November is here. The cold has finally hit London. The Christmas lights are stringing themselves up. And the Halloween decorations are being swept up and put away. Many may be eagerly looking forward to December for the holiday celebrations, but there’s no need to wish away the month, as there is plenty to enjoy and do this November!
2023 marks 20 years since the global conversation-starting initiative Movember first kicked off. In the years since they’ve funded over 1,300 men’s health projects in twenty-three different countries all around the world. And they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Since starting with just 30 ‘Mo Bros’ in 2003, they’ve expanded to well over 6 million ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sisters’ – and this year they want even more people to help spread the word and raise money. Whether you’re going to grow a mo, take a move challenge, or ‘mo your own way’ anyone and everyone is welcome to get involved.
The Mo is calling. How will you answer?
2. Commemorate Día de Muertos (November 2)
Not as morbid as its name suggests, and also not actually in any way connected to Halloween, Día de Muertos is a celebration of life and a remembrance of family members and loved ones. It can be tricky to navigate London’s Día de Muertos celebrations – with some venues using it as branding to sell what would otherwise be a regular Halloween party. That’s not to say, however, that all Día de Muertos events in London must be avoided. Here are a few that we believe are in keeping with the event’s true meaning and heritage. They look to be a whole lot of fun to boot!
🎉 East London Mexican legends, Corrochio’s, are (quite naturally) going all out with a joyful Dia de Muertos celebration. They’ll be serving up special dishes (tortas ahogadas, tacos dorados, carne en su jugo, and black Pan de Muerto) and plenty of mezcal. Guests are also invited to contribute to the communal ofrenda (altar de muertos) – traditionally adorned with photos of passed loved ones, alongside offerings of their favourite food and drink.
🥃 bar kroketa is teaming up with Ilegal Mezcal this year for a special Day of the Dead event on November 2, featuring Mexican-inspired dishes and a variety of mezcal cocktails. Gabriela Moncada, agave spirits brand ambassador, will also be hosting interactive tastings throughout the evening, and tickets are just £10 – inclusive of a cocktail and a £5 donation towards the Ilegal chosen charity ‘Only a Pavement Away’. The special menu will be available until November 8. Grab your ticket here.
💀 Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca is celebrating with a Calacas at Wahaca showcase all the way through November 8. Each restaurant will display the traditional skeleton figurines, or calacas, that have been crafted for Wahaca by talented Mexican artisans from Oaxaca. Restaurants will also be serving up special menu items specially for the celebrations, and on the evening of Day of the Dead itself (November 2) diners in every Wahaca restaurant will be offered a shot of Gran Centenario tequila on the house.
🔥 Open-fire barbeque restaurant, temper, is commemorating the ocassion with a special Day of the Dead party on November 3 at their Shoreditch site. They’ll be serving up special Cazcabel cocktails alongside delicious taco and tequila pairings and each ticket nets you a free Margarita! There will also be face painters, a fortune teller, and live DJing. Plus, from October 30 – November 4, all temper sites will be serving up a special selection of Mexican dishes and exclusive tequila cocktails. Grab your ticket to the fun here.
Ancient mythology and modern-day metropolises combine in the dazzling immersive art exhibition, Delight. Visitors can wander through 12 rooms spread across two floors with 25 staggering multi-sensory installations that range from a large-scale moon sculpture to a nostalgic neon installation. The collection of works from Korean artists is sure to flood your socials soon – if it hasn’t already – so head on down and marvel at the stunning 360-degree artwork.
4. See London’s Christmas lights turn on (starting November 2)
November sees London truly turn on the wintry holiday charm, as we brush away the (fake) cobwebs from the Halloween decorations and adorn the city with festive cheer. One of the most spectacular attractions is London’s many Christmas light displays. Here are just a few of the Christmas lights that are confirmed to be switching on this November:
✨ Oxford Street (November 2)
🌟 Seven Dials (November 7)
✨ Covent Garden (November 7)
🌟 Carnaby Street (November 8)
✨ Regent Street (November 9)
See more of London’s Christmas lights, and when they’re expected to switch on, here.
5. Head to ‘the Glastonbury of fireworks festivals’ (November 3-4)
With 196 acres of land, a festival at Ally Pally is no small affair – and yet their annual fireworks festival always seems even bigger than its already enormous stature. The Ally Pally Fireworks Festival will return to North London this November with a night-time, fair-time, fireworks-watching, food-scoffing, beat-blasting, ice-skating, movie-watching, beer-swilling, festival of epic proportions. It’s a true bright light in the darkening nights of London in the winter.
Tickets are on sale now, grab them before you miss out!
6. ‘Ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at one of these Guy Fawkes firework celebrations
Bonfire Night 2023 is coming soon to fill the skies of London with light and colour – and we’ve picked out some of the best firework displays to catch. Remember, remember the 5th of November – and remember to grab tickets for these banging displays:
🎆 Harrow Fireworks (November 4)
🎇 Dulwich Firework Display (November 4)
🎆 Beckenham Fireworks At Croydon Recreation Ground (November 4 & 5)
🎇 Battersea Park Fireworks (November 5 & 6)
See even more by checking out our list of Banging Fireworks Displays In London.
7. Fill yourself with holiday cheer at a Christmas dining experience
If you’re the sort who adores dinner with a show, then we’ve got just the experience for you. Velvet Pines, which kicks off on November 7 and runs until December 23, is a Christmas experience like no other. We’re talking impressive, over-the-top interiors and decor, scrum-diddly-umptious food, and a rip-roaring, knee-slapping cabaret performance.
The story behind the immersive experience finds guests stuck inside an alpine resort following an extreme snowstorm and electrical shortage. There, inside Velvet Pines, the staff are keen to keep spirits high and tummies full over the course of the three-and-a-half-hour-long experience. The storm may rage on outside the resort, but inside it’s all good cheer and holiday vibes.
