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10 Things to Do in London This Week

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10 Things to Do in London This Week

Don't miss the best cultural events taking place across the capital...

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What’s on in London this week? From the hottest show openings, latest art exhibitions, restaurants to book and tickets to buy now, here’s your culture guide to the week ahead…

What’s On In London This Week? 20 – 26 January

1. Join the Chinese New Year celebrations for fortune cookies, lion dancers and delicious Eastern-inspired cocktails

W London’s ‘One Night in Shanghai'

The Lunar New Year in London is one of the capital’s best and brightest celebrations. Chinatown is aglow with red lanterns and restaurants and bars around the city are throwing their own parties. C&TH has got the lowdown on the best Chinese New Year nights for ringing in the year of the Rat in style, from a raucous Shanghai-inspired Chinese New Year party at W London to the opulent festivities – complete with lion dancers, Chinese drummers and signature dumplings – at Mayfair’s Park Chinois. 25 January; Where to Celebrate Chinese New Year in London

2. Delight in a Canton tea tasting and explore the beloved beverage’s history at Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries Canton tea tasting

Join Jennifer Wood, the founder of Canton Tea, at Petersham Nurseries’ gorgeous private glasshouse for this informative, 90-minute tea tasting, taking guests through the history and culture of tea drinking in China and Britain. Sample white, green, oolong and black teas while learning about the myths and provenance stories around each variety, accompanied (naturally) by a slice of cake from the Petersham Teahouse. 23 January, 3–4:30pm; petershamnurseries.com 

3. Celebrate Australia Day and raise funds for the fire services at East London’s Skylight rooftop bar

Skylight Rooftop

Since Christmas 2019, Australia has been suffering from devastating wildfires, which have destroyed over 10 billion hectares of land, killing half a billion animals and 25 people, and prompting large-scale evacuation and displacement of countless indigenous communities. As the fires spread, showing no signs of abetting, any celebration of Australia Day this year is bound to be marked by a sadness and sense of loss – but it’s also an opportunity to raise much-needed funds for the rescue effort. Skylight have teamed up with Aussies in London for a day of fundraising, with all proceeds from the scenic ice-skating and £1 from every drink sold going to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES), New South Wales Rural Fire Service and Country Fire Authority (CFA). There’s also a chance to win exciting prizes – including Dishoom vouchers, paintballing and spa treatments from Cloud Twelve – through the raffle, the proceeds of which are also donated. 26 January, 12–7pm, Tobacco Dock, Car Park Entrance, Pennington Street, London, E1W 2SF 

4. Brighten up your Blue Monday with something that doesn’t involve going to the gym

Gymbox laughing therapy

Blue Monday seems to be everywhere this time of the year. No, not the New Order song – the third Monday in January is purported to be the most depressing day in the calendar. While the science behind it is sketchy, there’s hardly any point arguing that January doesn’t feel endless and gloomy. But don’t let the mid-month blues get you down: there’s plenty of activities in the capital guaranteed to lift your spirits. We’ve rounded up the best mood-boosting pop-ups and events for a sunny start to this chilly week.

5. See the National Theatre’s re-imagining of Chekhov’s Three Sisters

Three Sisters National Theatre

The National Theatre brings Chekhov’s iconic tale of family ties and frustrated ambition to the stage, but notes audiences have ever seen it before. Instead of yearning for Moscow, the new Fuel Theatre production sees the sisters dream of returning to their home in Lagos, with the familiar story becoming more urgent when set against the searing backdrop of Nigeria on the brink of the Biafran Civil War. Until 19 February; tickets via nationaltheatre.org.uk

6. Drink whiskey, indulge in neeps & tattoos and don your finest tartan for this year’s Burns Night

Burns Night

Starting as a celebration of the life of iconic Scottish poet Robert Burns, Burns Night has evolved into a nationwide affair on 25 January, the poet’s birthday. After his death, Burns – considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement – became a source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. C&TH has rounded up the best of Burns Night events in London, from five-course Scottish fine dining at the Altheneum to a lively whiskey tasting and DJ night at Shoreditch’s Sun Tavern. 25 January

7. Say hello to Spring with the re-opening of the Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden

It might not look it at the moment, but spring is closer than you think. The Chelsea Physic Garden, one of the prettiest gardens in London and a well-kept secret by those in the know, is re-opening after its winter break for its Heralding Spring event, a promise of brighter days to come. Take along the green-fingered gardening enthusiast in your life and soak in the beautiful horticultural offerings, as well as walks, talks and workshops at what’s bound to be a re-vitalising day of nature experiences at SW3. 25 January – 2 February; chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

8. Attend a plant potion masterclass with zero-alcohol brand Three Spirit at The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill

Little Yellow Door x Three Spirit

Dry January no longer means ditching your beloved Cosmos and Espresso Martinis – at least not at Three Spirit’s Plant Potion Masterclass. Hosted at Notting Hill’s cosy Little Yellow Door bar in a twist on its usual Sipperclubs, Three Spirit’s resident botanical alchemist Geyan Surendran will teach you to concoct low ABV twists on cocktail classics in a special one-on-one session. 22 January, 7pm; tickets via designmynight.com

9. Explore an array of current and contemporary art at the annual London Art Fair in Islington

Spanning five days and taking place within Islington’s extensive Grade II Listed Business Design Centre, the London Art Fair is the ideal place to explore the best of the contemporary art world, network with artists, critics and collectors and perhaps even take home something special for yourself. With artworks arranged over an impressive over 100 exhibiting galleries, the fair brings together an array of experienced and budding art collectors, artists, curators and leading galleries from across the globe. 2020 will see the return of its contemporary photography exhibition, Photo50. This year, author of The Art of Collecting Photography, Laura Noble will present Occupy the Void, a unique exhibition unveiling the works of 10 accomplished female photographers, all over the age of 50, and the societal ‘space’ they occupy. 22 – 26 January; tickets via londonartfair.co.uk

10. Exercise and (healthily) indulge with Orrery’s ‘Barre & Lunch’ series

Xtend Barre Studio Marylebone

Beginners and long-term barre devotees alike can benefit from this event, simultaneously soothing the mind and strengthening the body. Begin with a toning Xtendbarre class, followed by a nourishing two-course lunch from the Orrery vegan tasting menu including roasted cauliflower and beetroot tartar with side salad of quinoa, cranberries, walnuts, butternut squash, cumin and turmeric. The session is concluded with guided meditation led by Fiona Lamb, a critically acclaimed Harley Street clinical hypnotherapist, speaker and trainer. 25 January, 55 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5RB; tickets via danddlondon.com

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