The clock's have gone back and so it's official...winter is on its way in London. And yes, the nights are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping but that doesn't mean you have to stay home every night. London is a city that's 24/7 at any time of the year - just grab a warm coat, a scarf and hat and your Oyster travel card and check out some of the many attractions that the capital offers. Here are five events we at La Gaffe would recommend for you this month...
1. Bonfire Night - It's one of the greatest traditions in England, celebrating Bonfire Night, and remembering Guy Fawkes and his gang, whose attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament was only averted at the eleventh hour! There will be firework displays in all different parts of London, although it's always a good idea to book tickets in advance because these events are inevitably popular. https://londonist.com/london/things-to-do/where-to-watch-fireworks-on-bonfire-night-in-london The good news if, if you don't like crowds and are short of cash, you can always climb to the top of Primrose Hill, which is pretty close to La Gaffe, and enjoy the fabulous view of fireworks all over London. Saturday 2nd November - Tuesday 5th November, all around London
2. The Lord Mayor's Show - The Lord Mayor's Show is over 800 years old and, it's fair to say, one of London's great annual fixtures. Beginning at Mansion House and making its way all the way to the Strand (and back again!) its a wonderful day out, whether you're young and old, and especially for young families (for whom there are all kinds of child-friendly activities on offer). The epic procession, which it is estimated will take around one and a half hours from one end to the other, will have the Lord Mayor driven in his carriage (estimated to be worth around £2 million in today;s money) and pulled by six horses. The original Great Twelve Livery Companies - which include Drapers, Grocers, Habadashers and Clothworkers - will be participating. as well as charities, the St. John's Ambulance group and the Royal Fusiliers. There will also be family zones. a funfair, and street theatre, in the Paternoster Square area, close to Bank tube station. The event is free and promises to be a great day out. 9th November, beginning at 11 am (Bank/Mansion House/St. Paul's tube underground stations).
3. Christmas Lights at Regent's Street - Yes,, the season of festive cheer will soon be upon us...and if there's one place in London you cant ignore this it's London's West End. The annual tradition of switching on the Oxford and Regent Street lights takes place this year on 15th November. It's estimated that there will be around 1,800 going up this year and the crowds are going to be enormous (last year around one million showed up). It's always a bit chaotic, especially around the surrounding tube stations (Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road) but the atmosphere is bound to be electric (sorry for the pun!) It's a great free event and whether you've seen it before or it's your first time at the lights, it's difficult not to enjoy such a spectacle.
4. Jewish Film Festival - London's annual Jewish Film Festival is being held this month and will run from 6th to 21st November, showcasing all things Jewish on the big screen. Many different cinemas in London are taking part, including JW3 (20 minutes walk from La Gaffe) and the much-loved Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley (a north London treasure). Showcasing feature films, documentaries and shorts, and hosting guests both from the UK and further afield, it's a great opportunity to see what filmmakers have been creating of late. https://ukjewishfilm.org/ Tickets can be booked online or with the individual cinemas taking part. So go along and support some emerging filmmakers...it's the perfect way to spend a rainy day or chilly, dark evening...and if you're in the mood for a bite afterwards then pop over to us - our restaurant is open seven nights a week from 6.30 pm to 11pm...
5. Squidsoup Light Installations - Squidsoup is an artists collective, based in the UK, which describes its projects as "immersive experiences in digitally augmented spaces." What does that mean, in plain English, we hear you asking? Well, just think about thousands of suspended light bulbs, where your virtual and physical world collides! Or an audio-visual sculptural object, made up of 120 orbs, each containing LEDs, a speaker, processor and wi-fi connectivity, designed to create a real-time eco-system of sound and light. There's nothing like colour and light to cheer you up on a dark London night, so get yourself down to 'Chromotherapy'. Even better, the event is free! Love, light and peace! 27th November 2019 to 11th January 2020 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia and South Bank Centre.