Oh, and the food? The comes in the form of a three-course menu from 2023 MasterChef finalist, Omar Foster. Playfully mashing together the worlds of fine dining and 70s dinner parties (think jello salads), it’s equally a part of the experience as it is a delicious meal.
Find out more and grab your ticket here. Act quickly and secure a ticket for a November show before November 3 and you can net yourself a £20 discount.
700 independent brands and designers will come together in London this November as part of the Spirit of Christmas Fair. Visitors can get a jump-start on their Christmas shopping with plenty of time to spare. Whether you need to pick up gifts for that family member who seems to already own everything, or some lovely new Christmas decor touches, they’ve got just the thing(s) for you. Guests can make a full day of it thanks to the Spanish-themed afternoon tea, champagne bars, workshops, live music, and all sorts of festive inspiration. The fair runs at Olympia London until November 5.
9. Sip on an iconic beer collaboration (November 5)
Each year, esteemed East London brewery 40FT partners up with none other than St. JOHN (yes, that St. JOHN – one of the most respected restaurants in the world) to brew an annual collaborative beer – the Eccles Cake Stout. And each year they throw a party to celebrate the launch of the beer – but this time they’re doing something extra special. For the first time, guests at 40FT’s launch party will be able to try the beer alongside a selection of St. JOHN dishes – including the namesake Eccles Cakes themselves!
The Eccles Cake Stout launch party will take place on November 5, from 5pm until late. Walk-ins are welcome, but booking is advised.
10. Sip some suds at a beer festival
Love beer? Well, you’re in luck because there are two beer festivals taking place this November. Clearly, they know the weather has us down, and we’re raring for a day out supping some of the best beers in town!
🍻 The Blackhorse Beer Mile has a pretty impressive offering of craft beer venues and taprooms, including Big Penny Social, the UK’s biggest beer hall. And that’s where you’ll find the Autumn Beer Hall Festival taking place from November 2 – 4. With five sessions across the three day festival, guests can enjoy live music and an epic lineup of beer from across the country in the 1,400-capacity venue. Sample beers from the likes of Anspach & Hobday, Burning Sky, Redemption, Signature, Wild Card, and many more. It’s sure to be a riotous old time! Head to their website to grab your ticket.
🍻 Over in Wimbledon, the Hand in Hand is operating The Great Beer Festival from November 14-18. Across the celebration, guests will be able to try beer from up-and-coming beer producers, chow on hearty food, enjoy live music, and listen in to daily brewers’ talks. There will be traditional ales pouring alongside exciting new craft beer selections, and drinks will start at just £5.50! Find out more here.
11. Celebrate Diwali
Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a five-day Hindu, Jain, and Sikh festival that honours the story from Hindu mythology, where good triumphs over evil, and light over darkness. This year it runs from November 10-14. The celebration also celebrates the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, and the god of good fortune and wisdom, Ganesh. And London has plenty of Diwali celebrations to participate in:
💃 Head to Trafalgar Square on October 29, where Diwali On The Square will kick things off with an early Diwali celebration. The free celebration will feature live entertainment, activities to try out, market stalls, street food, and much more. Find out more here.
🎉 The National Maritime Museum will host their own Diwali celebrations on November 11, with a family-friendly roster of performances, workshops, talks, and a lantern parade. Stretch out with some yoga, learn about modern sari drape and styling, try out some Rajasthani dance moves, and more. Grab a ticket here.
🥘 Babur is hosting a candle-light Diwali celebration in their Rajasthani marquee on November 12, where guests can enjoy a special three-course meal with expertly paired wines and live entertainment. They will also have a special Diwali menu available all through November. Find out more, and book, here.
🔥 Yaatra will also have a special Diwali menu on offer throughout November, treating guests to a five-course, spice-laden Indian feast with Tandoori Malai Prawn, Saffron Chicken Tikka, and much more. They will also host a candle-lit dinner on November 12, plus a special Diwali Supper Club on November 9 hosted by executive chef Amit Bagyal. Make your bookings here.
🤤 Karapincha will take diners on a culinary journey with a 12-dish Diwali supper club on November 7. Diners will be treated to a welcoming cocktail and dishes that range across the rich traditions of Sri Lanka, Kerala and Arabia, each presented on a traditional Sri Lankan banana leaf. Grab your tickets here.
🥘 TH@51 is serving up a menu of traditional Thalis from the Northern and Southern regions of India. These will be accompanied by traditional Satvik and vegetarian Thalis, and are available now, all the way through until November 19. Book here.
🫖 Experience a limited-edition version of Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences’ iconic Indian Jasmine Tea at Kona with a special offering to celebrate the festival of lights. Available now, until November 19, the service treats guests to Diwali-themed pastries and delicious savoury treats that straddle the worlds of traditional afternoon tea and Indian dining culture. Book here.
😋 Sopwell House are collaborating with The Cinnamon Club on a special one-night-only celebration, on November 10. The hotel’s Executive Head Chef Gopi Chandran has worked in conjunction with The Cinnamon Club’s award-winning Executive Chef Vivek Singh to dream up an exclusive Diwali Ball with plenty of delicious food, live entertainment, and fireworks. Find out more and grab your tickets here.
12. Stand with London’s trans community (November 8)
Head on over to the Clapham Grand this November to show your support and raise funds through a one-night-only event of drag, song, comedy, and queer joy. Headlined by the legendary Bimini, with performances from Kemah Bob, Tyreece in Heels, Rob Madge, Ginny Lemon, Tete Bang, and more, it’s set to be a joyful night out – for a good cause! The ‘We Stand With You’ event will raise money for Not A Phase, a UK-based charity that is working to ensure a brighter future for the transgender community.
Grab your ticket here.
