What’s on in London this Autumn

By Amy Rosoman

Photography by Joe Daniel Price / Getty Images

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July 2017

Autumn in London is simply delicious, with its last crisp embers of warmth and colour bursts of yellows, oranges and reds – you’ll relish every moment. Savour the array of magnetising music, immerse yourself in captivating aesthetics, let your taste buds thrive and enthuse the variety.

Labour of Love

Catch the roar-with-laughter political premiere of James Graham’s new play, Labour of Love. In a world of crashing conflicts and divided ways of thinking, Jeremy Herrin, Artistic Director of Headlong, brings to life a story of a northern Labour MP and his relationship with a constituency agent. The play cleverly catches up with the mess of Brexit and a hung parliament in a timeless piece of genius. Getting to grips with an identity crisis and concern for electability, the marvellous Martin Freeman plays David, whilst the wonderful Sarah Lancashire, playing Jean, shares her passion for matters of community and principles.

When? 15 September – 2 December

Where? Noel Coward Theatre

Nearest tubes:  Leicester Square

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

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Spend an autumnal day trying some of the most superb cocktails by the best mixologists, celebrating the finest tipples in town.

London Design Festival

Embrace the city of design districts and explore masterpieces of artwork, from bright static installations to creative workshops, the scene is one to watch. Discover the radiant glow and landmark project of the vinyl and nylon soft build Villa Walala, situated in the heart of Broadgate. Created by Camille Walala and her influence of the Memphis Movement and Ndebele Tribe, it is a breath-taking scene. Other exhibitions include Achille Salvangi’s Japanese Pavillion in Mayfair, the GBA&D Design Room, The Lost Heaven in Marylebone and the installation, Transmission, created by Ross Lovegrove, at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

When? 16 – 24 September

Where? Across London city

Nearest tubes: For Broadgate – Liverpool Street, for Mayfair – Bond Street, 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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  • Labour of love.

    The power of theatre

    See Martin Freeman perform in a side-splitting and compelling show.

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  • London Design Festival in partnership with British Land will present Camille Walala’s architectural playground ©Camille Walala, Villa Walala, London Design Festival 2017.

    Bold, bright and beautiful

    See this creation in the middle of Broadgate Circle for this year’s London Design Festival. The vibrant installation is designed as an antidote to the straight-laced busy City, injecting a sense of playfulness into just another day at the office.

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  • Catch John Torode at the BBC Good Food’s Feast. ©Yuki Sugiura.

    Fantastic foodie fun

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

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BBC Good Food’s Feast

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 the best London eateries, then catch top chefs, including Tom Kerridge and John Torode, 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. Take a browse around for some shopping specialities. Choose from a variety of authentic olive oils, flavourful gins, kitchen cooking essentials – there is something for every foodie fanatic.     

When? 22 – 24 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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Soak up the merry atmosphere and Bavarian theme of London’s very own Oktoberfest. Grab your lederhosen and stein glass for a knees up. Enjoy live music from German bands, including entertaining Oompa music, then nibble on traditional bratwurst, pretzels and schnitzel. Take a turn at some dancing in the giant Bavarian tent, park up at a sharing table and socialise with the best. Sip on German beers during an afternoon or evening and let your hair down for this fun-time event.   

When? 28 September – 1 October, 5 October – 8 October

Where? Millwall Park, Canary Wharf

Nearest tubes: Canary Wharf – onwards via DLR to Mudchute

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 Oktoberfest.

    Steins of beer and schnitzel

    German sausages, Bavarian dancing and a fun-filled atmosphere, embrace a playful day.

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  • Emeli Sandé.

    That voice

    Hear sensational sounds which will shake your core.

  • 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.

    Things to do in London

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, listen to the ice break in shakers and smell the mixture of sensational fragrances around you. 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.

When?  2 – 8 October

Where? Old Spitalfields Market

Nearest tubes: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street

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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Emeli Sandé

Head out for the evening to watch a phenomenal performance by this award-winning wonder. The vocals of Emeli Sandé are enough to blow your socks off, on her Long Live the Angels tour. Hear the edgier tracks from her second album, released four years after her debut album ‘Our Version of Events’. The powerful lyrics of ‘Hurts’ mirrors the heart-felt pain from her personal life and the gap taken between her album creations. Listen out for striking balladry anthems ‘Shakes’ and ‘Sweet Architect’, which will move you and send shivers down your spine. 

When? 18 October

Where? The O2  

Nearest tubes: North Greenwich

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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  • John Bishop.

    What a stand-up guy

    Listen to chortle-worthy tales, which all ring close to home.

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  • The Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London. ©Stadium Bank / Alamy Stock Photo.

    The big game

    Watch an almighty rugby match at the home of the English Rugby Football Union.

    London city breaks
  • ©EFG London Jazz Festival.

    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.

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John Bishop, Winging it

Relish the best of British comedy and take a night out with this gem from Liverpool. Bishop’s brilliant accent, good looks and side-splitting stories from his own life experiences, will bring tears of laughter for an engaging evening. From his classic tales of parenthood to semi-professional football playing, this guy highlights everything you just have to laugh about in life. His impressive stage presence, risks to chance and wonderfully relatable accounts, make Bishop one of the leading comics in the comedy world.  

When? 2 – 3 November

Where? The O2 

Nearest tubes: North Greenwich

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

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Barbarians vs New Zealand

Get set for one of the mightiest rugby matches this year, as the Baa-Baas and All Blacks come head-to-head at Twickenham. See the passion from the British invitational team and be stunned by the New Zealand union team’s haka. Immerse yourself in the competitive atmosphere and the celebrations of the New Zealand Rugby Union’s 125th Anniversary, as the teams sport against one another to win the Killik Cup. Grab a beer and take in the immensity of the stadium – the largest rugby union venue on the planet.    

When? 4 November

Where? Twickenham stadium

Nearest tubes: Waterloo – for onward travel via National Rail

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

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EFG London Jazz Festival

Feel the rhythm and swing to the sounds at the 25th London Jazz Festival across the capital. Listen to the rich vocals from a glorious mix of performers, musicians and singers. Catch the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir at the London South Bank Centre and listen to their contemporary melodies, with a touch of jazz and blues. Their uplifting energy is inescapable and their voices will leave you in awe. Make a move to Cadogan Hall to see Ben L’Oncle Soul. Hear his classic soul, adoration for Frank Sinatra and his signature tunes from his latest album ‘Under my skin’.

When? 10 – 19 November

Where? Across London city

Nearest tubes: For London South Bank Centre – Waterloo and Embankment, for Cadogan Hall – Sloane Square

Where to stay: The Grosvenor – for its boastful location along from Victoria and just 500m from the beautiful Buckingham Palace, a stay here is an oracle of grandeur.

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