The self-imposed deprivation of pleasure is finally over. Celebrate with these brilliant things to do in London in February 2018.
The very darkest days of the year are behind us, so it’s time to start falling in love with the city again… even if you haven’t got a date. Here are a few things to do in London this February to get you all loved up. (See also: things to do in London in March.)
1. It’s Suffragette city! (from Feb 2)
2018 marks the centenary of women winning the right to vote in the UK, and London’s institutions will be honouring the occasion in all sorts of ways. Kicking things off is the Museum of London’s programme of activity with a new display (opens Feb 2), a weekend of family-friendly events to inspire young and old alike (Feb 3-4) and even a bus tour of London locations with significance to the suffragette struggle (Feb 24). See more here. There are also a series of events planned at the Bishopsgate Institute.
2. Get all Mardi at this New Orleans-y party (Feb 3)
The crew at Shabba Party are bringing the vibrancy, colour and performance of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festivities to east London’s Oval Space. There’ll be live music and performers and a generally riotous good time – the perfect antidote to the January blues. Grab tickets for just £10 here. 💫 Sponsored. 💫
3. A new prosecco bar is opening (Feb 5 onwards)
It’s the news that bubble-lovers have been waiting for: Prosecco House, London’s first bar devoted entirely to prosecco will be opening at One Tower Bridge early in February 2018. They’ll be serving over twenty varieties of the best prosecco that Italy has to offer, with links to five family-owned vineyards specialising in the fantastic fizz. Keep an eye on their Instagram page and website for updates.
4. Find a Shady circus hiding in the Vaults (all month)
Hundreds of creative shows are taking place at VAULT Festival during February, all in the atmospheric tunnels underneath Waterloo Station. Becoming Shades, an immersive circus featuring acrobats, aerialists and fire artists, looks particularly enthralling. It’s on until February 18 – grab tickets here. 💫 Sponsored. 💫
5. Get a slice of the action at an all-star pizza party (Feb 8)
Some of London’s best pizza purveyors – we’re talking Homeslice, Born and Raised, Pizza Pilgrims, and more – are engaging in a little friendly competition for one night only. Hosted by Foodism at Canada Water’s Hawker House, it’s your chance to judge whose slice is the nicest. More details here.
6. Try tees on for size at an art exhibition
OK, you probably can’t try them on, but the Fashion & Textile Museum near London Bridge is exhibiting some revolutionary t-shirts from over the years, with a special collection of Vivienne Westwood’s designs.
7. The Orchid Festival is returning to Kew Gardens (10th Feb)
The stunning Kew Gardens orchid festival is kicking off on the 10th February and will be running until 11th March. This celebration of this delicate bloom will feature colourful floral displays, including an orchid tunnel and orchid-covered arches, plus a celebration of all things Thai. We reckon it’s the perfect way to destress after a hectic start to the year.
8. Extend your Veganuary a couple more weeks…
There’s a two-day vegan fest at Alexandra Palace on Feb 10-11, dedicated to cruelty-free, plant-based products and brands. There’ll be lots of delicious food, obviously, and not a hot dog in sight. Find out more here.
9. A Valentine’s market for dog lovers is popping up at Netil Market (11th Feb)
Forget Valentine’s day and Galentine’s day and all other reincarnations of the dreaded day of hearts and roses… This is Valendog’s day, and it’s the only day you’ll ever need to celebrate. Head down to east London’s Netil Market on Sunday 11th Feb between 11 – 4pm for a doggy shopping bonanza. Just take a look at the Fetch and Follow Facebook event for more information on the canine brands that’ll be popping up shop on the day.
10. February is the month of Pancake Day (13th Feb)
Everyone knows Pancake Day is the most flipping awesome day of the year. This is undoubtedly the perfect opportunity to undo all that good work you did during your January health kick. We recommend heading to MAMIE’s in Covent Garden or My Old Dutch in Holborn (which just so happens to be next to our office) if you’re looking for crepes, or to The Breakfast Club if you’re after American style pancakes. If you’re more of a spectator, head to Victoria Tower Gardens to watch MPs and Lords embarrassing themselves in the name of charity at the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race.
11. It’s Chinese New Year (16th Feb)
Who’s a good year? You are. Yes YOU are! The Year of the Dog is bounding in on Friday Feb 16, and Chinatown is pulling out all the stops to celebrate that weekend. Head to Chinatown on Sunday, Feb 18 for a festive parade that’s expected to be the largest event outside of Asia.