13. Escape from the Jigsaw killer
The SAW: Escape Experience London will wrap up its stay in the capital on November 4, so there are only a handful of days left to experience the mind-bending terror. After daring Londoners to test their bravery and their wits, over the past 12 months, the jig is up and Jigsaw has to pack up their puzzles ahead of popping up with other nefarious games in other cities around the world. If you’ve yet to experience the horror franchise in real life, act fast and grab yourself a ticket here.
14. Attend a London-wide jazz festival (November 10-19)
The EFG London Jazz Festival returns for 2023 this month and features a festival debut appearance from the iconic Emeli Sandé. The festival will see jazz filling the city, with performances all over the capital and all sorts of ways for audience members to get involved. One moment you could be vibing to the Afrofuturist jazz crew Irreversible Entanglements at EartH or catching a performance in the basement of a Pizza Express location, and the next you could be taking part in Jazz Yoga or drumming in a darbuka workshop. There are plenty of free gigs too, so anyone can spend some time this month snapping their fingers and nodding approvingly as they sip on a martini or three.
As part of the festival, Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum is celebrating the influence of Jamaica on the vibrant British jazz scene with The Appleton Estate Jazz Sessions. They’re partnering performances from some of the jazz world’s most exciting voices with expert bar teams so guests can enjoy delicious Jamacia Rum Mai Tais while taking in the show.
Find out more about the EFG London Jazz Festival here.
15. Sip on OTT Christmassy cocktails (Opens November 13)
We weren’t lying when we said it gets Christmassy AF in November. And the most Christmassy place in town has to be the annual Miracle at Henrietta cocktail bar. With every square inch covered in Christmas kitsch, and themed cocktails served in delightfully (and sometimes unexpectedly) festive vessels, it’s a holiday delight. Act fast to secure your booking, because it’s always a hit!
16. Or head to Santa’s favourite dive bar (Opens November 15)
But if you’re after a drink with the jolly man himself, head to the hidden Humbug in Waterloo, Santa’s favourite dive bar. An immersive evening will see guests helping to nurse a weary Santa back to his full elf. Expect live entertainment, festive tipples, and plenty of revelry throughout the night.
November marks the opening of one of London’s much-anticipated new immersive experiences: Bubble Planet. With a veritable galaxy (almost) of bubbles, bubble installations, virtual bubble worlds, and more to explore, your imagination will be challenged and you’ll be left in awe. You can even travel the world with a hot air balloon flight simulator!
18. Preview The Great Escape 2024 festival with the First Fifty gigs (November 15)
Next year’s The Great Escape festival will take over Hackney this month with a host of gigs taking place across eight East London venues. Acting as a preview to The Great Escape 2024’s line-up, the performances will showcase a selection of the ‘First Fifty’ artists that have been announced to play at the Brighton festival next year. The best part? Tickets start at just £7 a piece – a bargain to see some of the world’s most promising emerging talent.
Performances will take place at East London institutions such as the MOTH Club, Sebright Arms, and Paper Dress Vintage, and will feature the likes of Picture Parlour, Enola, Babymorocco, Friedberg, Big Special, Tom Rasmussen, and more.
19. Deck the halls with Pergola Paddington (Opens November 9)
Paddington’s go-to partying and nights-out venue, Pergola, is returning once again with a Christmassy makeover to spread festive cheer. They’re stringing up thousands of twinkling lights, throwing a bunch of epic parties throughout the winter, and they’ve even got three new restaurant pop-ups… erm… popping up. Expect all sorts of events to fill you with holiday cheer, from singalongs to gospel choirs and winter bottomless brunches, and, of course, plenty of festive food and drink. Plus, with space for as many as 800 people, there’s room for absolutely ANY celebration.
Don’t miss out, find out more and book your space here.
20. Experience Winter Wonderland (Opens November 17)
If you’re after more than just a kitschy bar or a festive drinking experience, head to the full-on festive extravaganza that is Winter Wonderland. With everything from mulled wine to market stalls to fairground rides, live performances, an ice rink, and more, it’s pretty much the most Christmassy place in London, perhaps even the world. (Seriously, does Santa’s workshop have anywhere near as many things to do? I think not!)
Grab your tickets here.
21. Try out London’s newest restaurants and bars
The new openings just keep on coming and our list of places to check out is reaching untenable lengths! Nonetheless, we’re always excited to see EVEN MORE new places opening up in our capital. Here are some of our picks of new eateries and drinking holes to check out this month:
🦪 Chef Tom Brown’s newest venture, Pearly Queen, will open on November 11 with (as you may have guessed) an extensive menu of oysters & shellfish. Wash it all down with a cocktail from a menu curated by Max Venning of Three Sheets, and plenty of Guinness, the natural accompaniment to oysters.
🥃 Dram is a new three-story drinking den in Soho with two bars, a whisky shop, an outdoor terrace, and a private pool room with a ready-to-drink cocktail vending machine. Thanks to a team of London drinks industry experts, it looks set to become London’s most exciting new drinking destination.
🍸 Wacky Wombat is another new bar in Soho, from international cocktail bar legend Nico de Soto, of Mace New York and Danico Paris. The subterranean bar will feature approachable New York meets Paris interiors and a seasonal menu of cocktails celebrating global ingredients. The opening menu makes use of unique ingredients brought directly from Australia (vegemite bitters anyone?). The bar will be complemented by the opening of the new restaurant Daroco Soho on the ground floor above the bar, later in the year.
🍢 The KOYN bar is the latest addition to the Mayfair Japanese restaurant KOYN. Styled as an izakaya drinking den, guests can enjoy a menu of complementary snacks, such as boneless chicken wings stuffed with truffle rice, and home-made rice cracker tacos with crab, alongside a selection of cocktails, Japanese whiskies, and sake flights.
