London is an awesome city — all nine zones of it. But, sometimes the sheer number of exciting events taking place across the capital can feel a little overwhelming. How do you even begin to determine what’s cool and what’s just meh?
We understand how annoying it is to trek across town for a so-so street-food experience or a crowded party that’s overhyped and underwhelming. So, we’ve scoured the city to find the very best events to attend this April. Get ready to fall in love with London town all over again with stops at new Shoreditch restaurants, heart-stopping fashion exhibitions, must-see mini fests, and dinky cocktail bars.
What: Martin Creed Exhibition: “What’s The Point Of It?”
When: Now through May 5
Why: Turner prizewinner Martin Creed’s joyful, funny, and thought-provoking artwork is on display at the Southbank’s Hayward Gallery. Don’t miss the chance to experience Creed’s oversized installations for yourself.
Where: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belevedere Road, SE1 8XX; +44 (0) 207 960 4200. Tickets from £11.
What: Marian Newman Nail Bar at Josh Wood Atelier
Why: If getting your hair cut and coloured by some of London’s leading stylists wasn’t enough of an excuse to visit the Josh Wood Atelier, the salon has just opened a nail bar overseen by Marian Newman, the manicurist with more British Vogue covers to her name than nail files. Walk out with talons fit for a supermodel in just 15 minutes. Now that’s what we call speedy! Where: Josh Wood Atelier, 6 Lansdowne Mews, Holland Park, W11 3AN; +44 (0) 203 393 0977. Prices start at £25.
What: Birds Eye View Film Festival
When: April 8 to 13
Why: Birds Eye View Film Festival explores and celebrates women filmmakers from all four corners of the globe. This five-day event offers everything from short films to documentaries to feature-length flicks. And, the themes and subject matter are just as varied. For the budding film editor or director, there is a raft of industry events, too.
Where: Various cinemas throughout London. Tickets from £8.
What: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier
When: April 9 to August 25
Why: Jean Paul Gaultier’s career is a mind-bending mix of the sensational and the sublime. You never know what this legendary designer will get up to next — from stints as a TV presenter on the cult show Eurotrash to designing Madonna’s iconic conical bra for the Girly Show tour to giving the Diet Coke can a Breton tee. It’s fair to say that Gaultier isn’t afraid of taking risks, which is why we can’t wait to see the Barbican’s exhibition devoted to his unique life’s work.
Where: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS; +44 (0) 207 638 8891. Tickets from £14.50.
What: Bootstrap Bees Exhibition
When: April 11 to 17
Why: Would you believe there is a fully functioning beehive in Dalston? There is, and it needs your help to keep it going. The year-old enterprise is raising money by hosting an exhibition showcasing art that takes its inspiration from the humble bee. Make a beeline for it (sorry, we couldn’t help but go there).
Where: Printhouse Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL; +44 (0) 207 275 0825.
What: Gypsy Bands at Wilton Music Hall
When: Every Friday and Saturday this month
Why: Wilton Music Hall latest theatrical offering is Father Nandru & The Wolves, a play based on a Romanian folk tale that uses puppets as well as an acting ensemble to bring its story to life. Gypsy bands will play every Thursday and Friday night in Wilton’s intimate Mahogany bar to keep the party atmosphere going after the performance.
Where: Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Off Ensign Street, E1 8JB; +44 (0) 207 702 2789.
What: Crafty Fox Markets
When: April 12 and 13, 12 to 5 p.m.
Why: Crafty Fox Market’s mantra is “Crafting is the new clubbing.” Cast aside all preconceived notions about craft fairs selling nondescript crochet teapot covers and shonky potato-print napkins. At this market, you can browse through the expertly curated edit of independent traders selling their design-led wares. And, there are DJs and cocktails, too. Consider us sold.
Where: The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST; +44 (0) 207 732 5275.
What: V&A Italian Glamour Exhibition
When: Now through July 27
Why: Do Italians do it better? You’ll just have to find out at the V&A’s latest exhibition devoted to Italian fashion and the particular brand of elegance the country has cultivated and produced for centuries.
Where: V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL; +44 (0) 207 942 2000. Tickets from £10.00.
What: Bingo Night
When: The third Wednesday of very month
Why: Yet another reason to visit Hackney Wick is the Main Yard Innovation Project, a new cultural centre that’s a restaurant, bar, events space, and work station all rolled into one. On the third Wednesday of every month, they host a bingo night, and that is A-okay in our books. Did somebody say house!
Where: Main Yard Innovation Project, 90 Wallis Road, E9 5LN; +44 (0) 208 986 0090.
What: Willy Moon's London Gig
When: April 16, doors at 7 p.m.
Why: Canadian singer Willy Moon’s brand of infectious pop tunes always puts a spring in our step. For one night only, you can shake your thang with Willy Moon and the rest of the crew at Hoxton Hall.
Where: Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, N1 6SH; +44 (0) 207 684 0060. Tickets from £8.
What: Henri Matisse: “The Cut-Outs”
When: Now through September 7
Why: We’ve probably all seen one of Matisse’s legendary “cut-out” artworks on postcards and prints. But, don’t miss your chance to see the real deal in real life. Don’t hesitate to add this exhibition to your calendar pronto.
Where: Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG; +44 (0) 207 887 8888. Tickets from £18.00.
What: The Lock Tavern Festival
When: April 17 to 20
Why: Lock Tavern, the legendary Camden pub, is hosting its very own four-day fest, cocurated by the team behind Field Dayfest. This is your chance to see amazing up-and-coming bands in a venue that’s as cool as it is intimate. Big Deal, Girl Band, and Benin City are just some of the acts to get really rather excited about.