12. Loads of cute winter pop-ups are still going strong (until 17th Feb)
We recommend heading to Sipsmith’s Hot Gin Roof (on top of Ham Yard Hotel) for a pick-me-up before it closes on 17th February. It’s pretty obvious that the only way to keep warm in this miserable weather involves a cosy combination of hot beverages, gin, and snuggling up under a woollen blanket. Oh, and they’ll even heat your toddy up with a burning poker from the fire. Hot dram! Check out our article for more information.
13. Stay on fleek at Fashion Week (Feb 22-25)
London Fashion Week runs this February, with the world’s hottest designers, models and media-types converging on the catwalks to preview next season’s trends. For us mere mortals, there’s the London Fashion Week Festival, with four days of designer shopping, talks and other fashion-forward experiences. Could 2018 be the year you become The Kind Of Person Who Wears A Hat? For 20% off, get a standard festival pass here or Silver pass (with catwalk show access) here.
14. Feel the Olympic spirit at Roof East (until 25th Feb)
Celebrate the Winter Olympics in South Korea (Feb 9-25, since you ask) by trying that most curious of winter sports, curling. Head up to Stratford’s Roof East for the return of their winter curling lanes (sadly not including ‘the frantic brooming’ aspect) and all the usual food, drinks and entertainment the Social Fun & Games Club is known for. Check out our article here. Alternatively, Canary Wharf’s covered, outdoor, LED-lit ice rink is STILL open until Feb 25.
15. See some magical Oscar-nominated movies
The vagaries of international release calendars mean that loads of Oscar-fancied films arrive in British cinemas this month. In particular, Phantom Thread, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and I, Tonya are all hotly-tipped and worth checking out.
16. Head somewhere new
They might not all be new, but they’re still very special. Check out the 30+ places to visit in London we covered in January:
• Elan Café, an outrageously pink pair of cafés for Instagrammers everywhere
• sketch, probably the most beautiful (and OTT) restaurant in London
• Sky Garden, for free views over London from the Walkie Talkie’s 43rd floor
• Hunan, the Chinese restaurant with no menu (but thousands of happy customers)
• BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a beautiful Hindu temple in Neasden
• Cahoots, the retro tube-themed basement bar in Soho
📍Postman’s Park, the pretty memorial to everyday heroes
📍ArcheryFit, the south London bow + arrow school
📍Reform Bar & Grill, the restaurant with an all-Yorkshire Pudding menu
📍London Fields Lido, the newly re-opened heated outdoor pool
📍Conservatory Archives, an adorable Hackney plant shop
📍MiniMix, the quirky steampunk cocktail bar in Kings X
📍The Cheese Bar, Camden’s little restaurant dedicated to all things cheesy
📍Four Thieves, the pub with a huge games room and toy race track
📍Leighton House, the art palace hidden in a Kensington townhouse
📍The Stable, a Whitechapel pub with 80 different ciders
📍The Orbit Slide, the longest tunnel slide in the world
📍The Spread Eagle, the new all-vegan pub in east London
📍Pastaio, fab Italian restaurant in Soho serving prosecco slushies
📍Hesters Hideout, the cabaret-and-circus speakeasy in Clerkenwell
📍Dark Sugars, serving up hot chocolates to die for on Brick Lane
📍Ballie Ballerson, the infamous glow-in-the-dark ball pit bar for adults
📍Crystal Maze, the awesomely nostalgic team-building adventure
📍London Mithraeum, a mysterious (and free-to-visit!) Roman temple in the City
📍Polo Bar, the 24/7 café that doesn’t even bother having a front door
📍Maitre Choux, the pair of patisseries serving excellent eclairs
📍Mookrata, the Chinatown restaurant where you BBQ your own food
📍Travelling Through, cute Waterloo bookshop with café and cocktails
📍The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych
📍Hayward Gallery, now re-open on the Southbank after two-year refurb
📍Chocolate Museum, a little temple to >cocoa in Brixton 📍God’s Own Junkyard, the neon sign paradise in Walthamstow
📍Gunmakers, a Clerkenwell boozer with its own hair salon
📍Peckham Levels, a new foodie hub in a multi-storey car park