🥘 Borough Market’s newest restaurant is Kolae, from the founder of som saa. Based on the namesake Southern Thai cooking style, most dishes feature proteins and vegetables that have been marinated in a curry-like coconut sauce before being grilled over open flames.
🫔 Ixchel is a highly-anticipated new Mexican restaurant and tequila bar that’s set to open in Chelsea on November 22. Diners will be transported to Tulum, with an all-day tapas-style menu from Mexican-born Head Chef, Ximena Gayosso Gonzalez (previously of Brat, lla Canta, Mexico City’s Dulce Patria, and more). The hidden tequila bar will delight guests with creations from Bar Manager Manuel Lema, previously of Cavita and La Bodegra Negra.
🍷 A new neighbourhood wine bar, Rolling Grapes, has landed in Holloway’s The Upper Place food market and is set to be a destination for all sorts of wine lovers. Whether you’re a budding beginner or a real wine pro, you’re invited to delve into the world of wine through tastings, pop-ups, and supper clubs. Renowned industry sommelier Martina Marini is responsible for the opening and brings a hefty resume of experience at the city’s most revered wine-led establishments.
🍸 The iconic Camino tapas bar in King’s Cross is expanding with the addition of a brand new aperitivo bar on November 16. Guests can enjoy “a selection of vermouths and tonics, dry sherries and cava alongside a selection of snacks, jamón, charcuterie and artisan cheese”. It’s the ideal drop-in spot to prepare for a meal, or simply grab a quick bite and a tipple.
🥘 The Malaysian food concept, Mambow, was originally slated to move into its first permanent site in October. But November will see the move come to fruition as it relocates from its Peckham’s Market Stall site to Clapton.
🥃 La Bibliothèque is a luxury new boutique hotel and restaurant opening in East London. The menu features Mediterranean and Japanese influences, and there is even a member’s whisky library for the ultimate cosy luxury.
22. See ‘Stranger Things’ on the stage (Opens November 17)
Ever wondered what took place when the adults in Stranger Things were younger? Ever wondered what life was like for Jim, Hopper, and Bob before things truly got twisted? Or what happened when Henry Creel (aka Vecna) first arrived in town? Then you’re in luck – because new West End play Stranger Things: The First Shadow covers exactly that time period. Opening on November 17, the performance features an original story from the Duffer Brothers that takes viewers “on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of ‘Stranger Things’.”
Find out more, and grab your tickets, here.
The battle will always wage on over the supremacy of the West End or Broadway, but how can you argue with the incredible roster of shows on offer through November? There are so many great shows to see, here are just a few that we’ve got our eyes on:
🎂 Two Strangers (carry a cake across New York) (November 9 – December 23): Kiln Theatre – it’s all in the title in this musical journey as two strangers head to a wedding – with a cake in tow.
❤️🩹 Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen (November 10 – December 23): Bush Theatre – following a sensational run at the Edinburgh Fringe, this exploration of dating, masculinity, and self-sabotage is a laugh-out-loud riot.
⛄ The Snowman (November 18 – December 30): Peacock Theatre – the Christmas favourite dance show adaptation of the much-loved book returns for 2023.
🎞️ My Neighbour Totoro (Opens November 21): Barbican Centre – the acclaimed stage adaptation of the beloved Ghibli film returns for a limited 18-week run.
👻 The Enfield Haunting (Opens November 30): The Ambassadors Theatre – Catherine Tate stars in this West End take on one of the most famous real-life poltergeist events.
⌛ The Time Machine – A Comedy (November 30 – December 30): Park Theatre – a meta comic take on H.G. Wells’ classic time-travelling story sees infighting and bickering between the actors that threatens to derail the whole performance.
🤬 untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play (Ends November 4): Young Vic – Asian storytelling stereotypes are exploded and dissected in this award-winning production.
🎹 Elephant (Ends November 4): Bush Theatre – part gig, part musical, music and history intertwine as a young woman falls in love with music.
💔 The White Factor (Ends November 4): Marylebone Theatre – a collaboration between Ukrainian, Russian, and British creatives, this piece follows one man’s journey from the Lodz ghetto of 1940s Poland to the potential of a new life in America.
💀 Rebecca (Ends November 18): Charing Cross Theatre – the English-language debut of the German psychological thriller, which was also adapted by Netflix in 2020 and starred Lily James and Armie Hamer.
🤫 Private Lives (Ends November 25): Ambassadors Theatre – Noel Coward’s classic comedy of bad manners is revived with the starring, and sparring, duo of Nigel Havers and Patricia Hodge.
🌊 The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (Ends November 25): Noël Coward Theatre – following a sell-out debut run at The National Theatre, the much-praised Nail Gaiman adaptation heads to the Noël Coward Theatre.
🎙️ The Interview (Ends November 25): Park Theatre – an insight into the infamous and controversial 1995 BBC interview between Princess Diana and Martin Bashir.
💐 Flowers for Mrs. Harris (Ends November 26): Riverside Studios – a cleaner moves from London to Paris in an attempt to change her life, and ends up transforming the lives of everyone she meets along the way.
24. Attend a unique chamber concert in a restored church (November 3)
Spotlight Chamber Concerts returns this winter for its fifth edition, bringing pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and his duo partner, violinist Hyeyoon Park, to St John’s Waterloo church. In the stunning environs, guests are treated to an immersive musical experience where dramatic lighting highlights the exceptional live performance.
25. Experience a New York museum in London
New York’s esteemed Rubin Museum has brought a travelling version of its Mandala Lab to London’s Canary Wharf as part of the London Design Festival. The interactive, multi-sensory installation explores emotional awareness and invites visitors to consider the impact of their feelings on their day-to-day lives as they see, smell, touch, and breathe their way through the space.
The Mandala Lab runs until November 25 and is free and open to the public from 12-6pm daily, with late hours until 8pm on Thursdays. Find it in Union Square at Canary Wharf, E14 9QH. The nearest station is Canary Wharf.
