you might have missed it. But don't get your whisk in a twist just get down to Blackheath Farmer's Market to get flipping pancakes in aid of St Thomas' and Farms for City Children charities. Blackheath Farmers Market, Blackheath Station car park, £2, just turn up, 11am-1pm

A WALK THROUGH HIGHGATE: Wander through Waterlow Park, say hi to Karl Marx's grave in Highgate Cemetery and visit other historic points of interest on this Footprints of London tour. Highgate station, £2-£11, book ahead, 11.30am-1.15pm

FOLK JAMS: Lazy Sundays were made for pub lounging, comfort eating and folk tunes. Hear sets from Great Silkie, Charles Potashner, Gemini Sun and Lucila & Francisco this afternoon. Sebright Arms (Cambridge Heath), free entry, just turn up, 1pm

HAND EMBROIDERY: Keep nimble fingers busy at this crafty class led by Bella Lane, who will teach you how to stitch your own 'Love Heart' design. Fabrications (Broadway Market), £59.73-£102.73, book ahead, 2pm-5pm

VALENTINE'S TIPSY TEA: Bring your friend/lover to this boozy afternoon tea, where you'll be treated to the sounds of a live musician and receive a complimentary caricature sketch if you're feeling brave. Mr Foggs (Mayfair), £40, book ahead, 3pm-5pm

DANCING SPACE: The skaters-turned-activists at Long Live Southbank, who saved the South Bank skatepark from development, are throwing a party to raise funds so they can revamp the space themselves. Hangar (London Fields), £5-£10, book ahead, 6pm-midnight

HARDING AND KAVAKOS: Listening to classical music on the radio is all fine and dandy but why stay in when you can be taken on a whirlwind musical tour from Russia to the heights of an Alpine peak, without leaving London. Barbican, £15-£55, book ahead, 7pm-8.50pm

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Settle in for a screening of Stanley Kubrick's violent, darkly ironic, near-future satire, adapted from Anthony Burgess's novel. Moth Club (Hackney), £5, book ahead, 8pm