What we’re reading
- From Bow to Barking: the songs that champion unglamorous London.
- London sexual health clinics 'oversubscribed'.
- An artists' studio space in Hackney Wick is to be bulldozed to make way for a bridge to the Olympic Park, despite a lengthy campaign to save it.
Things to do
VIRGINIA WOOLF'S LETTERS: "A true letter", Woolf insisted, "should be like a film of wax pressed close to the graving of the mind." See if her own letters pass the test (spoiler: they do) at this illustrated talk from art historian, critic and biographer Frances Spalding, who is launching The Illustrated Letters of Virginia Woolf the day before Woolf's birthday. Waterstones (Gower Street), £5/£3, book ahead, 1pm-2pm
HISTORY MYSTERY: Rather than bombard you with tonnes of history all at once, the archives mystery night introduces you to one unexpected story from the pamphlets, photographs, maps, letters and ephemera held in Bishopsgate Institute’s library and special collections. Bishopsgate Institute, £11/£7, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm
BAR BINGO COCKTAIL CRAWL: Looking for London bars to indulge your cocktail habit? Pick up a bar bingo card before mixing up your own tipple at a Breaking Bad-themed bar, then you'll move onto a bar tucked away in a Mac repair shop and finish up at the weird but wonderful drinking den upstairs at the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. ABQ, E2 9DY, £25, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CLEAN?: Clean Eating has spawned recipe books, restaurant menus and a dedicated following as well as its fair share of critics. Two leading journalists and a sports nutritionist discuss the restrictive dietary trend sweeping across the UK's kitchens. Foyles (Charing Cross), £6.98, book ahead, 7pm-8pm
SAHIKO EMBROIDERY: Sashiko means 'little stabs' in Japanese, but this relaxed stitching workshop is far from violent. It's also BYOB. The London Loom (Hackney Downs Studio), £25, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
ILLUMINATING INDIA: Wander around the Illuminating India Exhibition without the crowds and pick up some travel tips (and a Lonely Planet goody bag) at this after-hours event featuring an intro from the curators and Joe Bindloss, Lonely Planet’s Destination Editor for the Indian Subcontinent. Science Museum, £5, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
NEW WRITING NIGHT: Fancy being a theatre critic for the night and hearing some exciting new work from emerging writers? Head to the Scratch Bar to see three new plays and offer your feedback. Battersea Arts Centre, free, just turn up, 7.30pm
TUMULUS: Prepare to be thrown into the midst of London's chemsex scene via a murder set on Hampstead Heath in this queer noir play from Christopher Adams, described as a darker, gayer Murder She Wrote episode. The Vaults, £14.50, book ahead, 24-28 January
Good cause of the day: Sign up to Cancer Research UK's Race for Life in January and get 30% off
Preparing for Cancer Research UK's Race for Life is a great way to introduce regular exercise into your life while raising vital funds for research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment for the more than 200 types of cancer. Sign up to a 5k, 10k or Pretty Muddy run before 31 January using the code RACE30 to kickstart a healthier you and get 30% off your entrance fee. Various venues, book ahead, (30% off until 31 January)
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way. Get tickets
Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets
Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets
Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets