Festival Fun in London this October – What’s On?

London in October is a fine time of the year – the air has a nip in it, the leaves are falling but with any luck there won’t be too much rain and it’s still light(ish) in the evenings, since the clocks don’t go back until Halloween.  So why not make a trip to the capital and take advantage of all there is to offer in terms of a festival, whether it’s art, culture, music and food?  Here are a few things we at La Gaffe would recommend you check out this month…

1. Frieze Art Fair

Frieze London is back, giving locals and tourists alike the chance to view and buy art from a mixture of established and emerging artists from around the globe.  Set in the magnificent grounds of Regent’s Park, over 160 galleries will be taking part in the exhibition, and there will also be Frieze Talks (for lectures, conversations and panel discussions) and a Frieze Music programme.

Photo courtesy of timeout.com

This year, there is also a temporary sculpture exhibition in the park, which is free to all.  Sculptures will include Robert Indiana’s ONE through ZERO, Tom Sach’s’ three-metre high rendition of children’s storybook character My Melody and a creation by the fabulous Tracy Emin, made of bronze entitled “When I Sleep.”    No doubt they will intrigue and give great enjoyment to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who walk in the park this year.

https://frieze.com/fairs/frieze-london/programme

2. London Restaurant Festival

Not that you need an excuse to eat out in the British capital, but October’s a fantastic month to treat your tastebuds because this is the month of the London Restaurant Festival.  Whether it’s tasting evenings, mini menus, or food parings, hundreds of London’s restaurants are partaking, making it a must-visit for foodies.

Photo credit to Matt Martin and courtesy of London Restaurant Festival

There’s even an attraction called ‘Side Orders’ which includes dinner and a tour of the Saatchi Gallery, restaurant hopping tours (eat your way around a neighbourhood in 4 hours) and a Japanese film and food paring.

For more information and to buy tickets, take a look at https://www.londonrestaurantfestival.com/

3.  BFI Film Festival

The BFI’s London Film Festival will take place from 2nd to 13th October 2019, welcoming leading lights from across the international film industry.  With the Southbank as its home base, what could be better than an early dinner and a stroll along the Thames, before catching a movie from an up and coming director?  Since last year’s line-up of speakers included Keira Knightley and David Hare, we’re pretty sure you’re in for a treat.

Phoyo courtesy of theartsshelf.com.

Screenings take place at a number of venues across central London and it’s also possible to pick up ‘multibuy’ tickets (£30 for three films).  As they say – 225 features. 77 countries. 14 cinemas. 12 days but just one Festival.  For more information about what’s on and when, take a look at

https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp?menu_id=BC501999-F108-4187-8EDC-159FF6BF8C90&sToken=1%2C36c2a863%2C5d271fd2%2C275BB802-EA12-4BA3-939E-460543F5B3BD%2COnKeAcfgP%2FqfkhIWoacLLxYz8ms%3D

4. London Cocktail Week

It’s the tenth anniversary of London’s annual Cocktail Week (the largest event of its kind in the world) and there’s plenty to get excited about.  Over 300 different venues are participating this year and once you’ve bought your £10 digital pass, you will have access to the capital’s Cocktail Village, where plenty of top bars will be offering up speciality creations, for just £6.

Photo courtesy of Timeout.com.

Held at Brick Lane, in the heart of the trendy East End, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about mixology.  So whether you like your martini on the rocks, shaken, with traditional English gin or something a bit more risque, this is the place to experiment and even push the boat out a bit.  There’s plenty of food options too and for drink enthusiasts, the endless pop-up bars and creations for sale are too good to miss.  For some expertly-mixed creations, download your pass here…

https://drinkup.london/cocktailweek/

Drink up!

5. Chihuly at Night, Kew Gardens – Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night until 26th October, the fantastic botanical gardens in West London’s Kew are opening their doors at sunset, so visitors have a chance to gaze at the astonishing and awe-inspiring glass statues of Dale Chihuly.  Working out of Seattle for the last 50 years, the sculptor’s glasswork exhibition is simply breathtaking – the colours, the array of works (large-scale installations, sculptures and drawings)  and the setting – a beautiful glasshouse, surrounded by fabulous gardens.  For more about the exhibition take a look at:

https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/chihuly-nights

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Photo courtrsy of kew.org.

To make the exhibition even more worthwhile, the ticket price includes entry to the gardens, so you can also explore the wonderous Hive (an architectural gem), tropical plants in the Palm House and the many tress of the Arboretum.