Things To Do In London This Week: 14-20 October 2019

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Things to do this week is sponsored by Circus London.

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ROUNDHOUSE RISING: Emerging music festival Roundhouse Rising is a chance to see tomorrow’s big names and headline acts before they’re famous. A whole range of musical genres are covered, from grime to pop to electrobeats, with performers from as far afield as Dublin and Sweden — and plenty of homegrown talent too. Roundhouse (Camden), various prices, book ahead, 15-29 October

AFFORDABLE ART FAIR: London’s been awash with art fairs this month, but the Affordable Art Fair is aimed at your every day art fan, rather than wealthy art collectors. Prices for the pieces on sale start at just £50, so if you’re considering getting into art collecting, it’s a great place to start — but it’s equally useful if you’re just looking for something to fill a blank wall in your home. Battersea Evolution (Battersea Park), £9-£27, book ahead, 16-20 October

LONDON LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Talks, readings, poetry and performances all feature on the London Literature Festival programme. Highlights include a chance to hear from the authors of The Good Immigrant USA, an LGBTQ+ writing awards ceremony, and family-friendly events such as a fairy-tale trail. Southbank Centre, various prices, book ahead, 17-27 October

BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL: A celebration of the culture and science of the area, Bloomsbury Festival has an array of events, many of them free. Highlights include a Museum of the Moon installation, a day looking at how we can harness small steps into big ideas to tackle issues such as climate change, and a chance to meet the scientists of the Francis Crick Institute. Various locations and prices, 11-20 October

Last chance to see Chihuly at Kew. © Chihuly Studio / Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

BIGGER THAN THE PLATE: It's the final week of the V&A's Bigger Than The Plate exhibition, which looks at where our food comes from, how we consume it, and how it could be produced in the future. At times tough to stomach, it's likely to make you think twice about what's on your plate, but has some positive stories too. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £17, book ahead, until 20 October

CHIHULY AT KEW: Time’s running out to see Chihuly at Kew, an exhibition of beautiful, colourful glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. They’re dotted all over the botanical gardens, including inside glasshouses and conservatories, so there are plenty of photo opportunities. Kew Gardens, included in admission, book ahead, until 27 October

MONTH OF THE DEAD: Still plenty of Month of the Dead events to come. Highlights this week include an archaeological talk about deviant burials, a look at whether the myth of the vengeful mummy has any link to traditional Egyptian burials, and a retelling of some of the more grisly episodes from London’s gallows history. Various locations and prices, until 31 October

Monday 14 October

See the Ocean Film Festival World Tour. Photo: Travis Burke

COMEDY GALA: Having had a few weeks to recover from Edinburgh Festival,  a variety of winners and nominees for Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards perform a series of gala nights here in London. Tonight's the first performance, with Chris Washington (MC),  Goodbear, Jordan Brookes, Michael Odewale and Nigel Ng taking to the stage. Duchess Theatre (Covent Garden), £15, book ahead, 7.30pm

PARLIAMENTARY VOTING: Former Labour party whip Baroness Hilary Armstrong talks to The Economist's Anne McElvoy about Parliamentary voting procedures. The deployment of a party whip — an instruction to MPs of a certain party to vote a certain way on an issue — can often cause conflict between personal belief and the party line. Find out what happens in these situations. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 6pm

OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL: The Ocean Film Festival World Tour drops by for the first of two London dates (tomorrow’s sold out). Watch beautifully-shot films showing life above and below the ocean waves, featuring divers, swimmers, surfers and oceanographers. Think Blue Planet, but without David Attenborough’s euphonious tones. Union Chapel (Islington), £16.25, book ahead, 7.30pm

Tuesday 15 October

Simon Jenkins talks at the SAVE Britain's Heritage annual lecture

FILM TOUR: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the beautiful Wilton’s Music Hall and find out about some of the film and TV shows which have been filmed on location there. Scenes from Muppets Most Wanted, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Krays, The Great McGonagall and more are among the highlights. After the 50-minute tour, there's time to ask your questions in a Q&A session. Wilton’s (Limehouse), £10, book ahead, 4pm

WHO GUARDS LONDON?: Author and journalist Simon Jenkins is the speaker at this year’s annual lecture by SAVE Britain’s Heritage. Jenkins tackles the subject of who is responsible for managing the growth and change of the city— London boroughs, government organisations, or conservation volunteers. St Botolph Without Bishopsgate (City of London), £20/£15, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

QUEER ERASURE: London’s iconic LGBTQ+ venues — many of which have now disappeared — are in the spotlight at Barbican Cinema. Watch archive footage of the venues, including film extracts and rarely-seen documentaries, followed by a discussion between London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, BFI’s Simon McCallum, and cabaret singer Mzz Kimberley about the future of London’s queer spaces. Barbican Cinema, £12, book ahead, 6.30pm

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Delicious food meets dazzling spectacle at Circus London

If an evening of utter escapism is what you're after, you can't go wrong with Circus London. This incredibly slick bar-slash-restaurant-slash-cabaret club in Covent Garden serves up spectacular circus acts alongside mouth-watering pan-Asian cuisine and expertly crafted cocktails.

Settle in to a plush, velvety booth and treat yourself to the tasting menu, a four-course feast that includes a complimentary glass of prosecco. Comprised of sharing plates, it allows you to try a vast variety of dishes, all of which are absolutely bursting with flavour (we're especially fond of the miso cod and tenderstem broccoli with truffle tahini). But it's in-between each course that the real magic happens...

