What’s on in London this Autumn

Amy Rosoman for British Airways

Title photography by BrianAJackson

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August 2018

Autumn in London is simply delicious when embers of warmth mix with crisp, cool nights. You’ll also relish the vibrant bursts of colour, as yellows, oranges and reds bloom across the tree leaves. In addition to nature’s captivating aesthetics, savour the array of magnetising music and taste a variety of seasonal treats.

Tower of London Food Festival

As the London foodie scene becomes even tastier and more savvy, this festival brings gourmet dreams to reality. Go wild for street food, sample tasters from intriguing pop-up restaurants and London’s best eateries, then catch top chefs (including Michel Roux Jr and beloved Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain) cooking up a storm throughout the long weekend. Be sure to check out the craft beers and signature cocktails, as you indulge in artisan bites and scrumptious delights. Once you are full up, browse for some shopping specialities like authentic olive oils, flavourful gins and kitchen cooking essentials – there is something for every foodie fanatic.

When? 7 – 9 September

Where? Tower of London

Nearest tubes: Tower Hill

Where to stay: The Tower - A Guoman Hotel – for its spectacular setting and extraordinary views of the capital, including Tower Bridge.

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London Design Festival

Embrace the city of design districts and explore art masterpieces. From bright static installations to creative workshops, this is one scene to watch. Discover the soothing installation of rainforest ceramic magic at Liaigre, situated along Fulham Road near Chelsea; it is made of thousands of hanging ceramic pieces by Valeria Nascimiento. Watch their shadows dance.

Other exhibitions include: Sustainable Brixton in Brixton, Unknown in Bethnal Green, The Next Big Thing in St James’s, and T2 x LDF18 on Regent Street near Marylebone. Be sure to check out Beatie Wolfe: The Art of Music in the Digital Age at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

When? 15 – 23 September

Where? Across London city

Nearest tubes: For Fulham Road – South Kensington. For Brixton – for Brixton. For Bethnal Green – Bethnal Green. For St James’s – Piccadilly Circus. For Marylebone – Bond Street. For Victoria and Albert Museum – South Kensington.

Where to stay: The Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel – for its ravishing interior, excellent transport links around the city and walkable distance to popular sights.

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  • Tower of London Food Festival. © Historic Royal Palaces 2018.

    Fantastic foodie fun

    Watch some of the best chefs entertain and cook delicious dishes, then nibble your way around scrumptious food stands.

    Book a stay at The Tower
  • Dark Arts – Harry Potter Halloween. © Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

    Harry Potter haunts at Halloween

    Explore the ghostly wonders of the Harry Potter studios this autumn, as you come face-to-face with frightening Death Eaters.

    Book a stay at Doubletree Hilton
  • MultiPly, part of the London Design Festival, by Waugh Thistleton Architects supported by the American Hardwood Export Council and Arup.

    How much wood?

    Check out the mesmerising exhibits dotted across London come fall, and see which ones send your senses swirling.

    Book a stay at The Grosvenor House

Dark Arts – Harry Potter Halloween

Harry Potter fans will wave their wands in excitement for the Dark Arts extravaganza to celebrate Halloween 2018. The London studios undergo a haunting makeover with floating pumpkins in the Great Hall and spook-tacular sets. Look out for Death Eaters and learn how to battle them with wand combat when you watch a live duel. Keep your wits about you and tip-toe through the chilling Diagon Alley, before stepping into the shadows of the Forbidden Forest.

When? 28 September – 10 November

Where? Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Nearest tubes: Get the Overground to Watford Junction, then take the shuttle bus to the Warner Bros Studio.

Where to stay: DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside – for its beautiful terrace overlooking the River Thames and idyllic library for afternoon tea.

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London Cocktail week

Spend an autumnal day trying some of the most superb cocktails by the best mixologists, celebrating the finest tipples in town. Wander through the vibrant pop-up bars, stands and vans amongst the sounds of ice breaking in shakers and sensational fragrances. From melt in your mouth classics to triumphant concoctions, sip on spirit infused fruity elixirs or exquisite espresso martinis. When you’re feeling peckish, try a bite from the flavourful street food stands and revel in a day of tasteful indulgence. With 300 bars included in this drinks festival, dotted about London – visit as many as you can squeeze in, guzzling their specialties.

When? 1 – 7 October

Where? The Old Truman Brewery and across London

Nearest tubes: Liverpool Street or Whitechapel

Where to stay: Andaz London Liverpool Street – for its location between the City and Old Street, discover plenty of treasures nearby, then enjoy the stylish living here.

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  • The BAFTA and Academy award-winning actor, Jim Broadbent, will play Hans Christian Andersen in Martin McDonagh’s A Very Very Very Dark Matter.

    A powerful performance

    Catch the talented Jim Broadbent, in McDonagh's new fiendish play.

    Book a stay at the Waldorf Hilton
  • London Cocktail Week. © DrinkUp.London.

    Time for a tipple

    Try mouth-watering cocktails, soak up the cool atmosphere and be sure to taste something new.

    Book a stay at Andaz London
  • Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival. © James North.

    Kick it real good

    Look up in awe, as snowboarder pros and talented skiers switch it up with snowpark magic.

