We mean sober in terms of alcohol free, not the ‘sensible’, ‘solemn’ type of sober which you’d use to describe your Uncle Richard from Devonshire (he most definitely isn’t alcohol sober, that’s for sure). But dry January does not necessarily have to be boring January…and we know why! There are SO many incredible events happening and things to do that don’t involve alcohol, (that is, after New Year’s Eve, obviously)…who’d have thought!
From the 14th – 17th January 2016, two iconic destinations – King’s Cross and the West End – will be transformed with neons, video-mapped projections and installations, responding to the unique architecture of each location. Taking place outdoors over four evenings, the festival is completely free to attend and will be the biggest light festival to hit the capital with a host of international artists attending to illuminate our city. See iconic architecture (think the National Portrait Gallery, Covent Garden and Granary Square) transformed with 3D projections, interactive installations and other extraordinary light works.
2. London Short Film Festival
Now in its 13th year, the London Short Film Festival will take place at around twenty major London venues from 8th – 17th January 2014, combining independent shorts, live music, training and parties. From cat videos to filmmaker retrospectives, 38 new UK short programmes to dedicated documentary and international screenings, LSFF has something to offer everyone who loves film and film culture. Visit their website for more details.
3. Redemption Bar, Notting Hill
Don’t let the picture fool you! Notting Hill’s booze-free hangout Redemption Bar isn’t all lettuce leaves and wheatgrass shots (although admittedly there is a drink made from iceberg lettuce) – it’s far more indulgent than your average vegan night out. As the founder Catherine Salway says, “It’s about spoiling yourself, without spoiling yourself”. And that you do. Sip on a Coco-rita (coconut water shaken over ice with lime and agave syrup, served in a salt-rimmed glass) and we wouldn’t blame you for thinking you were drinking the real deal. At this rate, it might turn it to ferment-free February and more-mocktails-for-me March!
6 Chepstow Road, W2 5BH
4. Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
From over 2,000 submissions, this annual art exhibition showcases portraits by students, amateurs and professionals. Each illustrate traditional and experimental approaches to photographic portraiture today, and having peaked at a few of the shortlisted…it is definitely not one to miss.
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Pl, WC2H 0HE
5. Peg + Patriot
Seriously, you won’t even know you’re not boozing…with three *non-alcoholic* drinks on the menu that taste and sound (but what’s in name?…errr, everything!) exactly like the real deal. Choose from a Gin & Tonic in which the flavours of the gin have been distilled into water and mixed with tonic, a Campari & Soda or an Aperol Spritz. The guys (mainly Matt Whiley) are so clever they’ve distilled the spirit and collected the by-product which is basically booze flavoured sugar. Genius!
Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
Featured Image Credit: Evening Standard