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17 Unusual Things To Do In London


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17 Unusual Things To Do In London

Go off the beaten track in the world’s most cosmopolitan city

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Drawing over 19 million visitors a year to its cultural institutions, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, there is no shortage of things to do in the capital. But if you’re looking for some unique or unusual things to do in London, allow us to be your guide… 

     

17 Unusual Things To Do In London

1. GAWP AT A VIEW

Survey London’s skyline with a cocktail in hand at the zen-like and leafy Sky Garden. Entry is free, but book well ahead. Particularly pretty at breakfast. skygarden.london 

Sky Garden

2. HAVE A LAUGH

Big West End shows not your cup of tea? Head instead to the more down-to-earth and vivacious Soho Theatre for the best new British comedy, theatre and cabaret shows. The late-night slots are great for post-dinner entertainment and it’s slap bang in the middle of Soho, so make the most of the multitude of top-notch restaurants around. sohotheatre.com

Soho Theatre

     

3. PIG OUT ON A PIE

Few people know that Holborn Dining Room is home to The Pie Room, spearheaded by pastry expert Calum Franklin. No soggy bottoms here – Calum makes each intricate pie by hand and will even teach you how to do so yourself if you join one of the pie-making classes. holborndiningroom.com

Holborn Dining Room Pie Room.

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4. DON’T MISS MORRICONE

Legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s concert on 26 November at The O2 may be his swansong. enniomorricone.org

Ennio Morricone

5. GET DOWN IN DALSTON

Step out of your comfort zone and join the East End cool kids, if only for the delicious Persian food served in the daytime at Café OTO, ‘the home of creative new music’ – aka a hotspot for lovers of challenging psych rock and free jazz. cafeoto.co.uk

6. GO WINE TASTING

The Wine Pantry is a great place to sample and buy the best quality English wines. Wine buffs will love the masterclasses and guided tastings that take you on a connoisseurs’ journey around the country in just a few hours. winepantry.co.uk

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 7. QUENCH YOUR CURIOSITY

Head to a former call centre in the heart of Hackney to experience an incoherent vision of the world in the form of The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. Zero attempt is made at classification in this bizarre treasure trove of wonders. Make sure you leave plenty of time to enjoy the cocktail bar that is also far from ordinary. thelasttuesdaysociety.org

The Last Tuesday Society

8. VISIT VAN GOGH

Tate Britain will hold the first Van Gogh exhibition since 1947, bringing together 40 works to show how the artist was inspired by Britain and how he, in turn, inspired British artists. 27 March to 11 August 2019. tate.org.uk

Van Gogh

9. TAKE A DIP

Head to Hampstead Heath for a long romantic walk and a dip in the ponds to cool off afterwards. Then venture up the hill to picturesque Kenwood House and spend the afternoon exploring and nibbling on the café’s excellent cakes. english-heritage.org.uk 

Kenwood House

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10. FIND PEARLS

Is there a more fabulous coupling than oysters and champagne? Enjoy the best at that most British of institutions, Bentley’s. Having served fish for over 100 years, no one knows their seafood better. Dine al fresco come summer, and pester Paddy the doorman for unbeatable tales of yore. bentleys.org

Bentley's

11. MAKE MAGIC

Witness amazing magic with your own eyes at The Magic Circle, the world’s premier magic society. Now in its 20th year, catch a show in any season for an experience that will truly blow your mind. The Christmas show, in particular is fantastic, and kids will love The Young Magicians Club. themagiccircle.co.uk

12. GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Four kilometres in length, the Parkland Walk is the longest Linear Nature Reserve in London, following a former railway line connecting Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace. Strangely spooky, it is said to be sci-fi author Stephen King’s favourite stroll when he’s visiting the city. parkland-walk.org.uk

13. DRAW FROM LIFE

It’s never too late to discover your artistic talent, especially at the drop-in life drawing classes that take place Tuesday lunchtimes at Vaulty Towers in SE1. Bringing together beginners and experienced sketchers alike, the buzzy atmosphere is so very London. londondrawing.com

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14. DISCOVER PERU

Sample the wonders of Peruvian baked goods at the newly-opened Andina bakery and café in Westbourne Grove. It’s a welcome addition to Ceviche’s growing family of Peruvian outlets on the London food scene. andinalondon.com

Andina London

15. SAY ‘KONNICHIWA’

You’ll find the best Japanese art, design, food, innovation and technology under one roof at brand new Japan House, a project funded by the Japanese Government. The art deco building in Kensington will offer a programme of exhibitions, shows, and even retail space. We’re particularly excited about trying the cutting-edge restaurant from esteemed chef Akira Shimizu. japanhouselondon.uk

Japan House London

16. EAT FRENCH AT THE FOUR SEASONS

World-renowned French chef Anne-Sophie Pic has opened a fabulous outpost at The Four Seasons. La Dame de Pic is currently one of the hottest seats to bag in London, thanks to the delightful French cuisine and Pic’s signature flavour combinations, which won the place a Michelin star this year. fourseasons.com

17. GET ON THE WATER

Or attempt to, as you practise pilates and yoga on paddleboards on the River Thames. The latest health craze to hit the city is perfect for warmer weather (if you manage to stay upright). active360.co.uk

Active 360

Discover more London events to book, in our Town Culture Diary

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