City of London visitors, workers and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to arts and culture events this week as we roll into the half-term break.
There are stacks of things to see, do and experience in and around the City of London each and every week. So here’s our roundup of the Square Mile’s best festivals, exhibitions, films and music performances for you to get involved with as we roll into the half-term break.
Pick up a free illustrated map at the City Information Centre next to St Paul’s Cathedral to start your day out in the Square Mile. Follow Draco the Dragon through the City streets where ancient Romans once walked. From gladiators to breathtaking views and Diagon Alley to buildings named after food, there’s a lot to take in and enjoy in the City. The City of London Children’s Trail is the perfect way to start exploring the City with children – offering suggested activities and fun facts along the way, complete with stickers to mark special spots.
All over the Square Mile
If you are beginning to research your family history, or if you’ve got stuck, this session is for you. The team at Guildhall Library can provide help on specific sources for family history, for example trade directories, poll books, livery company archives and others, or they can help you find where to look for the information you are missing. Register on Eventbrite to book, and you will be contacted to arrange a suitable time.
11 February, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Guildhall Library EC2V 7HH
Make your own bacteria-inspired monster soup puppet at this art drop-in. The Thames was once so foul and full of yucky bacteria that an artist called William Heath named the water ‘monster soup’! Join Moth Physical Theatre to make your own bacteria-inspired monster soup puppet. Then discover tricks and tips to perform with it.
16 & 17 February 2pm – 3.30pm, free
Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN
On both 14 and 15 February, Oblix East and West will offer guests an epic 10 course Valentine’s tasting menu all served on the 32nd floor of the Shard with 360 degree views of London. On arrival, guests will be greeted with a glass of Billecart salmon, brut rose – kicking off an evening to remember with that special someone. Head Chef Marcus Eaves has also created a series of dishes just for the evening to make sure the night is extra special. Either look online for the menu or wait to be surprised on the night. We opt for the latter.
14 & 15 February
The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street SE1 9RY
NEW OPENING / Barboun
Located right on busy Great Eastern Street, Barboun offers up an elegant retreat for foodies. They’ve been open for just a short time now but head chef Fezile Ozalgan has already charged ahead with her own spin on the food from Eastern Mediterranean coastal towns. Expect a lot of fresh seafood, feta saganake and a mouthwateringly good short rib covered in a classic Iskenda sauce with a good heaping of garlic. They’ve also just launched their Levantine brunch for those wanting to try something a bit different- not just avocado on toast.
61-67 Great Eastern Street EC2A 3HU
Kick-start your day with sunrise yoga in the high-level walkways of Tower Bridge, 42 metres above the River Thames. The class is designed to allow participants of all abilities to perfect their practice, while enjoying spectacular views. Daring yoga enthusiasts can position themselves on the Glass Floor for a suspended view of road and pedestrian life. Yogis may even witness the magic of the Bridge’s famous bascules raising for a river vessel!
19 February & 18 March, tickets £25
Tower Bridge SE1 2UP
Enjoy a stellar line-up of comedians who take inspiration from the weird and wonderful lectures given in the Bishopsgate Institute’s “handsome and commodious” Great Hall. From “Men I Wish I Had Not Met” to “Wild Animals I have known”, diverse topics from the worlds of history, politics, sociology and pop culture are reinvigorated as comedians dissect these lectures of old. Hosted by comedy cabaret veteran Dr Steve Cross (Science Showoff).
12 February & 11 March , tickets £7
Bishopsgate Institute 230 Bishopsgate EC2M 4QH
Catch up with this year’s Best Picture and International Feature Film nominees in one glamorous week. Awards season is upon us, so we’re rolling out the red carpet, popping the prosecco and getting ready to celebrate some of the biggest films of the year with screenings of films nominated in the 92nd Academy Awards. Maybe there’s a film you missed first time around, or perhaps you just want to see what all the fuss is about? Head over to the Barbican Cinema to see films like the Joker, JoJo Rabbit, 1917, Pain and Glory, Little Women and a whole selection of shorts.
7 -13 February, tickets £12
Barbican Cinemas, Beech Street EC2Y 8AE
Combine a visit to the famous Guildhall Art Gallery with a free tour of the highlights of the art collection. Learn more about the gallery itself which shows a changing display of about 250 artworks from its collection of paintings, drawings and sculpture, in addition to a programme of temporary exhibitions. Each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is led by a professional City of London guide. The tours will also show off the newly resored La Ghirlandata (pictured above) which was unveiled earlier last week by the Lord Mayor.
Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, free
Guildhall Art Gallery EC2V 5AE