Budget-friendly things to do in London this week for £5 or less.
Get yourself a free G&T
To promote a new collaboration with the artist Rachel Joy, Beefeater Gin is getting the drinks in — offering a free G&T to anyone (18 or over, of course) who quotes "Beefeater x Rachel Joy" to the bartender at Callooh Callay, Chelsea; Callooh Callay, Shoreditch; Little Bat, Islington; The Pilgrim, Kennington; or Beefeater Gin Distillery Bar, Vauxhall. More info here.
Free, until 8 October
Tuck into a £5 pumpkin curry
Sri Lankan takeaway restaurant Karapincha celebrates both its fifth birthday and National Curry Week by offering a £5 pumpkin curry all week. Tuck into the seasonal dish — which features coconut, mustard, and cardamom, and is served with fragrant long-grain basmati rice and a fresh salad — for a fiver at any of the Karapincha branches. Find them in Old Spitalfields Market, Canary Wharf, Market Place Vauxhall, and Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle.
£5, 1-8 October.
Head to Choral Evensong after work
The Jacobean Chapel at The Charterhouse in Clerkenwell hosts a Choral Evensong. This week the Thames Chamber Choir performs, and next Wednesday it's the St Paul's Choristers. Enjoy the music in a beautiful building, parts of which date back to 1512.
Free (donations welcome), 5 October.
Hear the story of Chinese food
Food writer and cook Fuschia Dunlop discusses Chinese culinary culture from historical origins, through the 19th century and up to the present day. Find out why Chinese is one of the world's most popular cuisines, and why it is frequently misunderstood. It's a British Museum event, though it takes place online.
Free (donations welcome), 4 October.
Get the lowdown on Trinidad Carnival
As part of Black History Month, the V&A hosts a lunchtime lecture about the history of the 'Mother of all Carnivals', Trinidad Carnival. The V&A’s African Heritage expert Pennie Mendes delves into the event's subversive 18th century history, looking at how it's changed since then, and whether the modern incarnation has forgotten its origins.
Free, 5 October.
Check out an eye-opening exhibition on homelessness
Every Saturday this month, Soho's House of St Barnabas opens its doors from 4pm-6pm, for you to peruse Homelessness Is…, a photographic exhibition featuring works from people who've experienced homelessness. The idea is to improve public understanding of homelessness as something that's more than just rough sleeping. It's free to enter but you'll need to reserve tickets.
Free, 5 October (also 12, 19 and 26 October)
Learn about the influential Brady Girls' Club
The Brady Girls' Club ran in the East End from 1920-1970, and during the war years, offered shelter and practical help to hundreds of young women and local families. The club also improved the life-chances of many impoverished immigrants in the community. At the Atrium Gallery of London Metropolitan University in Aldgate, you can see photos of the club in action, which were rediscovered in 2016.
Free, 6 October-4 November
Experience NFL in London
The NFL in London series is well underway, and you can still get involved, even if you didn't manage to get tickets to the games themselves. This Saturday, Battersea Power Station hosts a free NFL experience, open to everyone. Watch cheerleader and mascot performances, test out your own American football skills on a mini field, and shop NFL merchandise and vintage memorabilia.
Free, 7 October.
Saudha Bangla Music Festival
The Saudha Society of Poetry and Indian Music takes over Keats House in Hampstead for an evening of South Asian music and classical arts. Poet Ahmed Kaysher curates the event, which showcases the evolution of Bengali music though performances of Tagorian and pre-Tagorian Bengali music. Performers include Sri Arunasish Roy and British Bangladeshi singer Srimati Gouri Choudhury.
Free, 7 October.
Watch a mystery film
Every few weeks, the Newington Green Meeting House holds a free film club. The catch? Licensing requirements mean that they can't publicly tell you which film will be screened ahead of time. So you can either sign up to the mailing list to find out — or simply turn up on the night for a surprise.
Free, 7 October.
Visit London's Sewing Machine Museum
'Tis that time again, when the little-known Sewing Machine Museum holds its monthly open day. Head to Balham to view the collection of 600+ machines, including one which was owned by Queen Victoria's daughter. Read about our previous visit to the museum for an idea of what to expect.
Free (donations welcome), 7 October.
Brew over the new exhibition about tea
Pour yourself a cuppa and prepare for Horniman Museum's new exhibition, Chá, Chai, Tea, which tells the story of the much-loved drink, including its productions, and traditions around drinking it in countries around the world. It opens on Saturday, and is celebrated on Sunday with a free tea tasting event in the Conservatory. Have a little swot up on the history of tea in London before you go.
Free, 7 October-7 July.