you’re reading

What’s On in London? The Town Culture Diary

Culture /

What’s On in London? The Town Culture Diary

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...


What’s on this week in London? Wonder no more! Find out all the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions in London, restaurants to book into and more. Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead…  

What’s On in London?

16 October

May Morris: Art & Life

May Morris Tapestry Room

For over a century May Morris’ contribution to the decorative arts has been somewhat overshadowed by her father William Morris. Now she finally gets the recognition she deserves in an exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which ties together her work across embroidery, wallpaper and jewellery design. 7 October to 28 January.

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?


Marketing can be manipulative but design can be used to persuade in good ways, too. The Wellcome Collection shows how we are influenced by health warnings and gently nudged to eat our five-a-day. Until 14 January

Egypt Uncovered: Belzoni and the Tomb of Pharaoh Seti I

Egypt Uncovered

For the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Seti’s Tomb by Giovanni Battista Belzoni, the Sir John Soane’s Museum is hosting an exhibition to showcase the lesser-known story behind the discovery of the Tomb. Belzoni, an engineer in Egypt, previously a circus strongman first discovered the tomb on the 17 October 1817. Not only did he find the remains of Seti I in an alabaster carved sarcophagus, but also thousands of hieroglyphs and wall paintings in remarkably good condition, even with some of the painters’ brushes and paints left over. In the centre of the museum, the sarcophagus will go on display with a 3-D digital scan of itself by Factum Arte. Until April 15.      

Dance Umbrella: A Celebration of International Dance  

Satchie Noro Aerialist

Battersea Power Station’s iconic contribution to the skyline was much discussed during its development. In Origami, Japanese aerialist Satchie Noro uses its form to stunning effect, framing a heart-in-mouth performance on a moving, 40ft shipping container to open Dance Umbrella, a celebration of international dance. 11–28 October. 

Now Gallery, Human Stories: The Body Issue

The Now Gallery will be hosting the second issue in the Human Bodies series, The Body Issue, curated by Kaia Charles. A collection of artists such as Alma Hasar and Nicole Chui will be presenting a compilation of photographs, videos and other digital media forms to explore the nature of beauty and identity, whilst encompassing gender, race and perceptions and objectifications we make of ourselves. Preview night will also feature a contemporary dance combined with Origami by Satchie Noro to delve into the physicality of the human form. Free admission.

John Bellany Exhibition at Fortnum & Mason

Bonjour Mr Bowie Art collector Frank Cohen will lend 50 works by John Bellany to Fortnum & Mason. Curated by Robert Upstone, Head of Modern British Art at Tate, it will be the largest exhibition of the British artist’s work since his death in 2013. You won’t find a display of this calibre at your local supermarket, so find an excuse to drop in. 18 September to 28 October.

Pierre Cardin x Maison Assouline Pop-Up

Pierre Cardin x Maison Assouline, Pop-Up

To celebrate the launch of their new book, there will be a Pierre Cardin pop-up at Assouline’s flagship store in Piccadilly. There will be a selection of the designers most notable pieces such as dresses, hats, jewellery, handbags and sunglasses that guests will be able to purchase along with one-off items. The famed designer will also be in attendance at the official launch of his book on the 17 October. 16-28 October.

Fierce Festival

Fierce Fest Marie-Caroline Hominal

Coming back for its 17th edition Fierce Festival is set to be as thought-provoking and creative as ever. With creative direction falling to Aaron Wright this year he brings along with him six world premieres and twelve UK premieres such as, Michele Rizzo’s ‘Higher’ which explores the agony and ecstasy of clubbing through the medium of dance and a trio of Canadian works curated in collaboration with Studio 303, Montreal. With the concept to push boundaries and create a dialogue, Fierce will also have a ‘A Very Fierce Grand Opening’ on 18 October with the likes of Francois Chaignaud and Marie-Caroline Hominal, Quarto and Splash Addict preforming. To take the festivities even further there will also be a ‘Club Fierce’ night on the 21 October with the likes of Kiddy Smile and Imma Asher to keep everyone entertained.

17 October

Basquiat at the Barbican

Basquiat at the Barbican

© Edo Bertoglio, courtesy of Maripol
Artwork: © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

The Barbican will be hosting the first large-scale exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat, with over 100 pieces of his work ranging from paintings to rare film and everything in between. Dubbed a real maven of the downtown scene, being self-taught gave Basquiat the freedom to take on a multitude of different mediums, which made him quickly become a well-known creative force, leading to collaborations with the likes of Andy Warhol. Tickets £16. Exhibition from 21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018. 

19 October

St James’s Art & Design Walk

St James's Art & Design Walk

St James’s London will be playing host to 3 walking tours of St James’s and the contemporary galleries within the area. During the evening on the 19 and the day of the 21, people can sign up for an after-hours special look at a selection of the galleries. This will start at the Academician’s Room at the RA, where you’ll be greeted with a glass of champagne, you’ll then go ahead on the tour and finish up at the restaurant ICA. Don’t worry about getting lost because the team at Wallpaper* have put together a digital map, which will help you along your way. You can sign up from the 10 October here:

Ginza Onodera & World Sake Imports Dinner Series

Ginza Onodera

Ginza Onodera‘s head chef, head sommelier and leading sake brewery Yoshida Shuzo-ten will be creating a bespoke menu full of signature sushi dishes and pairing them with unique Tedorigawa sakes. The dinner will consist of five courses, four sakes and a green tea to cleanse your palate at the end. If any of these sakes particularly takes your fancy then fear not, diners will be allowed to purchase the bottles at a discounted rate! A silent auction will also take place for a bottle of Tsuyusanzen Nama Daiginjo to raise diners’ pulses, for one of the last bottles in London. Tickets are limited, so call 020 7839 1101 before it’s too late. A second dinner series will take place in February 2018.