Find out more here.
26. Get down and dance at an EP launch party (November 17)
South London songstress PRVNA is celebrating the release of her debut EP, ‘Move My Hips’, this November at Brixton’s The Ton of Brix. Brace yourself for an all-out night of live performance, dancing, cocktails, and partying. Grab a ticket to be among the first to hear the EP – performed live – before getting down to an old-school mix of Afro House, UK Funk, Garage, and more. It’s a chance to support one of London’s many independent artists, and just a great night out!
Find out more and grab a ticket here.
27. Head to the Winter by the River market (Opens November 15)
Doing frankly anything is improved by a riverside perch. Having lunch? Better by the river. Kicking back and relaxing during the day? Better by the river. And enjoying a whole host of Christmas markets and stalls? Oh, yeah, that’s definitely better by the river. So we’re super excited to see Winter by the River return (under their new name) on November 19. And for 2023 they’ll even have a pop-up karaoke bar! Count us in!
Read more here.
28. Or browse one of London’s many Christmas markets
Christmas by the River is far from your only chance to browse some Christmas gifts while sipping on mulled wine (or hot chocolate). In fact every year London is filled to bursting with a whole range of Christmas markets. Here are some of the Christmas markets that we’re set to make a beeline for when they return this winter. Most should open sometime in the middle of November.
🎄 Trafalgar Square Christmas Market
❄️ Brixton Village Black-Owned Christmas Market
🎄 Christmas Under The Canopy
Check out even more of London’s Christmas markets here.
As great as we may think our city is, we’d have to be pretty big-headed to not mention some of the other fantastic Christmas markets around the UK. Whether you’re after a festive getaway, or simply need to visit EVERY Christmas market, here are some of our picks for the UK’s best Christmas markets for all the festive feels:
❄️ Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
🎄 Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market
Find even more UK Christmas markets to check out here.
30. Catch the end of a K-Music Festival
The 2023 K-Music Festival kicked off in October with a special performance from composer Jung Jaeil, who has worked on such revered titles as Parasite and Squid Game. But there are still a few performances to catch in November before the festival wraps up on November 12. Head to their website to find out more and snag one of the last remaining tickets.
31. Donate an old winter coat
With November comes the cold, and with the cold comes inhospitable conditions for those who find themselves without somewhere to live or sleep. This winter, you can do your part to help out by digging into the back of your wardrobe and donating those old coats that you don’t wear anymore. In doing so, you could well save a life, or change someone’s life for the future.
🚇 WrapUp London is collecting coats at London tube stations from November 7-9. There are also a number of WrapUp London coat donation points in and around London, and the UK, throughout November.
🧥 Ealing Broadway has partnered up with Calling London to launch a winter coat campaign in the area, as part of the charity’s 13th annual Winter Coat Drive. Visitors can drop off clean, pre-loved coats of all sizes at the centre’s donation box (outside Tiger) until November 23.
During November we’re all looking for cosy places to curl up and escape, and nothing screams cosiness more than a bunch of candles, right? Throw in some calming live classical musical renditions of much-loved tracks, and you’re set for a stunning autumnal/wintry evening in London. Check out these Candlelight concerts for a gorgeous night out:
✨ Candlelight: A Tribute to Pink Floyd at Southwark Cathedral (November 4)
🕯️ Candlelight: A Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi at Central Hall (November 17)
✨ Candlelight: A Tribute to Coldplay at Central Hall Westminster (November 17)
🕯️ Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele at Sea Life (November 18)
✨ Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at Southwark Cathedral (November 18)
🕯️ Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele at St. Mary’s Church (November 24)
✨ Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen (November 24)
🕯️ Candlelight: Hans Zimmer’s Best Works at Central Hall Westminster (November 25)
✨ Candlelight: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac (November 25)
🕯️ Candlelight: Hip-Hop’s Greatest Hits (November 25)
See even more Candlelight concerts here.
33. Try a one-night-only meal of world-class Colombian food
The critically acclaimed HUMO restaurant in Mayfair is hosting a one-night-only dinner of ultra-special Colombian fare on November 10. Food comes courtesy of a collaboration between HUMO’s Executive Chef, Miller Prada, and Alvaro Clavijo, from Bogota’s El Chato – the No. 1 restaurant in Colombia, and Latin America’s No. 5 restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants lists. The food, which also comes with an optional drinks pairing, celebrates the shared South American culture and heritage of the two chefs.
Grab a ticket here so you don’t miss out.
34. Or head to another of L0ndon’s limited-time meals
London’s hordes of chefs love to collaborate with each other, pop up for a limited time in random locations, and generally serve up incredible exclusive meals for foodies. Here are some exciting meals for you to (try) and secure a seat at the table:
🍷 Head to Battersea’s Ploussard for the final in a trilogy of special meals celebrating London’s leading female sommeliers. On November 29 things will wrap up with an event hosted by Alex Price, previously of Annabel’s, and now head of wine across the Crispin Group’s much-loved venues. Keep an eye on their socials to nab tickets.
🥩 Gaucho’s monthly Beef and Wine Tasting Experience returns, in partnership with El Esteco, on November 27. Guests can sample three cuts of meat that have each been carefully paired with El Esteco’s Argentinian wines for just £25pp. Grab a ticket here.
🦀 Jack Stein (Rick Stein Restaurants) and Karan Gokani (Hoppers) are teaming up for two unique dining experiences at Rick Stein Barnes (November 2) and Hoppers Soho (November 19). Expect a flavour-packed exploration of the chefs’ respective passions and ingredients, with dishes like Whole Crab Curry, Hot Butter Langoustines, Oysters with Buttermilk and more. Each ticket sold will include a £5 donation to Feeding The Future. Grab tickets for the Rick Stein Barnes meal here, and the Hoppers Soho meal here.