We're talking fire-breathing, daring aerial stunts, incredible acts of contortion, and much more — all performed near, or even on top of, your table. Heart-thumping artistry, delicious food and a luxuriously quirky setting — what more could you ask for? Well, how about an excellent cocktail list? Luckily, Circus London stays open 'til late, because you're definitely going to want to sample a few of them. We recommend the Yuzu Martini. Click here to book your table.

Wednesday 16 October

Visit Southwark Cathedral by candlelight

CANDLELIT PHOTOGRAPHY: A rare chance to see — and photograph — the interior of Southwark Cathedral by candlelight. Amateur and professional photographers, and tripods, are welcome, and it’s a chance to roam the cathedral freely and snap away at your favourite features (it’s the stained glass windows for us). Southwark Cathedral, £11.50, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

ADVENTURE TRAVEL: As part of the Adventure Film Festival, watch a screening of DugOut. The premise is simple: two friends go out to the Amazon, fell a massive tree, make a dugout canoe and set off downstream. Popcorn and a drink are included in the ticket price. London Film School (Covent Garden), £5, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

BLACK FLAMINGO CABARET: Poet and drag queen Dean Atta hosts Black Flamingo Cabaret, an evening of gender-defying drag featuring black and queer performers. Atta takes on the role of The Black Flamingo to introduce cabaret acts including performance artist, poet and LGBTQ+ activist Travis Alabanza and Sea the Poet. Kings Place (King’s Cross), £12.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

Thursday 17 October

New book Remembering Lions launches tonight

TOWER BRIDGE: Tower Bridge continues its 125th anniversary celebrations with an evening of culinary history. Food historian Dr Annie Gray offers a whistlestop tour of 125 years of food at the world-famous river span. Tower Bridge, £20, book ahead, 7pm

REMEMBERING LIONS: Remembering Lions is a free exhibition going on all week, but it’s also a book, and tonight’s the launch event. The tome consists of photos and information about lions from top wildlife photographers and experts, and both the book and the event raise money for lion conservation charities. See images from the book, hear from wildlife photographers, and get your copy signed. Royal Geographical Society (Kensington), from £28.84, book ahead, 7.15pm-10.30pm

HOLOCAUST BRUNCH: Part performance, part meal, Holocaust Brunch is a chance to hear the stories of two Holocaust survivors as you tuck into 'brunch'. The dark comedy show delves into issues such as whether we can break free from the history our ancestors lived through, why we still remember the Holocaust — and what might happen if we forget it. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm

Friday 18 October

Paint London at this Pop-Up Painting session

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: One of our favourite exhibitions every year, Wildlife Photography of the Year opens today. See this year’s winning images (announced at a ceremony on Tuesday) alongside other shortlisted images, taken by photographers all over the world. Standards are always exceptionally high, and the show offers cute animal snaps alongside more serious insights into environmental issues. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), £13.95, book ahead, 18 October-31 May

EASY MATHS: How many cats are there in the world? What's the chance of winning the lottery twice? Maths author Rob Eastaway offers an entertaining insight into how to do maths without the calculators that most of us have come to rely on. Refresh your estimation skills, and have a laugh at the same time. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 6pm-7.15pm

PAINT LONDON: Try your hand at recreating the London skyline in watercolours at this Pop-Up Painting class. All materials are provided, and a professional artist is on hand to offer advice if required. Otherwise, get yourself a drink from the bar, and get stuck in. Granger (Ealing), £29.99, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Saturday 19 October

Natural History Museum's ice rink opens today

HALF TERM: As of today, most kids are of school for a week. But fear not — we’ve put together a guide to spending half term in London, covering family-friendly events, exhibitions, theatre shows and other activities.

ICE RINK: Good news, Christmas lovers — the Natural History Museum’s winter ice rink opens for the season today. It’s back outside the museum building, surrounded by twinkling trees and centred on a towering Christmas tree. A cafe bar and viewing platform run alongside. See when London's other ice rinks open. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), from £12.65, book ahead, 19 October-12 January

SCIENCE SHOWOFF: As part of Bloomsbury Festival, comedian Steve Cross hosts Science Showoff, bringing a range of scientists on stage to offer amusing insights into their work. Between them, the eight ‘geeks’ cover topics such as counting penguins and trying to make bacteria grow. Bloomsbury Theatre Studio, £8/£6, book ahead, 7.30pm

Sunday 20 October

Get inside Crossness Pumping Station. Photo: Peter Scrimshaw

BEATING THE BOUNDS: Nature writer and photographer Dr Peter Coles leads an autumnal walk around Hampstead Heath and Golden Green. He points out the boundary trees of the area, which date back to when it was a fairly rural place, to mark the boundaries between different properties. Golders Green station, £15, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

CROSSNESS ENGINES: Get inside London’s ‘cathedral of sewage’, Crossness Pumping Station, and see the Prince Consort engine in steam. There's also an exhibition about the Victorian sewer system which is still in use in the capital today, and children’s craft activities. Crossness Sewage Treatment Works (Abbey Wood), £8/£2, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

GARDEN WALK: Apparently Fulham Palace garden is the second oldest botanic garden in London. Join a guide for a tour of the 13-acre site and learn how the Bishops of London made it into what it is today, and how the gardening team care for it. Fulham Palace, £6, just turn up, 2pm-3pm