20 October

LOAM : Vegetable-based Seasonal Feasting

LOAM Seasonal Feasting

Are you a fan of vegetable-based dishes full of flavour? Then you’ll not want to miss this! LOAM are curating a series of pop-up dinners in a family, feasting style environment full of sharing platters and nibbles created with produce locally grown and sourced from London farms. The series will begin with chef Jack Williams, where he’ll be serving dishes such as Westcombe ricotta dumplings with cavolo nero and meringue with spiced quince and cream. Chatting and mingling after dinner will be encouraged by a specially selected list of music to help retain the atmosphere. 20 October, tickets £37,

Great Nordic Feast, South Bank

Great Nordic Feast

At his eponymous Stockholm restaurant, Niklas Ekstedt cooks with the ‘stone-age equivalent of a microwave oven’. Join him and a hot lineup of Nordic chefs for one-off dining experiences at the inaugural Great Nordic Feast on South Bank. 20–22 October.

21 October

Laurent-Perrier Afternoon Tea Experience

Laurent-Perrier & Searcys, AT

To celebrate their 170th birthday, Searcys are collaborating with Laurent-Perrier for a special Afternoon Tea experience. Led by a lovely Victorian Butler the experience aims to capture the true ethos of both brands, as well as providing guests with Laurent-Perrier experts to pair the champagne with the sumptuous Afternoon Tea finger sandwiches and sweet treats. There will be a champagne fountain, and you’ll have the opportunity to win a magnum of Laurent-Perrier, so you don’t have to worry about stocking up your own supply for a while! 21 and 22 October only. Tickets can be found here:

Travels to My Elephant II Race

Travels to My Elephant Race

In aid of the Asian Elephant and to honour the late Mark Shand, founder and creator of the Elephant Family organisation, the charity is putting on a race of over 500km from Jodphur to Jaipur. The land will be covered on a variety of vehicles such as motorbikes, jeeps and even a selection of vintage cars from the Maharaja of Jaipur himself. Travelers will get to experience India like no other, seeing everything from the Stepwell Salt Flats to the Jain Temple at Osian. The experience will be the height of luxury with five star food and accommodation as well as business class flights home. With only 20 spaces left, this is not only a trip of a lifetime but also a great way to meet and connect with a variety of notable and influential people. Minimum £6,000 entry & minimum £6,000 fundraising target. 30 October.  

22 October

‘Whither Would you go?’, Gala Fundraiser for UNHCR

Whither Would You Go?, Refugee Fundraiser

Inspired by Shakespeare’s speech from ‘The Book of Sir Thomas More’, a host of notable people from the stage and screen will be preforming pieces from Shakespeare’s play along side real-life refugee stories. Brought together and produced by Ella Smith & Emma West this evening is a one off event seeing the likes of James Norton, Jack Whitehall, Martin Freeman, Olivia Williams and Jay Abdo take part for a very worthy cause, with all proceeds going to the UN Refugee Agency. Tickets range from £50 – £

23 October

Ben Buchanan, Never-Seen-Before Photography Exhibition

Image by Ben Buchanan, available from

Image by Ben Buchanan, available from

Peter Harrington‘s rare bookshop & gallery in Mayfair will play host to Ben Buchanan and his never-seen-before photographs from 1983-1987 of AREA Nightclub, Downtown New York. Famous for its celebrity clientele from a wide range of industries, Ben Buchanan captured everyone from Andy Warhol to Grace Jones in the moment, relaxed and full of life. You won’t leave empty handed either as there are a limited number of signed and annotated prints for sale, prices start from £650. Peter Harrington Dover Street, until 31 October. 

Tyler Shields Exhibit at COYA

Tyler Shields, COYA

One of Hollywood’s favourite photographers, Tyler Shields, will be exhibiting his work at one of London’s finest restaurants, COYA Mayfair. To kick off Frieze Art Fair, COYA in collaboration with Imitate Modern will be showing Tyler Shields’s ‘Provocateur’ collection in the Pisco Lounge, Main Restaurant and Member’s Club. There will be some of Shields’s most well-known pieces, as well as a brand new body of work which will be viewed for the first time, exploring the sensual nature of humanity. 4 October – 27 November. 

2 November

East Meets West, Design Centre

East Meets West

The Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour are curating a truly immersive exhibition, following the crossover between the East and West. It will be looking at everything from priceless antiques brought by the Antiques Young Guns to mixed media pieces from Chinese contemporary artists. The aim to create an open conversation will be aided by demonstrations, workshops and discovery tours. 2 – 11 November.

MORE CULTURE: The C&TH Festival Guide 2017 / Current Exhibitions to See in London

Topics: Art / Books / Country / Design / Exhibitions / Film / Little Black Book / London / Music / Town /

Sign up to our Newsletter