    Book a stay at the Park Plaza

A Very Very Very Dark Matter

Famed for his twisted and comic National Theatre and Broadway hit Pillowman, Martin McDonagh returns to London with his new play: A Very Very Very Dark Matter. Set in the colourful city of Copenhagen, Hans Christian Andersen (played by Jim Broadbent) works away on his beloved children’s tales – read around the world by millions. But a satanic secret scrapes away in the attic where he writes. Take a trip into the void of the human imagination, with dark direction by Matthew Dunster, who bought McDonagh’s Hangmen to life at the Royal Court. Please note, there are scenes some audience members may find disturbing due to violence, strong language and sexual references.

When? 10 October – 29 December

Where? The Bridge Theatre

Nearest tubes: London Bridge

Where to stay: Waldorf Hilton – for its London luxury and wonderful setting in London’s Theatre District.

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The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival

Head to the ice cool Telegraph Ski & Snowboard Festival, the UK’s only festival of its kind. The set-up is crisp and fresh. Check out the stands with the latest gear, get frosty on the ice skating rink and tuck into warming wintry bites from a choice of Alpine food stands – you’ve got to order the crepes. Catch live music and comedy stand-up, then grab a pint (or toffee vodka) and party on to late night Après ski activities on Friday and Saturday. (The Après schedule is new for 2018, along with the street food village, vintage Ferris wheel and treasure hunt.) Watch the pros on Mount Battersea, a 50 ft real snow kicker, as the best of the best show off their awesome skills and sickest tricks.

When? 25 – 28 October

Where? Battersea Park

Nearest tubes: Get the Overground to Battersea Park

Where to stay: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge – for amazing views of Big Ben, easy access to the London Underground and Waterloo train station, and an array of bars and restaurants along South Bank.

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  • People enjoying the fireworks. © Nodar Kontselidze / EyeEm.

    Light up the sky

    Whish, whirl, swizzle – celebrate November 5, Bonfire Night, with a bang.

    Book a stay at Aloft London Excel
  • Hugh Masekela RIP - a celebration of his life, at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2018. © Brett Rubin

    Jazz, soul and blues

    Listen to beats that will get you moving, hear lyrics that’ll make you feel and music that’ll change your thinking.

    Book a stay at the Grosvenor
  • Winter skating at Winter Wonderland. © Winter Wonderland.

    Glide across Hyde Park ice-skate rink

    Relish the crisp, cool air, and soak up the last of the autumnal sun.

    Book a stay at the Intercontinental

Bonfire Night – Lambeth Fireworks

Watch the city sky light up in a dazzling firework display, bursting with colours and patterns. Marking the historical moment Guy Fawkes was stopped in the Gun Powder explosion plot, this annual event sparks across the whole of Great Britain. Get tickets to the Lambeth Fireworks at Brockwell Park and be spoilt with two epic displays. The first is ideal for families, kicking off at 6.45pm and the second is ‘Time Tunnel’ at 8pm. This musical fireworks soundtrack will transport you from the ‘80s to the present. Grab a bite to eat from the street vendors, listen to live music and soak up the electric entertainment.

When? 3 November

Where? Brockwell Park

Nearest tubes: Brixton, Overground – Herne Hill

Where to stay: Aloft London Excel – for its sleek luxury feel, inside swimming pool and brilliant transport links, including the DLR Overground.

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EFG London Jazz Festival

Swing to the rhythmic sounds at the 26th London Jazz Festival, which lasts 10 days and features 2,500 artists across 60 amazing London venues. Attendees will get to listen to the rich vocals from a glorious mix of musicians and singers. Catch Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin at the Barbican, see multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson at Queen Elizabeth Hall and listen to multi-talented Lea DeLaria at The Bridge Theatre. Make your way to the Royal Festival Hall to hear BBC Young Jazz Musician, singer-songwriter, Madeleine Peyroux. With such a choice of talent around this autumn, your hardest decision will be picking who to watch.

When? 16 – 25 November

Where? Across London city

Nearest tubes: For the Barbican – Barbican. For Queen Elizabeth Hall – Waterloo. For The Bridge Theatre - London Bridge. For Royal Festival Hall – Waterloo.

Where to stay: The Grosvenor – for its immaculate grandeur and boastful location near Victoria Station, just 500m from the beautiful Buckingham Palace.

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Winter Wonderland

Seasonal celebrations are coming, and the magic of Winter Wonderland can’t be missed. Whether you wander through the bright lights of Hyde Park with a mulled wine in hand or whoosh around on the whirlwind of rides – there is something to make everyone’s cheeks rosy with delight. Find your way through a maze of ice sculptures, glide across the ice-skating rink and warm-up with roasted marshmallows. Stroll through the alpine Christmas market stalls, catch mesmerising shows at the Winter Palace Theatre and meet the man himself in Santa Land.

When? 22 November – 6 January

Where? Hyde Park

Nearest tubes: Knightsbridge

Where to stay: InterContinental London – The O2 – for its replenishing spa and mesmerising views of the Canary Wharf skyline from the Eighteenth Sky Bar.

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