Where: The Lock Tavern, 35 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AJ; +44 (0) 207 482 7163.
What: World Record Store Day
When: April 19
Why: Celebrate the sheer awesomeness of London’s independent record stores by coming together in Berwick Street (the epicentre of vinyl stores) for a mini fest of some of the capital’s best indie bands. The lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but if last year’s event is anything to go by, it should be a good one.
Where: Berwick Street, W1F 0PT.
What: The Boundary Hotel’s Rooftop Bar
When: Now until end of summer
Why: We’re rather partial to a rooftop bar that offers a panoramic view of our beloved city, but the weather can make this a rather soggy experience. The Boundary Hotel has remedied this situation by adding a weatherproof pergola to its rooftop haven, making it our new place for a sundowner whatever the forecast.
Where: Boundary Hotel, 2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD; +44 (0) 207 729 1051.
What: Boogaloo Bowl
When: Every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday
Why: Brooklyn Bowl has been rocking our world since it opened in London this January. What can we say? We’re a sucker for a mean margarita and a bowling ball. This month, Brooklyn Bowl hosting three music nights called Boogaloo Bowl. On Monday, it’s funk night; Thursday is all about hip-hop; and Saturday is the showcase for some of the capital’s finest DJs. Just you try and keep us off the dance floor.
Where: Brooklyn Bowl, The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX; +44 (0) 207 412 8778. Tickets from £6.
What: Clutch Restaurant
When: Tuesday through Sunday
Why: What came first the chicken or the egg? Debate this age-old conundrum at Clutch, London’s first ethically sourced chicken shop. All the eggs and chickens used in the restaurant’s incredibly tasty dishes are free-range and the sausages are gluten-free. And, Gareth Pugh designed the building’s exterior. Looks like we’ve found our new favourite hangout.
Where: Clutch, 4 Ravenscroft Street, E2 7QG; +44 (0) 207 729 4402.
What: George Northwood Opening
When: Grand opening April 23
Why: Alexa Chung’s hair is sensational, so we’re more than a little excited that her hairstylist George Northwood is opening his very own salon. You’ll need pretty deep pockets to get a cut with Northwood himself, but his band of trusted stylists are also on hand to give you the cut of your dreams. The Pureology treatments will leave your locks looking and feeling better than they did when you walked through the door.
Where: George Northwood, 24 Wells Street, W1; +44 (0) 207 580 8195. A cut with Northwood from £300. Salon prices start at £75.
What: Swap In The City
When: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Why: April 24 marks the first anniversary of Rana Plaza factory complex disaster, where 1,133 people lost their lives. Fashion Revolution Day was created to honour this tragic event and ensure it never happens again. Swap In The City is an event that seeks to raise awareness about this topic. Show your support by wearing an item of clothing inside out, taking a picture, and sharing it with the #insideout.
Where: Crown Moran Hotel, 142-152 Cricklewood Broadway, NW2 3ED. Tickets from £10.00.
What: Discount Suit Company Club Night
When: Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Why: Our new favourite speakeasy Discount Suit Company just introduced DJ nights to its repertoire, and we couldn’t be happier. Tap your toes to Northern Soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and blues tunes. It's the perfect accompaniment to the bar’s signature cocktail and cheese selection, don’t you think?
Where: Discount Suit Company, 29A Wentworth Street, E1 7TB; +44 (0) 207 247 8755.
What: Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair
When: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Why: For those of you who are looking to add a hint of retro your upcoming nuptials, Belle’s Vintage Wedding Fair is for you. Every little detail is accounted for, from bunting to wedding frocks to vintage jewelry. You’ll be hard pressed to leave empty handed.
Where: Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, E1 6EW; +44 (0) 207 247 8556.
What: Momo’s Weekend Voyages Brunch
When: April 27 and 28; May 2 and 3
Why: Give your brunch a North African twist courtesy of the team behind the legendary restaurant Momo. This month, Momo will be giving the traditional full English breakfast a run for its money with this take on classic brunch dishes all infused with its signature North African vibe. Plus, diners can enjoy movies shown in the lounge to complement the brunch. Warning: You may want to stay all day.
Where: Momo, 25 Heddon Street, W1B 4BHj; +44 (0) 207 434 4040.
What: Studio Ghibli Fest
When: April 7 through May 31
Why: Studio Ghibli is getting the recognition it deserves with a mini festival at the BFI. Watch some of the Japanese animation studio’s most beloved movies on the big screen. We’re can’t wait to see My Neighbour Totoro.
Where: BFI, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT; +44 (0) 207 928 3232. Tickets from £6.00.
What: Clipper Coffee Merchants
When: Every day
Why: Looking for your next caffeine fix? Step forward, Clipper Coffee Merchants, the first bar of its kind to focus on raising awareness for the specialty coffee producers from around the world. Each time you snap up a cup of Joe, 25p will go to the coffee farmer. Getting your morning cuppa’ has never been so productive.
Where: Clipper Coffee Merchants, 87 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4QS.
What: Gianvito Rossi Store opening
When: April 30
Why: Make room in your wardrobe for another pair of heels, because the Gianvito Rossi store is opening today! The designer is the son of Sergio Rossi, and his designs have already acquired a cult following amongst the world’s most fashionable women. No wonder Mary Katrantzou chose his label to create her brand’s first range of shoes. Run, don’t walk.
Where: Gianvito Rossi, 108 Mount Street, W1K 2TP.