Things To Do This Week In London: 18-24 February 2019

Things to do this week is sponsored by Churchill War Rooms.

All week

It's the final week of the V&A's Videogames exhibition.

HALF TERM: A Lego exhibition, Horrid Henry, fictional pirates and Roman bones are just some of the ways you can keep the kids busy this half term. Take a look at our guide to spending half term in London for further ideas.

VIDEO GAMES: It's the last week of the V&A's Videogames exhibition, which covers the design and culture of contemporary video games. It's an in-depth look at the industry, with a lot for hardcore fans, but our reviewer found it a little inaccessible for anyone else — read our full review. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £18, book ahead, until 24 February

KING OF SYRIA: Also closing this week is the British Museum's spectacular I Am Ashurbanipal exhibition, about the Assyrian king who was the most powerful man on earth. It's a massive exhibition that you could spend hours in, full of history and packed with stories — read our full review. British Museum, £17, book ahead, until 24 February

LOST TREASURES: One final 'last chance to see' is Strawberry Hill House's Lost Treasures exhibition. It brings back together some of the items which belonged to Horace Walpole, the house's original owner, but were sold off after his death. Strawberry Hill House (Twickenham), included in admission, booking recommended, until 24 February

Monday 18 February

Tuck into a honey feast

HONEY FEAST: Celebrate the importance of bees and learn a bit more about them at a honey feast supper by bee experts Hive & Keeper. Hear from beekeeper Emily Abbott, followed by a five course meal, with each dish championing a specific type of natural raw honey. The Culpeper (Spitalfields), £50, book ahead, 6.30pm

TOUCH OF NOIR: Regular film event Shorts On Tap celebrates its fifth birthday with an evening of short Neo-noir films, including Kafkaesque horror Floor 9.5. The screening is followed by a Q&A with some of the film makers. Regent Street Cinema, £7, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm

Tuesday 19 February

Join London Dreamtime's Story Circle

FULL MOON: Join storytelling expert Vanessa Woolf of London Dreamtime for a night of tales celebrating the full moon, covering mythology, legend and folklore. If you want to tell a story yourself, sign up at 6pm, otherwise, sit back and enjoying a night of entertainment. Library (Covent Garden), £6, book ahead, 6.30pm

LAURA BATES: Founder of The Everyday Sexism Project Laura Bates chats to journalist and author Anna James about Bates's debut YA novel, The Burning. It's about a 15 year old who moves to a remote Scottish town with her mother to escape her past. The talk is followed by a Q&A and book signing. Foyles Charing Cross Road, £10/£8/£5, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

THE PLANET: Are we wearing out the planet with our love of fashion? With ever growing landfill sites full of clothes and manmade materials ending up in the sea, it seems so. Hear from experts including producer of Netflix's The True Cost Lucy Siegle, clothing and textiles expert Patrick Grant, and The Carbon Trust's sustainable fashion expert Pauline Op de Beeck. Royal Geographical Society (Kensington Gore), £10/£8, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm


Sponsor message

Uncover the subterranean secrets of the Churchill War Rooms

Beneath the bustling streets of Westminster lies an underground HQ that has remained frozen in time for over seven decades. Here, military operations were plotted, rousing speeches were drafted and, ultimately, history was made. During the second world war, Winston Churchill and his cabinet met in this labyrinth of underground rooms to make the decisions that shaped the outcome of conflict. And, thanks to Imperial War Museums, you can walk in their footsteps.

Immerse yourself in the meticulously preserved Map Room, take a peek inside Churchill's bedroom, and discover the tiny Transatlantic Telephone Room — disguised as a private toilet — where the Prime Minister would carry out clandestine calls with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. You can even read through the letters Sir Winston wrote to his wife, Clementine. Don't forget to pop inside the Churchill Museum too, for further insight into this fascinating yet controversial political figure.

Find Churchill War Rooms beneath Clive Steps on King Charles Street, Westminster. Tickets cost £22 for adults, £17.50 for concessions, and £11 for children and can be bought here. Under fives go free.


Wednesday 20 February

Watch The Pirates of Penzance

PIRATES OF PENZANCE: Watch a new take on Gilbert & Sullivan classic The Pirates Of Penzance — it begins its run tonight. It's the story of a child apprenticed to a band of pirates, and manages to be both sentimental and silly. Wilton's Music Hall, £10-£30, book ahead, 20 February-16 March

DOMESDAY: Dr Jessica Nelson, Medieval Records Specialist at The National Archives, talks about the history of the Domesday Book, including some of its uses over its 900 year life. National Archives (Kew), £10/£8, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

THE CHILDREN ACT: Any film starring acting royalty Emma Thompson is A-OK by us, and up tonight it's The Children Act. The 2018 film is about a judge who must choose whether or not she should rule to force a teenage Jehovah’s Witness into undergoing a life-saving blood transfusion. Harris Academy (South Norwood), £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Thursday 21 February