🍽️ Native and Resy have partnered up for a series of zero-waste guest chef dinners at Hackney’s The Sea, The Sea restaurant, around the theme of ‘Fix The Food Chain’. Kicking off back on October 30, subsequent dates take place in November and feature chefs from Cavita, Paradise, Tatale, and other esteemed eateries. Each dinner will focus on a different aspect of the meal or ingredient that could be changed or emphasised to make dining more sustainable. Find out more and grab tickets here.
🎆 Peckham Arches continues its newly launched supper club series through November with three special nights of food. First up is the return of Mixed Feedings, where Sophie Mann and Jodie Dixon are serving up their take on classic bonfire night grub. Expect mulled wine, hot dogs with onions, spiced miso steak and short rib, and more. Secure your seat at the table here.
🍷 East London’s new music-led wine bar and restaurant Bambi will pop up at The Hoxton, Holborn’s Rondo restaurant for one night on November 10. Rondo’s Head Chef, Tristan Downes, and Bambi’s Head Chef, Henry Freestone, have collaborated on a menu of playful dishes that merge their two approaches to cooking. And exclusively for the evening, guests can enjoy the Bambi Martini alongside their meal. Grab your tickets here.
🍝 London wine maverick Hannah Crosbie and ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’ podcast co-host (and food writer extraordinaire) Sophie Wyburd have partnered up for a special collaboration pasta and wine pairing at Pastaio for the festive season. The duo has come up with a limited edition pasta dish and an expertly selected wine pairing, that will be available on the Christmas menu from November 13 onwards. Each plate of the special pasta will see Pastaio donating £1 to Refuge.
🔥 On November 16, Niklas Ekstedt (Ekstedt at The Yard) will partner with Karan Gokani (Hoppers) at Ekstedt’s restaurant for “an evening of spice and smoke”. Guests at the one-off dinner can expect the likes of Burnt Scallop with Buttermilk and Apple, Grilled Lobster, Dirty Steak and Charcoal Smoked Curry, and more as Scandi and Sri Lankan cultures and flavours are brought together. Grab yourself a seat at the communal table here.
🍷 November 8 will mark LUCA’s second in their ‘The Masters’ series of dinners, with Piedmont wine pioneers Gaja joining them for an extremely special meal. They’ll shine a light on the winery’s exceptional wines, with some particularly exciting vintages being poured, alongside a complementary five-course meal that spotlights another Piedmont export: the winter truffle. Grab your ticket for the ultra-luxe experience here.
🍴 The Mandrake’s YOPO restaurant is hosting Carlo Valentino-Garcia, Executive Chef of PLAYA Dubai, for a special collaboration tasting menu with Executive Chef George Scott-Toft. Each chef has created a dish across the five courses, which blend Valentino’s Peruvian upbringing with YOPO’s adventurous South American flavours. Originally slated to run for just three days, the menu is now available from November 9 through to the end of the month. Book here to try out the special menu.
🍷 Tapas Brindisa is bringing their Sherry Week (November 6 – 12) programme back for 2023, inviting guests to explore and indulge in the mingling worlds of Spanish cuisine and sherry. They’ll have a menu of sherry-infused dishes, and exclusive cocktail serves and will kick things off with a special sherry-pairing dinner on November 7. Find out more and book here.
35. Try your hand at curling
The surprisingly exciting Club Curling experience returns to King’s Cross this month, and you don’t want to miss it. While it might look a bit underwhelming, you’ll be hooked as soon as the first curling stone leaves your hand and makes its way down the lane. The ultra-competitive endeavour is accompanied by live DJ sets and a pop-up cocktail bar, making for a delightful winter activity. Plus tickets start at just £8!
Club Curling runs from November 9 until February 25, 2024. Find out more and secure tickets here.
36. Tune in to your whisky
A special collaboration between the iconic cocktail bar, Seed Library, and the House of Suntory, results in a month-long Toki Listening Bar this month. Popping up from November 1 – 30 at the Shoreditch bar, guests can enjoy specially curated Japanese Toki whisky cocktails alongside unique vinyl mixes from My Analog Journal. Each Thursday a guest DJ will play a special set to accompany the experience, and November 22 will even see a special bar takeover by legendary Japanese bartender, Hidetsugu Ueno, from Bar High Five in Tokyo. It’s Suntory time.
37. Catch a panto
Christmas season means panto season – and in London Christmas season is in full swing by November. So naturally there are plenty of pantomimes for the whole family to see throughout the month. Among the shows that start performances in November are Snow White at the Greenwich Theatre, Aladdin at the Hackney Empire, Potted Panto at Wilton’s Music Hall, and more. Get those vocal cords ready because you’ll be shouting at the stage all the way through until the end of the year.
38. Go vegan for World Vegan Month (or just dabble in it)
If ever you’ve considered making a change in your diet – for health or humane reasons – November is a great time to give it a try. Throughout World Vegan Month, anyone who can participate is encouraged to give veganism a go. It’s at this time of year that it’s also arguably easier than ever to make the jump. Each year many restaurants end up serving vegan specials or discounting their vegan dishes, and supermarkets seem to stock far more vegan products than usual! Plus, with London’s plethora of vegan and veggie restaurants, you may find that you’ll never need to go back to meat again!
39. Escape the winter and journey to Baja California, in London
If you’ve got the winter blues, then a trip to Mexico is in order! And thanks to a trans-Atlantic collaboration between Santo Remedio and Los Cabos, there’s no need for a flight to get there. Well, okay, you do still need a flight to physically get there. But Michelin-guide restaurant Santo Remedio is preparing to serve up a taste of bright, sunny Los Cabos in the middle of London.
