London On The Cheap

By Lindsey Last edited 129 months ago
London On The Cheap

Rain, rain, go away…flirtatious spring-like temperatures and halcyon moments of direct sunlight belie this week’s forecast for April showers. At least that leaves plenty of time to soak up indoor activities on the cheap before we jet our wellies and get on with the picnic season.

Monday: One of our favourite tucked-away speakeasy-esque bars is holding a book club tonight with the theme Dark Heroes. This ain’t no run-of-the-mill Richard & Judy-style book club: heaving bosoms and tight britches are said to be appreciated. Rarr. Insider tip: order the elderflower cocktail, you won’t be sorry. From 6.30 to 8.30 at Bourne & Hollingsworth.

Tuesday: Ever wonder just what went down in London’s greatest historical disaster, the Great Fire of 1666? Well, we certainly know that it grew to be far worse than what “a woman could piss out” as the Mayor famously declared when woken from his slumber to inspect it. Find out how it forever changed our city at the Museum of London at a free lunchtime lecture.

Wednesday: Garden-variety freak? Or just garden freak? Both kinds will appreciate the beauty on offer for just 3 quid at the Daffodil Festival at the Royal Horticultural Halls. Experts on hand to answer all your burning questions about the lovely bulb. Thursday: Hillybillymods, boogaloo cats, bebop gals and more welcome at Madame JoJo’s new Hootchie Cootchie Grind night. From 6 to 7:30, get in on a free tap dancing class, burlesque acts and Heather Selecta DJing after. Free before 8 pm, only £5 after if you’re on the mailing list. If sci-fi-boogaloo is more your bag, head to the Barbican at 7 pm to hear Colin Pillinger discuss his Beagle 2 Mission to Mars and understanding the universe. £3. Friday: There’s something refreshing about the fact that in order to see the 700-year-old Ceremony of the Keys, another ancient practice is called for: letter-writing. You’ll need to book tickets about two months ahead but an event at the Tower of London in the spooky moonlight is an event every Londonist should experience, even if you have to actually use an envelope and stamp in order to make the reservation. Free!Saturday: What do you mean, you’ve lived here for years and you’ve never been to Borough Market? If you exhausted your weekend’s cash supply on a Friday night pub binge (been there), you can easily head to Borough with nothing in your pockets and walk away full, as samples abound at London’s most glorious and, yes, sometimes overwhelming food market. And this weekend, Londonist's own star shopkeeper, recipe book writer and treasure trove of information about all things Persian and Peckhamish will be at the Market with a load of yummy stuff from her shop Persepolis, selling Iranian food and her marvellous book "Persia in Peckham" (nepotistic plug over, but she really is worth it!). If you’ve still got a spare £2 after sampling Sally's wares, it should be spent on one of Flour Power’s famous brownies - you can’t miss the salivating patrons crowding around the stolid mile-high pyramid of brownies that somehow manages to whittle down to nothing by the end of the day. Also recommended: the fantastic crepe stand and the blissful petite canelés, all miniscule custard love for just 80p each. Sunday: We’re not about to shoot ourselves in the foot here, because even we bloggers can sympathise with the menacing hoopla surrounding the potential demise of the ‘dead trees’ publishing industry. Blood on Paper: the Art of the Book opens this week at the V&A to examine the modern notion of the book by exploring the incredible artistic process behind book-making and the different artist-driven formats and methods of production. Free. Or, you could stay in and rest your weary limbs from watching, er, running the London Marathon.
by Kira Hesser

Image of Borough Market's tower of brownies courtesy of Slaminsky's Flickrstream

Check out London is Free for more ideas of things to do for now. Check the websites for more information.

Last Updated 14 April 2008