Hannah Starkey discusses her work at Whitechapel Gallery

BEER FEST: 155 breweries pile into east London for Craft Beer Rising, apparently the UK's biggest craft beer festival. As well as a chance to sample and buy many, many beers, hear from experts on topics such as cider tasting and beer and food pairing — then test out your new found skills in the street food market. Old Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), £16.80-£21.60, book ahead, 21-23 February

ELIZABETHAN TREASURES: National Portrait Gallery's new exhibition showcases portrait miniatures of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, which can tell us a lot about identity, culture and society in the 16th and 17th centuries. National Portrait Gallery, £10/£8.50, book ahead, 21 February-19 May

HOLLYWOOD STAR: Actress Mildred Shay — better-known as 'Hollywood's Pocket Venus' — stars as the subject of this event. Writer and curator Austin Mutti-Mewse was a personal friend of the actress, and talks about how their friendship came about, and show some of her personal belongings, including capes and a make-up box. Fashion & Textile Museum (Bermondsey), £15/£12, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

LIVING WITH BUILDINGS: Author and London expert Iain Sinclair talks about the changes he's seen take place in the capital throughout his lifetime. He signs copies of his book, Living with Buildings and Walking with Ghosts, after the talk. London Transport Museum (Covent Garden), £12/£10, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

CONVERSATIONS ON PHOTOGRAPHY: Northern Irish photographer Hannah Starkey — known for her subtly feminist view on the world — talks about her work, ranging from 20 years ago to her most recent projects. Her photographs tend to capture women in their everyday surroundings, and the event is part of a wider celebration of contemporary photography. Whitechapel Gallery, £9.50/£7.50, book ahead, 7pm

FATBOY SLIM: Good news, ravers. Legendary DJ and big beat pioneer Fatboy Slim is turning The SSE Arena into one massive nightclub for his immersive In The Round show — and StubHub have tickets. There's a revolving stage, rave ushers, and the intriguing-sounding 'live smiley face experience'. The SSE Arena Wembley, from £39.48 while tickets last, book ahead, 7.30pm (sponsor)

Friday 22 February

Explore Strawberry Hill House after hours

KIDS' PUB QUIZ: It's never too early to train up your pub quiz team. There's no beer involved at this family-friendly pub quiz by comedian Patrick Monahan, which has questions on topics such as music and TV that all the family should be able to answer. There's a bit of a twist on the mystery round though. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 11am/2pm

PARK SECRETS: Get to know St James's Park a little better on this walking tour, led by an expert guide. Hear about the history of nearby locations including The Mall and Horse Guards Parade, and finish up by watching the Royal Park's resident pelicans have their lunch. St James's Park, £10, book ahead, 1.15pm-2.45pm

FRIDAY LATE: Two days before the Lost Treasures exhibition closes, visit it after hours, and take part in popup masterclasses on Walpole’s key objects. Items belonging to Horace Walpole were sold off after his death and haven't returned to the house... until now. Strawberry Hill House (Twickenham), £16, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

Saturday 23 February

Go inside cockpits and cabs at the RAF Museum

OPEN COCKPITS: There's a rare chance to go behind the barriers and climb inside the cockpits and cabs of various vehicles at the RAF Museum, to see what it was like to drive or fly them. A Sea King, a Phantom and a K2 Ambulance are among the vehicles opening their doors. RAF Museum (Hendon), £15/£7.50, book ahead, 11am-3pm

FAMILY FUN DAY: Evolution and ancestry are some of the topics covered in Royal Institution's Who Am I? family fun day. It's aimed at 6-12 year olds and their families, with talks, demonstrations and experiments going on throughout the day. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 11am-4pm

JAPAN NOW: Contemporary writing and culture from Japan goes under the microscope in this day of special events. Meet writers, translators and artists, find out how they confront taboos through their work and hear how a Japanese photographer's travels around the world made her reflect differently on her homeland. British Library, £20/£14, book ahead, 11am-5.15pm

CHINGFORD WALK: Join Footprints Of London guide Joanna Moncrieff for a walk around Chingford, an area that's transformed from fields and farms to royals and railways. The walk follows an 1838 map, highlighting which fields and footpaths still exist today, and covers facts such as a world war one aerodrome now underneath a reservoir, and Ivor Novello’s connection with the airfield and the pub nearby. Chingford station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Sunday 24 February

Drunk Women Solving Crime comes to Islington

HANDEL PLAYERS: Hear works of music by George Frideric Handel and his Italian friend Arcangelo Corelli performed in the atmospheric setting of The Charterhouse, an impressive building that has served as a monastery, private mansion, boys school and an almshouse. The Charterhouse (Clerkenwell), £20, book ahead, 2.30pm-3.30pm

DRUNK WOMEN SOLVING CRIME: Popular comedy podcast Drunk Women Solving Crime turns up in Islington for a live recording. The premise is exactly what it sounds like. a boozed-up panel tackling personal crime stories and solving true crime cases. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10, book ahead, 6pm

COMEDY SKETCH OFF: See some of the UK's best up-and-coming sketch artists and character comedians go head to head in the fourth annual Sketch Off. Tonight's the grand final, so the cream of the crop are performing in a bid to win a cash prize and their own comedy showcase. Leicester Square Theatre, £16.75, book ahead, 7pm