With a limited edition menu that’s only available from November 6-19, London’s hungry diners can enjoy. Four renowned chefs from Los Cabos (Angel Carbajal of Nicksan, pioneer of Baja California cuisine Javier Plascencia, Edgar Román from Don Sanchez, and César Pita of Lumbre) will collaborate with Mexican-born Chef Patron and Author Edson Diaz-Fuentes on a menu of Los Cabos inspired dishes. Fusing Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian influences, the menu will feature seafood found only in Los Cabos, unique tacos, and innovative dishes inspired by the region’s farm-to-table ethos.
40. Work out your mind as well as your body
You may think that a trip to the gym is just about your physical health – but it’s also important to work out the mind and stay mentally fit and healthy! That’s why Gymbox has become the first gym chain to offer a series of classes dedicated to mental fitness. Their new MIND category of classes ranges from aerial relaxation classes (Cocoon) to meditation (The Portal), as well as other classes that focus on different aspects of mental health. Their Regulate class, for example, is aimed at helping participants navigate the short and long-term symptoms of anxiety and panic. The classes work by both providing a safe space for immediate comfort at the time, as well as by providing tools and tactics that can be applied outside of the gym(box).
Find out more, and sign up to work out your mental health, here.
Some of the biggest and most iconic names from the music world will be hitting venues around London this November. From legendary acts that have cemented their legacy to newcomers that are already making a mark, here are some acts to catch this month (or rue having missed out on tickets for):
🎤 Rick Astley (November 1-2 & 25): Royal Albert Hall & London Palladium – prepare to be rick-rolled in real life.
🎸 Squid (November 1): Troxy – one of the UK’s most exciting new acts smash up genres without care, but with hefty amounts of expertise and enthusiasm.
📻 Fall Out Boy (November 2-3): The O2 – it’s not a phase mum; I’m emo for life.
🎙️ Cliff Richard (November 6-8, 10-12): Eventim Apollo – he’s still going strong with a new album and a new tour.
🎶 JLS (November 9-10): The O2 – the iconic boyband is on the road with a tour of all the best hits from their catalogue.
🎤 Jorja Smith (November 10): Troxy – one of the most alluring, and unique, voices in music today.
🎚️ Little Simz (November 10-11): Alexandra Palace – the homegrown British success takes to the stage at one of London’s most iconic venues.
🎙️ 50 Cent (November 11 & 21, 17): The O2, OVO Arena – imagine a live rendition of In Da Club if it’s your birthday when you attend…
🎸 FIDLAR (November 14): KOKO – expect pure adrenaline from this American-hailing punk band that channels the early punk days’ hedonism.
🎶 Jessie Ware (November 17-18): Alexandra Palace – soul, electronica, and a healthy dash of disco coalesce in Ware’s infectious tunes.
📻 Ed Sheeran (November 18-19): Royal Albert Hall – it’s Ed Sheeran, even your great-gran knows him.
🪕 Noah Kahan (November 20-21): O2 Forum Kentish Town – you can also catch the country-folk sensation earlier in the month at Rough Trade East.
🎧 Cigarettes After Sex (November 24-26): Eventim Apollo – lose yourself in the dreamy, seductive, droning music and hushed vocals.
🎙️ Gregory Alan Isakov (November 25): Roundhouse – the acclaimed indie folk artist brings his brand of heart-wrenching songwriting to the round.
🎤 Mxmtoon (November 27): Omeara – the viral sensation singer-songwriter brings her ukulele to London.
🎵 Van Morrison (November 27-28): O2 Shepherds Bush Empire – Van the man, the myth, the legend.
🎚️ Bakar and ekkstacy (November 27-28): Eventim Apollo – a double bill for fans of indie rock, punk, and driving beats.
On November 2, a Robbie Williams pop-up will celebrate the life and career of one of the most famous men in pop music, just days before his Netflix documentary drops. Running across the weekend until November 5, guests can expect never-before-seen footage, photo ops, the chance to win signed merchandise, and the opportunity to watch an excerpt from the documentary before it is released.
43. Join the Americans celebrating Thanksgiving in London (November 23)
Look – there are two reasons why you’d celebrate Thanksgiving in London. Either you’re an American living in London, who still loves to celebrate the occasion. Or you’re just eager to take on any excuse to eat and drink as much as is physically possible. I’m firmly in the latter category, which is why I’m excited by these Thanksgiving events in London.
🦃 The Beaumont will be serving up a transatlantic-inspired Thanksgiving menu in their Colony Grill Room with a celebratory menu of classic dishes and inspired new creations. And, naturally, there will be the classic sharing Thanksgiving Turkey! For the vinophiles they’ll also have two options of pairing American Wine Flights expertly chosen by the sommelier team. Book your place here.
🇺🇸 Another spot serving up American classics with a British twist is The Sea Containers, near Blackfriars. With the venue’s beautiful design reminiscent of 1920s transatlantic liners, it is little wonder why the menu has followed suit. The service from staff will make you feel like you’re in a first-class cabin, and the flavours of the food will float your boat. Check out The Sea Containers’ menu here, and book in pronto; the menu is available on November 23 only.
🥃 American bourbon brand, Wild Turkey, is teaming up with London sandwich legend, Max Halley of Max’s Sandwich Shop, for limited-edition Thanksgiving ‘Leftover’ sandwiches. Available for one day only, on November 24, the sandwiches pay homage to the iconic Friends ‘moist maker’, and each will be accompanied by a FREE Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Old Fashioned.
Perhaps the very best thing about winter in London is the sheer number of ice rinks that pop up, as if from nowhere, for us to spend our days gliding across. From impressive rooftop affairs to huge rinks that encircle towering Christmas trees, it sometimes seems like half of London has frozen over! Here are some of our top ice rinks for re-enacting our favourite figure-skating routines. Or trying to, at least…
With more info still to come about opening times, be sure to check out our roundup of London ice rinks here.
Escape the dreary November weather by heading to one of these art exhibitions. With so many galleries and museums in London, there’s something for everyone to check out this month:
EXHIBITIONS OPENING IN NOVEMBER
❤️ Stuart Pearson Wright: Miscellanalects (November 1 – November 25): Flowers Gallery – an exhibition of works from the award-winning figurative portrait painter that explore the local folklore and mythology of Suffolk and Norfolk.
🧡 Koestler Arts: In Case Of Emergency (November 2 – December 17): Southbank Centre Royal Festival Hall – “showcases the artistic range and talent of people in criminal justice settings”.
💚 Lucy Pickford: London Grows (November 9 – 12): B.T. Batsford Gallery – the former landscape architect presents a solo show of works that ” focus on the intersection of nature and the built environment in one of the most sprawling cities in the world.”
🤎 If Not Now, When? (November 15 – January 22, 2024): Saatchi Gallery – a co-headlining sculpture show of works from 29 female sculptors, with works from 1960 up to now.
💜 Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Boundless (November 15 – January 22, 2024): Saatchi Gallery – the aforementioned co-headline show is a retrospective look at the career and achievements of the duo’s artistic collaborations and life together as a couple.
❤️ Andrew Salgado: Tomorrow I’ll Be Perfect (November 16 – January 7, 2024): Saatchi Gallery – a collab between BEERS London and the Saatchi Gallery of Salgado’s “visual-excess” works with cacophonous displays of the body, literature, and colour.
💙 Francesca DiMattio (November 17 – December 23): Pippy Houldsworth Gallery – the gallery is taken over by a maximalist presentation of wallpapers, carpets, and decor that deconstruct “the notions of the decorative and domestic”.
🧡 Chinaza Agbor: Kindness And Hospitality From A Foreigner (November 18 – December 16): Cob Gallery – the debut solo show from the Nigerian American artist explores the “depths of the white and male gaze”.
EXHIBITIONS CLOSING IN NOVEMBER
💛 Wangari Mathenge (Ends November 4): Pippy Houldsworth Gallery – a solo show of portraits of domestic workers in Kenya, seeking to reclaim their own narratives and be recognised for their individual characters, personalities, and ambitions.
❤️ Jose Campos – Studio Lenca: El Camino (Ends November 4): Soho Revue – Campos’ largest European show to date, exploring questions of upbringing, uprootedness, and undocumented existence.
💙 Kojo Marfo: Crucible of Hope (Ends November 15): JD Malat Gallery – inspired by traditional Akan artefacts, sculptures, and carvings, Marfo’s colourful works blend past, present, and future.
🤍 Invisible Questions that Fill the Air: James Lee Byars and Seung-taek Lee (Ends November 18): Michael Werner Gallery – a dialogue is created between the two artists, despite them never having met each other, by presenting their works together and examining their similar artistic trajectories.
💜 Amol K. Patil: The Politics of Skin And Movement (Ends November 19): Hayward Gallery – the artist’s first solo UK exhibition encompasses sculpture, moving imagery, and poetry that responds to Patil’s family in Mumbai and their own art and political activism.
🧡 Kat Kristof: Her & The Self (Ends November 25): BEERS London – Hungarian-British artist Kat Kristof examines self-perception and how it is affected by inner and outer forces.
💚 Clocking Off: Rafał Zajko (Ends November 26): Queercircle – the Polish artist brings an exhibition that ‘aims to articulate common anxieties around the precarity of workers’ rights and the unfolding environmental catastrophe’.
46. See the Tower of London lit up by a dazzling display (November 17-25)
Visitors are being invited inside the walls of the Tower of London this month to experience a stunning light show that will dapple the walls of the London institution. ‘Crown and Coronation‘ will run from November 17-25, treating guests to a journey through time, exploring the spectacle of coronations through more than 1,000 years of history. The light show will also include marvellous detailed footage of the Crown Jewels, which visitors will then be granted special access to with an after-hours viewing, without the usual crowds.
Following the show at the Tower of London, the spectacle will go on tour around the UK in 2023. Grab tickets here.
47. Escape from The Mind of Moriarty
Fans of the hit BBC show Sherlock won’t want to miss this one. The Mind of Moriarty: Live Escape Experience is the follow-up escape room to the Sherlock: The Official Live Game and drops players into the mind of Sherlock’s most notorious criminal mastermind. The 100-minute experience will have you facing off against fiendishly difficult puzzles as you search for clues and navigate your way through the challenges to the finish.
Tickets start at £35 and are available here.
48. Grab lunch from a modern salad bar
A new group of modern salad bars is looking to change the preconceptions of Londoners when it comes to takeaway salads. Gone are the limp lettuce leaves, pre-made boxes, and confusing combinations – replaced with a succinct menu of made-to-order salads using premium ingredients. Urban Greens arose out of frustration with the dismal desk lunches that the founders were enduring at their corporate jobs. And now they want to make sure everyone can enjoy tasty, nourishing and energising fast food that features the likes of cajun-spiced tempeh, sweet potato harissa hummus, Manuka smoked salmon, and more. And with four delicious vegan options to choose from, it’s an easy way to ease into a month of vegan, or vegan-ish, eating.
Urban Greens counts three locations in London, with more on the way. Find your nearest site here.
49. Try out the internet’s most divisive new food item
Burger & Lobster have partnered up with Crosstown on… a burger?! The two venues have dreamed up a truly divisive, over-the-top burger with three smash patties, crispy bacon, and blue cheese sauce, served in between Crosstown’s signature Tongan Vanilla Bean Glaze doughnut. Yup. We’re not sure if we’re impressed or terrified! Either way, the burger is available at all nine London Burger & Lobster locations until the end of the year. Act fast if you want to try the sweet and savoury behemoth.
Find your nearest Burger & Lobster here.
50. Keep exploring this wonderful city
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.